As usual, we begin looking into a water quality topic and we uncover all sorts of interesting information… such as studies linking exposure to fluoride and damage to sperm, reduced sperm count, etc.
High doses of fluoride have repeatedly been found to interfere with the reproductive system of animals. Commonly observed effects in fluoride-exposed animals include: oxidative stress, damaged sperm, reduced sperm count, and reduced fertility. ( source )
Yes, the author of that quote did say ‘high doses’. After reading the article we naturally wanted to know if low doses of fluoride exposure could have detrimental effects as well. Thankfully some other folks also had the same question.
When given at high doses, fluoride has been found to damage virtually any tissue in the body, whether it be the thyroid, the brain, or the reproductive system. On this, there is now little debate. What is still disputed, however, is whether low levels of fluoride can also cause harm. Towards this end, it will be important for researchers conducting animal studies in the future to put greater focus on low-level effects than has heretofore been the case. In 2007, two research teams did this, in separate investigations of how fluoride ingestion may affect sperm function.
The two studies examined the effect of water fluoride concentrations ranging from 1 to 10 ppm. Since rats and mice are significantly more tolerant to fluoride than humans, 1 to 10 ppm represents a notably low level of fluoride for these animals. It has been estimated, for example, that rats are 5 times less sensitive to fluoride than humans (Turner 1996), and thus a 4.5 ppm concentration would be roughly equivalent to 1 ppm for humans, while 10 ppm fluoride would be roughly equivalent to 2 ppm. It is striking, therefore, that these 2 studies found damaging effects of fluoride on sperm at these levels. ( source )
What does this mean to couples struggling to have a baby? Get your water tested for fluoride and if your results come back positive, you may want to consider installing a fluoride removal system in your home.