Fluoride Information

Fluoride is a poison. Fluoride was poison yesterday. Fluoride is poison today. Fluoride will be poison tomorrow. When in doubt, get it out.

An American Affidavit

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Epilogue Blind to the Truth? the fluoride deception by Christopher Bryson from archive.org

Epilogue Blind to the Truth? the fluoride deception by Christopher Bryson from archive.org


Blind to the Truth? 

Fifty years after Dr. Harold Hodge signed off on fluoride safety at Newburgh, 
we learned of a potentially disastrous biological threat posed by another 
class of fluorine chemicals known as perfluoro-chemicals (PFCs). PFCs 
are different from the fluorides discussed throughout the rest of the book, 
both in their chemical composition and in their toxicity.' But just like the 
fluorides in our toothpaste, PFCs — which include such brand names as 
Teflon, Gore-Tex, and Stainmaster — are an almost ubiquitous presence in 
our lives, found in numerous household products and employed in 
hundreds of industrial applications. And, once again, like fluoride, the story 
of how the toxicity of PFCs has been investigated or, more accurately, how 
that information has been suppressed, includes a disturbing link to the 
nation's nuclear program. 

ON MAY 16, 2000, the giant Minnesota-based industrial corporation 
3M made a startling and historic announcement: it was " voluntarily" 
withdrawing one of America's best-known household products, Scotchgard, 
from the market. With no current replacement available for the popular 
fabric protector and dirt repellant, and associated products, an estimated 
$320 million worth of 3M sales was being washed away. "Sophisticated 
testing capabilities," 3M explained in a press release, ". . . show that this 
persistent compound, like other materials in the environment, can be 
detected broadly at extremely low levels in the environment and in people. 
All existing scientific knowledge indicates that the presence of these 



materials at these very low levels does not pose a human health or 
environmental risk. 

3M deserves great credit for identifying this problem and coming 
forward voluntarily, announced the EPA Administrator, Carol 
Browner, in response. 

In truth, 3M had come forward about as "voluntarily" as a cornered 
tomcat in an alley. Behind the crafted public-relations spin of the 3M 
announcement lies a trail of exposed workers, a potentially profound 
threat to human health, a global environment once again polluted with 
a fluorine chemical, decades of corporate delay, and a staggering 
economic threat to a fluoropolymer industry with $2. 5 billion dollars 
in international sales. 2 

It was DuPont that first recognized the commercial potential of 
organofluorines. By mass-producing refrigerant gases in the 1920S 
that combined fluorine, carbon, and chlorine (CFCs), the corporation 
generated a twentieth-century financial windfall.' The Manhattan 
Project quickly commandeered the wizardry of DuPont's fluorine 
engineers during World War II, using its radical new supersecret PFC 
oils and seals to lubricate and protect the government machinery in the 
Oak Ridge gaseous diffusion plant. ( The per in perfluorinated means 
that the hydrogen atoms in a normal hydrocarbon chemical bond have 
been fully replaced with fluorine atoms. The chemical symbol H-C 
becomes F-C. That lock -tight fluorine-carbon clasp produced 
ultradurable chemicals that protected the government machinery from 
even elemental fluorine's corrosive powers.) 

After the war a cornucopia of wondrous new household 
products based on fluorocarbon technology — including plastics, 
aerosols, pharmaceuticals, waterproofers, pesticides, specialized 
lubricants, and firefighting foams — soon tumbled from the 
laboratories and vast research programs that had been assembled by 
industry and the U.S. military.' The ability of the man-made PFC 
molecules to resist water, oil, and highly corrosive chemicals, 
made them the unseen servant for a host of modern creature comforts. 
Today the same types of PFC polymer chains that once helped 
process uranium hexafluoride for the Manhattan Project carry 
fast-food French fries for McDonalds in greaseproof wrappers and 
allow spills to be wiped from carpets impregnated with DuPont s 



fabric protector. "It allows us to do so much which we now take for 
granted," said British scientist and fluoride historian Eric Banks. He 
dubbed fluorine the enabling element, for the bounty it con-tributes to 
modern living. 

However, just like DuPont's CFC refrigerants — which were once 
thought safe and inert but then tore a hole in the ozone layer — the 
manufacture and use of Scotchgard and other PFC chemicals may have 
very definite human health risks. By the end of the twentieth century not 
only had millions of tons of durable CFCs soared high into the stratosphere, 
but their PFC cousins had quietly penetrated deep into our bodies and 

In 1996 the scientists Theo Colborn and John Peterson Myers and the 
journalist Dianne Dumanoski published Our Stolen Future, examining the 
ways synthetic chemicals can mimic hormones and disrupt biological 
growth and development. The book was one of the most important 
scientific warnings of the modern era and prompted a government review 
of the "endocrine disrupting" potential of such chemicals. Incredibly, 
however, it contained not a single reference to PFCs. "We were not aware 
of them," Dr. Colborn told me. "These did not come on the radar until 
about six years ago." 

How could this have happened, scientists such as Colborn want to 
know. How could the toxicological significance of an entire class of 
industrial chemicals evade scientists for half a century, slipping under their 
radar and into our lives and bodies without an alarm bell sounding? "The 
[PFC] story is a public embarrassment to scientists and regulatory agencies 
around the world," said a University of Toronto researcher, Scott Mabury. 
"We know less about orga-nofluorine compounds in the environment in the 
year 2000 than we knew about chlorinated hydrocarbons when Rachael 
Carson wrote her book in 1960. That is pathetic. It is pathetic that [such] a 
compound could reach such high concentrations in human blood tissue and 
nobody know that it is bio-accumulative and that it is very persistent." 

As with fluoride, however, the problem has not been a lack of 
information on the health effects of PFCs. Instead, the problem is that the 
research data about PFC toxicity has not been shared with other scientists, 
federal regulators, or the public. DuPont, for example, has long known 
that its PFC chemicals pose a potential 



health risk to workers and consumers. At least two company workers were 
killed and many others sickened while making Teflon during the war (see 
chapter 4). Following the wartime deaths, and fearing lawsuits from 
exposed employees and local citizens, the Manhattan Project's Dr. Harold 
Hodge from the University of Rochester visited DuPont's Haskell 
Laboratory in 1944 to discover what DuPont knew about the toxicity of its 
organofluorines.' Following Hodge's visit to DuPont, organofluorines 
were promptly given a high research priority by the Rochester team. The 
bomb-program toxicologists were warned that in some cases the toxicity 
of the organofluorines was worse than that of fluoride.' But for years, 
though Rochester scientists knew that organofluorines were a threat, 
almost nothing appeared in the medical literature about the toxicity of 
these important chemicals. 

Instead, although health worries continued, the temptation to exploit 
PFCs for profit proved overwhelming. A 1955 DuPont company document 
entitled "Teflon — Health Hazards in Heating" notes that if Teflon is 
"heated above 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) . . . small quantities of 
harmful compounds are given off... . Consequently adequate ventilation 
must be provided at such temperatures. The concentrations of the volatile 
products necessary to produce harm have not been precisely established 
since it has not been possible to duplicate in animal tests the symptoms 
observed in humans" (emphasis added)! Nevertheless, on January 23, 1958, 
a Minneapolis lawyer, Harold D. Field, sought the medical advice of the 
Kettering Laboratory's Dr. Robert Kehoe. Field had a client who wanted to 
sell Teflon-lined pans in the United States, he explained. " DuPont has 
warned our client," Field wrote Kehoe, "that there may be some danger in 
the use of Teflon for this purpose." And later that year Dr. Albert Henne of 
Ohio State University contacted Kehoe. A Belgian company, Union 
Chimique Beige, also wanted to sell Teflon pots and pans in the United 
States, he told Kehoe. Henne had made some inquiries on the company's 

"You may be interested to learn that ... DuPont ... seems to have 
started a rehabilitation' campaign for fluoride in the food business," 
Henne told Kehoe. He had friends in the legal department at 
Frigidaire (the unit of General Motors that sold Freon-filled refrig- 
erators), Henne reported. They had assured him that "the sale of 

2 34 


coated skillets does not require the formal permission of the Food and 
Drug Administration. As a precaution, however, would Dr. Kehoe act as 
a competent witness in case of a lawsuit? Henne asked. Kehoe agreed.' 

Where are the Atomic Energy Commission studies on the tox-icity of 
PFCs? As the Teflon gold rush got under way and nonstick pans became a 
fixture in our kitchens, it was not until 1968 — two decades after the 
Manhattan Projects Division of Pharmacology had made researching 
organofluorine toxicity a cold-war priority — that another University of 
Rochester fluoride scientist, Dr. Donald Taves, published the first data 
showing that organofluorines were accumulating in human blood. 10 Taves 
was a colleague of Dr. Harold Hodge, whose scientists at the University of 
Rochester had warned in 1946 that organic fluorine compounds appear to 
be more toxic than the fluoride ion." And although Taves even measured 
PFCs in his own body, he nevertheless issued a firm reassurance as to the 
toxicological significance of his disconcerting discovery. Other chemicals 
are usually not toxic in blood concentrations similar to those found here for 
organic fluorides." (At the same time Taves was also collaborating with 
one of the nuclear industry s big fluo-rocarbon suppliers, 3M.) 

Even today, retired in northern California, those Rochester reflexes 
remain strong. Dr. Taves agrees with the current safety reassurances from 
3M and DuPont: because fluorine and carbon form such a stable bond, 
their presence in the human body in low doses is of little health concern. 
"I'm not so sure that they needed to take Scotchgard off the market," Taves 
said. "That is a very inert chemical.'" 

