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Monday, June 26, 2017

Ch. 17. The Damage Is Done: the fluoride deception by Christopher Bryson from archive.org


Ch. 17. The Damage Is Done: the fluoride deception by Christopher Bryson from archive.org
The Damage Is Done     BEHIND A CLUTTERED desk at the Newburgh Free Academy, under a  portrait of Coretta Scott King, nurse -practitioner Audrey Carey daily  performs physical exams on students at the large public school, which has  2,500 children in grades ten through twelve. The former mayor is in a  unique position to see some of the health effects from her community s  long experiment of adding fluoride to water supplies.   Fifty years earlier, Dr. Harold Hodge had assured local citizens that  the Newburgh experiment had proved water fluoridation safe and had  urged it upon the entire country. Health hazards do not justify
postponing  water fluoridation, he had told Congress in '95 4 1 The Hudson Valley  town quickly became the poster child for a global sales effort. Newburgh s  smiling youngsters were paraded before scientists from the United  Kingdom, New Zealand, and the World Health Organization. 2 And, for six  days in 1963 Dr. Hodge sang Newburgh s praises before the Supreme  Court in Dublin, prescribing mandatory fluoridation for Ireland. 3 https://www.blogger.com/null  Ireland, and several other countries, swallowed his story. But today,  back in Newburgh, Audrey Carey is no longer certain. The most visible  effects from fluoride in Newburgh water are not fewer cavities, but instead  the high rates of speckled and mottled teeth. Careys friends and family,  among many others in the community, have this condition, which is  known as dental fluorosis. And after fifty years Newburgh children have  virtually the same amount of dental decay as their counterparts in the  neighboring town of Kingston, which was the control city in the original  experiment.     218     CHAPTER SEVENTEEN     Kingston has resisted all efforts in subsequent years to add fluoride to its  water supply. But following Newburghs fluoridation, the rate of fluorosis  was always higher there than in Kingston, and during the 1990s it rose  again. Fluorosis also occurs more frequently in African American children,  according to recent surveys done by the New York Department of Health.'   I see the mottling that occurs, mainly in poor children, Carey told me.  She also sees it in her own family: both her grandchildren have dental  fluorosis. Although their mother is now very careful in reading the  products she buys, to make sure that there is no fluo ride, Carey believes  that the damage is done. Medically, it looks very bad for them," she says.  "I am not sure what other physical effects they may have, or defects for that  matter.   Newburghs legacy of mottled teeth is shared by much of the rest of the  country. Today, many dentists face a disturbing dilemma. Dental decay is  still a serious and painful problem, especially in the inner city and even in  fluoridated areas, where children are often trapped in a crossfire of poverty,  poor nutrition, and a woeful public provision of dental care.' In some  American cities as many as 3 out of every 4 children have dental fluorosis,  and simply adding fluoride to public water supplies may have reached the  end of the road as an easy proposal for fixing bad teeth.' The dental  researcher Dr. Hardy Limeback, of the University of Toronto in Canada, is  so concerned about the dangers of fluorosis that he claims fluoride  toothpaste should be a prescription drug — at least until a child can spit,  after the age of three. And even spitting is not foolproof; fluoride is  absorbed directly into the body through the oral mucosa, notes Limeback.  Poor nutrition can also raise the likelihood of dental fluorosis.' And if there  is fluoride in the water supply, fluoride toothpaste may further increase  the jeopardy. "Physicians have to get involved, Limeback insists. Before  prescribing fluoride toothpaste, "you have to figure out, is this kid at risk  for dental fluorosis? Better food, regular brushing and flossing, access to a  dentist, and using nonfluoride toothpaste may be required. You can get  perfectly healthy teeth with resistant enamel without having any kind of  fluoride exposure, notes Limeback. (His son has dental fluorosis, and  Limeback no longer keeps fluoride toothpaste in his home.)     THE DAMAGE IS DONE     219     Newburgh Mayor Careys concern that dental fluorosis may signal more  serious health problems is also warranted. We are now bathed in fluoride  from cradle to grave, from industrial, dental, and a multitude of other and  sometimes unexpected sources.' But the health implications of such  long-term fluoride ingestion remain woefully underexamined. Dental  fluorosis is a bio-marker for systemic fluoride poisoning during early  childhood, notes Dr. Limeback. Teeth are windows to the rest of the  body, adds Paul Connett, a chemistry professor and antifluoride  campaigner at St. Lawrence University in New York, who likens the  symptomatic nature of dental fluoro-sis to the thin blue gum line that can  indicate lead poisoning.' Yet when scientists peer behind the polished  facade of row upon row of brilliantly shining teeth to explore whether  fluoride may be injuring us in other ways, they often get a rude surprise.   