Fluoridation, teeth and the atomic bomb


Scientific error and fraud

We hear nowadays about bribery, cheating and drug-taking in sport. We don't hear so much about fraud in science.

Scientific fraud is usually the independent work of individuals. However, in some cases it's institutional and then the result is that dissenters are often afraid to speak out, since those who do are likely to be denigrated, denied promotion or sacked. Dissenters are treated like whistleblowers in parts of the NHS where, according to an independent review in 2015, staff who blow the whistle on substandard and dangerous practices are ignored, bullied or even intimidated in a "climate of fear".1

Dr Marcia Angell, editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, wrote in 2009: "It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines."2

Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, said in 2015: "The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness."3

It is very unlikely that either editor was thinking of fluoridation, the story of which, however, is full of controversy, deception and fraud.

Early years of fluoridation

Fluoride is a word used loosely to mean a compound of the chemical element fluorine. "Fluoridation" usually refers to the addition of fluoride to public water supplies.

In 1928 it was reported that human teeth seemed to have less decay in areas where they were discoloured due to fluoride in the local water,4 and in 1939 a proposal was made to add fluoride to water supplies artificially.5

It isn't practical to use calcium fluoride, the form that occurs naturally, because of its low solubility, so other fluorine compounds are used: sometimes sodium fluoride but more often alternatives such as fluorosilicic acid.

Fluoride can also be consumed in the form of tablets or drops. Alternatively, it is often added to dental varnishes, toothpaste and mouth rinses. The first five trials of water fluoridation started in 1945 in the USA and Canada.

In 1950, only five years later, the US Public Health Service endorsed fluoridation.6 The American Dental and Medical Associations soon followed. They were followed by many other organisations, keen to welcome progress, including the Boy Scouts of America.

The final report on one of the North American trials said: "The opposition stems from several sources, chiefly food faddists, cultists, chiropractors, misguided and misinformed persons who are ignorant of the scientific facts on the ingestion of water fluorides, and, strange as it may seem, even among a few uninformed physicians and dentists."7

The spread of fluorudation

In 1999 the (US) Centers for Disease Control called water fluoridation one of the ten great public health achievements in the twentieth century.8

In the UK pilot schemes started in the mid-1950s in four areas: Andover (1955-58); part of Anglesey (1955-92); Kilmarnock (1956-62); Watford (1956-89).9 All have since ceased fluoridation.

Except for Andover, where a rebellion stopped the experiment, results were published 5 years and 11 years later, and substantial reductions were reported in tooth decay in children.

Fluoridation is widespread in a number of countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland. About six and a half million people in the UK are supplied with fluoridated water, notably those in Birmingham. An increase in coverage to 50% of the population has been proposed and there are local battles over the issue. Not long ago Southampton avoided fluoridation after a long struggle. Bedford is among the areas now being targeted.

In 2004 the British Fluoridation Society, UK Public Health Association, British Dental Association and Faculty of Public Health confirmed the effectiveness of water fluoridation and said that no evidence of harm had been found. They said that, "There is an overwhelming mass of professional opinion in favour of fluoridation".

Among those listed in support were the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, UK Public Health Association, the General Dental Council, the British Dental and Medical Associations and also Help the Aged. MENCAP and the Patients Association.10

In 2014 Public Health England said fluoridation has significant benefits and that it had found no evidence of harm to health.

At this point, many people conclude that this is all they need to know, that science has spoken with authority, and that the case for fluoridation is beyond dispute. But is that true?

Fluoride as a poison

Three points need mentioning.

First, fluoridation differs from chlorination since chlorine, and often other chemicals, are added to treat the water, whereas fluoride is used to treat consumers.

Second, there is no good evidence that fluoride is necessary for human health, unlike calcium, iron, magnesium, various vitamins and so on.11

Third, that fluoride is a poison is not in question.