Similar safety assurances paved the way for the penetration of PFCs 
into our homes and industry. As a result, while the global PFC industry is 
now a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, scientists are playing 
catch-up — filling a fifty-year void in the published data on PFC toxicity. In 
her 1962 book, Silent Spring, scientist Rachel Carson explained how 
so-called persistent organic pollutants (POPS), such as DDT or PCBs, can 
pass through the food chain from fish and birds to humans. 13 In the same 
manner PFCs can accumulate in the human body. The battle over PFCs is 
shaping up as what may be the Silent Spring of the early twenty-first 



"It is the most important chemical pollutant issue I know of, says former 
3M scientist Rich Purdy who, frustrated with 3M s lack of commitment to 
tackle the PFC issue, resigned in 1999 after nine-teen years of work with the 
company." PFCs are having an adverse impact on wildlife and possibly 
humans right now, Purdy adds. I think they rival the significance of the 
chemicals that Rachel Carson pointed to, adds a Michigan State scientist, 
Brad Upham. "I am personally puzzled as to why there is not much more 
concern about these compounds. (In an interview in September 2002 
Upham told me that there had never been a formal request by the National 
Institutes of Health for scientists to submit proposals to study the toxic 
effects of PFCs.) 

The strength of the carbonfluorine bond in PFCs means that these 
chemicals can last a very long time. Researchers fear that millions of 
people maybe absorbing the fluorine compounds through treated 
carpeting, clothing, and furniture and from industrial waste from 
factories that produce Teflon and similar products. The PFC known as 
perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), found in Scotchgard, redefines the 
meaning of persistence, notes the University of Toronto s Scott A. 
Mabury. It doesnt just last a long time; it likely 
lasts forever." 16 

The global reach of PFCs was revealed in the late 1990s, when 3M 
measured the level of PFC chemicals in blood samples taken from across 
the United States and in Europe. The company compared the results with 
older blood samples taken from Korean war veterans in the 1950s, 
predating 3M's introduction of Scotchgard. These samples, in comparison, 
were uncontaminated by the chemical.' Researchers from the University of 
Michigan have also found PFCs in mink, eagles, arctic polar bears, and 
albatrosses in the Pacific Ocean. 18 "The occurrence of [such chemicals in] 
albatrosses suggests the widespread distribution of [the chemical] in 
remote locations," the scientists reported. 19 

Perhaps most disturbingly, the environmental "sink" — or final 
resting place — of many PFCs is the blood, where they bind to protein 
and then accumulate in the liver and gallbladder. 20 (Unlike DDT or 
PCBs, which accumulate in body fat and soil, PFCs are resistant to fat 
or water. That is what makes them such good waterproofers and fabric 
protectors.) It can be like global warming, Rich Purdy told 



me. What we produced twenty years ago, we still haven t harvested those 
effects yet. The peak hasnt hit. 

The corporate suppression of information about the human health risks 
from PFCs was spelled out in internal documents of the DuPont Company 
only made public in 2002. According to medical studies and memos 
(reaching as far back as April 1981), DuPont researchers had recorded 
birth defects in children born to PFC workers at its Teflon plant in 
Parkersburg, West Virginia. The documents, which were posted on the 
Internet by the activist Environmental Working Group (EWG) in 
Washington, DC, revealed that the eyes of some DuPont workers' children 
were malformed and that there was widespread contamination of the local 
drinking-water supply by the PFC chemical used to make Teflon, 
perfluorooctanoic acid [PFOA]. 21 Scandalously, and almost certainly 
illegally, DuPont never reported the birth defects nor the drinking-water 
contamination to the EPA or the local community. 


The EPA has grown increasingly concerned about PFC toxicity. 23 In 
May 2003 the agency formally asked DuPont to explain why the West 
Virginia drinking-water and birth-defect data had never been reported to 
the federal regulators. DuPont's attorney, Andrea V. Malinowski, wrote 
back, arguing that the birth defects could not "reliably" be linked to 
PFCs — and therefore did not require that the EPA be informed — and that 
the levels of PFCs in drinking water were too low to tell the public about. 24 
That's a simple falsehood, claimed the EWG, which wants DuPont 
criminally punished for its actions. 25 The EWG says that DuPont clearly 
saw the possibility that PFC exposure was linked to the birth defects. 
Indeed, the company had first examined the health of worker's babies after 
receiving a 3M laboratory study in March 1981, which showed that PFOA 
caused eye defects in rats. According to a DuPont document, DuPont's 
review of children's health had been conducted to answer "a single 
question" — "does C-8 [PFOA] exposure cause abnormal children?' 

"We definitely do have concerns based on the toxicity data that has 
been submitted," noted Mary Dominiak, the chair of the fluo-rocarbon 
work group at EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. I cant 
really go further than that because we are currently in the process of 
updating the hazard assessment. 



The willingness of the EPA to review the human health risks from PFCs 
comes at the same time that federal regulators are also studying the basic 
issue of fluoride safety, promising to revisit the battlefields of a 
half-century of pitched conflict over water fluori-dation and industrial 
fluoride pollution. On Tuesday, August 12, 2003, in a cramped room in the 
National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, DC, a newly 
formed panel of the National Research Councils (NRC) Committee on 
Toxicology listened to fluoride safety reassurances from the Centers for 
Disease Control. They also heard a lengthy criticism of existing safety 
standards from chemistry professor Paul Connett, a spokesperson for the 
activist lobbying group Fluoride Action Network. At issue is the EPA's 
official standard for how much fluoride should be permitted in the public 
water supply. In 1993, despite a hornets nest of protest from some of its 
own scientists, the EPA decided to maintain the maximum contaminant 
level (MCL) at the level it had set in 1 984 — 4 parts per million. Included in 
that decision, however, was the caveat that the official standard could be 
revised if additional scientific studies raised further doubts about fluoride 
safety. At the public hearing in Washington, Paul Connett pointed out that 
several new studies had been published since 1993, including Phyllis 
Mullenix s animal experiments at the Forsyth Dental Center, more recent 
studies from China that have found similar central-nervous-system effects 
in human beings, and an EPA study that reported that fluoridated water 
helped to carry aluminum into rats' brains, producing Alzheimer s-like 

According to longtime observers of America's fluoride wars, it is 
possible that a sea change in federal policy toward water fluorida-tion may 
be taking place. Harold Hodge was once the chairman of the NRCs 
Committee on Toxicology; as recently as 1993 the NRC fluoride panel had 
rubber-stamped his assurances of fluoride safety. But the new panel 
includes scientists and academics — Kathy Thies sen and Tom Webster, for 
example — who have all questioned the wisdom of water fluoridation; 
another member, Robert Isaacson, was part of the team that linked fluoride 
and aluminum to the Alzheimer-like lesions in rat brains. Bette Hileman, a 
reporter for Chemical and Engineering News who attended the hearing, 
stated that Paul Connett s presentation was even greeted with applause 



from the panel. This is highly unusual at an NAS/NRC meeting, Hileman 
remarked. I would be very surprised if the new NAS report turns out to be 
a repeat of the one in 1993. The situation has changed." 

But the fluoride lobby remains powerful. In the United Kingdom the 
Labour government of Prime Minister Tony Blair is promoting legislation 
that would give private water utilities immunity from fluoride -related 
lawsuits, in a bid to encourage them to fluoridate more communities. For 
these water companies, such immunity is a key legal requirement if they 
are to proceed with more fluoridation. In 1996 the toothpaste manufacturer 
Colgate made a £1000 payment to Sharon and Trevor Isaacs, of Highams 
Park, Essex, whose son Kevin suffered from dental fluorosis. Colgate 
acknowledged no liability for the dental damage, although there were 
hundreds of pending cases of British children with fluorosis-damaged teeth 
seeking compensation. The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that 
"Water companies have fought against fluoride amid fears of 
litigation." 28 

A great deal is at stake in the NRC review, certainly more than at first 
meets the eye. The pressure on the EPA to tighten safety standards for 
water will inevitably bring fresh scrutiny for industrial fluoride users. 
As Alcoa's Frank Seamans and his band of Fluorine Lawyers knew, the 
federal government s support of water fluoridation was extraordinarily 
helpful to corporate America, bolstering industry's legal defense against 
workers' and citizens' claims of industrial fluoride poisoning. The reverse 
is also true. If the government admits that fluoride in water is not as safe as 
they had once reassured us, then industry's fig leaf is jeopardized. 

So will the EPA lower the boom on the industrial fluoride polluters? It 
still doesn't look good. The agency's August 2003 ruling on air pollution, 
which allows some 17,000 industrial facilities to escape the 
pollution-control requirements of the Clean Air Act, means that big 
fluoride polluters, such as coal-burning power stations and aluminum 
smelters, can continue to vent tens of thousands of tons of hydrogen 
fluoride gas over our homes and farms. 

It is America's industrial workers that most need the protection of 
regulators. The 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act guarantees 
citizens a safe workplace. But eight years before that law was 



signed, the Kettering dog study showed that inhaled fluoride causes 
lung and lymph-node damage. The recent unearthing of that 
long-buried study prompted two leading toxicologists, Robert Phalen 
and Phyllis Mullenix, to claim that the current standard for occu- 
pational exposure to fluoride is almost certainly too high. And with the 
recent report that emphysema — a key injury in Robert Kehoes 
fluoride -breathing dogs — is much more prevalent among industrial 
workers than once imagined, the inability of federal standard-setters to 
locate a single animal study to justify their current safety standard is 
especially concerning. 29 

Industry will in all likelihood fight any revision to the water fluoride 
safety standard. This fierce desire to maintain the existing permissive 
standards was suggested by the presence of several representatives from 
the EPA's pesticide division at the NRC public meeting. Dow Chemical is 
currently using sulfuryl fluoride as a pest fumigant to replace the 
ozone-depleting methyl bromide. If the fluoride safety standard for water is 
toughened, Dow's efforts to lobby the EPA to allow increased fluoride 
residues on our fruit and vegetables will almost certainly be challenged. 