In 1992 Dr. Joseph Lyon of the University of Utah coauthored a study  published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which found  that water fluoridation was associated with an increased risk of hip  fracture.' He was stunned at the lack of interest shown by U.S.  public-health agencies in the study s results, and he has since found it  difficult to get additional funding to further research this issue, he says.  Today the United States has one of the highest rates of hip fracture in the  world and is witnessing an epidemic of arthritis in 21 million Americans."  Yet doctors are as likely to blame fluoride as flying saucers. My sense is  there has been very little attention paid to toxicity, said Dr. Lyon. Almost  on the grounds that it is an impossibility, and it is a waste of everybody s  time and money to even think about it. (Subsequent studies have found  similar associations between fluoride in water and bone fractures)."   It is not just the elderly who are at risk. Fluoride may be weakening  young peoples bones as well. In 2001 a study in Mexico reported that  dental fluorosis was correlated with a higher incidence of bone fractures in  children.' In the United States we now pay an annual half-billion-dollar  hospital tab as a result of 775,000 childhood sports injuries. Although more  young people are now playing sports — particularly girls, who have a high  incidence of knee and ankle injuries — Dr. Lyon wonders whether the white,  chalky blotches seen on teeth also predict the likelihood of a juvenile sports  injury.' Is there some association [between childhood sporting     220     CHAPTER SEVENTEEN     injury and] living in a fluoridated area? he asked. There would be a  plausible physiologic basis for it.   The assurances that drinking fluoride for a lifetime would be harmless  flowed strongest from Dr. Hodge s cold war laboratory at the University of  Rochester. In 1954 he had poured oil on the troubled waters of the growing  citizens movement opposing fluoridation — telling Congress that it would  require ingesting 20-8o milligrams of fluoride each day for ten to twenty  years before injury would occur. After hearing Hodge, Congress rejected  the appeals to ban water fluoridation (see chapter 11).   In the late 198os, however, two antifluoride activists, Martha Bevis and  Darlene Sherrell, questioned the data Hodge had given Congress. By then  Hodges numbers had mutated further and were now being draped by  fluoride promoters over all possible adverse chronic health effects. The  American Dental Association (ADA) stated in a pamphlet that the daily  intake required to produce symptoms of chronic toxicity after years of  consumption is 20 to 8o milligrams or more depending on weight. 15   It was a plain falsehood. Sherrell wrote to the National Academy of  Sciences (NAS) asking where the numbers had come from. This dogged  researcher spotted that even Hodge had changed his data. Hodge stated in  1979 that io mgs of fluoride a day — not 20 — would cause crippling  fluorosis.' Hodge had given no accompanying explanation for why he had  halved his estimate. In any case, the government and the ADA ignored  Hodge s correction; they continued to use his higher estimate of the amount  of fluoride one could safely consume in a day, even though Hodge himself  had repudiated it.'   It was only with the help of Florida's Senator Bob Graham that Sherrell  won a response in 1990 from the NAS, to whom she pointed out the error.  The persistence of the citizen activist paid off. Three years later, in 1993 the  NAS National Research Council (NRC) published yet another fluoride  report, entitled Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride. This time, although there  was no accounting or apologizing for the forty years of false reassurances,  the numbers were quietly corrected. Crippling skeletal fluorosis, the NRC  stated, might occur in people who have ingested 10-20 mg of fluoride per  day for 10-20 years.'     THE DAMAGE IS DONE     221     It was an astonishing state of affairs. Two citizen activists, neither of  them scientists, had torn away the flimsy garment that had concealed a  half-century of scientific deception. The corrected 1993 NRC figures laid  bare the facts: countless thousands of Americans have been exposed to  dangerous levels of fluoride throughout their lives. In particular, the  generation of baby boomers who have ingested a lifetime of fluoridated  water and might more accurately be called Hodges Generation, may be  suffering a variety of musculoskeletal and other health ailments that can be  traced back to the toxicologist's false promise that fluoride in water was  safe.   