By: The York University Magazine, Toronto, Ontario, 2015-Fall Issue (Page 7) – Fluoride. It’s in our toothpaste. It’s applied to our teeth during regular dental checkups. And, sometimes, it’s added to our tap water. About 30 per cent of Canadians
receive fluoride through their public water supply. We think it benign, but how safe is it?
Although fluoride can be found naturally in the environment, most of what is in our tap water is the artificial form – a byproduct of fertilizer production, derived from one of three chemicals: hydrofluorosilicic acid (the most common), sodium fluorosilicate and sodium fluoride.
Recent studies, including one by York University clinical psychology PhD candidate Ashley Malin and psychology Professor Christine Till, are uncovering a number of possible health problems with fluoride use. The York researchers looked at the potential link between fluoridation in the United States public water supply and increasing rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They found that as the percentage of fluoridated public drinking water increased, so too did rates of ADHD in children aged four to 17.
“Our findings showed that artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 predicted ADHD prevalence in 2003, 2007 and 2011 among children and adolescents in the United States,” says Malin.
This research raises huge questions, says Till. “We should be asking whether it is safe for many cities in Canada, including Toronto, to continue to fluoridate the water we consume.”