All infant formulas, whether ready-to-feed, concentrated or organic, contain fluoride at levels which can discolor developing teeth, reports the October 2009 Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) (1).
Fluoride, added to some bottled and public water supplies ostensibly
to prevent cavities, is also in many foods and beverages, including
infant formula. Excessive fluoride discolors and/or weakens permanent
teeth (moderate fluorosis).
Researchers measured fluoride content of 49 infant formulas. See:
The research team concludes, "Most infants from birth to age 12
months who consume predominantly powdered and liquid concentrate
formula are likely to exceed the upper tolerable limit [of fluoride]
if the formula is reconstituted with optimally fluoridated water (0.7
- 1.2 ppm).”
Surprisingly, the study reveals that all 6-month-olds and younger will
also exceed the lower “adequate intake” (0.01 mg/day) from all
formulas (concentrated or not) risking moderate dental fluorosis from
formula, alone. (2)
Breast milk contains about 250 times less fluoride than "optimally"
fluoridated water and isn't linked to fluorosis.
"Babies don't need fluoride and fluoride ingestion doesn’t reduce
tooth decay,” says attorney Paul Beeber, President, New York State
Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. “So why are US babies still
exposed to unnecessary fluoride chemicals via the water and food
supplies and why aren’t parents informed of the consequences?” asks
Up to 48% of school children have fluorosed teeth – 4% severe, reports
the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (3).
Both the CDC and the American Dental Association’s web sites advise
parents to avoid mixing fluoridated water into concentrated infant
formula, but they have never effectively broadcast this information to
parents or the media (4,5).
A review of human studies by different researchers published in JADA
(July 2009) concluded, “Our systematic review indicated that the
consumption of infant formula [concentrated and ready-to-feed] is, on
average, associated with an increased risk of developing at least some
detectable level of enamel fluorosis.” (6)
“Parents, protect your children since dental and government agencies
won’t. Petition local and state legislators to stop adding unnecessary
and harmful fluoride chemicals into public water supplies and,
thereby, into our food supply,” says Beeber. “Further, demand that the
fluoride content of all food products be required on labels."
Researchers agree that infant formula levels should be lowered.
"One interpretation of the available
evidence would be that public health officials should create
guidelines for infant formula consumption ensuring that the upper
intake level established by the Institute of Medicine... is not
exceeded. Another approach would be to strive for 'biological
normality' and to strive for fluoride levels observed in breast milk,"
write Hujoel et al. in "Infant Formula and Enamel Fluorosis: A
Systematic Review. (6)
A recent investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found
that over-exposure to fluoride among infants is a widespread problem
in most major American cities. EWG's study found that, on any given
day, up to 60% of formula-fed babies in US cities were exceeding the
Institute of Medicine's "upper tolerable" limit for fluoride. (6a)
In 2004, fluoride researcher Dr. Teresa A. Marshall told Reuters
Health, "Very young infants are unlikely to benefit from the caries-
prevention effects of fluoride…They may be at increased risk of dental
fluorosis." (7) Marshall co-authored “Associations between Intakes of
Fluoride from Beverages during Infancy and Dental Fluorosis of Primary
Teeth,” in the Journal of American Clinical Nutrition. (b)
In 2000, researcher A K Mascarenhas evaluating only well-conducted
studies from the 1980s through the 1990s concluded in Pediatric
Dentistry that infant formula was a major risk factor for dental
As part of the on-going Iowa Fluoride Study, Levy and his team
measured the fluoride content of infant formula and found from 0.15 to
0.30 ppm in ready-to-feed infant formula. (9)
Common household water filters (e.g. carbon filters) do not remove
fluoride and unlike chlorine, which dissipates upon boiling, fluoride
becomes more concentrated when water is boiled.
Only distillation, reverse osmosis and political activism removes fluoride from tap water.
Parents are advised to control their chldren's total daily fluoride intake with the help of their dentists. But most dentists don't know what foods contain fluoride and at what levels. Also, most dentists are unware that fluoride ingestion does not reduce tooth decay (e.g. http://tinyurl.com/Yoder ) The USDA set up a Fluoride in Foods database to help parents out. However, that also is not well-advertised.
USDA: Fluoride-content of common foods: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=6312
Pictures of fluorosis
SOURCE: New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.
1) “Assessing a potential risk factor for enamel fluorosis: a
preliminary evaluation of fluoride content in infant formulas,”
Journal of the American Dental Association October 2009
6) “Infant Formula and Enamel Fluorosis: A Systematic Review,”
Journal of the American Dental Association by Hujoel, et al, July 2009
6a) "National Academy Calls for Lowering Fluoride Limits in Tap
Water," EWG News Release, March 2006 http://www.ewg.org/node/21000
7) "Too Much Fluoride May Harm Babies' Teeth," Reuters Health, May 5,
8) Pediatric Dentistry. July-August 2000. "Risk factors for dental
fluorosis: a review of the recent literature," by Mascarenhas AK
9) Dental Clinics of North America 47(2003), "Current and future role
of fluoride in nutrition," by Warren & Levy, 225-243
More evidence that infant formula is linked to dental fluorosis: