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Maternal fluoride exposure, birth outcomes and fertility: The MIREC cohort

Goodman C, Hall M, Green R, Hornung R, Martinez-Mier EA, Lanphear B, Till C

Environmental Advances


Fluoride exposure >1.5 mg/L from water has been associated with adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes. Little is known, however, about the effect of fluoride at levels consistent with water fluoridation (i.e., 0.7 mg/L) on pregnancy and birth outcomes. We examined the relationship between maternal fluoride exposure, fertility, and birth outcomes in a Canadian pregnancy cohort living in areas where municipal drinking water fluoride concentrations ranged from 0.04 to 0.87 mg/L.


Using data from the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) study, we estimated fluoride exposure during pregnancy using three different metrics: (1) maternal urinary fluoride concentrations standardized for specific gravity (MUFSG) and averaged across all three trimesters (N = 1566), (2) water fluoride concentration (N = 1370), and (3) fluoride intake based on self-reported consumption of water, coffee, and tea, adjusted for body weight (N = 1192). Data on fertility, birth weight, gestational age, preterm birth, and small-for-gestational age (SGA) were assessed. We used multiple linear regression to examine associations between fluoride exposure, birth weight and gestational age, and logistic regression to examine associations with fertility, preterm birth, and SGA, adjusted for relevant covariates.


Median (IQR) MUFSG was 0.50 (0.33–0.76) mg/L, median water fluoride was 0.52 (0.17–0.64) mg/L, and median fluoride intake was 0.008 (0.003–0.013) mg/kg/day. MUFSG, water fluoride concentrations, and fluoride intake were not significantly associated with fertility, birth weight, gestational age, preterm birth, or SGA. Fetal sex did not modify any of the associations.


Fluoride exposure during pregnancy was not associated with fertility or birth outcomes in this Canadian cohort.

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