Compounds Make you Stupid.
[Note: portions of this summary are drawn from a number of more extensive articles at fluoridealert.org]
A lot of attention has been brought forth in recent years by alternative medical researchers and others regarding the issue of fluorine compounds (the most common are fluorides) in drinking water, toothpaste, food and beverage products, household products like Teflon(TM), and as we recently learned, as a component in a number of pharmaceutical drugs as well.
Environmentalists have become increasingly concerned about the widespread effects of fluorides in air pollution, both in gaseous and particulate form. The leading causes of fluoride air pollution today include the manufacture of phosphates for fertilizer and other uses, the manufacture of insecticides, aluminum, plastics and many other products. In addition, in the past, the atomic weapons industry has contributed greatly to the overall levels of toxic fluoride pollution in many communities. These statements and more will be supported in the following article. The EPA, charged with protecting the environment (which I take to also mean the environment people live and work in) has long dragged their heels in addressing the fluoride pollution issues.
Part I - The Wishing Well
Since the days of WWII the Federal Government in the US has made a strong push to convince all communities to fluoridate their water, and they drafted assistance the US Department of Public Health and the American Dental Association in this effort. A push which, by the way, still continues today. Thomas Reeves, of the CDC, is a water engineer responsible for overseeing the US fluoridation program (as of May 2001).
Declassified documents obtained by by Joel Griffiths and Chris Bryson (1) appear to show that:
They also showed that there was a clear conflict of interest between dealing with the high toxicity of the fluorine by products of production and the wish of the government to give a "clean bill of health to fluoridation projects as the following selection of quotes from "Waste-not#414" (http://www.fluoridealert.org/WN-414.htm) show:
So it seems the government and their contractors had (and still have) a strong fiscal incentive in "whitewashing" the whole fluoride story.
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta still maintain that water fluoridation is safe and effective.
Thomas Reeves, CDC water engineer and the man currently responsible for overseeing the US fluoridation program made the following statements in a letter. (And I have to ask why is this a Federal program anyway? Wouldn't this logically be a personal choice or at least decided at the community level? The answer to this becomes clear further down.)
Here he reverts to what I call the "diversionary" argument, i.e.; he points out the toxicity of other chemicals such as chlorine as a defense for using fluorides. At no point does he actually address the toxicity of fluorine/fluorides per se except to just say it is "safe". I guess we are just supposed to take his word on that. [the full letter from Reeves can be read at http://www.fluoridealert.org/ifin-230.htm]
"It is an ill wind blows no good"
In 1944 a severe pollution accident occurred at the E.I. du Pont du Nemours Company chemical factory in Deepwater, New Jersey. This factory was then producing fluoride, in the millions of pounds, for the then Top-Secret Manhattan Project. It also appears they were processing free uranium there, but that was never an issue in this accident.
The farms directly downwind of this factory in two counties were adversely affected, causing blighted crops and "burned up peaches" as one farmer put it. Poultry died. Farmhand who ate the produce sickened quickly and "frequently vomited all night and into the next day" The horses were sick and too stiff to work and the cattle were so weak they had to graze crawling. The humans were reported to have an abnormally high fluoride content in their blood. This account was confirmed by Philip Sadtler of Sadtler Laboratories of Philadelphia, who had personally conducted the initial investigation into the incident. In 1946, after the wars end, the farmers filed the first ever lawsuit to come out of the Atom Bomb project:
From the Philadelphia Record, October 18, 1946
This got the attention of the government swiftly. Manhattan Project chief Major General Leslie R.Groves convened secret meetings between U.S War Department, the Manhattan Project, the Food and Drug Administration, the Agriculture and Justice Departments, the U.S Army's Chemical Warfare Service and Edgewood Arsenal, the Bureau of Standards, and du Pont lawyers. Declassified documents reveal that they agreed to mobilize all resources necessary to effect a defeat of the farmers' claims.
Manhattan Project Lieutenant Colonel Cooper B. Rhodes wrote in a memo to General Groves: [these agencies] "are making scientific investigations to obtain evidence which may be used to protect the interest of the Government at the trial of the suits brought by owners of peach orchards in ... New Jersey,"
General Groves wrote "The Department of Justice is cooperating in the defense of these suits," to the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Atomic Energy, in a Feb. 28, 1946 memo.
So a few farmers apparantly generated, in the words of Griffiths and Bryson, "a national-security emergency". Why? Because at this point the US was in full scale production of atomic weapons deemed essential to US post-war domination and leadership and the lawsuits were seen as a potential "roadblock". A favorable ruling for the farmers would set a precedent and potentially derail the whole program, dependant as it was, on the production of fluoride.
