During World War II, fluoride was the key chemical in atomic bomb production, and the leading chemical health hazard. The first lawsuits against the U.S. A-bomb program were not over radiation, but over fluoride damage. The adverse health effects from fluoride were censored by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The federal government delegated the University of Rochester, New York College and government-owned labs, to “prove the safety of fluoride in low doses”, in anticipation of further lawsuits against the bomb program. (1)
The fluoridation program got underway around 1950, shortly after the U.S. Public Health Service came under the jurisdiction of Oscar Ewing, attorney for the Aluminum Corp. of America. The aluminum processing industry had a great problem disposing of fluoride waste, since it killed the fish at sea and ate through steel tanks on land, filtering into private waters and bringing law suits. State health departments that receive funding from the P.H.S. must “buy” their entire program. The American Dental Association was recruited by the P.H.S. National Institutes of Dental Health and Research and other connections. (2)
98% of Western Europe, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom have rejected fluoridation. The fluoride compounds used in the fluoridation program are industrial waste products, largely from the phosphate fertilizer industry. It is unprocessed hazardous waste, contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. (3, 4) These fluoride compounds have never been tested for safety or effectiveness, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. (5)
The largest dental survey in the US, conducted by the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR), found virtually no difference in tooth decay between children living in fluoridated vs. unfluoridated areas. (6) Studies in Japan, India and the U.S. show that fluoride in drinking water at 1 ppm causes a 25% increase in decay per 17 years. (7)
Because teeth are structurally weakened by fluorosilicates – when decay does set in, it spreads rapidly, resulting in a greater loss of teeth. Fluoride is ineffective at preventing pit and fissure decay, which accounts for up to 85% of dental decay in the U.S. (8) Fluoridated communities show an increase in periodontal disease and gingivitis. (9) Also seen is an increase in malocclusion – teeth come in crooked probably due to stunting of jaw bone growth. U.S. Public Health Service studies show 19 times as many 3rd molars lost in Colorado Springs (fluoride) as in Boulder (no fluoride) due to “malposition”.
Tooth Mottling (whitish flecks of spots on the front teeth, or dark spots or bands in more severe fluorisis) is seen in 30 – 50% of children who begin to drink fluoridated water before their teeth erupt. In some cities, up to 80% of young people have dental fluorisis. This is the first visible sign that fluoride has poisoned enzyme systems in the body. And our teeth are windows to what’s happening in our bones. Fluoride interferes with calcium metabolism, contributing to brittle teeth and bones. (10)
Fluorides inhibit and destroy enzymes essential to digestion and vital life functions. (11) The body is less able to deal with minute daily doses of fluoride over a long period, than with the same amount given in a single dose, if the dose is not lethal. Over time, fluorosilicates cause brittle and deformed bones, arthritis, damage to heart, kidneys, nerves and brain, cataract formation and hearing defects. Fluoride is a known central nervous system toxin. (12)
Fluoride stimulates abnormal bone development. (13) Fluorides can increase bone mass, but the bone is structurally unsound, contributing to an increase in hip, wrist and foream fractures. (14) The World Health Organization states that the symptoms of fluoride accumulation in bone can be misdiagnosed as arthritis. (15)
Fluoride at low doses was once prescribed by European doctors to depress the thyroid glands activity, by interfering with iodine uptake. Fluoride may be playing a significant role in the rampant level of hypothyroidism and mongolism now found in the US. The doses Americans receive in fluoridated areas often overlap and exceed the dose shown to depress the thyroid, which is as low as 2.3 mg/day. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include: fatigue, weight gain, depression, muscle and joint pain, increased cholesterol levels and heart disease. (16)
Fluoride accumulation has been linked with damage to the hippocampus and pineal gland in the brain, leading to hyperactivity, cognitive deficits, decreased IQ in children, premature onset of puberty. (17)
Fluoride in water at 1ppm facilitates the uptake of aluminum into the brain of rats, producing the type of brain tangles (amyloid deposits) associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. (18) Fluoridated water is associated with increased blood levels of lead in children, which is associated with reduced intelligence, aggression and hyperactivity. (19)
Dozens of laboratory studies have found that fluoride may contribute to the formation of cancers of the bone, thyroid and liver. (20)
Fluoride is the active toxic ingredient in a number of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. In the U.S., people have died, and many have become sick, when faltering fluoridation equipment has pumped excess fluoride into the water. (21) Poor nutrition, prevalent in low-income communities, exacerbates the toxic effects of fluorides. The elderly and those with cardiovascular and kidney problems are also more susceptible to fluoride toxicity. (22)
When fluoridation of water first began, exposure to fluoride from other sources was minimal. Today, we receive fluoride from a host of sources, including pesticide residues, fluoridated toothpaste, fluoride air pollution, and processed foods and beverages prepared with fluoridated water (soda, juice, beer, cereal, etc.) Cooking causes chlorine to evaporate into the air, but concentrates fluorides. Most people receive at least 1 mg/day without ever drinking a glass of fluoridated water. Many are already fluoride-toxic. (23) Officials that promote fluoridation never check to see the rate of dental fluorisis in communities before they fluoridate. (24) More and more organo-fluorides are entering commerce in the form of plastics, pharmaceuticals and pesticides. (25) Drinking the recommended 8 glasses or more of water per day is no longer desirable with fluoridated water – one could easily ingest 3 milligrams in a day, which even the P.H.S. admits is a toxic dose.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, “[L]aboratory and epidemiological research suggests that fluoride prevents dental caries predominantly after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical for both adults and children.” (26)
According to Head Start Surveys, the prevalence of “baby bottle tooth decay” (from excessive consumption of sweetened liquids at a young age) is about 3 times the national average among poor urban children, even in cities with fluoridated water. (27)
Fluoride is sold as a descaling agent – when added to city water, it releases all the gunk that had been clinging to the pipes for decades, imparting rotten taste to the water. (7)
Dr. J. William Hirzy, Vice President of the Union of Scientists and Professionals at EPA Headquarters has called upon Congress to issue a moratorium on fluoridation. He states: “…we hold that fluoridation is an unreasonable risk. The toxicity of fluoride is so great and the purported benefits are so small – if there are any at all – that requiring every man, woman and child in America to ingest it borders on criminal behavior on the part of governments.” Hirzy calls for “an immediate halt to the use of the nation’s drinking water as disposal sites for the toxic waste of the phosphate fertilizer industry.” (28)
Clallam County Citizens for Safe Drinking Water: 360-417-0777.
Washington State Citizens for Safe Drinking Water: 360-556-1191.
National contact number, Citizens for Safe Drinking Water: 1-800-728-3833.
Fluoridation and Truth Decay, Gladys Caldwell, P.E. Zanfagna, 1980.
Scientific Knowledge in Controversy: The Social Dynamics of the Fluoridation Debate, Brian Martin, 1991.
(2) Editor, Health Freedom News, 1987.
(3) Letter to Florida Department of Health from Stan Hazan, General Manager, Drinking Water Additives Certification Program, National Sanitation Foundation International. 24 April 2000.
(6) (a) Brunelle, J.A and Carlos, J.P. (1990). Recent trends in dental caries in U.S. children and the effect of water fluoridation. J. Dent. Res 69, (Special edition), 723-727.
(b) Hileman, B. (1989). New Studies Cast Doubt on Fluoridation Benefits. Chemical and Engineering News, 67 (19) May 8.
(c) Yiamouyiannis, J.A. (1990) Water Fluoridation and Tooth Decay: Results from the 1986-7 National Survey of U.S. schoolchildren. Fluoride, 23, 55-67.
(7) Gerard F. Judd, Professor of Chemistry, Glendale, Search for Health, March/April, 1995.
(8) Pinkham, JR, ed. (1999). Pediatric Dentistry Infancy Through Adolescence. 3rd Edition. WB Saunders Co.
(9) Dr. Keith Box, University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. C. C. Bass, MD, Dean Emeritus of Tulane University Medical School. Rat studies at Cornell University.
(10) (a) www.flouridealert.org.WN-414.htm.
