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Fluoride and Fertility

by James Robert Deal, J.D., and Richard Sauerheber, Ph.D.

February 17, 2014

There is good reason to suspect that the consumption of so-called fluoride by would-be parents has a negative impact on the developing embryo and fetus and can result in early embryo and fetal death, miscarriage, stillbirth, lower IQ, and a general reduction in reproductive success – as discussed below. 

Some 90% of fluoridation is done with fluorosilicic acid – which contains not only fluoride ion but also silicic acid, lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, chromium, copper, selenium, barium, and thallium, which is slightly radioactive. These contaminants may be as harmful to the growing fetus as is the fluoride ion itself.

See the article at for an analysis of fluorosilicic acid based on the suppliers’ own certificates of analysis.

The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study entitled “Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”. It can be accessed at The study concludes:

[C]hildren in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses also indicated inverse associations, although the substantial heterogeneity did not appear to decrease.

The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment. Future research should include detailed individual-level information on prenatal exposure, neurobehavioral performance, and covariates for adjustment.

A review of the study can be accessed at The reviewer states:

Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,” Grandjean [senior author of the Harvard Study] says. “The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”

Critics of the Harvard study incorrectly claim that the Chinese studies only looked at towns and cities where fluoride levels were much higher than in tap water in the United States. However, a Wichita newspaper investigated the charge, interviewed Grandjean, and wrote the following:

The truth, Grandjean writes, is that “only 4 of 27 studies” in the Harvard review used the high levels that the Wichita paper described, and “clear differences” in IQ “were found at much lower exposures.” See:

In 2006 the National Research Council released its study entitled “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards”. This book is available free online. Simply run a Google search for “NRC 2006 Fluoride”.

See particularly chapter 6, which is entitled “ Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Fluoride,” beginning at page 181. At page 192 the NRC says:

In an ecological study of U.S. counties with drinking-water systems reporting fluoride concentrations of at least 3 mg/L (Freni 1994), a decreased fertility rate was associated with increasing fluoride concentrations. See:

At page 193 the NRC says:

There is wide variation with some correlation between fluoride concentration in maternal serum and cord blood, indicating that fluoride readily crosses the placenta. … Therefore, potential toxicity to the developing embryo and fetus in the setting of high maternal ingestion of fluoride has been a concern evaluated in both animal and humans. See:

In 1995 Dr. Phyllis Mullinex, a former Harvard professor, and one of the authors of the NRC 2006 Fluoride report, released an experimental report which was published in Neurotoxicology and Teratology. It can be accessed at this link:

In her study Dr. Mullinex gave fluoride to rats at levels which produce the same blood fluoride level as found in humans. Fluoride was given to pregnant females and newborns. There was a measurable negative effect on both. The adult rats became more lethargic and were affected cognitively, while newborns were more hyperactive and affected cognitively.  

Dr. Mullinex was later asked to advise the US Army as to whether it should fluoridate the drinking water at Fort Detrick. In that letter she explained her previous study. She said:

[C]hronic exposure to fluoride (1 ppm) in drinking water of rats compromised neuronal and cerebrovasculature integrity (blood brain barrier) and increased aluminum concentrations in brain tissues (8). Another study found that fluoride in drinking water of rats decreased membrane lipids important to proper brain function (9). Moreover, the latest studies have shown that fluoride accumulates in human and animal pineal glands where it impairs melatonin production (10, 11), a finding critical when it is considered that melatonin is an agent that protects the central nervous system from radiation by scavenging free radicals (12). Finally, there is a recent study published which reports that silicofluorides in fluoridated drinking water increase levels of lead in children’s blood, a risk factor that predicts higher crime rates, attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities ( 13). …

In 1993 while studying the neurotoxicity associated with the treatments of childhood leukemia, we demonstrated that the fluorinated steroid dexamethasone disrupted behavior in rats to a greater degree than did its non fluorinated counterpart prednisolone (14,15). This finding prompted a clinical study of children treated for leukemia, where it was found that the fluorinated steroid was more detrimental to IQ than the nonfluorinated steroid, in particular reading comprehension, arithmetic calculation and short-term working memory deficits were greater (16). …

In summary, my opinion is that there are no advantages to water fluoridation. The risks today far exceed the hoped for benefit. 

