"In Millions of Homes, High Fluoride in Tap Water May Be a Concern"

"In communities across the U.S., water contains levels of fluoride some experts say could be harm developing brains."

"The town of Seagraves sits on the high plains of West Texas, not far from the New Mexico border. Nearby, water pumped from the Ogallala Aquifer irrigates fields of peanuts and cotton.

Dissolved in that West Texas water are copious amounts of fluoride. The tap water in Seagraves contains levels of the mineral that many experts believe could have neurotoxic effects, lowering children’s IQs. The science on that effect is unsettled, and most experts say better research is needed. But nearly everyone agrees that at some point, high fluoride levels ought to be a matter of greater concern — even if they don’t always agree on what that point is.

Many cities add low levels of fluoride to drinking water in a bid to prevent tooth decay, but the policy has long been controversial. Lost in that debate are the roughly 3 million Americans whose water naturally contains higher concentrations of fluoride — often at levels that even some fluoridation advocates now acknowledge could have neurodevelopmental effects."

Michael Schulson reports for Undark May 6, 2024.

Source: Undark, 05/09/2024