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Controversial study links fluoridated water during pregnancy to lower IQ

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Several outside experts expressed concern over the research’s methodology and questioned its conclusions, though some found the results compelling enough to merit further investigation.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named community water fluoridation one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century because of its contribution to the steep decline in tooth cavities in the United States over several decades.

But although high levels of fluoride have been found to be toxic to rat brains, the concentrations seen in fluoridated tap water are deemed safe.

“We realized that there were major questions about the safety of fluoride, especially for pregnant women and young children,” Christine Till, an associate professor at Canada’s York University and the paper’s senior author told AFP, adding it was important to base decisions on evidence.

The study, published in the influential JAMA Pediatrics journal, analyzed data from 512 mother-child pairs across six Canadian cities, with about 40 percent living in communities supplied with fluoridated municipal water.

After controlling for other toxins in their analysis, they found that an increase in concentration of fluoride in pregnant mother’s urine of one milligram per liter was associated with a 4.5-point lower IQ score in boys — but not girls — at age three or four.

When estimating the daily maternal fluoride intake instead of fluoride in urine, they found a one milligram increase in intake was associated with a deficit of 3.7 IQ points for both boys and girls.

US and Canadian health authorities recommend capping fluoride concentration at 0.7 milligrams per liter (parts per million) to prevent fluorosis, overexposure to fluoride that leads to mild tooth discoloration.

But the actual levels that will be ingested will vary according to how much a person drinks.

According to the CDC, fluoridated water is supplied to nearly three in four Americans (more than 211 million people), while Health Canada estimates 39 percent of its population receives water from fluoridated supplies.

Dr Strangelove

Anticipating controversy, the journal took the unusual step of issuing an editor’s note that said the decision to publish was “not easy” and that it had been subject to additional scrutiny.

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Experiments in water fluoridation began in the early 20th century, and over time its opponents came to be seen as quacks: the 1964 satirical film “Dr Stranglove” features an unhinged general who believes fluoridation is a Communist conspiracy against the US.

Till said that she herself had not been convinced when a graduate student first approached her with the idea to investigate the effects on IQ, but has since come around.

“We’ve had many moments in history where we got new knowledge and changed decisions: look at thalidomide and look at recommendations for hormone replacement therapy,” which was once advised for all menopausal women, she said.

But experts in fields ranging from statistics to toxicology to neuroscience expressed reservations.

“The key words in the paper are ‘higher levels,'” said Oliver Jones, an environmental chemist at Australia’s RMIT University, who noted that fluoride intake appeared to be below one milligram per liter for most people in the study.

Precautionary principle

He nevertheless called the work “interesting” and said it justified future research — a conclusion shared by David Bellinger, an epidemiologist at Harvard University who told AFP the results were “highly credible” but would need to be replicated before policy changes were in order.

But Stuart Ritchie, a psychologist at King’s College London, said it was “inconsistent” that the study’s first analysis only found a significant result for boys and not girls, while the second analysis found an overall effect with no sex differences, and deemed the findings “pretty weak.”

Critics of water fluoridation argue it is unnecessary because modern dental products like toothpaste contain fluoride, while 97 percent of European residents receive unfluoridated water without a major impact on their dental health.

Pamela Den Besten, a professor of orofacial science at UC San Francisco told AFP that while she remained in favor of fluoride for its dental benefits, it acts on teeth topically and concerns over its presence in drinking water should not be dismissed.

“My bias, given the findings of this and other studies, is to focus on the delivery of fluoride through strategies that do not require the fluoride to be ingested,” she said.

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‘Wajitafutie wenyewe!’ Huddah leads Kenyans in bashing President Uhuru, Kate actress defends him

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Huddah vs Kate

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s promise to pay artistes during this quarantine period until things normalise has ignited mixed reactions.

During his recent speech, the President announced that the government had allocated Ksh. 100 million to artists.

‘I direct the Ministry of Sports, Culture, and Heritage to avail Ksh100M from the sports Fund to our artistes, actors, and musicians during the period of the covid-19 pandemic so they continue to entertain their fellow brothers and sisters through TV, radio and the internet,’ he said in a statement.

This didn’t go well with a majority of Kenyans, and some came out saying Uhuru had misplaced priorities while a handful supported him.

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Kate actress was among the few who praised President Uhuru for the move and taking to social media, she wrote,

Why is there so much bile about this ? Please make me understand. I know so many artistes who are almost sleeping hungry or houses closed because of this pandemic, yet still you turn on your radio or tv and they put a smile on your face 😔! AMA labda wewe si wa locals (as the bourgeoisie say) Mimi Niko Sawa and I thank God and will continue to Entertain, but najua wengi wanahitaji this help. Let’s be human. Thank you my president @ukenyatta God bless you 🙏🏿.

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Check out mixed reactions from Kenyans;

Huddah Monroe Almost $ 1 million directed to entertainers while people don’t know where to get their next meal with the lockdown! I pity my country, people. Kenya is hell. Can you imagine not even directed to healthcare or food for those in slums.

merryanejay Priorities of this nation though!

wambuguwills He should think of equipping hospitals with ventilators because that is what is needed now,not to even mention personal protective equipment to those attending to patients. We already have enough entertainment from our TVs,radios and music🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️(This was honestly a misplaced priority )

peshnny Those same “celebrities” ndio wanatusumbua hapa IG with their “lavish” lifestyles.. The fake lives are catching up!

