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The Common Chemical in Water That May Be Linked to Lower IQ


little girl drinking waterThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized a commonly used chemical added to drinking water as one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. However, this achievement can have detrimental health effects and most surprisingly, lower a child’s IQ. Fluoride, long touted as a weapon against tooth decay, is added to water supplies in most municipalities in the U.S. as a public health measure. Ironically, excessive levels of fluoride can do the opposite of its original intent – instead of protecting one’s teeth and bones, it can cause pitted teeth and discoloration, as well as make bones brittle and more prone to fractures.

In addition to the physical repercussions of excessive fluoride, it can have negative neurological effects on children. Several studies performed in China and Iran found that high fluoride exposures reduced children’s IQs by an average of about seven points. Harvard University researchers’ review of these fluoride/brain studies concurred that there is the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment.

New data, released in recent months, indicates that in at least 10 communities in Maine, there are drinking wells that harbor dangerously high levels of fluoride – similar to the levels in the Chinese studies. In some cases, the levels are more than double what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has deemed the acceptable maximum exposure level. In the small, picturesque town of Dedham, data from 37 wells indicate that 37.8 percent of that water is above the state’s maximum exposure guideline for fluoride. The data comes from homeowners who voluntarily sent water samples into state labs for testing, so although not complete, it provides a snapshot of the problem.

Most of Maine’s residents rely on private wells for the water they drink, bathe in, and possibly even use for infant milk formula. The level of potential fluoride exposure to residents may be even higher if they use dental rinses and toothpaste with fluoride. The levels in these wells are high due to the existence of certain types of granite that contain high levels of fluoride which seep into the wells’ water. Maine is not the only state with this dilemma – New Hampshire (“The Granite State”) and Rhode Island may also have private wells at risk because they have large amounts of these same fluoride-rich granites.

Although residents with wells are encouraged to test their water regularly, many do not. In fact, even people whose water is contaminated with far more harmful chemicals than fluoride often take no action. Residents of central Maine whose well water contains high levels of arsenic were recently surveyed. Although this odorless, tasteless element can cause cancer, blindness and numbness in hands and feet, 27 percent of the residents surveyed did nothing about it, citing cost as one reason.

Experts suggest that people living in areas with high fluoride concentrations should purchase advanced technology such as reverse osmosis systems. Pelican Water has several options for every budget. One of several whole house systems, the Pelican Fluoride Series Whole House Filter, uses a unique calcium based BoneChar carbon designed to reduce the fluoride in your water. A must have for those with high fluoride in their water, this filter ensures peace of mind by filtering all water entering your home, providing safer water for you and your children.

Pelican Combo System Salt-Free Water Softener Whole-House Water Filter