In the USA, the Food & Drug Administration requires fluoride toothpaste to bear the following warning: "If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a Poison Control Center right away". In 2009, 378 people in the United States required emergency treatment.12

However, some substances are beneficial in small amounts but poisonous in larger amounts. Is that true of fluoride? Is it beneficial at the right level, like magnesium and vitamin D, or is it, like lead and arsenic, bad at almost any level?

Objections to fluoridation

There are various objections made to fluoridation, though here not all will be considered in detail.

1. The first objection is now out of date, though worth remembering. In Scotland, and almost certainly in the rest of Britain as well, fluoridation was illegal until 1985, 30 years after it started. Only then was a law passed to permit it.

2. It is unethical to use the water supply to bypass informed consent. Neither doctors nor dentists may force patients to accept treatment, except in special, rare circumstances. Treatment requires consent.

3. Every medicine and dose should suit each patient. Fluoridation is bad medically, since the dose is not matched to the individual. People receive different doses according to how much water they consume, and as this varies considerably, some people get much more, or less, fluoride than others. Diabetics, for example, tend to drink more than others.

Bottle-fed babies get very high doses in relation to body weight, and the American Dental Association eventually advised in 2006 that formula milk should be made with "low or no-fluoride water".13

Even if everyone got the same dose, it would be bad, since some people are hypersensitive to fluoride and suffer adverse effects from amounts much smaller than those that affect the average person. Moreover, people with impaired kidney function retain much more fluoride than others,14 and so effectively get a larger dose over time. Fluoridation makes no allowance for factors like these, which correct medical treatment takes into account.

4. The margin of safety, if any, between a supposedly safe dose and a clearly unsafe one is much smaller than the margin that is normally considered prudent. Given the large variation in both the amount people drink, and individual sensitivity, there is no safety margin at all.

5. A considerable proportion of people get dental fluorosis or mottling of the teeth. Mild cases have fine white lines or chalky patches. In severe cases, which are much less common, the tooth's enamel becomes pitted or discoloured. Dental fluorosis is the first visible sign of excessive fluoride intake.

A leading fluoridation pioneer, H. Trendley Dean, expected dental fluorosis to affect only about 10% of children, and then only in a very mild form.15 Now, with fluoride being widely used in various ways, about one in three American children have it, with about 10% of the total being more seriously affected than Dean had expected.16

A British report examined 88 studies on dental fluorosis and estimated that it is likely to affect some 48% of people drinking fluoridated water, with about 12% having fluorosis that they would find aesthetically concerning.17

When Watford's water was fluoridated, a local dentist noted that children from Watford often had mottled teeth, but not those from nearby Kings Langley which was unfluoridated.18

6. Fluoride is, like lead, a cumulative poison. Normally about half of it stays in the body and accumulates there, most of it in the bones, though some in the pineal gland and the kidneys.19 Because of this gradual accumulation, some adverse effects can take years to be seen and, even then, they are easily misdiagnosed because many of the symptoms are non-specific.

7. Most water is not used for drinking or cooking, and about 99% of the fluoride contributes to environmental pollution.

8. Fluoridation is not based on good evidence of safety or effectiveness. It was pronounced safe and effective by the (US) Public Health Service before the first tests had even been completed.

The UK government's Mission to North America had said that the pilot studies here should include "full medical and dental examinations at all ages". However, in the event no medical examinations were done, and neither short-term nor long-term possible side-effects were explored.

As early as 1957, an article in New Scientist pointed out that the recently started British trials "are now officially described as demonstrations of the benefits of fluoridation, not experiments, so the results are a foregone conclusion" and the purpose was quite openly "promotional". The writer added that these studies would gain enormously in value if those responsible were willing to submit them to impartial scientific assessment.20

Practically all of the apparently successful trials or demonstrations of fluoridation were open to bias. Moreover, we don't know how many studies were never published, though it is known that there were some.