The whole thing is bogus, explained the former EPA and U.S. Army  scientist Dr. Robert J. Carton. In 1985 he got a close look at what he calls  the dangerous joke at the heart of the government s fluoride policy and the  very real likelihood that fluoride is injuring our bones. That year EPA  scientists, including Carton, were asked to set a new and higher national  level for the publics permissible exposure to fluoride in drinking water.  Until the EPA review Carton had not been aware the subject was  controversial. I was just like everybody else, said Carton, it was a  no-brainer — fluoride is completely safe and effective, all that kind of stuff.   Under Reagan-appointee administrator William Ruckelshaus, EPA  senior management had proposed raising the safe permissible level of  fluoride in drinking water from 2.3 mg to 4 mg. They had a simple way of  justifying this. The blotchy teeth — dental fluorosisproduced by as little  as 1 mg of fluoride per liter, which worsened greatly and grew more brittle  at 4 mg per liter, were deemed a harm-less "cosmetic" side effect. And  despite the voluble protests of Car-ton, fellow EPA scientist Dr. William  Hirzy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the EPA's employee  union — Local 2050 of the National Federation of Federal  Employees — the new national standard was approved.   The EPA got away with it, says Carton — but only at the price of  embarrassing its staff as professional scientists and jeopardizing the  nations health. As Carton explains it, even according to the EPA's own  figures, 3 percent of the population drink more than five liters of water a  day. If that water contains 4 mg of fluoride — the supposedly safe new  standard — then those thirsty people will cross the threshold at which even  the EPA admitted severe health effects     222     CHAPTER SEVENTEEN     were likely to occur. You basically have a standard that, based on their  own information, shows it is going to cause crippling skeletal fluorosis,  says Carton. Of course, the 1993 revised estimate by the National Academy  of Science for how much fluoride can cause crippling skeletal fluorosis is  not 20 mg, but 10 mg. That means that the EPA standard is way off and  would permit crippling bone injuries in a very great many people. They are  really causing problems, Carton said.   Moreover, the crippling fluorosis estimate specifies a limited time  period of ten to twenty years for crippling fluorosis to appear. But fluoride  is a poison that accumulates in the body over a lifetime. What happens  when you get 10 mg a day for forty or sixty or even eighty years? In that  case, you still reach the levels that cause crippling skeletal fluorosis, but at  a later age. This simple consideration was not even addressed in the EPAs  new exposure standard, says Carton, now retired. None of it makes sense.  All you have to do is look at it for ten seconds and it falls apart, he  concludes.   Bone defects possibly linked to fluoride had been noticed at New  -burgh back in 1955, after just ten years of water fluoridation. A radiologist,  Dr. John Caffey of Columbia University, called the defects striking in  their similarity to bone cancer. They were detected on X-rays and seen  more than twice as frequently among boys in Newburgh as among boys in  nonfluoridated Kingston. Caffe ys cancer suspicions, however, were not  discussed in the 1956 Newburgh Final Report. In 1977 a National  Academy of Sciences panel took a second look at Dr. Caffey's report,  which had been published in 1955. The Newburgh cancer clue had "never  been followed up," the experts said. "It would be important to have direct  evidence that osteogenic sarcoma [bone cancer] rates in males under 30  have not increased with fluoridation," the panel stated'   Also in 1977 Congress discovered that despite a quarter-century of  endorsing water fluoridation, federal health authorities had never  cancer-tested fluoride. When cancer tests were finally performed twelve  years later, it was found that fluoride caused excess bone cancers in young  male rats. The government concluded that the results showed equivocal  evidence that fluoride was a carcinogen." In truth, fluorides link to cancer  may have been much stronger than authorities conceded. The  above-mentioned tests also     THE DAMAGE IS DONE     223     showed increased liver cancers in rats, but both the bone and liver cancer  evidence was systematically downgraded, according to Dr. William  Marcus, chief scientist at the EPAs Division of Water Quality." After Dr.  Marcus aired those allegations in an interview on ABC News, he was fired  (for supposedly unrelated reasons). But a federal judge later ruled that  Marcus had been terminated because he had publicly questioned and  opposed EPAs fluoride policy. The toxicologist was reinstated, and the  government was ordered to pay damages. 