- Intorduction - The following article was commissioned
by the Christian Science Monitor in the spring of 1997. Despite much favorable
comment from editors, and full documentation, the story remains unpublished
by the Monitor. By any yardstick, this report was an award-winning scoop
for any national paper. The report offers a glimpse into the history of
fluoride, a bio-accumulative toxic that Americans ingest every day. The
authors, Griffiths and Bryson, spent more than a year on research. With
the belief that the information should be withheld no longer, the authors
gave their report to Waste Not, and others, with a short note: "use
as you wish."
- This introduction is taken from Waste Not #414 (September
1997) where the article was first published. The article went on to be
nominated as the year's 18th most censored story in the 1998 Project Censored
- Fluoride, Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb
- By Chris Bryson & Joel Griffiths
- Some fifty years after the United States began adding
fluoride to public water supplies to reduce cavities in children's teeth,
declassified government documents are shedding new light on the roots of
that still-controversial public health measure, revealing a surprising
connection between fluoride and the dawning of the nuclear age.
- Today, two thirds of U.S. public drinking water
is fluoridated. Many municipalities still resist the practice, disbelieving
the government's assurances of safety.
- Since the days of World War II, when this nation
prevailed by building the world's first atomic bomb, U.S. public health
leaders have maintained that low doses of fluoride are safe for people,
and good for children's teeth.
- That safety verdict should now be re-examined in
the light of hundreds of once-secret WWII documents obtained by Griffiths
and Bryson --including declassified papers of the Manhattan Project, the
U.S. military group that built the atomic bomb.
- Fluoride was the key chemical in atomic bomb production,
according to the documents. Massive quantities of fluoride-- millions of
tons-- were essential for the manufacture of bomb-grade uranium and plutonium
for nuclear weapons throughout the Cold War. One of the most toxic chemicals
known, fluoride rapidly emerged as the leading chemical health hazard of
the U.S atomic bomb program--both for workers and for nearby communities,
the documents reveal.
- Other revelations include:
- * Much of the original proof that fluoride is safe
for humans in low doses was generated by A-bomb program scientists, who
had been secretly ordered to provide "evidence useful in litigation"
against defense contractors for fluoride injury to citizens. The first
lawsuits against the U.S. A-bomb program were not over radiation, but over
fluoride damage, the documents show.
- * Human studies were required. Bomb program researchers
played a leading role in the design and implementation of the most extensive
U.S. study of the health effects of fluoridating public drinking water--conducted
in Newburgh, New York from 1945 to 1956. Then, in a classified operation
code-named "Program F," they secretly gathered and analyzed blood
and tissue samples from Newburgh citizens, with the cooperation of State
Health Department personnel.
- * The original secret version--obtained by these
reporters--of a 1948 study published by Program F scientists in the Journal
of the American Dental Association shows that evidence of adverse health
effects from fluoride was censored by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
(AEC) --considered the most powerful of Cold War agencies-- for reasons
of national security.
- * The bomb program's fluoride safety studies were
conducted at the University of Rochester, site of one of the most notorious
human radiation experiments of the Cold War, in which unsuspecting hospital
patients were injected with toxic doses of radioactive plutonium. The fluoride
studies were conducted with the same ethical mind-set, in which "national
security" was paramount.
- * The U.S. government's conflict of interest--and
its motive to prove fluoride "safe" -- has not until now been
made clear to the general public in the furious debate over water fluoridation
since the 1950's, nor to civilian researchers and health professionals,
- What's Wrong With fluoridation?... Follow
- Excerpts from The Secret War and
- The Fluoride Conspiracy
- By Dr. Geoffrey E. Smith
- The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has always measured
the safety of fluoridation on the basis of one study of crippling skeletal
fluorosis, which was first published in 1935.
- EPA's regulation for the maximum allowable concentration
of fluoride in drinking water was established for one purpose - to prevent
this disease. However crippling is the end stage of chronic fluoride poisoning.
The earlier stages involve gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
None of these earlier symptoms are considered in the regulation ... only
the end stage.
- In 1985, when EPA raised the maximum contaminant level
to 4 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water, they used dosage figures
miscalculated in 1953 by Harold C. Hodge, who was chairman of the NAS committee
on toxicology. Hodge's original figures (20-80 mg/day for 10-20 years)
were corrected by Hodge in 1979, and by NAS in 1993. The corrected figures,
based on Roholm's classic study of workers in the cryolite industry, amount
to 0.2 to 0.35 milligrams of fluoride per kilogram of body weight per day,
for eleven years. When extrapolated over a lifetime of 55 to 96 years,
these crippling dosage figures equal 1 milligram of fluoride daily for
each 55 pounds of body weight ... 0.04 mg/kg/day.
- In the early years of water fluoridation, this dosage
was not the norm. At that time, water was virtually the only source of
fluoride in the American diet. The total intake for most adults was 0.02
mg/kg/day ... about one to one and a half milligrams of fluoride daily.
- Today, the figure is 0.095 mg/kg/day... from food
and drinking water alone ... more than 6 milligrams daily.
- This increase in ingested fluoride, largely due
to the use of artificial fertilizers containing fluoride, pesticide residues,
dental products, and modern food processing, has changed a relatively safe
dosage into one capable of causing crippling deformities of the spine and
major joints, as well as the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia.
- Beer and wine often contain significant quantities
of fluoride, as does ordinary tea. Grape juice often contains even larger
quantities of fluoride, due to the widespread use of pesticides, which
remain on the grape skin. Fluoride in toothpaste can be absorbed through
the tissues of the mouth, as well as swallowed accidentally. Many prescription
drugs also contain fluoride. None of these items are labeled to indicate
the quantity of fluoride added to the daily dietary total. [cont'd]