As Paul Connett notes, replacing methyl bromide with sulfuryl fluoride 
is a dubious proposition. "In animal studies it damages the white matter in 
the brain," Connnet explains. "So Dow is proposing to replace a chemical 
that causes holes in the ozone layer with one that causes holes in the brain! 
Some trade-off." 30 



I AM A pharmacologist and my interest in the fluoridation issue goes back 
to the sixties, seventies, and eighties when the addition of fluoride to the 
public water supplies was discussed in Sweden. During that period I 
studied the scientific literature and the arguments for and against water 
fluoridation thoroughly. My conclusion was clear: Fluoride is a 
pharmacologically very active compound with an action on a variety of 
enzymes and tissues in the body already in low concentrations. In 
concentrations not far above those recommended it has overt toxic actions. 
Fluoride added to the drinking water can prevent caries to some extent but 
it can do so at least as efficiently when applied locally. Moreover, local 
treatment, preferentially via toothpaste, is more rational, because the 
caries-preventive action is exerted directly on the erupted teeth. The 
previous belief that its action is limited to an early period before the 
eruption of the teeth, is not correct. The systemic action of fluoride via the 
blood before tooth eruption can lead to damage of the enamel, and mottled 
teeth. This side effect, as well as other toxic actions of fluoride, is very 
much reduced when fluoride is applied via toothpaste. 

The addition of fluoride to water supplies violates modern 
pharmacological principles. Recent research has revealed a sometimes 
enormous individual variation in the reponse to drugs. If a 
pharmacologically active agent is supplied via the drinking water, the 
individual variation in response, which is considerable even when the 
dosage is fixed, will be markedly increased by the individual variation in 
water consumption. In addition, this measure is ethically questionable and 
unnecessarily expensive. When the fluoridation issue was debated in 
Sweden several decades ago I took part in the public debate, and we 
managed to convince the Swedish Parliament that the addition of fluoride 
to the water supplies should be rendered illegal. Similar decisions have 
been taken in most European countries. There is to my knowledge no evi- 



dence to suggest that dental health in Europe is worse than in the 
United States. 

During the past two decades water fluoridation has not been debated 
much in Sweden, and I have not followed the scientific literature in this 
area closely. I have now read several chapters in Christopher Brysons 
book and have found them quite interesting. Christopher Bryson is an 
excellent narrator, and he reports on recent research previously not 
known to me. Especially I am intrigued by the story about Phyllis 
Mullenix and her animal research on the influence of fluoride on 
behavior and brain development. I am not surprised by the resistance 
that Phyllis Mullenix so unfortunately experienced. Novel and 
surprising observations are often met with disbelief by the scientific 
community, and in this case the prestige of influential people is 
probably an additional factor. 

It is my sincere hope that Christopher Brysons apparently thorough and 
comprehensive perusal of the scientfic literature on the biological actions 
of fluoride and the ensuing debates through the years will receive the 
attention it deserves and that its implications will be seriously considered. 
Dr. Arvid Carlsson, 2000 Nobel Laureate for 
Physiology or Medicine (for discoveries concerning 
signal transduction in the nervous system) 

FOLLOW WERE good enough to grant me interviews, and their 
comments are reproduced throughout: 

David Ast, July 16, 1997, July 31, 2002, and August 1, 2002 
Eric Banks, April 23, 2001 
Edward L. Bernays, December, 1993 
Eula Bingham, July 15, 2002 
George Blackstone, February 25, 2002 
Lisa M. Brosseau, July 22, 2002 
Georg Bran, March 19, 2001 
Audrey Carey, January 2, 2002 
Robert J. Carton, September 21, 2002 
Theo Colborn, December 9, 2002 Mike 
Connett, February 7, 2004 Maria 
Constantini, March 22, 2002 Pamela 
DenBesten, February 13, 2001 Mary 
Dominiak, September 12, 2002 
John Fedor, May 10, 2001 and October 28, 2001 
Hymer Friedell, October 29, 2001 Margaret B. 
W. Graham, May 14, 2002 Dan Guttman 
November 8, 2001 John "Jack" Hein, March 21, 
2001 William Hirzy, September 16, 2002 John 
Hoffman, July 27, 2003 
Glen Howis, March 25, 1993 Allen 
Hurt, October 27, 2001 
Donald E. Hutchings, June 13, 2002 

Jerry Jones, October 20, 2000 Joe Kanapka, November 27, 2002 
Kuranthachalam Kannan, September 12, 2002 Allen Kline, 
March 24, 1993 Arnold Kramish, October 12, 2001, and July 26, 

Edward Largent Jr., February 11, 2002 



Hardy Limeback, September 26, 2002 
Henry Lickers, spring 1993 

Joseph L. Lyon, December 4, 2001, and August 8, 2002 

James MacGregor, November 19, 2002 

Judith MacGregor, June 25, 2002 

Arjun Makhijani, May 25, 2001 

Ekaterina Mallevskia, August 6, 2002 

William J. Marcus, June 14, 2001 Scott 

Mabury, September 13, 2002 Sal 

Mazzanobile, November 27, 2001 

James Bruce McMath, September 13, 2001, and March 1, 2002 
Gabrielle V. Michalek, January 20, 2004 
Paul Morrow, November 19, 2003 

Phyllis J. Mullenix, multiple occasions including filmed interview 

February 20, 1999 Olive Mullenix, May 
19, 2001 Ralph Nader, spring 1993 Antonio 
Noronha, summer 1997 Stata Norton, May 19, 
2001 Robert E. Osterberg, November 13, 
2001 Michelle Peace, June 2, 2002 Diane 
Peebles, October 22, 2001 Robert Phalen, 
March 26, 2002 Henry Pointer, October 27, 

2001 Gloria Porter, October 28, 2001 Dick 
Powell, April 23, 2001 Rich Purdy, 
September u, 2002 Karin Roholm, May 2001 
Philip Sadder, March 23, 1993 Ted Schettler, 
June 12, 2002 Bill Schempp, March 24, 1993 
Gladys Schempp, March 24, 1993 Steve 
Silverman, June 18, 2002 John L. Smith, 
October 27, 2001 George David Smith, May 8, 

2002 Karen Snapp, December 1, 2001 Lynne 
Page Snyder, May 4, 1998 J. Newell Stannard, 
December 3, 2002 



James Swindoll, March 4, 2002 
Donald Taves, June 27, 2002 

Kathleen M. Thiessen, June 27, 2001, and August 12, 2002 Brad 
Upham, September 11, 2002 Henry Urrows, June 10, 2002 Sam 
Vest, June 24, 2001 Tommy Ward, October 20, 2000 Tom 
Webster, May 31, 2002 Ken Weir, September 17, 2002 Alan 
Williams, October 20, 2000 

Two archives were the main sources of documentary information for this 
book. The first, the University of Cincinnati's Medical Heritage Center, 
houses the unpublished medical studies of the Kettering Laboratory of 
Applied Physiology and the papers of its director, Robert Arthur Kehoe. 
This archive is cited here as the RAK Collection. 

The second, which houses the archives of the Manhattan Project and the 
Atomic Energy Commission, is the National Archives and Records 
Administration (NARA). The Atlanta branch of NARA is cited here as the 
Atlanta Federal Research Center (FRC). Documents from the President's 
Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE) — a 
primary source of information on the University of Rochester and Harold 
Hodges human experimentation — are also deposited at NARA. The papers 
of the S-l Executive Committee of the Office of Science, Research, and 
Development (OSRD) are located in NARA's Record Group 227. 

Additional Manhattan Project and AEC files came from the Oak Ridge 
Operations Information Office (ORO) and courtesy of the primary research 
of Pete Eisler of USA Today. Joel Griffiths and Clifford Honicker also 
uncovered documents from the Manhattan Project and the AEC, most 
notably on the Peach Crop Cases, in the personal papers of General Leslie 
Groves, on file at NARA. Additional AEC papers were retrieved by 
Honicker from the University of Rochester. In the text and notes, 
documents from these researchers and sources are cited as: "via Honicker 
and Griffiths." 

Documents from online search engine-derived archives of the 
Department of Energy's Human Radiation Experiments Information 



Management System are noted here as HREX. 

The papers of fluoride historian and ADA pamphlet writer Don and 
McNeil are at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in Madison. At that 
same archive is an important collection of documents from Alcoa on the 
early history of fluoride research in the United States. 

The National Security Archive at George Washington University houses 
the supporting documents for John Marks's book on CIA drug 
experimentation, Search for the Manchurian Candidate (New York: Times 
Books, '979) 

The court record of the Martin trial is located in NARA Record 
Group 276, Boxes 5888 to 5890. 

The files of the Buhl Foundation relating to its early funding of 
dental research at the Mellon Institute are at the Senator John Heinz 
Pittsburgh Regional History Center in Pittsburgh. 

The papers of Ruth Roy Harris on the history of the National Institutes 
of Dental Research are in the History of Medicine Division at the National 
Library of Medicine. 

The Rockefeller Archive Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York was a 
source for information on Kaj Roholm's trip to the United States, on 
early funding of dental studies at the University of Rochester, and on 
the Committee to Protect our Children's Teeth. The files of the 
Carnegie Corporation in New York City provided information on the 
early history of dental research in the United States. 

The Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri, houses the 
personal papers of Oscar Ewing and the papers of the President's Materials 
Policy Commission, also known as the Paley Commission. 

Documents on the history of the Industrial Hygiene Foundation are 
located at the Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, with additional papers from 
the Mellon Institute deposited at Carnegie Mellon Library. 

Charles Kettering's personal papers are at the Kettering University 
in Flint, Michigan, in the Richard P. Scharchburg Collection. 

The online archive of the Environmental Working Group was a primary 
source for documents relating to the history of perfluo-rinated chemicals, 
and for the archives of the Chemical Manufactures Assocication (CMA). 