9. The belief that fluoridation significantly reduces tooth decay is not supported by good evidence. At least four modern studies, in Canada, Cuba, Finland and East Germany, found that tooth decay did not increase when fluoridation was stopped.21

Fluoridation's claimed benefits are based on many poor-quality trials. There has never been a single "randomised controlled trial" with double-blind assessment of the results.22

In 2000 the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York produced a major report, commissioned by the NHS. Its conclusion was that, despite many studies over 50 years, "We were unable to discover any reliable good-quality evidence in the fluoridation literature world-wide". Even among the 26 better studies on fluoridation and tooth decay, not one was of high quality, with bias unlikely.23

In Britain we are told that fluoridation is without doubt beneficial, but many countries reject it, including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, China, India and Japan. The Netherlands tried it but banned it in the 1970s. Israel tried it for 14 years but banned it in 2014.

Evidence against fluoridation

Let's consider some of fluoridation's critics and their evidence.

Dr Philip Sutton graduated in Australia with honours in Dental Science, and later got the highest dental research degree, Doctor of Dental Science. He was asked to examine the original trials of fluoridation and he found that they were full or errors and omissions. Intense pressure was put on Cambridge University Press, albeit unsuccessfully, to prevent distribution of his book in the USA.

Dr James Sumner won a Nobel prize for his work on enzymes. On fluoridation he was quoted as saying: "We ought to go slowly. Everybody knows fluorine and fluorides are very poisonous substances and we use them in enzyme chemistry to poison enzymes, those vital agents in the body".24

Professor Hugh Sinclair, was a biochemist and director of Oxford University's Laboratory of Human Nutrition. He warned in 1955 that "the Health Ministry's plan to put chemicals called fluorides into drinking water may poison millions of people".25

Dr Reuben Feltman studied the effects of fluoride tablets, with a daily dose of 1 mg - the equivalent of drinking only about one litre of fluoridated water - on pregnant women and young children. When early results showed that some patients reacted adversely, with symptoms such as eczema, urticaria, epigastric distress and headache, the US Public Health Service stopped funding the study. Feltman and another researcher managed to continue the study which was published in 1961. The symptoms disappeared with the use of placebo tablets, and reappeared when fluoride was again given, unknowingly to the patient.26

The usual reaction of the authorities to unfavourable results has not been to commission fresh research to confirm or negate them. Prof Paul Connett points out that, on the contrary, health agencies in fluoridated countries have never attempted to perform systematic studies.27

Dr George Waldbott was the first doctor to show that some people are sensitive to penicillin, and that tobacco cause lung damage. He then studied fluoride and found that - as is true similarly of many substances - some people are especially sensitive to fluoride. Double-blind tests showed clearly that fluoridated water was responsible. In 1956 he reported more than 50 cases of chronic fluoride toxicity.28 He had been renowned for his previous discoveries, but was shunned and vilified for his work on fluoride.

Dr John Colquhoun said that, as a dental student, "I had been taught and I believed, that there was really no scientific case against fluoride and that only misinformed lay people and a few crackpot professionals were foolish enough to oppose it".

He became chairman of a committee to promote fluoridation in New Zealand. However, as Principal Dental Officer of Auckland, he found that fluoridation was actually harming children's teeth. His reports were unwelcome, and he was sacked. He and a colleague used freedom of information to look into the trial of fluoridation in Hastings in New Zealand, quoted in text-books as a classic example of fluoride's benefit, with tooth decay being reduced by at least half. What they found from seeing the original records was that the published result was fraudulent.

He compared the data for tooth decay in children aged 5 and 12 in New Zealand, and found that those in unfluoridated areas had teeth as good as those in fluoridated areas. Twenty years later, in 1998, Dr Betty de Liefde did a similar study on permanent teeth and also found practically no difference.29

Tooth decay in New Zealand had indeed fallen, but Colquhoun's graph showed that the fall was well on its way before both the start of fluoridation, and the use of fluoridated toothpaste, neither of which obviously accelerated the decline.

Colquhoun also studied data from different countries, and found that, while tooth decay had fallen in those with fluoridation, it had fallen also, and by just as much, in countries without it.

