Draft National Toxicology Program Review of Fluoride Exposure & Health Effects Released

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) recently released a draft monograph on the Systematic Review of Fluoride Exposure and Neurodevelopmental and Cognitive Health Effects.  According to the draft report, NTP concludes that fluoride is presumed to be a cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to humans. This conclusion is based primarily on studies with higher levels of fluoride exposure (i.e., >1.5 ppm in drinking water). When focusing on studies with exposures in ranges typically found in the water distribution systems in the United States (i.e., approximately 0.03 to 1.5 ppm according to NHANES data) that can be evaluated for dose response, effects on cognitive neurodevelopment are inconsistent, and therefore unclear. The report relies heavily on a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)-funded Green et al study published by JAMA Pediatrics. A group of 30 concerned doctors, dentists, and public health professionals sent a letter to NIEHS outlining concerns related to the study’s methodological transparency and analysis.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has assembled a committee to review the document before a final document is published; there will be a public meeting of the review committee on November 6, 2019. The committee will Image result for national toxicology programprovide an overall critique of the draft monograph and determine if the draft accurately reflects the scientific literature, if the findings are documented in a consistent, transparent, and credible way, and if the scientific evidence in the NTP Monograph supports NTP’s hazard category conclusions for fluoride in children and adults. Additional information on the the review process, the committee members, and meeting locations can be found on the project information website.