24 Since then additional  epidemiological studies have found more cancer in fluoridated areas,  especially bone cancer in young men. 25   Even the verdict of "equivocal" carcinogen is disturbing. Maybe  fluoride doesn't cause cancer, but maybe it does. Is it worth the risk?   How many cavities would have to be saved to justify the death of one  man from osteosarcoma? asked the late Dr. John Colquhoun, the  former chief dental officer of Auckland, New Zealand, and a fluoride  promoter turned critic. 26   Harold Hodge had also reassured American families about fluoride  while secretly worrying about the chemical s effects on the central nervous  system of nuclear workers. Today central-nervous-system illnesses shadow  our young and old alike, with an epidemic of attention deficit and  hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, and with 4.5 million elderly  citizens who are diagnosed with Alzheimer s dementia. The increase in  Alzheimer s in the United States is largely attributed to the aging of the  population, but "environmental" causes are also blamed. Does fluoride  play a role in causing the disease? Quite possibly: In 1992 the American  scientists Robert Isaacson, Julie Varner, and Karl Jensen found that  fluoridated water carried aluminum into rat brains, producing  Alzheimer's-like changes in brain tissue. 27 Phyllis Mullenix, who gave  laboratory mice moderate doses of fluoride and generated symptoms  resembling ADHD, fears that the high incidence of both diseases in the  general population is direct evidence of fluorides toxic effects and that  both the number and kind of such injuries may worsen in the coming years.   I think we are going to see a lot more neurological problems that  currently have no answers, Mullenix said. Extremes of behavioral  problems are going to start showing up. There will be more children     224     CHAPTER SEVENTEEN     and people with unexplained convulsions, more unexplained cases of  Alzheimer s and that kind of thing.   There were other data on Newburgh s health that warranted concern. In  the 1956 Newburgh Final Report, researchers noted that young women in  Newburgh reached puberty at an earlier age than did girls in nonfluoridated  Kingston. Laboratory experiments have recently reproduced similar  fluoride effects in gerbils.' In other words, fluoride has the ability to impact  the female reproductive system and may be lowering the age at which  women are reaching puberty. And following the introduction of fluoride  into city waters, Newburgh's heart-disease rate was found by researchers to  be one of the highest in the United States, another fact missing from the  official Final Report. 29 Heart disease also doubled just five years into the  nation's other early fluoridation experiment, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Fluoride concentrates in the arteries, attracting calcium, and can contribute  directly to their hardening, according to scientists. 30 The folly of adding  fluoride to water supplies in a nation so burdened by heart disease would  seem obvious.   Mayor Carey now sees the 1945 "demonstration project in her  hometown in a very different light. "The more I read and the more I listen,  the more I understand that we were subjected to experimentation," Carey  stated. The newly uncovered Manhattan Project documents about  Newburgh suggest to Carey that her townspeople were not told the truth  about the 1945 fluoride experiment. What happened to all of the samples  that they took from me as a child?" she asked. Where did they end up?  What were they taken for? Certainly it wasnt for preventative health care.   Today some dentists are shocked to learn that a classic bait and switch  was pulled on the public and on health professionals alike regarding the  chemicals used in fluoridation. Pure sodium fluoride was used for the early  Newburgh and Grand Rapids experiments, but today 90 percent of  fluoridated public water supplies in the United States use not  pharmaceutical-grade fluoride but industrial-grade silicofluoride  "scrubbed" from the smokestacks of the Florida phosphate industry.'  Important long-term toxicity tests have never been performed on these  silicofluorides, although some studies have associated the chemical with  higher levels of blood lead in children who live where they are used for  fluoridation. Silicofluorides also     THE DAMAGE IS DONE     225     frequently contain arsenic at levels that may present a risk of cancer,  according to data from the National Academy of Sciences.' "You are  sticking this poison into the water supply supposedly to prevent dental  disease. It is not even doing that — and you are causing cancer just from  the arsenic alone. This is totally criminal," argued the University of  Toronto s Dr. Limeback.   