Unpublished information on the Donora disaster came courtesy of the 
late Allen Kline of Webster, Pennsylvania. 

An extraordinary resource was the web site of the Fluoride Action 
Network (www.fluoridealert.org), with its comprehensive and accessible 
collection of medical studies, news reports and analysis. 

Transcripts from the George Bareis, et al vs. Reynolds Metals trial in 
Arkansas which took place during October 2000 in the Saline County 
court, were kindly provided by the law offices of James Bruce McMath. 

Finally, Martha Bevis of Houston, Texas was able to furnish me with an 
extraordinary library of information on the history of the fight against 
fluoridation in the United States. 



1. "Muskie Hearings": Hearings before a subcommittee on air and water pollution of the 
committee on public works of the U.S. Senate, 59th Congress, June 7-15, 1966 
(Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office), pp. 1 13-343. 

Note on Terminology 

1. For volatility: "At atmospheric pressure C-216 may combine with 

almost all known elements, with almost explosive rapidity, giving off extreme heat." 
Manhattan Project Memo, "Safety and Health Conference on Hazards of C-216 (Code for 
Fluorine)" To: Safety Section Files. RHTG Classified Doc, 1944-94, Box 166, Building 
2714-H, Vault #82761. Such violence also makes fluorine difficult to isolate. Although it 
is the thirteenth-most abundant element in the earth's crust, it was not until 1886 that a 
French scientist, Henri Moissan, was finally able to segregate the volatile element. R. E. 
Banks, "Isolation of Fluorine by Moissan: Setting the Scene," J. Fluorine Chem., vol. 33 
(1986), pp. 1-26. 

2. J. Emsley et al., "An unexpectedly strong hydrogen bond: Ab initio 

calculations and spectroscopic studies of amide-fluoride systems," J. Am. Chemical Soc, 
vol. 103,(1981), pp. 24-28. 

3. The National Research Council, for example, "uses the term "fluoride' 

as a general term everywhere, where exact differentiation between ionic and molecular 
forms or between gaseous and particulate forms is uncertain or unnecessary." Biological 
Effects of Atmospheric Pollutants: Fluorides (National Academy of Sciences, 1971), p. 3. 


1 . Said Ralph Nader: "Once the U.S. government fifty years ago decided to push fluoridation, 
they stopped doing what Alfred North White-head once said was the cardinal principle 
of the scientific method, and that is to leave options open for revisions, and it became a 
party line, it became a dogma, and they weren't interested in criticism." 


1. L. Tye, The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and the Birth of Public Relations (New 
York: Crown, 1998). 



2. From 1957 to 1968, fluoride was responsible for more damage claims than 

all twenty other major air pollutants combined, according to U.S. National Academy of 
Sciences member Edward Groth. N. Groth, "Air Is Fluoridated," Peninsula Observer, 
January 27-February 3, 1969. See chapter 15 for a list of fluoride damage suits and 
comparison with other air pollutants. 

3. See chapters 7, 9, 10, and n. 

4. For fluoride synergy, see A. S. Rozhkov and T. A. Mikhailova, "The Effect of 

Fluorine-Containing Emissions on Conifers," The Siberian Institute of Plant Physiology 
and Biochemistry, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, trans. L. 
Kashhenko (Springer- Verlag, 1993), excerpted on the Fluoride Action Network website. 
Also, Herbert E. Stokinger et al., "The Enhancing Effect of the Inhalation of 
Hydrogen Fluoride Vapor on Beryllium Sulfate Poisoning in Animals," UR-68, 
University of Rochester, unclassified; and N. Groth, "Fluoride Pollution," Environment, 
vol. 17, no. 3 (April/May 1975) pp. 22-38. For "Greatest health advance," see A Century 
of Public Health: From Fluoridation to Food Safety, CDC, Division of Media Relations, 
April 2, 1999. For "Pollution and chemical poisoning of children," see chapters 1, 2, and 

5. See chapter 3. 

6. See chapters 9 and 3. 

7. See chapters 4 through 8. 

8. Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2001, section A, p. 1. 

9. See chapters 9 through 16. 

10. The papers of Dr. Harold Hodge of the University of Rochester are closed. 

Archibald T. Hodge to Mr. J. B. Lloyd, University Archives and Special Collections, 
Hoskins Library (University of Tennessee), July 7, 1996: "Regarding your letter of June 
19, 1996, concerning my father Harold C. Hodge's archives, they will be deposited in 
total at the University of Rochester Medical Center when a room dedicated to his files is 
ready." Those of Dr. Ray Weidlein, director of the Mellon Institute, are missing. 
Gabrielle V. Michalek, the head of archive centers at Carnegie Mellon University, 
which holds some of the Mellon Institute papers, explained to me that Weidlein had 
instructed a previous archivist to "throw the papers in the Dumpster." For more on 
blackballing, see chapter 12. 

11. Nile Southern interviewed by Russ Honicker, transcript supplied by 


12. See chapter 12. 

13. Holland discontinued fluoridation in 1976. Water fluoridation was discon- 

tinued in West Germany after 19505. B. Hileman, "Fluoridation of Water," Chemical 
and Engineering News, vol. 66 (August 1, 1988), pp. 26-42. It was also banned in the 
former East Germany following reunification. 

14. "A systematic review of public water fluoridation," The York Review, NHS 

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York (2000). For the 65 percent 
reduction in cavities claim, see Oscar Ewing's rationalization for national water 
fluoridation: Oscar Ewing, "Oral History Interview ," by 



J. R. Fuchs of the Truman Library, Chapel Hill, NC, April and May 1969 

( interview available online). 
15. Interview with Paul Connett, posted on the Fluoride Action Network website. 
1 6 For example, "Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental 

SfolTcfielMM^ 2001. G. L. 

Waldbott, A. W. Burgstahler, and H. L. McKinney, Fluoridation: The Great 
Dilemma (Lawrence, KS: Coronado Press, 1978), 149-151. 

Chapter 1 

1. Jack Hein, author interview, March 21, 2001. Reluctant to give me a formal 
interview, Hein nevertheless made several comments that have been incorporated here. 
Mullenix had been teaching at Harvard and doing research in the laboratory of Dr. 
Herbert Needleman, who was famous for proving that low levels of lead in gasoline 
would harm children's intelligence. 

2. Hein told the British TV journalist Bob Woffinden in 1997 that the compound had 
been invented by a German chemist, Willy Lange, who was work ing in Cincinnati. A 
chemist from the Ozark Mahoning company, Wayne White, had then brought MFP to 
Rochester. According to Hein, "When Wayne White first came to Rochester with the 
compound, Harold Hodge looked at it and said, "Well, I wonder if it's a nerve gas or is 
it going to prevent tooth decay?'" (tape time code, 04.31.15, 1997). See also the 
important essay discussing the ability of fluoro-chemicals to inhibit enzyme activity. 
Willy Lange (The Procter and Gamble Company), "The Chemistry of Fluoro Acids of 
Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Group Elements," Fluorine Chemistry, vol. 1 , ed. J. H. 
Simons (New York, NY: Academic Press, 1950), 125. 

3. Hein was also a luminary in such influential dental organizations as the International 
Association for Dental Research (IADR). According to Phyllis Mullenix, he had 
raised funds to build a Washington headquarters for IADR. 

4. Hein had been a graduate student under Harold Hodge at the University of Rochester 
in the 1950s. He told the British TV journalist Bob Woffinden, " We got involved with 
fluoride because Harold Hodge was interested from his connection over at the 
Manhattan Project." Interview tape time code 04.26.49, 1997. 

5. V. O. Hurme, "An Examination of the Scientific Basis for Fluoridating 

Populations," Dent. Items of Interest, vol. 74 (1952), pp. 518-534. 

6. Commemorative plaque at the annex entrance, noting that the industrial donors 
listed had "insured completion." Also, p. 7 of Forsyth Dental Center brochure, 
undated: "from 1969 through 1979 ... federal support for the research programs at 
Forsyth increased threefold and support from industrial grants increased twofold." 

7. Wall Street Journal, June 13, 1986, p. 25. 

8. Ibid. 



9. Letter of recommendation from Mehlman on Agency for Toxic Substances 

and Disease Registry letterhead, May 31, 1992. "Of the many scientists with whom I have 
worked, I consider Professor Mullenix to be one of the most talented I have known. I have 
the highest regard for her scientific ability and integrity," Melman added. 

10. In 1994 Phyllis Mullenix sued the dental center alleging, among other 
things, sexual discrimination. The suit was settled out of court under 
terms which neither Mullenix not Forsyth are permitted to discuss. 
Although Mullenix will not discuss her lawsuit, Karen Snapp is blunt 
about the "dark side" of Forsyth, describing "an old boys club" where 
chauvinism and bad science mixed freely. She described to this writer sev 
eral instances of crude sexual harassment at Forsyth and the occasionally 
sloppy professionalism of some of her colleagues. "I would not describe 
the atmosphere [at Forsyth] as being highly scientific," she said. "It was 
very strange, it was very uncomfortable. There were totally incompetent 
people there who were doing quite well because they played the game. 
They kind of decided what the results were going to be. If they did not get 
the result, they would either modify the experiment to give them the 
result, or just forget about it." 

Chapter 2 

1. Harold Hodge died on October 8, 1990. 

2. The New York Times, December 16, 2002, obituary of Florence S. Mahoney. 

3. In the 1920S in the United States, for example, between 11 and 16 million out of 22 
million school children had defective teeth. Similar conditions were found in the United 
Kingdom. "In the England of the past the teeth were not as frail or as troublesome as 
today," Sir James Crichton-Brown told dentists in 1 892, after describing the many studies 
that had found uniformly bad teeth among British children. Dental health in 192os, 
estimate of the Joint Committee on Health Problems of the National Educational 
Association and the AMA, cited in letter from Dr. William Gies to Dr. F. C. Keppel of the 
Carnegie Corporation, November 18, 1927, Dental Research Program, Box 121, Carnegie 
Grants Ilia, Carnegie Archive Collection. For United Kingdom, see J. Crichton-Browne, 
"An address on tooth culture," Lancet, vol. II (1892), p. 6. 

