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According to a report published in The Lancet in 2014, fluoride is officially considered a neurotoxin.

The report consisted of a systematic review of known neurotoxins and also of industrial chemicals that were suspected to be neurotoxins.

Among the known neurotoxins were lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene. According to the report, six new neurotoxins were identified, and one of them was fluoride. This report confirmed many of the suspicions that both experts and the public alike had about the frequently used chemical.

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The neurotoxic effects of fluoride include developmental disabilities such as autism, attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia and other cognitive impairments.

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Researchers linked the rise in prevalence of these developmental disabilities to increased exposure to neurotoxins such as fluoride, which has faced controversy due its use in public drinking water and many dental products.

The use of fluoride has been opposed as early as 1945, when the government first began adding it to public water supplies. However, most of the early opposition was because it was already well known that fluoride mottled teeth, leaving them with either, white, yellow, or dark brown stains. It was only after continued use of fluoride did people become aware of its neurotoxic effects.

Fluoride is also commonly found in dental products such as toothpaste, and fluoride rinses are also usually given during visits to the dentist. As of 2012, approximately 378 million people across the world are drinking artificially fluoridated water.

References:

http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/pubs/89sq.html

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(13)70278-3/abstract

http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/Fluoride/TheStoryofFluoridation.htm

http://fluoridealert.org/

Image Sources:

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/posts/2014/03/mri/6ae4e430d.jpg

http://financialtribune.com/sites/default/files/field/image/05_Water%20-%20250_0.jpg

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