Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, has risen in dramatic proportions these last few years, leading many to speculate one or more environmental triggers are tied to the issue. Fluoride, a common chemical additive discussed frequently on this blog, has been implicated more than once in the shocking increase of ADHD cases. A new study reveals a very strong correlation between water fluoridation and ADHD. A correlation doesn’t always equal a causation but it’s just one study out of a long line of many that have been contributing to the question for years: does water fluoridation increase behavioral disorders?
The Fluoride and ADHD Debate
The recent study revitalizing the fluoride-ADHD link reports a significant correlation between fluoride exposure and ADHD symptoms/diagnosis, even across six different years.  The authors of the study noted that states who received the most fluoridated water had more ADHD diagnoses even after controlling for socioeconomic status. Considering the fact that fluoride interferes with hormone balance, it’s no wonder why we should be wary of this potential toxin. Fluorosilicic acid is the main form of fluoride added to drinking water and is a byproduct of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing. This form has been shown to leach lead from pipes which has been shown to elevate lead–a potent neurotoxin–in the body.  Lead has been directly linked to ADHD development. Fluoride may also impact thyroid health, which could also contribute to improper brain development.  What’s more, one study has shown that there is nine percent more cases of hypothyroidism in fluoridated areas than non-fluoridated areas in England. 
What You Can Do
It is crucial you are consuming purified or distilled water at all times in order to avoid fluoride ingestion. Hidden fluoride is another issues — do you think most food processors go to the trouble of using fluoride free water? No. It’s best to reduce the consumption of these products. Consume more whole foods and make your meals using whole, fresh ingredients. Supplement with iodine to keep your thyroid in check and encourage detoxification.
- Ashley J Malin and Christine Till. Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association. Environmental Health. 2015, 14:17. doi: 10.1186/s12940-015-0003-1.
- Coplan MJ, Patch SC, Masters RD, Bachman MS. Confirmation of an explanations for elevated blood lead and other disorders in children exposed to water disinfection and fluoridation chemicals. Neurotoxicology. 2007 Sep;28(5):1032-42.
- A. Strunecka, O. Strunecky, J. Patocka. Fluoride Plus Aluminum: Useful Tools in Laboratory Investigations, but Messengers of False Information. Physiol. Res. 51: 557-564, 2002.
- S Peckham, D Lowery, S Spencer. Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England? A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water. J Epidemiol Community Health. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-204971.