Dr Dean Burk was head of cytochemistry at the (US) National Cancer Institute. He was co-discoverer of biotin, which is necessary for cell growth, developed techniques to distinguish between normal cells and those damaged by cancer, and wrote many scientific papers. He found the death rate from cancer to be about 18% higher in the 10 largest fluoridated US cities than in the 10 largest unfluoridated ones, and concluded that fluoridation probably increased deaths from cancer in the United States by about 33,000 a year.

Dr Albert Schatz was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health and co-discoverer of streptomycin, the first effective drug for tuberculosis. During a period in Chile he found that infants there had very much higher death rates in fluoridated areas. In 1965 he sent a report about this discovery to the editor of the Journal of the American Dental Association, who refused to publish it or even to read it.30

Rudolf Ziegelbecker in Austria became interested in fluoride from his experience of industrial fluoride pollution. He studied the original fluoridation data carefully and found it did not show what had been claimed. Prof Erich Naumann, Director of the German Federal Health Office, said of him: "Your results have been accepted everywhere in Germany with the greatest interest and have increased the grave doubts against drinking water fluoridation ..." Prof Naumann added: "It is regrettable that the existing data on water fluoridation had not been examined earlier using mathematical-statistical methods. Otherwise the myth of drinking water fluoridation would have already dissolved into air long ago."31

Dr Hans Moolenburgh was a GP who found an increase in ailments among those of his patients who lived in a fluoridated area but not in those who did not. He and other Dutch doctors used double-blind tests to ascertain that the problems were not psychological or accidental but real.

Dr John Yiamouyannis asked for a copy of the data when the National Institute of Dental Research conducted its largest ever survey of tooth decay in the USA, covering more than 39,000 children in 84 areas. He was very reluctantly given the figures, from which found in 1990 no statistically significant difference in the tooth decay between fluoridated and non-fluoridated groups at any age from 5 to 17.32

Mark Diesendorf was a Professor of Environmental Science in Australia. In his article, "The mystery of declining tooth decay", in 1986 in the journal Nature, he concluded that large reductions in tooth decay had occurred in both unfluoridated and fluoridated areas of at least eight developed countries.33

Dr Richard Foulkes was chairman of a committee that recommended fluoridation in British Columbia. Later he changed his mind after doing his own research. He commented: "My initial belief was based on information given to me by those in authority rather than on the basis of my examination of the facts".34

Dr Arvid Carlsson is a Nobel Prizewinner in medicine who praised the wisdom of Sweden in rejecting fluoridation in the 1970s.

Dr William Marcus was Senior Science Advisor in the Office of Drinking Water in the US Environmental Protection Agency. He pointed out that research by the famous Battelle Institute indicated that in rats fluoride caused cancer of the bone and liver, and this was worrying. As a result, he was sacked.35

Dr Phyllis Mullenix was highly regarded for her medical research and in 1982 was appointed chief toxicologist at the prestigious Forsyth Dental Center. She and her colleagues discovered, to their great surprise, that fluoride has an adverse effect on the brain. Following publication, the head of the centre was threatened with loss of grants unless he got rid of her, and so she was duly sacked.36 Many studies have since confirmed what she had been the first to report.37

Dr Hardy Limeback, Head of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto, and former President of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, apologised in 1999 for having promoted fluoridation. He said that he had unintentionally mislead his colleagues and his students because, for the previous 15 years, he had refused to study the toxicology information.

In 2001 Elise Bassin, as part of her doctorate at Harvard Dental School, found - to her surprise - that boys exposed to fluoride in their sixth to eighth years had a risk increased by about sixfold of getting osteosarcoma (a form of bone cancer) by the age of twenty.38

A major toxicology report by the (US) National Research Council, published in 2006, said that fluoride exposure is plausibly associated with neurotoxicity, gastrointestinal problems, endocrine problems and other ailments. It was also unable to rule out an increased risk of cancer and of Down syndrome in children.39