Read Dr. Mullinex’s complete letter at this link:

Dr. Mullinex and her study were criticized by fluoridation defenders who pointed out that the concentration of sodium fluoride administered to the rats was much higher than what is found in the fluoridated tap water which humans drink. However, rats absorb much less fluoride through their alimentary canal than do humans, and so they must be given more fluoride to drink for the rats to end up with the same blood-fluoride level as humans drinking fluoridated tap water.

Dr. Paul Connett, Ph.D., and president of Fluoride Alert, has this to say:

Fluoride ion interferes with DNA repair in both cell and tissue studies. … In addition to cell and tissue studies, a correlation between fluoride exposure and chromosome damage in humans has also been reported. (See citations at

If fluoride ion interferes with DNA repair in children and adults, then because it readily passes through the placenta, it can be assumed that it will do the same within the growing embryo and fetus.

Dr. Connett also says:

At the biochemical level it is highly plausible that fluoride would be both a cancer initiator and a promoter. By forming a strong hydrogen bond with the amide function (Emsley, 1981) it could well interfere with base pair recognition so critical to DNA repair, replication, transcription and translation (protein synthesis). Furthermore fluoride is known to inhibit a number of enzymes which have magnesium as a co-factor (Waldbot, 1978). A number of enzymes involved in nucleic acid biochemistry have magnesium as a co-factor. The magnesium by forming a complex with the phosphate group helps to steer nucleotides into the exact location for assembly and disassembly. It is highly plausible that fluoride would dislocate this mechanism so critical for nucleic acid activity. It is known that fluoride inhibits the enzymes involved in DNA repair in test tubes. See:

Dr. Connett continues: 

There also is concern about the genotoxicity of fluoride and its possible role in the cause of increased levels of infant mortality and Down’s Syndrome births. The West Midlands Perinatal Audit reported that the city had “significantly higher” rates of stillbirth and neonatal mortality than the average for England and Wales.

Could this be attributable to fluoride? In an as-yet unpublished paper, Ian Packington, a toxicologist on the advisory panel of the National Pure Water Association (an anti-fluoride campaign group), records that in the years 1990-92 perinatal deaths in the fluoridated parts of the West Midlands were 15 percent higher than in neighboring unexposed areas such as Shropshire and Herefordshire. From an analysis of Department of Health statistics, he concluded that in the period 1983-86 cases of Down’s Syndrome were 30 percent higher in fluoridated than non-fluoridated areas.

These were not isolated findings. In the 1970s, Dr. Albert Schatz reported that the artificial fluoridation of drinking water in Latin American countries was associated with increased rates of infant mortality and deaths due to congenital malformation. As long ago as the 1950s, Dr. Ionel Rapaport published studies showing links between Down’s Syndrome and natural fluoridation.  See:

Dr. Albert Schatz is a co-Nobel prize laureate and the discoverer of streptomycin. He declares that fluoridation is the greatest fraud in the world against the greatest number of people. See:

Dr. Schatz

… found that water fluoridation in Latin America was linked to higher rates of infant mortality and deaths resulting from congenital malformation. His findings convinced the Chilean government to abandon fluoridation …. See:

Chile abandoned fluoridation in 1977. Unfortunately, Chile later readopted the vice.

India has serious problems with fluoride because fluoride is prevalent in well water, especially now that water tables are dropping and wells are being drilled deeper. While the United States allows high levels of naturally occurring calcium fluoride in drinking water and adds artificial fluoride to drinking water, India does everything it can to avoid fluoride consumption. Dr. AK Susheela, a leading fluoride expert in India reported in a 2010 study in Current Science that fluoride avoidance reduced anemia in pregnant women, decreased pre-term births, and enhanced babies’ birth-weight. See:

Researchers from the State University of New York reported at a 2009 meeting of the American Public Health Association in Philadelphia that their study had found more premature births in fluoridated than in non-fluoridated upstate New York communities. See:

Dr. Richard Sauerheber cites detailed studies which demonstrate harm to offspring in mammals, particularly to various regions of the brain, which are exposed to blood fluoride levels typical in humans drinking water fluoridated at 1.0 ppm. See: Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 439490,