4. J. S. Lawson, J. H. Brown, J. H. and T. I. Oliver, Med. J. Aust, vol. (1978), pp. 
124-125. Cited in M. Diesendorf, "The Mystery of Declining Tooth Decay," Nature, vol. 
32 (July 1986), pp. 125-129. Falling dental-decay rates presented a dilemma for some in 
the United States, it seems. A researcher at the Forsyth Dental Center apparently warned, 
"Recall the European data, for example, which shows declines in caries which are 
occurring without fluoridation and, indeed, seem to rival the effects obtainable with 
fluoridation. This could easily become ammunition for the antifluoridationists." Cited in 
e-mail to 



Hardy Limeback dated May 15, 2003, from Myron Coplan, of Natick, MA, 
who explained that he had received the comments directly by mail from the 
office of Paul DePaola at the Forsyth Center in the early 1980s. 
5. See especially J. D. B. Featherstone, "Prevention and Reversal of Dental Car 

ies: Role of Low Level Fluoride," Community Dent. Oral Epidemiol., vol. 27 ( 1999), 
pp. 31 — 40. Also, "Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control 
Dental Caries in the United States," Fluoride Recommendations Work Group, CDC 

Linking fluoride to better teeth was not a new idea. As early as 1892 there had 6. 
been medical speculation that because fluoride was found in dental enamel, 
it was necessary for strong teeth. In 1925 scientists at Johns Hopkins University 
tested that theory by feeding rats fluoride. They were disappointed; the fluoride 
made the teeth weaker, not stronger. They found, "contrary to our expectations, that 
the ingestion of fluorine in amounts but little above those which have been reported 
to occur in natural foods, markedly disturbs the structure of the tooth." E. V. 
McCollum, N. J. E. Simmonds, and R. W. Bunting, "The Effect of Addition of 
Fluorine to the Diet of the Rat on the Quality of the Teeth," J. Biol. Chem., vol. 63 
(1925), p. 553. In 1938 the biochemist Wallace Armstrong of the University of 
Minnesota may well have contributed to the confusion. He reported that teeth with 
fewer cavities had more fluoride in them. W. D. Armstrong and P. J. Brekhus, 
"Chemical Composition of Enamel and Dentin. II. Fluorine Content," J. Dent. Res., 
vol. 17 (1938), p. 27. 

That data was, in turn, cited by Gerald Cox (whom we will meet in the next 
chapter) along with Dean's work and his own, permitting him to conclude that "the 
case for fluoride should be regarded as proved." That was not the conclusion of the 
editorial writers at the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), who 
noted after reading Dean's study that "the possibility is not excluded that the 
composition of the water in other respects may be the principal factor." Dean also said 
that other differences in the mineral composition of the water in the study 
cities — especially calcium and phosphorus — were a factor that should not be 
overlooked. H. T. Dean, " Endemic fluorosis and Its Relation to Dental Caries," 
Public Health Reports, vol. 53 (August 19, 1938), p. 1452. Cited in G. L. Waldbott, A 
Struggle with Titans (New York: Carlton Press, 1965), p. 13. But in 1963 one of the 
three planks in Cox's argument collapsed when Wallace Armstrong realized that he 
had gotten it wrong — increased fluoride in the teeth was a function of age and his 
earlier simple equation of fewer cavities and greater fluoride content was therefore 
invalid. "Age as a factor in fluoride content was not then (in 1938) appreciated." W. D. 
Armstrong and L. Singer, "Fluoride Contents of Enamel of Sound and Carious Teeth: 
A Reinvestigation," J. Dental Res., vol. 42 (1963), p. 133. Cited in Waldbott, A 
Struggle with Titans, p. 119. As we shall see, fluoride's ability to poison enzymes has 
long been fingered 

by scientists as a main pathway of its various toxic effects. 7. 



8. Fluoridation has been routinely used by bureaucrats to win tax dollars for 

the NIH and private research institutions. For example, while seeking funding for the 
entire NIH, Director Dr. Harold Varmus said in 1994 testimony before the Senate 
Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and 
Related Agencies, that fluoridation had been the most cost-effective health advance in the 
history of the NIH. Cited in letter from Gert Quigley of the Forsyth Institute to National 
Affairs Committee Cohorts, American Association for Dental Research, April 25, 1994. 
The Quigley memo, presumably reflecting how Varmus's comments had once again 
endorsed the worth of funding fluoride dental research, is titled "It couldn't have been 
better if we had written the script." The following month, May 1994, Mullenix was fired 
from Forsyth. 

9. P. M. Mullenix, P. K. DenBesten, A. Schunior, and W. J. Kernan, "Neuro- 

toxicity of Sodium Fluoride in Rats," Neurotoxicology and Teratology, vol. 2 
( 1995), pp. 169-177. (Teratology means "the study of malformations.") 

10. Letter from Harald Loe, NIDR, to Jack Hein, October 23, 1990. 

11. The mixed messages continued. Another official 1996 communication to Mullenix 
from NIH, rejecting a grant application, nevertheless stated, "The proposal addresses an 
extremely important question related to public health — whether the officially 
recommended safe levels of fluoride intake pose risks of adverse health effects, 
especially impairment of central nervous system function." Cheryl Kitt, PhD, 
Neurological Disorders and Stroke, to Mullenix, "Clinical Sciences Special Emphasis 
Panel," August 15, 1996. 

12. That was not the impression of Professor Albert Burgstahler. The University of Kansas 
chemist was a member of the official review committee that examined Mullenix's 
proposal for NIH funding for further studies. He is also the author of several scientific 
papers and books on the injurious health effects of small amounts of fluoride and is a past 
president of the International Society for Fluoride Research. Dr. Burgstahler blamed fear 
of a "loss of face" at the Public Health Service and among other scientists on the review 
committee for rejecting her research request. In a letter, July 11, 1996, Burgstahler wrote 
to Dr. Antonio Noronha of the NIH, "You are well aware of the enormous amount of 
controversy and sensitivity to loss of face that surrounds the issue of the Mullenix 
proposal and the very upsetting character of the work she has published on the 5oth 
anniversary of the start of fluoridation in the United States and Canada." He asked, "If 
any member of the Special Review Committee were to have given a more favorable 
rating to the proposal, and their names became known to those in funding-decision levels 
of the USPHS ... might they not risk jeopardizing further funding from the USPHS for 
having supported a proposal for research that has already revealed serious errors in 
USPHS thinking and policy regarding the health hazards of current levels of fluoride 
exposure in the general population?" 

NOTES To CHAPTER 3 / PP. 23-31 


13. M. Hertsgaard and P. Frazer, "Are We Brushing Aside Fluoride's Dangers?" 
Salon.com, February 17, 1999, http://www.salon. 
com/news/1999/o2/17news. html. 

14. Tony Volpe and Sal Mazzanobile, who had attended the fluoride toxicity meeting 
in Jack Hein's office, were installed as Overseers. Forsyth Dental Center brochure, 
undated, p. 10. 

15. Hodge's boss, Manhattan Project Captain John L. Ferry, is the memo's author. 
Colonel Warren approved the request the same day and allocated a budget of $7,500. 
Md 3, Md 700, General Essays, Lectures, Medical Report, Box 34, Manhattan Engineer 
District Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. (Hodge's two-part research 
proposal, however, listed as an enclosure " Outline — proposed research 
project — nervous effects of T and F products," is missing from the files.) 

At Rochester during the cold war, "The toxicology studies were very comprehensive. 
They were looking for toxic effects on the bone, the blood, and the nervous system. . . . 
Without the Manhattan Project and the atomic bomb, we wouldn't know anywhere near 
as much as we do about the physiological effects of fluoride." Interview with Bob 
Woffinden and Mark Watts, Channel Four (UK) Transcript, 1997. 

Chapter 3 

1 . Family data from Danish newspaper clippings in Roholm family scrapbook, read in 
translation by Roholm's daughter-in-law, Karin Roholm. Personal meeting in New York, 
May 2001. 

2. Brun was then ninety-five years old. He published a paper with Roholm on fluoride 
excretion in workers' urine. Nordisk Medicin, vol. 9 (1941), pp. 810 - 814. Also found 
at: George C. Brun, H. Buchwald, and Kaj Roholm, "Die Fluorausscheidung im Harn bei 
chronischer Fluorvergiftung von Kryoli-tharbeitern," Acta Medico Scandinavica, vol. 
CVI, fasc. Ill (1941). Citation, photocopy of paper, and several Roholm biographical 
details provided by Donald Jerne of the Danish Library of Medicine. 

3. J. H. Simons, ed., Fluorine Chemistry, vol. IV (New York and London: Academic 
Press, 1965), p. vii. 

4. Fluorine Chemistry, vol. IV, p. viii. Roholm's memberships included The Society for 
Health Care, The Younger Doctors' Committee for Continuation Courses in Socialized 
Medicine, The Danish Association for the Prevention of Venereal Disease, a 
Committee to Organize a Permanent Hygiene Exhibition, and the Pharmacopeial 
Revision Committee. Letter to author on January 3 1 , 2002, from Donald Jerne, medical 
adviser, The Danish National Library of Science and Medicine. 