A Harvard University review in 2012 concluded that children who live in areas with high-fluoride water have significantly lower IQ scores than those in low-fluoride areas.40 Of 50 studies on the relationship between fluoride and human intelligence, 43 found fluoride associated with reduced IQ. Of 34 animal studies 32 have found that fluoride impairs the learning and/or memory capacity of animals.41

Professor Stephen Peckham reported in February 2015 that fluoridated areas of England have higher rates of hypothyroidism, which produces debilitating symptoms such as tiredness and depression, than unfluoridated areas.42

In 2017 a team of experts from Chile - including doctors, biologists, a lawyer, a civil engineer, a toxicologist, an environmental expert, and a chemist - published a damning review of water fluoridation in Revista médica de Chile (Medical Journal of Chile). The review was financed by the Medical College of Chile.

Despite a long history of national support for the practice, the article - entitled "Consequences of Fluoridation of Drinking Water on Human Health" - concludes that artificial fluoridation of drinking water and milk has not only been ineffective at reducing dental decay in children, but is likely harmful to health.

The research team based their analysis on a review of all available studies that included control of confounding variables. They discuss fluoride's ability to cause bone, thyroid, neurological, and skin damage. There is also in indepth analysis of WHO data that shows, "fluoridation of drinking water and salts have no incidence at all in reducing dental [decay]".43

Support for fluoridation

In USA, the recommended maximum concentration of fluoride in drinking water was lowered in April 2015 by 30% to 0.7mg fluoride per litre of water, amid concerns people are getting too much now it is also in products such as toothpaste and mouthwash. It is just possible that, rather than abandoning fluoridation altogether, which would be embarrassing for those who have for decades said it is safe, the amount will continue to be gradually lowered.

The pro-fluoride establishment is not only unwilling to do research into possible side-effects of fluoridation, but has on various occasions been keen to stop others from doing such research. When the State of California in 2009 proposed a study of chemicals that might cause cancer, the American Dental Association gave the California Dental Association $200,000 to help it get fluoride off the list of chemicals to be studied.44

For many years successive governments have given public money to those that promote fluoridation, and none to those who oppose it, giving one side many advantages.

There are probably several reasons why fluoridation continues. A major one must be fear - fear of the loss of credibility that the establishment will suffer by admitting that it backed fluoridation when much research remained to be done, and therefore that its assurances of fluoridation's efficacy and safety were premature.

We now know that one of fluoridation's American proponents, Dr Frank Bull, told a confidential gathering of State Dental Directors as early as 1951: "We have already told the public that it works, we can't go back on that".45 This is perhaps one reason why the momentum became unstoppable. However, there was a more important reason which was not discovered until half a century after fluoridation began, and this is where the story takes a remarkable turn.

Industrial pollution

Christopher Bryson is an investigative reporter who worked for the BBC before moving to the USA. Asked about fluoridation, about which he knew almost nothing. Bryson made enquiries and met a medical writer, Joel Griffiths. Together, their investigations revealed an astonishing story, told by Bryson in his book, The fluoride deception.

Griffiths discovered that the background to fluoridation was as much industrial and environmental as medical.46

In 1937 a Danish scientist, Kaj Eli Roholm, wrote a book, Fluorine intoxication, a large study of fluoride pollution and poisoning.47 Roholm examined fluoride's effect on teeth as well as on other organs. It had long been known that fluoride is deposited in teeth and bones, and speculated that it might be necessary for healthy teeth.

A team at Johns Hopkins University tested the theory in 1925, but found that it made rats' teeth weaker. Roholm found the same thing among workers in a chemical works that used the fluorine mineral, cryolite. Moreover, the worst teeth had the most fluoride in them. He was the world's leading expert on the the subject and said more than seventy years ago that fluoride is not only not necessary in healthy teeth but that it weakens the enamel.48

Already by the early 1930s there was much concern in the United States about the health risk from low-level fluoride exposure. In 1933 a senior toxicologist in the US Department of Agriculture said, "Only recently, that is within the last ten years, has the serious nature of fluorine toxicity been realized, particularly with regard to chronic intoxication". Like Roholm, he singled out the aluminium industry.49

Alcoa was a large producer of aluminium and was worried about lawsuits from farmers whose cattle were harmed in the vicinity of its smelters. If fluoride were seen as beneficial, instead of harmful, the situation would be transformed. In 1935 Alcoa's research director, Francis Frary, suggested to Gerald Cox of the Mellon Institute that fluoride might be good for teeth. And so the great makeover of fluoride's image began.