Ciiru kagai @kateactress 1.the president seems to have some misdirected priorities and 2. his communication was not good. The fact that he says the money will come from the sports fund people question if they are the artists’ royalties or just a Tocken given to assist Artists. He would have maybe put it in a way to explain that artists have adversely been affected by the pandemic since no performances and not saying it’s for them to entertain people. I mean even now without it ..Artists are doing a good job despite the challenges that it comes with it now. Priority comes in the sense that ; People are already entertained by memes,music, movies (Art) what he should do is go down to the basic needs of the people like food and housing. When they put measure and directives that will address the current felt needs of every Kenyan,whether an artist,doctor, mama mboga,the unemployed etc. He needs to do things uniformly and not selectively. More so,I hope that the money will be distributed well among the artists so that even that young suffering artist benefits and atleast give a meaning to the move.

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suzy_kenyan Uhuru could put priorities first, cant support this at all there is loads of poor wananchi who cant even afford 3 meals a day halafu mnapewa hio pesa yote eti tuu entertain us? this is just another Scam

fay_fayie Is there any artist living in slums like other ordinary people in kenya?? No, none, nd Kati ya food nd entertainment gani n basic need hapo?? Nd how do you entertain empty stomach??? Nonsenses msituletee upuzi,, this is kenya😁

ndinda_jones Artists in other countries are coming out with the small savings they have to share and fend for the most privileged families and homeless people who can’t even see food while you want us to make you understand my question is what do you want us to make you understand anyway humanity is lost in the world at the moment let’s hope we will combat the virus it’s a man eat man society

glam1polish The tv or radio should pay them. This 100 million should go to the poor. We have enough problems already to deal with musicians cases. Kwani wapi pesa they earned before this crisis. 🙄🙄🙄Issa scam!!! Gova in scamming in the name of entertainment

beedz_kenya Kwani corona niya musicians tu

kellenwandi @kateactress Right now Kate we don’t need entertainment,what for? When our stomaches are empty? I understand when you said that most of our entertainers are sleeping hungry too but they don’t deserve any special treatment from our local Kenyans…personally I won’t seat here to listen to you jokes which usually make my day without something to put in my mouth

sonia_carols We believe they have money because they’re busy faking it!!! Peaneni vitu kwa ground tukaange tukijua mko na shida. Nonsense!!!!

g.wanjir The president shloud consider all the Kenyans…there is alot that is happening on closed doors ..ppo are also sleeping hungry. So si artist tu.. tena 100M..na madoci wanacomplain kuh masks na sarnitizers.. really now.PRIORITIZE

luciouscheiz Pure bulshit instead of government focusing on how to reduce food prices so that the general public can benefit. They are busy giving out money to specific groups, je? mama mboga

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aryn_jess_ Reality check @kateactress you know of many artists who sleep hungry but you should also know of many Kenyans who are homeless and are out in the streets the people in kibera and wherever else who have lost their job and don’t know what to have for dinner tonight. There’s children out there in the streets and probably haven’t had a meal and you ask why people are so bile. People out here are really suffering we don’t need entertainment because it won’t make anything better some people don’t even recognize these so called entertainers.

michael_.k  It was just last year we heard stories of Kenyans dying of hunger and im sure the situation has not changed but you want to fund 100 million to Musicians wenye wakona pesa. MADAM, KENYANS ARE NOT FOOLS!!!!!!!

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Use your #stayathome time to clean

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Do a daily wipe-down of surfaces that you touch most of the time (Photo: Shutterstock)

Are you like most of the world — stuck in your home for an indefinite number of days to come? While being home can be fun, being compelled to stay at home can take a toll on one’s well-being. Here are ways you can spend your #StayAtHome hours and leave a better impact on your home.

ALSO READ: Boss accidentally turns herself into potato during video meeting – and can’t undo it

Spring clean

Every year, we find time to clean every nook and cranny in our homes. For most people, this is always June or July. This year, you can use this time of social distancing to do your annual decluttering and thorough cleaning. A bonus point is that you have extra sets of helping hands.

What you should avoid is trying to clean your entire home in one afternoon. Create a to-do list. It can be on a room-by-room or on a chore-by-chore basis. You can decide to clean all walls in one day and move on to a different surface the next day. In addition to individual rooms, clean your bedding, rugs, furniture and drapes. 

Make a to do list instead of trying to clean the whole house at one go (Photo: Shutterstock)

Clean all surfaces

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In addition to regular cleaning, consider going an extra mile and do a daily wipe-down of surfaces that you touch most of the time. Your doors, counter tops, door handles and window hinges are the major culprits. Ensure you are using a sanitising solution to get rid of any microbes. 

Pay attention to those areas that don’t get a regular clean (Photo: Shutterstock)

Organise

Remember how you always wondered if your sofa would look better on one wall? This would be a wonderful time to experiment by moving things around and see how your space looks. Re-organise your shelves, drawers, closets, cupboards and attics.?

ALSO READ: Questions (and answers) your kids might have during the coronavirus pandemic

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Interesting Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Lupita Nyong’o

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Here is a list of  things you probably did not know about Lupita Nyong’o:

1. Her first acting role was a minor role in the play ‘Oliver Twist’ at Rusinga International school in Kenya

2. At age 14, Nyong’o made her professional acting debut as Juliet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in a production by the Nairobi-based repertory company Phoenix Players

3. Lupita Nyong’o has won a total of 24 awards in her acting career.

4. Nyong’o landed her breakthrough role when she was cast for Steve McQueen’s historical drama 12 Years a Slave (2013) immediately before graduating from Yale with an MFA in 2012

5. She was born in Mexico City, Mexico, with a Spanish name Lupita to show for it.

6. Lupita holds a bachelor’s degree in film and theatre studies from Hampshire College.

7. She also holds a master’s degree in acting after graduating from the Yale School of Drama

8. Lupita is fluent in her native Luo, English, Swahili and Spanish

9. The acclaimed actress is also a film and music video director…

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