Griffiths and Bryson write:
This is the origin of the entire national water fluoridation project. Hodge's suggestion was brilliant, if somewhat Machiavellian, in that by creating a large "background" presence of fluorine compounds in the environment, esp. the water supply, any future claims of fluoride damage by civilians would be very hard to document and prove in court.
Evidence that the government was well aware of the toxicity problems associated with fluorides in any form dates to at least 1943. Here is a memo reporting on that discussion:
For more information about this meeting see:
Footnotes to Part 1
(1) Joel Griffiths is a medical writer in New York City, author of a book on radiation hazards and numerous articles for medical and popular publications. Joel can be contacted at 212-662-6695.
Chris Bryson holds a Masters degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and has worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation, The Manchester Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor and Public Television. Chris can be contacted at 212-665-3442.
Part 2 - Fluorides in Water Systems and Dentristry
Fluoridation of Municipal Water Supplies
France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Austria and the Czech Republic do NOT put fluorides in their water supply! If fluoridation is such a boon to mankind, why on earth would so many European nations refuse to do it? According to statements from these governments, the main reason is that they consider it unethical medication of persons without prior consent.
In the case of the Netherlands, their water was fluorinated until their Supreme Court threw it out. (June 22, 1973)
The Czech Republic said this:
According to data from the World Health Organization these countries have about the same level of tooth decay as the United States which is 60% fluoridated. In addition to the US, the UK, the former USSR and Australia do or did until recently use fluoridation.
A more extensive list of countries who do NOT fluoridate their water can be seen at:
We have already seen why the United States and it's prime defense contractors and manufacturers such as DuPont) was so interested in this "forced medication" program and went to great lengths to promote and implement it. Now lets take a look at the consequences.
Fluorosis (over-fluoridation of teeth resulting in white spots later becoming brownish spots and extreme brittleness) is becoming an epidemic problem. http://www.fluoridealert.org/fluorosis-pics.htm
Vulnerable population segments include the elderly, people with diabetes, deficiencies of calcium, vitamin C, cardiovascular problems, kidney problems, underactive thyroids or those with hypersensitivity to fluoride.
Aluminum uptake to the brain has been shown to be facilitated by fluoride.
In addition, other studies have suggested fluoride also facilitates aluminum uptake in bone tissue resulting in increased osteoporosis and other bone weaknesses causing proneness to fracture. The fact that kids nowadays seem to get broken bones much easier is surely no cooincidence.
Accumulation in bones, pineal gland and other tissues.
Suppression of normal thyroid function (may be useful in treating hyperthyroid condition). In fact the amount of fluoride ingested daily by most Americans is in excess of that used to treat hyperthyroidism.
Hazardous Wastes - because all fluorides used for municipal treatment are derived from industrial waste (as stated above by Reeves, CDC), arsenic, lead and other highly toxic metals and compounds including radioactive isotopes can easily be brought along with it.
Fluorosilicic acid or sodium fluorosilicate (silicofluorides) are used in 90% of water treatment programs and A study published in the journal Neurotoxicology (27) found that blood lead levels in children were consistently and significantly higher in New York communities where silicofluorides were used to fluoridate the water http://www.dartmouth.edu/~news/releases/mar01/fluoride.html
Other studies have found an assosiaction between fluorides and Down's Syndrome http://www.fluoridealert.org/downs-syndrome.htm
This is just a sampling of the increasing number of findings about the health consequences of fluorides. For more information on this subject try these links:
Fluorides and the Dental Industry
The primary justification for fluoridation has always been that it prevents Caries in children's teeth. Let's take closer look at the history of dentistry and fluoridation.
According to Dr. Paul Connet, PHD, the very claims of dental benefit are dubious are best. He states:
From Part 1 above, we already know the real reasons these tests were set up to achieve the results they did.
Dr. Connet goes on to talk about not only a lack of evident benefit, but actually severe tooth damage as the result of fluoridation:
There is not space here to go into the all the more recent studies and tests, which clearly implicate Fluorides in a whole host of dental, medical and mental problems. A search of the web will easily turn up hundreds of pages on these topics for those who will like to pursue it more.