Dr. Sauerheber points out that Adams and Holland report in Pharmacology for Nurses, A Pathophysiologic Approach (Pearson Publishing, Boston, MA, 2011, p. 66) that fluoride added into water intended to be consumed by pregnant women has an FDA Pregnancy Category Rating X.  This is because fluoride added into water has been found in controlled or observational studies done on animals to be causally connected with fetal abnormality. Substances with an X rating have no indication for use in pregnancy, and yet fluoridated water is widely consumed by pregnant women in the U.S. See:

The FDA in 1966 banned the sale of fluoride vitamin supplements and prescriptions intended for prenatal use. See:

Medical doctor and independent and outspoken health blogger, Dr. Joseph Mercola, reports, citing medical journals, that “past research, too, has shown that fluoride has potentially disastrous effects on the male reproductive system”.  See:

The FDA issued a letter ruling in 1963, which it has not withdrawn, that fluoride is not a mineral nutrient, but a drug, that it is not essential to health, and that no minimum daily requirement as been determined. See:

Many ask why the FDA has not acted to ban fluoridation. It is because the FDA, like other federal agencies are strongly influenced by the industries they regulate. See: YouTube video at

For example, former Monsanto attorney Michael Taylor now serves as deputy commissioner of foods and is in charge of approving GMO crops and their use in foods. Likewise, EPA administrators support fluoridation, while some 1,500 EPA scientists oppose it. See:

While administrators in the FDA, EPA, and CDC support fluoridation or avoid taking action to stop it, the scientists and researchers within those agencies continue to condemn it. Many federal agencies are conflicted in this way, with administrators taking the pro-industry side and scientists taking the pro-consumer side. Consider the way the FDA has given the sale of GMO crops a free hand. 


To convert phosphate ore into super-phosphate fertilizer, the ore is cooked with sulfuric acid, and the fluoride and other contaminants go up the smokestack. Starting in the 1970s fertilizer plants were required to install wet scrubbers to capture the smoke. Fluorosilicic acid is the unfiltered and unrefined scrubber liquor from the smoke stacks of fertilizer plants in Florida, Mexico, China, and other countries. The original ore contains numerous contaminants, and so too does the unfiltered and unrefined product added to our drinking water.

The Everett Water District dumps around 250 gallons of this unfiltered and unrefined fluorosilicic acid scrubber liquor into Snohomish County drinking water every day. See a typical certificate of analysis, which admits the presence of lead and arsenic,

It gets worse. Fluorosilicic acid not only contains lead, is an effective lead solvent. See There is lead in most plumbing. Even in new homes there is 8% lead in the typical water faucet (except in California which has stricter standards). Homes with copper pipes are typically soldered with copper-lead solder. In older homes pipes can be up to 30% lead. Old service lines running out to the water main in the street usually contain lead. In 2004 lead in Seattle schools was measured at up to 1,600 ppb, which is 1.6 ppm, an extremely high level. See

Lead has a negative effect on the developing fetus. A 2006 article in Environmental Health Perspectives says:

Fetal lead exposure has an adverse effect on neurodevelopment, with an effect that may be most pronounced during the first trimester and best captured by measuring lead in either maternal plasma or whole blood. See:

While fluoride has been transformed through profit oriented marketing propaganda into an elixir which makes teeth strong, no one makes any positive claims regarding lead. Everyone agrees it is a poison. It may be that the lead leached by the fluorosilicic acid is a bigger problem than the fluorosilicic acid itself.

The EPA maintains a document known as “Building a Database of Developmental Neurotoxicants”, a list of “chemicals with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity”. That document states:

EPA’s program for the screening and prioritization of chemicals for developmental neurotoxicity makes it essential to assemble a list of chemicals that are toxic to the developing mammalian nervous system.

Fluoride, lead, and arsenic are on this list.

I have talked at length with Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. She reports to me that Atlanta women who had never had trouble getting pregnant started having trouble getting pregnant and started having more miscarriages as soon as Atlanta fluoridated its drinking water.

For broad background information regarding these issues, follow this link:


Note: The authors are James Robert Deal, Washington attorney, and president of Fluoride Class Action, and Dr. Richard Sauerheber, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at Palomar College in San Diego, and science advisor to Fluoride Class Action. Fluoride Class Action is a joint effort of attorneys and scientists around the world who study the legal and scientific issues relating to fluoridation. 

4 thoughts on “Reproduction

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