Cox gave fluoride to laboratory rats, and in 1936 said it was what protects teeth. In 1938 Cox declared in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the case for fluoride "should be regarded as proved".50

In 1936 Francis Frary of Alcoa had a meeting with Charles Kettering of General Motors and a delegation from the American Dental Association (ADA). Before long Kettering furnished $25,000 for the ADA which soon became very active in the promotion of fluoride. In 1939 Cox suggested adding fluoride to public water supplies.51

Fluoride, industry and the atomic bomb

The next element in the story involves the Manhattan Project, the secret endeavour to produce the first atomic bombs. It used large quantities of fluorine to make a gas, uranium hexafluoride, that was both dangerous and difficult to handle. At the K-25 plant, from June 1945 to October 1946, there were hundreds of chemical injuries, mostly from this gas, although this was not revealed until fifty years later.52

Dr Harold Hodge was in charge of testing the toxicity of chemicals used to produce the atomic bomb, but he also defended the nuclear programme against its greatest legal threat which was court action such as that in 1946 by farmers, near a Du Pont fluoride plant in New Jersey, whose cows were crippled. The farmers were blocked in their legal action by the government's refusal to reveal how much hudrogen fluoride du Pont had vented into the atmosphere.53

Dr Hodge had the idea of calming the public's fears by talking about the usefulness of fluorine in tooth health.54 He also secretly undertook experimental research into the health effects of fluoride.55 In January 1944, a secret conference on fluoride metabolism took place in New York. It was organised by President Roosevelt's science adviser, James Conant, and documents from it are among the first that connect the atomic-bomb programme to water fluoridation.56

At the conference was Dr David B. Ast, chief dental officer of the New York State Health Department, who said there was confusion over what amounts of fluoride "may cause deleterious effects in adults". So he suggested examining whether fluoride in drinking water was harmful to people, and thereby help to determine any risk it might have for workers in factories.57 So Newburgh in New York State had its water supply fluoridated.

In 1956 the final report on the Newburgh experiment concluded that the treatment was safe. Publicly the verdict boosted efforts to promote fluoridation. Privately it was helpful to the nuclear-weapons industry, according to the Manhatten Project's medical director, Hymer L. Friedell. Workers alleging harmful exposure to fluoride would now find it more difficult to sue the government or its industrial contractors, he stated.58

A study on workers at the Harshaw Chemical Company in Cleveland, published in 1948, was important in promoting the idea that fluoride reduces tooth decay. It said that workers exposed to fluoride had fewer cavities than those unexposed to it. However, there was a secret version of the report which stated that most of the men had few or no teeth, and that corrosion affected such teeth as they had. The redacted public version helped to shift the medical debate over exposure to industrial fluoride.59

After the war, Dr Harold Hodge became the leading promoter of water fluoridation. He concealed what he knew about fluoride's effects on the central nervous system, and gave inaccurate information on fluoride's safety.60 Hodge was apparently not averse to experimenting on people. In the late 1940s he had hospital patients injected, without their knowledge, with uranium to find out how much would produce injury.61 Hodge died in 1990, but his archive remained closed.62

In 1950, with the experiment in Newburgh having apparently produced a 65 per cent reduction in dental cavities in local children, the (US) Public Health Service, which had opposed fluoridation, endorsed it, despite the study of its safety being only half complete.63

