NASEM Strongly Recommends Revisions to NTP’s Second Draft Monograph on Fluoride Exposure Hazards

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Feb 18, 2021
On February 9, the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released a review of the Revised National Toxicology Program (NTP) Monograph on the Systematic Review of Fluoride Exposure and Neurodevelopmental and Cognitive Health Effects. NASEM concluded that while the revised monograph had been improved to some extent, the monograph still fell short of providing a clear and convincing argument that supports its assessment that “fluoride is presumed to be a cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to humans.”

NTP’s conclusion is based on a purported pattern of findings in human studies showing that higher fluoride exposure (>1.5 ppm in drinking water) is associated with decreased IQ or other cognitive impairments in children. The level of fluoride exposure the study focuses on is out of line with the currently recommended optimal fluoridation level of 0.7 ppm.

NASEM strongly recommended that NTP improve the revised monograph and noted several concerns related to the presentation of the data, the methods, and the analyses in the revised monograph.

Impact on General Dentistry:
AGD supports NASEM’s recommendation for encouraging further research and analysis on this issue to ensure that decisions around fluoridation are supported. AGD believes that according to generally accepted scientific research, fluoride remains safe at the concentrations found in optimally fluoridated water and is a community health measure that benefits children and adults. AGD supports the positive impact of fluoride, when used safely and effectively, to prevent and control tooth decay.