5. Letter from Frank J. McClure (U.S. National Institute of Dental Research) to 6. Lisa 
Broe Christiansen (Roholm's daughter) on September 19, 1956. (Let-ter provided to 
author by daughter-in-law Karin Roholm.) 7. For history of cryolite exploitation, see K. 
E. Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication: A Clinical-Hygienic Study, with a Review of the 
Literature and Some 



Experimental Investigation (London: H. K. Lewis and Co. Ltd., 1937) and R. K. Leavitt, 
"Prologue to Tomorrow: A History of the First Hundred Years in the Life of the 
Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company" (The Pennsylvania Salt Company, 1950). 
The Danish state owned the Greenland cryolite. There were only two buyers, the 
Oresund Chemical Works of Copenhagen and the Pennsylvania Salt Company of 
Philadelphia, who held a valuable monopoly for Danish cryolite in the United States and 

7. P. F. Moller and Sk. V. Gudjonsson, "Massive Fluorosis of Bones and Liga- 

ments," Acta radio, vol. 13 (1932), p. 269. 

8. Kaj Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication, pp. 192 and 205. 

9. Ibid., pp. 150, 202, 143, and fig 26. 

to. Ibid., pp. 142-143, and 178. The U.S. nuclear worker Joe Harding, who suffered from 
fluoride poisoning, might have recognized this kind of skeletal poisoning; bony 
outgrowths covered Harding's palms and feet. No American doctor diagnosed these bony 
outgrowths as a symptom of fluorine intoxication, despite Harding's work in the fluoride 
gaseous diffusion plant. See chapter 18. See also Joe Harding interview: 

In 1970, I also began noticing and developing something else that was very 
unusual and new. I had always had perfectly normal and good fingernails and 
toenails and never any trouble with them. But, along during the summer and fall 
of 1970, I got some sore places on the balls of my thumb tips and fingertips, 
where your fingerprints are, that felt like I had maybe stuck a thorn or a splinter 
real down deep into them. When I would rub my other finger over it, I could feel 
it way down in there, but yet I couldn't see anything. These kept getting a little 
more sore, and finally, when the soreness got up near enough to the surface, I 
kind of dug in. I found something kind of like a piece of fingernail sticking 
through there. This was very, very painful. I would trim it off back just about as 
deep as I could reach. It would come back again. It really didn't dawn on me for 
sure just what this might be at first. But, it didn't take too long till I began to 
realize that from over on the other side, near the base of my regular fingernails, I 
was growing fingernails straight through my fingers and coming out on the 
wrong side. This was pretty painful. I had these on my thumbs and three or four 
of my fingers. This was the beginning of another very unusual thing for me, 
which I will talk more about later. ... In 1971, then, I was still working in the 35 
control room, and knee and lungs and hemoglobin in my blood all about the 
same, skin slowly worse, this fingernail business a little worse, and by this spring, 
I first noticed that I had something sore under the arch of my right foot. And then 
I had something getting sore up on the top of the arch bone of my right foot. As 
time got on, I discovered, I suppose you would call these toenails growing out 
from under the arch of my right foot, and out under the peak of the arch bone of 

NOTES TO C H A P T E R 3 / PP. 32—33 


right foot. It was pretty hard for me to keep my shoe tied very tight on that 
one, and I had to keep digging these things out. (Interview with Dolph 
Honicker, tape 13.) 

11. Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication, pp. 138-139. The Dane especially noted an ill 
ness called neurasthenia, a condition defined as "an emotional and psychic 
disorder that is characterized by impaired functioning in interpersonal rela 
tionships and often by fatigue, depression, feelings of inadequacy, headaches, 
hypersensitivity to sensory stimulation (as by light or noise), and psycho 
somatic symptoms (as disturbances of digestion and circulation)" (ref on pp. 
178 and 193). Definition in Webster's New World Collegiate Dictionary (New 
York: Pocket Star Books, 1990). 

12. While this field had been "little explored," Roholm added, "it is extremely 
probable that fluorine acts on the metabolism in various ways and that the symptoms 
of chronic intoxication have a complicated genesis." Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication, 
p. 286. 

13. J. Crichton-Browne, "An Address on Tooth Culture," Lancet, vol. 2 (1892), p. 6. 
Crichton-Browne wrote, "I think it well worthy of consideration whether the 
reintroduction into our diet, and especially into the diet of childbearing women and 
of children, of a supplement of fluorine in some natural form ... might not do 
something to fortify the teeth of the next generation." 

14. E. V. McCollum, N. J. E. Simmonds, and R. W. Bunting, "The Effect of 
Addition of Fluorine to the Diet of the Rat on the Quality of the Teeth," J. Biol. 
Chem.,vol. 63 (1925), p. 553. 

15. For more fluoride in bad teeth, see K. E. Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication, p. 150. 
In mother's milk, ibid., p. 199. 

Earlier speculation from J. Crichton-Browne "An Address on Tooth Culture," was 
tested experimentally and rejected by McCollum, Simmonds, and Bunting in "The Effect 
of Addition of Fluorine," J. Biol. Chem. Roholm cited both references in his 
bibliography. The folk notion persisted, however, that fluorine might help teeth. See the 
suggestions that apparently followed the Alcoa chemist H. V. Churchill's announcement 
that fluorine caused dental mottling. "At the very meeting where Churchill announced 
his discovery of large amounts of fluorine in a water supply which caused ugly mottling 
of teeth a chemist from Hollywood, California, said he felt there must be a threshold 
point up to which fluorine was desirable. ... In June 1931, a fellow townsman of 
Churchill's, a dentist, suggested that fluorine might prevent dental cavities." Donald 
McNeil, The Fight for Fluoridation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1957), p. 37. 
16 Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication, p. 315. 

17. Ibid., p. 321. Further, "Every form of fluorine ingestion is counter-indicated in 
children when the permanent teeth are calcifying," Roholm wrote on p. 31 1. 

18. Ibid., vi. Also, e-mail, March 8, 2001, to author from Donald Jerne, medical 
advisor, Danish National Library of Science and Medicine. 



19. Volcanic activity in the United States also brings fluoride to the surface. The 

Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park shoots forth steam and water poisoned 
with extraordinarily high levels of fluoride (20 ppm.) See: J. Cholak, "Current 
Information on the Quantities of Fluoride Found in Air, Food, and Water" (Kettering 
Symposium, 1957), RAK Collection. 

20. In North Africa, scientists blamed fluoride in the soil for crippling local 

people, Roholm learned. Speder: L'Osteopetrose generalize out "Marm-morskelett" 
n'est pas une maladie rare. Sa frequence dans l'intoxication fluoree." J. Radiol. Electrol., 
vol. 20 (1936), p. 1, and J. Belgo Radiol., vol. 140 (1936). In parts of the world today 
such skeletal fluorosis is endemic. In India, for example, thousands of fresh-water wells 
drilled by the United Nations during the International Water Decade of the 1980s — to 
improve local access to clean water and better sanitation — have instead produced a 
public-health crisis, with many thousands now suffering from skeletal fluorosis. " The 
problem is enormous, unbelievable," noted Andezhath Susheela, of the Fluorosis 
Research and Rural Development Foundation in Delhi. Quoted in Fred Pearce, "Wells 
That Bring Nothing But Ills," Guardian (UK), August 2, 1998. See also, Omer Farooq, 
BBC correspondent in Hyderabad, "Indian Villagers Crippled by Fluoride," BBCi, UK 
Edition, News Front Page News, April 7, 2003. 

21. Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication, p. 297. 

22. H. Ost, "The Fight Against Injurious Industrial Gases," Ztschr. Agnew. Chem. 

,vol. 20(19o7),pp. 1689-1693. 

23. K. Roholm, "The Fog Disaster in the Meuse Valley, 1930: A Fluorine Intoxi- 

cation," J. Hygiene and Toxicology (March 1937), p. 131. 

24. "In the industrial smoke problem investigators have been interested mostly 

in the very frequent occurrence of sulfurous waste products ... but little in fluorine," 
Roholm remarked. But fluorine compounds were much more toxic that the sulfur 
compounds, he explained, while "man is more sensitive to fluorine than other 
mammals." K. Roholm, "The Fog Disaster in the Meuse Valley, 1930: A Fluorine 
Intoxication," p. 126. Also, G. L. Waldbott, "Fluoride Versus Sulfur Oxides in Air 
Pollution," Fluoride, vol. 7, no. 4 (October 1974), pp. 174-176. 

25. "The immense masses of soot and dust emanating from the works have 

served to promote condensation. Fluorine compounds must have been present in 
dissolved form in microscopic particles of water and consequently in a very active and 
easily absorbable form." He added, "It is quite probable that the affection from which 
these people suffered was an acute intoxication by gaseous fluorine compounds 
emanating from certain factories in the region." K. Roholm, "The Fog Disaster in the 
Meuse Valley," p. 126. 

26. Ibid., p. 133. 

27. H. Christiani and R. Gautier, Am. Med. Legale, vol. 94 (1926), p. 821. Cited in F. 
DeEds, "Chronic Fluorine Intoxication: A Review," Medicine, vol. XII, no. 1 (1933). 
Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication, pp. 38-39. P. Bardelli and C. Menzani, "Richerche sulla 
fluorosis spontanea dei ruminanti," Ann. DTgiene, vol. 45 



(1935) , p. 399. For worker conditions, see A. W. Frostad, "Fluorforgiftning hos 
norske aluminiumfabrikkarbejdere," Tiskr. F. Den norske I acgefor, vol. 56 

(1936) , p. 179. Both cited in Roholm. 

28. Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication, p. 37. 

29. Roholm, "The Fog Disaster in the Meuse Valley," p. 136. 

30. Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication, p. 310. "Physicians should be obliged to notify 

all diseases acquired while working with fluorine compounds. This is only 
practiced in USSR and Sweden, where all occupation diseases are notifiable." 
Roholm notes the Soviet practice approvingly: "In the labour legislation of the 
USSR great consideration is given to personnel working with fluorine compounds 
(shorter days, extra holidays, lower pension age, increased pension in the event of 
invalidity)." See, however, the probable unhappy fate of gaseous diffusion workers 
in Russia's nuclear program, in David Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb (New Haven, 
CT: Yale University Press, 1994), pp. 189-195. 