Concerns were raised, but Dr Harold Hodge claimed that it would take a massive dose of fluoride - between 20 and 80 milligrams consumed daily for 10 to 20 years - to produce injury. He insisted that water fluoridation was harmless.64 Some 25 years later, he quietly admitted in an obscure paper in 1979 that his safety figures had been wrong.65 However, by then fluoridation was widely promoted and practised and his correction was ignored. Eventually, in 1993, a major US report stated that crippling skeletal fluorosis might occur in people who have ingested 10-20 mg of fluoride per day for 10-20 years.66 The (US) Environmental Protection Association ignored this too.67

Public relations

In the United States, Edward L. Bernays, often called the "father of public relations", was particularly helpful in getting fluoridation accepted. Before the second world war, he had been a PR adviser to Alcoa, working from the same building as Alcoa's lawyer, Oscar Ewing. In 1950 Ewing was the top government official to approve fluoridation.68

Bernays advised New York City's Health Commissioner, Dr Leona Baumgartner, how to sell fluoridation to the public. He told her the challenge intrigued him as something that might be solved by what he called "the engineering of consent". Bernays advised how to make fluoridation seem uncontroversial.69 Debate was to be avoided.

A Committee to Protect Our Children's Teeth was formed. It had strong links to the military-industrial complex and to the efforts of relevant manufacturers to escape liability for fluoride pollution. In 1956 it published Our Children's Teeth, a booklet that was promptly used in court by lawyers for the aluminium company Reynolds to indicate the harmlessness of small concentrations of fluoride. Many of the scientists listed in the booklet were associated with the atomic-weapons industry.

Damage to health

Years later, in 2000, when Reynolds Metals was taken to court by employees, water fluoridation was again used as a defence, by pouring scorn on the idea that workers could possibly have been harmed by something that is beneficial to the public including children.70

When a court awarded a farming family damages for the harm from emission of fluoride by Reynolds, the industry feared further litigation, especially from employees, and decided to investigate airborne fluoride's health effects.71 In 1958 experiments started on beagles. They were divided into three groups, one getting no fluoride, one a small dose ,and one a large dose, of calcium fluoride dust in the air.72

Little or no injury was expected, and similar experiments on humans were envisaged but did not take place. Both low and high doses of fluoride injured the dogs, with wounds to their lungs and lymph nodes.73 Industry's top lawyers received copies of the report, but the results were not published. About forty years later, Bryson discovered a copy in an old basement archive.74

Incidentally, air pollution in general causes the early deaths of an estimated sixty thousand people in the United States each year, with half being attributed to emissions from electric power plants, which contain fluoride. Many others suffer illnesses including heart attacks and lung cancer.75 In 1970 the US Department of Agriculture reported that "airborne fluorides have caused more worldwide damage to domestic animals than any other pollutant".76

The hidden history shows how interconnected different strands of the fluoride story are, and the web of deception involved.


1 Denis Campbell and Matthew Weaver, NHS whistleblowers ignored, bullied and intimidated, inquiry finds, The Guardian, 11.2.15. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/11/nhs-whistleblowers-ignored-bullied-and-intimidated-review-finds

2 Marcia Angell, Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption. The New York Review of Books, 15.1.09. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2009/01/15/drug-companies-doctorsa-story-of-corruption/

3 Richard Horton, Offline: What is medicine's 5 sigma? The Lancet, 11.4.15. http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2960696-1.pdf

4 Paul Connett, James Beck and H.S. Micklem. The case against fluoride: how hazardous waste ended up in our drinking water and the bad science and powerful politics that keep it there. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2010, p.69.

5 Paul Connett et al, op. cit. p.80.

6 Paul Connett et al, op. cit. p.227.

7 J. Land Use & Envtl., Spring 1999. http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/landuse/vol142/Graham-final2.pdf

8 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.38

9 Is fluoride a risk factor for bone cancer? Small area analysis of osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma diagnosed among 0-49-year-olds in Great Britain, 1980-2005. Int. J. Epidemiol. (2014). http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/01/14/ije.dyt259.long

10 One in a Million: The facts about water fluoridation. 2nd edition, 2004.

11 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.??