Even the Paley Commissions long-ago predictions that these  silicofluorides produced by the Florida phosphate industry would become  an important and valuable source of industrial fluoride have not come to  pass (see chapter 11). Today most industrial fluoride used in the United  States is the raw mineral fluospar, now mined and imported from China. 33  For now, absent trouble with the Chinese and with a low price of fluorspar  on world markets, silicofluoride waste from the Florida phosphate  production is not used as an industrial raw material; rather, it is collected,  billed to the taxpayer, and dumped into public water supplies around the  country — all under the guise of protecting children s teeth." Whether a  dentifrice, pollution-control measure, or cold war national security blanket,  EPA chemist Dr. William Hirzy put the loony logic of such dumping of  industrial silicofluorides this way: If this stuff gets out into the air, its a  pollutant; if it gets into the river, its a pollutant; if it gets into the lake, its a  pollutant; but if it goes right straight into your drinking water system, its  not a pollutant. Thats amazing!   While much of the medical profession in the United States remains  ignorant about fluorides potential for harm, there are exceptions.  Since 1968, scientists at the International Society for Fluoride  Research (ISFR) have catalogued fluorides impact on human health  and the environment. In scores of peer-reviewed papers, their journal  Fluoride has linked the chemical to multiple human-health effects,  including thyroid problems, Downs Syndrome, arthrititis,  central-nervous-system effects, cardiovascular problems, and  breathing difficulties."   George Waldbott — who founded ISFR — believed that fluoride's  ability to wreak such biological havoc was a function of its basic  nature. Although the exact mechanism of action was then unknown,  Waldbott speculated that fluoride buried deep into different organ  systems and then disrupted the numerous chemical systems (such as  enzymes) that regulate life.     226     CHAPTER SEVENTEEN     Waldbott may have been right. Enzymes are spectacularly sensitive to  fluoride. In files that were only declassified in the mid-1990s it was  revealed that in 1944 Harold Hodge's bomb-program  researchers at the University of Rochester had experimented with hog liver  enzymes to measure fluoride pollution in bomb factories. Fluoride was so  much more toxic to the esterase enzyme than uranium that contamination  by fluoride and uranium could easily be differentiated. And twenty years  after George Wald-boa's death scientists may be on the brink of unlocking  a crucial cellular mechanism for how fluoride acts on our bodies. That  detective story has a disturbing twist. The aluminum industry has spilled a  great deal of fluoride into the environment in the last century and has been  closely associated with efforts to promote water fluoridation. Ironically, it  may be that aluminum combined with fluoride is especially responsible for  fluoride s toll on health and the environment.   In 1994 the American scientists Alfred G. Gilman and Martin Rodbell  won the Nobel Prize for discovering the importance of G-proteins in  biology. The protein molecules act as biological amplifiers or relay stations,  converting information received at a cells surface and producing changes  inside that cell. For example, when we are angry, the adrenal gland  produces the adrenaline hormone. When the hormone reaches the liver or  the heart, the G-protein is activated, telling the organ to produce extra  energy. The bad news is that G-proteins are easily fooled by aluminum and  fluoride, which gang up violently and at a molecular level on our bodies,  double-teaming for extra effect, according to the Czech scientist Anna  Strunecka, a researcher at King Charles University in Prague. In an abstract  titled Fluoride and Aluminum: Messengers of False Information,  Strunecka reports: It appears probable that we will not find any  physiological process which is not potentially influenced by  [alumino-fluorides]. 37 She added, The synergistic action of fluoride and  aluminum in the environment, water and food can thus evoke multiple  pathological symptoms.   The dangers of pumping fluoride and aluminum into our environment,  and our duties to future generations are clear, according to the scientist. An  awareness of the health risks of this new eco-toxicological phenomena ...  would undoubtedly contribute     THE DAMAGE. IS DONE.     227     significantly to reducing the risk of a decrease in intelligence of  adults and children, and many other disorders of the twenty-first  century, noted Strunecka.   The Strange Case of the Missing Debaters   THE POTENTIAL NUMBER of fluoride-linked health issues may be  enormous." But the willingness of scientists to confront them is not.  Fifty years of state propaganda have left too many scars and phobias.  