31. Roholm, Fluoride Intoxication, p. 321. Drug reference at p. 311. 

32. The Buhl foundation gives grants for education, economics, recreation, and 
social research. It was established in 1927 by Henry Buhl Jr., owner of Pittsburgh's 
Boggs and Buhl department store. Weidlein wrote to Charles Lewis, director of the Buhl 
Foundation, on March 25, 1935: "This investigation was in its origin a part of the Sugar 
Institute's Industrial Fellowship work but this phase of that problem is no longer related 
to sugar." Folder 8, Dental Study 1935, Box 32, Buhl Foundation Records, Library and 
Archives Division, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. 33. The estimate of 
Gauley Bridge deaths is conservative, according to Martin Cherniak's epidemiological 
study in his The Hawks Nest Incident (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986). 
For both the scale of the legal threat facing corporations and the key role of the Mellon 
Institute, see especially D. Ros-ner and G. Markowitz, Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the 
Politics of Occupational Disease in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton, NJ: 
Princeton University Press, 1991). For the essential obfuscatory and public relations role 
of the Mellon Institute in the silicosis debate, see also Rachel Scott, Muscle and Blood 
(New York: E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., 1974). 

34. John F. McMahon to Ray Weidlein, January 16, 1939, Carnegie Mellon 

Archives, cited in Deadly Dust, p. 107. 

35. See chapter 4 of Deadly Dust for fuller description of Ray Weidlein's key 

leadership role in forming the Air Hygiene Foundation and shaping its agenda. The 
Foundation — renamed the Industrial Hygiene Foundation in 1941 — would 
continue to exert a powerful corporate influence in the national debate over air 
pollution and occupational hazards, including a key early role in the Donora 

36. E. R. Weidlein, "Plan for Study of Dust Problems," cited in Deadly Dust, p. 


37. Paul Gross, Lewis J. Cralley, and Robert T. P. DeTreville, "Asbestos Bodies: 

Their Nonspecificity," Am. Industrial Hygiene Assoc. J. (November-December 
1967), pp. 541-542. 


3 / P. 38 

38. An excellent discussion of the role of Paul Gross and the Mellon Institute in 

the asbestos story — including the dissent of his fellow scientists — can be found in 
Rachel Scott, Muscle and Blood, pp. 185-189. 

39. For scale of asbestos damage awards, see New York Times, December 31, 

2002, section C, p. i. Further, recent big asbestos court trials, which have awarded huge 
sums to plaintiffs, have cited Industrial Hygiene Foundation documents. 

40. Alcoa's Francis Frary sat on the membership committee, and the prominent 

fluoride attorney Theodore C. Waters was a member of the Air Hygiene Foundation's 
legal committee. An August 30, 1956, letter to Waters from Alcoa's attorney Frank 
Seamans illustrates their mutual interest in fluoride: " You will recall the occasion of our 
meeting together in Washington with a group of lawyers who have clients interested in 
the fluorine problem, at which time we were discussing the U.S. Public Health Service." 
Waters was also sent information on the 1953 Kettering Fluoride Symposium. See note 
attached to symposium program, in Kettering files, RAK Collection. 

41. Dr. Paul Bovard, "Radiologic Considerations," Symposium on Fluorides, May 

13, 1953, paper, p. 2, in Kettering Institute, RAK Collection. 

42. G. D. Smith, From Monopoly to Competition: The Transformation of Alcoa ( 

New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 165 and 175. 

43. Russell D. Parker, "Alcoa, Tennessee; the Early Years, 1919-1939," The East 
Tennessee Historical Society, vol. 48 (1946), p. 88. Also, "It was in the hot pot- 
rooms of the South Plant — in the smelting or reduction process — that blacks 
were to be employed on a permanent basis." Smith, From Monopoly to Com 
petition, p. 176. Conditions at Massena were so horrendous for workers, and 
management was so indifferent to their fate, that one young MIT graduate, 
Arthur Johnson, quit in disgust, he told Smith. Also, in May and June 1948, 
scientists from the Kettering Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati dis 
covered serious injury and disability among workers in another Alcoa plant, at 
Niagara Falls, New York. The factory had been producing aluminum since 
1912. The investigators confirmed just how dangerous the Alcoa plant had 
long been. "There can be no doubt that hazardous exposure to fluorides is ( 
and for years has been) present," stated a scientist for Kettering, Dr. Wil 
liam Ashe. He studied 128 men in the "pot" room where the aluminum was 
smelted: "The most outstanding characteristic of this group," Ashe reported, " 
is the occurrence of 91 cases of fluorosis of the bone." At least thirty-three of 
these X-rayed workers "showed evidences of disability ranging in estimated 
degree up to loo percent," Ashe concluded. His findings paralleled Kaj Roholm' 
s study of cryolite workers in Denmark. Serious tooth decay, gum disease, 
and heart problems were common in the Alcoa workers; the scientists 
added that "an abnormal amount of lung fibrosis among the employees of the 
pot room was found." Also, "one sees hypertrophic changes in bone along 
the shafts of the long bones, along the crests of the ilia, the ribs, and the rami 
of the ischium, in the form of stalagmite-like excrescences which appear 
similar to changes seen in experimental animals with bone fluorosis. The 



interosseous membranes are often ossified. These changes, in no way related to 
arthritic processes, are believed to be due solely to fluorosis and to indicate 
that changes about joints may be expected in this disease. Therefore, when 
one finds, in cases of severe fluorosis of the bone, limitation of motion of the 
elbow and the X-ray reveals exostoses of unusual density about the elbow, 
one is probably entirely justified in concluding that the deformity and 
dysfunction are due to fluorosis, and that disability exists in association with 
and because of this disease, whether or not the man is aware of it, and 
whether or not he continues to do his job at the plant." Aluminum Company 
of America, Niagara Falls Works Health Survey, p. 13, File 4, Box 82, RAK 
Collection. The Kettering team included the scientist William F. Ashe, who five 
months later would lead the confidential Kettering investigation of the 
Donora air pollution disaster. Ashe would receive secret autopsy blood tests 
from Donora victims, performed by Alcoa, showing high levels of fluoride. 

The membership of committees of the National Research Council is a guide to 
some of these relationships: Both Frary and Kettering were members of a 44. 
Joint Committee, for example, representing the NRCs Science Advisory 
Board, advising on railway policy. Other members were Frank Jewett, vice 
president, AT&T; E. K. Bolton, chemical director, DuPont; John Johnston, 
director of research, U.S. Steel; and Isaiah Bowman, chairman of the NRC 
and director of the American Geographical Society. Charles Kettering papers, 
Office Files, Box 96, 87-n.2-296b, and 296f, Scharchburg Archives. 
Frary was also a poison gas expert, making phosgene poison for the Oldbury 
Chemical Company in Niagara Falls, before working for the U.S. Army during 

45. World War I and then joining Alcoa. See G. D. Smith, op. cit. Also, Margaret 
B. W. Graham and Bettye H. Pruitt, R&D for Industry: A Century of Techni 
cal Innovation at Alcoa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990). 

F. DeEds, "Chronic Fluorine Intoxication — A Review," Medicine, vol. XII, no. 1 
(1933). On industry, F. DeEds: "The possibility of a fluorine hazard should, 

46. therefore, be recognized in industry where this element is dealt with or where it 
is discharged into the air as an apparently worthless by-product. For instance it 
has been shown by Cristiani and Gautier that the gases evolved at alumi 
num plants, using cryolite as a raw material, contain sufficient quantities of 
fluorine to cause an increased fluorine content of the neighboring vegetation, 
and that cattle feeding on such vegetation develop a cachetic condition," p. 2. 
His reference is to H. Cristiani and R. Gautier, Am. Med. Legale, vol. 6 (1926), p. 
336. Further, DeEds calculated that each year 25,000 tons of pure fluorine was 
"pouring into the atmosphere" from the U.S. superphosphate fertilizer 
industry alone. He was concerned about where all the fluorine added to soil 
as phosphate fertilizer ended up. "Assuming an average fluorine content of 4 
percent for phosphate rock, and that 75 percent of the fluorine remains in the 
superphosphate used as fertilizer, it is seen that 90,000 tons of fluorine are 
being added annually to the top soil. This sizeable quantity gives pause for 
thought of the potential toxicities concerned therewith." DeEds did not 


NOTES T o CHAPTER 3 / P. 39 

include the 1933 report of thickened bones in Danish cryolite workers, by P. F. Moller 
and Sk. V.Gudjonsson, which prompted Roholm's massive study and determination of 
fluorine intoxication. P. F. Moller and Sk. V. Gudjonsson, " A Study of 78 Workers 
Exposed to Inhalation of Cryolite Dust," J. Ind. Hyg., vol. 15 (1933), p. 27. 

47. One of those studies had been done by Alcoa's H. V. Churchill, who found 

dental mottling and high levels of fluoride in the well water of Bauxite, Arkansas. 
Churchill's study was reported in 1931, the same year H. Velu in North Africa and the 
Smiths in Arizona made the same discovery. (Very curious are the apparently 
unsuccessful efforts by "Pittsburgh interests" to fund the Smith study in Arizona. That 
fragmented history is related in McNeil, The Fight for Fluoridation, p. 3 1 .) H. Velu, "Le 
Darmous (oudermes)," Arch Inst. Pasteur d' Algerie, vol. 10, no. 4 1 (1932). 