12 Dental Products. Toothpastes. http://fluoridealert.org/issues/dental-products/toothpastes/

13 Paul Connett. 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation. http://fluoridealert.org/articles/50-reasons/

14 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.196.

15 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.110.

16 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.11.

17 Marian S McDonagh et al, Systematic review of water fluoridation, British Medical Journal, BMJ 2000;321:855 - http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7265.855

18 Reported in The Sunday Times by its medical correspondent. (Date not recalled.)

19 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.78, 102, 165, 220.

20 Geoffrey Dobbs. The fluoridation wrangle, New Scientist, 31 October 1957. Image at https://books.google.co.uk

21 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.250.

22 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.25.

23 Marian S McDonagh et al, op.cit.

24 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.117.

25 Hugh Sinclair, British Medical Journal, 12 February, 1955. Quoted at https://fluoridationfreeottawa.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/fluoridation-evangelization-u-s-public-health-service/

26 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.129.

27 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.135.

28 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.126-7.

29 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.60.

30 Affidavit of Albert Schatz, Ph.D. http://www.fluorideinbeds.org/FIB/albertschatz.asp

31 Rudolf Ziegelbecker: Strength from Science 1924-2009. http://www.fluorideresearch.org/423/files/FJ2009_v42_n3_p162-166.pdf

32 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.58.

33 Diesendorf M. The mystery of declining tooth decay. Nature. 19 August 1986.

34 http://www.fluorideresearch.org/333/files/FJ2000_v33_n3_p105-106.pdf

35 Interview with EPA's Dr. William Marcus on NTP's Fluoride/Cancer Study. http://fluoridealert.org/content/marcus-interview/

36 Fluoride & the Brain: An Interview with Dr. Phyllis Mullenix. http://fluoridealert.org/content/mullenix-interview/

37 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.150.

38 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.188-190.

39 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.143-145.

40 Joseph Mercola. Harvard Study Confirms Fluoride Reduces Children's IQ. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/fluoride_b_2479833.html

41 Fluoride & IQ: The 43 Studies. http://fluoridealert.org/studies/brain01/

42 Daily Mail, 25.2.15. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2967791/Is-tap-water-poisoning-troubling-question-s-lips-scientists-war-fluoride-water-protect-teeth-spark-depression.html
J Epidemiol Community Health doi:10.1136/jech-2014-204971 http://jech.bmj.com/content/early/2015/02/09/jech-2014-204971.abstract

43 http://fluoridealert.org/content/bulletin_7-24-17/

44 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.192-3.

45 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.88.

46 Christopher Bryson, The fluoride deception. Seven Stories Press, 2006 (paperback edition), p.xii.

47 Bryson, op. cit., p.xxxiii.

48 Bryson, op. cit., p.32-33.

49 Bryson, op. cit., p.39.

50 Bryson, op. cit., p.39-40.

51 Bryson, op. cit., p.42-44.

52 Bryson, op. cit., p.58.

53 Bryson, op. cit., p.76.

54 Bryson, op. cit., p.72.

55 Bryson, op. cit., p.77.

56 Bryson, op. cit., p.80.

57 Bryson, op. cit., p.83.

58 Bryson, op. cit., p.84.

59 Bryson, op. cit., p.88-90.

60 Bryson, op. cit., p.91.

61 Bryson, op. cit., p.93.

62 Bryson, op. cit., p.95.

63 Bryson, op. cit., p.151.

64 Bryson, op. cit., p.156.

65 Bryson, op. cit., p.157.

66 Bryson, op. cit., p.220.

67 Bryson, op. cit., p.221-2.

68 Bryson, op. cit., p.158-160.

69 Bryson, op. cit., p.161.

70 Bryson, op. cit., p.208.

71 Bryson, op. cit., p.184-6.

72 Bryson, op. cit., p.188.

73 Bryson, op. cit., p.189.

74 Bryson, op. cit., p.190.

75 Bryson, op. cit., p.194-5.

76 Bryson, op. cit., p.197.

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