September 21, 2010

Drinking Water Affects Kids’ IQs

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Ever heard the saying: you are what you eat? Now, Canadian researchers may be saying: you are what you drink. They found children who drink water with more manganese have lower IQs.

Researchers examined 362 children who lived in Quebec and were between ages 6 and 13. These kids all lived in homes that were supplied by groundwater. Investigators measured the concentration of manganese, iron, copper, lead, zinc, arsenic, magnesium and calcium in their tap water.

Manganese is a metal that occurs naturally in soil. In some parts of Canada and the world, the groundwater contains high levels of the trace mineral.

After giving each child a battery of tests, the researchers found kids whose tap water was in the upper 20 percent of manganese concentration scored 6 IQ points lower than children whose water contained little or no manganese. Interestingly, the manganese levels that affected the kids were below current guidelines.

"This is a very marked effect," Donna Mergler, co-author of the study, was quoted as saying. "Few environmental contaminants have shown such a strong correlation with intellectual ability."

The study authors suggest using home-filtering techniques that contain a mixture of resins and activated carbon to reduce the concentration of manganese in water.

SOURCE: Environmental Health Perspectives, September 2010