(b) Heller, KE et al (1997). Dental Caries and Dental Fluorosis at Varying Water Fluoride Concentrations. J of Pub Health Dent, 57; No.3, 136-43.
(11) Dr. Hugo Theorell, winner of the 1958 Nobel prize for his work on enzymes.
(13) (a) Hedlund LR, Gallagher JC. (1989). Increased incidence of hip fracture in osteoporotic women treated with sodium fluoride. J Bone Miner Res Apr; 4(2): 223-5.
(b) Riggs, B.L. et al. (1990). Effect of Fluoride treatment on the Fracture Rates in Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporosis. N. Eng. J. Med., 322, 802-9.
(c) Bayley TA, et al. (1990). Fluoride-induced fractures: relation to osteogenic effect. J Bone Miner Res, March; 5 Suppl 1:S217-22.)
(14) (a) Lindsay, R. (1990). Fluoride and Bone – Quantity versus Quality. Editorial. New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 322. No. 12. March 22.
(b) Gordon SL and Corbin SB. (1992). Summary of Workshop on Drinking Water Fluoride Influence on Hip Fracture on Bone Health. Osteoporosis Int. 2, 109-117.
(15) World Health Organization. (1970). Fluorides and Human Health. pp32, 239-240.
(17) 1. Mullenix, P. et al (1995). Neurotoxicity of Sodium Fluoride in Rats Neurotoxicology and Teratology, n17, 169-177. 2. Li, X.S., (1995). Effect of fluoride exposure on intelligence in children. Fluoride, 28:4, 189-192. 3. Lu, Y. et al (2000). Effect of high-fluoride water on intelligence of children. Fluoride, 29, 190-192. 4. Spittle, B. (2000). Fluoride and Intelligence. Fluoride Vol.33, No. 2:49-52. 5. Luke, J. (1997). The Effect of Fluoride on the Physiology of the Pineal Gland. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Surrey, Guildord. Another article by Luke (2001) is in Caries Res. 35:125-128.
(18) Varner, J.A. et al (1998). Brain Research, 784, 284-298.
(19) Masters, R. et al. (2000). Association of Silicofluoride Treated Water with Elevated Blood Lead. Neurotoxicology. 21:6, 1091-99.
(20) 1. Department of Health and Human Services (1991). Review of fluoride benefits and risks. Appendix H. H1-H6. 2. Dr. William Marcus, Chief Toxicologist, EPA’s Office of Drinking Water, (1995), Radio interview with Dr. Gary Null. See www.flouridealert.org/ifin-19.htm
(21)University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. (2001). Can Fluoride Cause Harm? InteliHealth Dental. See www.inteliHealth.com.
(22) 1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease registry (ATSDR). Toxicological Profile for Fluorides, Hydrogen Fluoride, and Fluorine (F). U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. ATSDR/TP-91/17. 2. Teotia, SPS, et al. Environmental Fluoride and Metabolic Bone Disease, An Epidemiological Study (Fluoride and Nutrition Interactions) Fluoride. 17(1): 14-22
(23) 1. Foman SJ, Eckstrand J, Ziegler EE. (2000). Fluoride intake and prevalence of dental fluorisis. J Public Health Dent. 60(3):131-9. 2. Mascarenhas AK. (2000) Risk Factors for Dental Fluorisis: a review of the recent literature. Pediatr Dent. 22(4):269-77.
(24) (Paul Connett, Ph.D., 11/28/02, The Absurdities of Water Fluoridation, www.redflagsweekly.com/connett/2002_nov28.html
(26) CDC. (2001). Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States. Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Review. August 17, 50 (RR14):1-42.
(27) 1. Barnes, GP et al. Ethnicity, Location, Age and Fluoridation factors in Baby Bottle Tooth Decay and Caries Prevalence of Head Start Children. Public Health Reports; 107: 167-73, 1992. 2. Von Burg, MM et al. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: A Concern for All Mothers. Pediatric Nursing; 21:515-519, 1995.
(28) Hirzy, J.W. (1999). Why the EPA’s Headquarters Union of Scientists of Scientists Opposes Fluoridation. Press release from National Treasury Employees Union, May 1, 1999. See www.flouridealert.org/HP-Epa.htm