Introduction by SafBaby Founders Sandra Blum and Samantha Fox Olson

The “New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc” released an eye-brow lifting article on the findings that ALL infant formulas contain fluoride at high enough levels that cause fluorosis/tooth discoloring.  Yes, ALL infant formulas.

SAFBaby is a huge proponent of breastfeeding, but there are occasional cases where a mother can not physically breastfeed.  If this is the case, please read our post entitled “Formula? Wait! Try This First.” If all options have been exhausted, doing your research on infant formulas is wise!

Knowing which formulas contain the highest and lowest levels of fluoride would be an important thing to consider in consciously choosing your brand.  This article (below) comes from The Fluoride Action Network’s website, and is informative for all infant formula feeding families.

Studies: All Infant Formula Contains Fluoride at Tooth-Discoloring Levels

New York – October 21, 2009 – 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).

Infant Formulas Containing the Highest and Lowest Levels of Fluoride

Researchers measured fluoride content of 49 infant formulas.

To view large size image of Table below, click here or on image below!

Fluoride in Infant Formulas

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.

Fluoride Ingestion Does Not Reduce Tooth Decay

“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 Beeber.

Up to 48% of school children have fluorosed teeth – 4% severe, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (3).

Don’t Mix Fluoridated Water With Infant Formula!

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.”

It’s Agreed Infant Formula Fluoride Levels Are Too High

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
fluorosis. (8)

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.

A Water Filter That Filters Fluoride

The countertop 7 stage water filter by Christal Quest filters fluoride and other harmful chemicals.

From Christal Quest’s website about their fluoride filtration system:
“In stage 2, water travel through FLUORIDE REMOVAL resin. Containing synthetic Aluminum Oxide absorbant  media. Specifically designed to have a high affinity for Fluoride, Lead and Arsenic. It removes metals through a mixture of adsorption and chemical reaction with the media, therefore, the elimination is not reliant on ion exchange. It  has uniform particle size, is physically stable and can be used over a wide pH range. Capacity: 2700 ppm Fluoride (Avg. 600  to 900 Gallons) .* As high as 6600 ppm F+ with effluent levels below 0.2 ppm from 10 ppm F+ feed.*

Fluoride Content In Common Foods And In Public Drinking Water

Please read our previous post, Are We Poisoning Our Babies And Children With Fluoride?, to find out where fluoride is hiding in many of the foods we feed our children.

Additionally, you can find out how much fluoride is in your public water system by reading another previous article of ours, Children and Fluoride FAQ – A Must Read For Every Parent!

Pictures Of Fluorosis

Do you wonder what fluorosis looks like?  Check out these photos on the Fluoride Action Network’s site. And see here for more evidence that infant formula is inked to dental fluorosis.

BPA In Infant Formula

Additionally, we have listed the formulas with the highest and lowest levels of BPA in our previous post “Toxic Infant Formula and What You Can Do NOW.”

References:
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
2)
3) http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/figures/s403a1t23.gif
4) http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/infant_formula.htm
5)
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
7) “Too Much Fluoride May Harm Babies’ Teeth,” Reuters Health, May 5, 2004
8) Pediatric Dentistry. July-August 2000. “Risk factors for dental fluorosis: a review of the recent literature,” by Mascarenhas AK http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10969430?dopt=Abstract
9) Dental Clinics of North America 47(2003), “Current and future role of fluoride in nutrition,” by Warren & Levy, 225-243

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