OK, we know the government and big industry did this to us to protect their pocketbooks. Why the dentists went along with it can only be speculated, but I suspect in the beginning there was considerable pressure put on the dentists by the agencies that regulate them, and of course they were presented with the same flawed studies that everyone else was. And dentists, like many doctors, frequently fail to continue their education after they have left medical/dental school. But there may be an ulterior motive as well - given the kind of damage fluorides produce in the teeth of a significant portion of the population, fluoridation may have actually resulted in more work and profits for dentists rather than the opposite which would be expected if the claims of fluoride benefits were actually true.
Despite the current awareness among the public that there may be serious problems with fluoridation, many dentists continue to promote and sell fluoride treatments (the same one who continue to promote and use mercury-amalgam fillings I would suppose, but that is for another article!). And the CDC and the government continue to promote and expand the fluoridation program. The EPA has carefully sidestepped the question and steadfastly refused to take any action, however, the union of scientists representing EPA research scientists has come out and demanded a moratorium on fluoridation until better study and analysis of the problem can be done. This should be a wakeup call to the public and to the communities still administering fluorides to their constituents.
Part 3 - Chemicals/Drugs containing Fluorine Compounds
HF (hydrogen fluoride or hydrofluoric acid)
Today hundreds of industrial and manufacturing processes use hydrofluoric acid, much of which escapes in gas form into the atmosphere as pollution. It is the 6th most emitted air pollutant in the US. Some of the suspected medical indications from exposure include the following:
sheet for HF can be seen here
Because fluorides assist in the uptake of aluminum, there is an extensive literature now available on musculoskeletal disease among aluminum workers. The main problem seems not to be the aluminum per se, but the presence of fluorides acting as a catalyst. (http://www.fluoridealert.org/i-fluorosis.htm )
Hydrogen Fluoride is used extensively in manufacturing phosphates, aluminum, steel mills, oil refineries, power plants, pesticides and plastics.
Hydrogen Fluoride in Pharmaceutical Drugs
Fluorides have been used in many prescription drugs including some of the SSRIDs or Seratonin-uptake Inhibitors such as Prozac(TM). The Fluoride Action Network has put up a list of currently common prescription drugs which contain Fluorine and can be seen here: http://www.fluoridealert.org/f-pharm.htm
From the Fluoride Action Network:
"Prozac" (Fluoxetine Hydrochloride)
The Danger of Taking Prozac The Guardian September 4, 1999
Book: Talking Back to Prozac Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
Long-Term Consequences for Taking Antidepressants Are Virtually
Antidepressants linked to sexual side effects CNN.com Health with WebMD February 9, 2000
Fluoextine: Drug Monograph MentalHealth.com, Phillip Long, MD, 1999
Manufacturer's Report (pdf) Eli Lilly, June 1998
Note on Prozac: One impact of prozac which is of particular concern is it's impact on the thyroid. Eli Lilly, the company that produces Prozac, reports that hypothyroidism can result from taking prozac, although the company states that such cases are infrequent (see Manufacturer's Report listed above). According to
Henry Ford Health System, "The product information of Prozac reveals that infrequently Prozac may cause or worsen preexisting hypothyroidism. As hypothyroidism is known to cause depression, it is important to have your thyroid function checked." According to Mary Shomon, author of Living Well With Hypothyroidism, "Taking thyroid hormone replacement while taking the popular antidepressant sertraline -- brand name Zoloft -- can cause a decrease in the effectiveness of the thyroid hormone replacement, and make your TSH rise. This same effect has also been seen in patients receiving other selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors such as Paxil (paroxetine) and Prozac (fluoxetine). If you are on an antidepressant or thyroid hormone and your doctor wants to prescribe the other, be sure to discuss these issues."
Since hypothyroidism is a common cause of depression, there is concern that patients with hypothyroidism may be prescribed prozac to treat their depression, which could in turn make their hypothyroidism worse. "
Cipro - The controversial anthrax drug, Cipro is also a fluorinated drug. For an in depth look at this try this link:
At this point there is simply not enough research available on the use of fluorine compounds in drugs to justify such widepspread use and distribution. Much more investigation is urgently needed.
References:The Journal of the International Society for Fluoride Research
The Fluoride Action Network
Other Links of Interest:
http://www.citizens.org Citizens for Health, a group leading the campaign to get Congressional Hearings on Fluoridation
http://www.penweb.org/fluoride Pennsylvania Environmental Network
www.greenparty.org.uk England's Green Party, campaigning actively against fluoridation in the UK
www.gtigerclaw.bigstep.com A Site with numerous search engines useful for fluoride research
http://www.trufax.org also has wealth of information and links relating to fluoride and other controversial health issues.
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