In the spring of 2001 scientist Tom Webster attempted to organize a  debate about water fluoridation — and was unable to find anyone  willing to speak in defense of the chemical. The Boston University  environmental health professor had first grown curious about fluoride  in the early 1990s, when his scientist friend Paul Con -nett had  confided that he was worried about the potential negative health  effects from small doses of fluoride to which Americans are regularly  exposed.   At first Webster himself had been dismissive about the issue of  fluoride. My knee-jerk reaction was, "Oh man, what are you getting  involved in that stuff for? They are all nuts, - he said. But then I  stopped myself, and I said, Well, you know, I actually dont know  anything about this. All I could remember was the Dr. Strangelove  image and the John Birch Society. Their two big issues were get the  U.S. out of the UN and stop water fluoridation. The more I thought  about it, the more I thought, Here I am in the public health profession,  I teach about this stuff, and I don't know anything about fluoride," he  remembers. "It turns out there is a huge literature on this which I  would never have guessed a couple of years ago.   The professor was baffled. He did not know what to make of the  gulf between the nice things the government said about fluoride and  the worries of scientists such as Paul Connett. 39 He was especially  perturbed by a study he read by a Dr. Phyllis Mullenix showing  central-nervous-system effects in rats. "Is this bad?" he said. "My gut  reaction was that I dont really like the sound of this.   So Webster scheduled the fluoridation debate. He had joined a new  group called the Association for Science in the Public Interest (ASIPI).  The members were all professional scientists who had grown  concerned that research was too often disconnected from     228     CHAPTER SEVENTEEN     the public interest. Now, as he scrambled to organize a debate at the groups  first national conference in May 2001, Webster was scratching his head.  Phone call after phone call, letter after letter, he got the same banged-door  rejection from profluoridationists. He felt that many of their dismissals had  a mechanical, Stepford-wife similarity that almost sounded as if they were  reading from a common script. Several respondents had even been quite  rude. I got a couple of really obnoxious replies like, How dare you even  hold such an event, it is really unprofessional. One of those was from a guy  at the CDC — one of the big fluoridation guys," said Webster. " It reminded  me of the kind of stuff that you read about: "Advice to dentists on why they  should never debate antifluoridationists.' It was that kind of thing."   There were even whispers from his own group. A generation gap  divided scientists, he realized. "One or two people inside the organization  said, We really shouldnt have a thing on fluoride, it will give us a bad  image,'" said Webster. While the younger researchers were willing to host  the fluoride debate, Webster found that older members were gun shy as a  result of the painful experiences many scientists and health professionals  had undergone in the 19505 and 196os. It is our older colleagues who  remember that stuff and how bad it was, and say This is just poison for  your career, said Webster. This is an old battle from the '50s. "   Even liberals in his organization shied from hosting the 2001 debate. It  wasnt about science, it was about the politics, Webster said. Activist  scientists already have a hard enough time in this world. Industry is trying  to kill us and it is hard to survive in aca-demia. This is like, why push beans  up your nose?   The May 2001 debate in Virginia finally took place and was well  attended, despite the lack of any profluoridation speakers, said Webster.  His friend Paul Connett spoke. Most people did not know that there was an  issue — fluoride is just not on the radar screen. If people like Connett are  crazy, I would have loved to see the CDC people come and squash em like  a bug. There seems to be almost a taboo about discussing this subject, and  that really doesnt seem right in public health.   Tom Webster is not alone in his frustration. That same year, in the fall of  2001, a second scientists organization, the American Col-     THE DAMAGE Is DONE     229     lege of Toxicology, hosted a Great Debate on water fluoridation at its  annual Washington, DC, conference. Phyllis Mullenix was a speaker.  Again, no one from the profluoride side would speak. The president of  the organization, Robert E. Osterberg, had given the debate organizer  many names and telephone numbers of scientists at leading drug  companies; he was astonished that none of them showed up. I find it  extremely difficult to believe, said Dr. Oster-berg, that companies  that make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by putting fluoride  into kids multiple vitamins wouldnt stand up there and justify why  they are doing it, and answer any concerns that people may have.     Epilogue     Blind to the Truth?  

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