48. "As requested in your letter of June 8th, we have questioned three of our 

local dentists as to the prevalence of cases of mottled enamel in Massena. All of the 
dentists stated that they have treated such cases here." Exchange of letters between V. C. 
Doerschuk, Massena Works, and H. V. Churchill, Aluminum Research Laboratories, 
June 1931, in Alcoa letters, McNeil Collection, Wisconsin Historical Society. 

49. See exchange of letters between H. V. Churchill and C. F. Drake of the City of 
Pittsburgh Bureau of Water, June 1931. Drake had noted the "Pittsburgh spasmodic 
fluorine content which appears to have no explanation." He informed Churchill that "an 
industrial plant not far from New Kensington had been discharging fluorine in the 
Allegheny River. The officials of that plant discontinued such discharge when 
requested." Several glass and steel plants were in the vicinity of New Kensington. H. V. 
Churchill responded, tellingly, "the presence of fluorine in water is apparently not 
necessarily proof of industrial contamination since it occurs in small amounts in so many 
water supplies." (In Alcoa letters, McNeil collection, Wisconsin Historical Society.) In 
1950, Alcoa was fined for dumping fluoride waste at Vancouver, Washington, into the 
Columbia River, Seattle Times, December 16, 1952. ( Cited in Waldbott et al., 
Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma (Lawrence, KS: Coronado Press, 1978), p. 296.) 

50. The following decade, an English scientist, Margaret Murray, would call similar dental 
mottling found near an aluminum smelter in the United Kingdom "neighborhood 
fluorosis." M. Murray and D. Wilson, "Fluorine Hazards," Lancet, December 7, 1946, p. 
822. Referring to studies near an aluminum factory in Scotland, they wrote, "In the same 
part of Inverness-shire we found that the local water supply had a very low fluorine 
content (0. 2 ppm), but we observed "moderate" dental fluorosis in the milk teeth of 
young children whose homes lay within the district contaminated by vapours from the 
factory chimneys. Such a condition in the temporary dentition is usually associated with a 
high maternal intake of fluorine. Children using the same water, whose homes lay outside 
the affected area, did not show the mottled enamel." 



Mottled teeth in children in the factory town of Donora, Pennsylvania, in 1948 
was also blamed by Philip Sadtler on fluoride smoke and fumes ( author interview), 
an association that was confirmed around the country by the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) in 1970. The USDA report states: "Where ever domestic 
animals exhibited fluorosis, several cases of human fluorosis were reported, the 
symptoms of which were one or more of the following: dental mottling, respiratory 
distress, stiffness in the knees or elbows or both, a skin lesion, or high levels of F in 
teeth or urine [six references cited]. Man is much more sensitive that domestic 
animals to F intoxication." R. J. Lillie, "Air Pollutants Affecting the Performance of 
Domestic Animals. A Literature Review," Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Dept. 
Agric. Handbook, no. 38o (Washington, DC, August 1970). 
Mottling was also seen in children living near DuPont's wartime fluoride operation 
at Penns Grove, New Jersey. A scientitst active on the Manhattan Project, Harold Hodge, 
was quick to blame fluoride in water supplies. Roholm reported dental mottling in the 
children of fluoride workers. Their mothers had transported it from the workplace in 
breast milk. See Fluorine Intoxication, p. 199. The Cornell veterinarian Lennart 
Krook also sent me photographs of mottled teeth from children on the Akwesasne 
Mohawk reservation, near the Reynolds aluminum smelter in upstate New York. The 
notoriously close-knit international aluminum industry could follow accounts of 
litigation following World War I, which alleged fluoride dam-age 51. outside an 
aluminum smelter in Switzerland. They could read the slew of new medical information 
about chronic health effects, summarized by DeEds. Or they could look inside their own 
factories. A 1932 study published in English had found "fluorosis" in cryolite workers in 
Denmark. (P. F. Moller and Sk. V. Gudjonsson, "Massive Fluorosis of Bones and 
Ligaments," Acta radiol, vol. 13 [1932], p. 269.) Sickness was reported in a Norwegian 
aluminum smelter in 1936: A. W. Frostad, "Fluorforgiftning hos norske 
aluminiumfab-rikkarbejdere," Tiskr. F. Den norske Legefor, vol. 56 (1936), p. 179. 
The following year an investigation at DuPont found "high" fluoride levels in workers' 
urine. (Letter from Willard Machle, MD, of the University of Cincinnati to Dr. E. E. 
Evans, Dye Works Hospital, Penns Grove, New Jersey, December 28, 1937, DuPont file, 
Kettering Papers, RAK Collection.) And a confidential 1948 study of Alcoa's plant at 
Niagara Falls, New York, confirmed that horribly crippled workers were the result of a 
fluoride dust hazard that had existed for years. Alcoa may also have faced liability in its 
flurospar mines. The Franklin Fluorspar Company was an Alcoa subsidiary (see 
Mellon's Millions, The Biography of a Fortune: The Life and Times of Andrew 
W. Mellon, by Harvey O'Conner [New York: Blue Ribbon Books, Inc., 1933], P . 390). 
Fluorspar miners in Hardin County, Illinois, wrote to Alice Hamilton about their plight. 
See Deadly Dust, 8o, fn lo: D. Rosner and G. Markowitz. The entire issue of how 
much fluoride contributed to industrial silicosis, or how much fluorosis was 
misdiagnosed as silicosis, is beyond the scope of 


3 / P. 40 

this book. Fluoride was widely used in the foundry place and is found in much mineral 

52. By the end of 1935 Gerald Cox's tooth study at the Mellon Institute was not 

going well. Despite the spring press release trumpeting the imminent discovery of a 
"factor" preventing decay, Cox's data still "did not reveal any positive effects," he stated 
in a confidential memo to the Institute's director, Ray Weidlein. On March 24, 1936, 
almost a year after his Buhl Foundation study had begun, Cox reported to Weidlein that 
feeding a milk extract, known as XXX liquor, to rats had failed to find the positive 
results claimed in the previous year's press release. "The data at that time did not reveal 
any positive effects," Cox told Weidlein, and required therefore "intensive work to 
re-score all of our sets of teeth. With the new and discriminating system, we have been 
able to show some positive effects." In April 1936, following Francis Frary's September 
1935 suggestion that fluoride had a role in dental health, Cox announced to his Buhl 
Foundation sponsors that he was proposing to "investigate the effects of dietary fluorine 
on caries susceptibility." See Mellon Institute Special Report, April 6, 1936, "A study of 
Tooth Decay," marked Confidential. Cox later claimed, somewhat confus-ingly, that the 
XXX liquor had contained enough fluorine "to explain the beneficial effects of the early 
experiments in which it was fed to the mothers." Buhl Foundation Records, Box 33, 
Folder 7, Dental Study 1936, Library and Archives Division, Historical Society of 
Western Pennsylvania. 

53. The letter linking Alcoa's Francis Frary to Gerald Cox's historic suggestion 
that fluoride was responsible for good teeth was found in McNeil's personal 
papers. Cox to author Donald McNeil, August 19, 1956. "The first time I ever 
gave fluorine a thought was in answer to a question of Dr. Francis C. Frary, 
who was at that time and until about three or four years ago, Director of 
Research at Alcoa. He asked if our finding, — I was the speaker in the Sep 
tember 1935 meeting of the Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical 
Society — of less caries in rats from mothers on XXX liquor could be due to 
fluorine." File ADA 53-56, McNeil Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society. 

Whether this is indeed the first time Cox wondered about the usefulness of fluoride 
in preventing tooth decay is not clear. It is clear, however, that the aluminum industry 
had been mulling the idea for a while. In the 193 1 letter to C. F. Drake, cited above, H. V. 
Churchill of Alcoa stated that fluorine in low doses "may be positively beneficial." 
54- E. R. Weidlein, Ind. Eng. Chem., News Ed., vol. 15 (1937), p.147. See also G. J. Cox, 
"Experimental Dental Caries. I. Nutrition in Relation to the Development of Dental 
Caries," Dental Rays, vol. 13 (1937), pp. 8-10, and "Discussion," JAMA, vol. 113 
(1938), p. 1753. 

55. Cox et al., "Resume of the Fluorine-Caries Relationship," Fluorine and Dental Health, 
Publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, no. 19 
(1942): "The first experimental results, using sodium fluoride were obtained in August 



56. P. C. Lowery to C. F. Kettering, April 25, 1936, filed by letter and year, 

Office Files, Personal Correspondence, Scharchburg Archive. 

57. DuPont had become so wealthy selling munitions during World War I that the 
company had bought a controlling interest in General Motors. The giant 
enterprise was only pried apart in the 1950s, following federal antitrust action. 

58. D. Rosner and G. E. Markowitz, Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of 

Industrial Pollution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002). 

59. "Organized Opposition ... Particularly by the American Standards Asso 
ciation and the New York City Fire Department," Report on Operations of 
Kinetic Chemicals, Inc., from 1930 through 1943, p. 15. Including "History of 
Development of Fluorine Chemicals from 1928 through 1930," for pre 
sentation to the General Motors Policy Committee, by Donaldson Brown. 
Prepared by E. F. Johnson and E. R. Godfrey, October 1944. Files of Charles 
Kettering, Scharchburg Archive. 

Also, "Freon ... coming in contact with open flames will decompose and you 
get a certain amount of fluorine and a certain amount of chlorine, and you also, 
just by happen-stance, get a slight amount of phosgene." Direct examination of 
DuPont director Willis Harrington, chairman of Kinetic Chemicals. United States 
vs. DuPont, Civil Action No. 49 C-1071, p. 3922 (U.S. District Court for the 
Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, 1953). 
There were other concerns, as well. The manufacture of Freon required huge 
quantities of the extraordinarily corrosive and toxic hydrofluoric acid, and "high" levels 
of fluoride were soon reported in DuPont workers' urine. Willard Machle, MD, of the 
University of Cincinnati to Dr. E. E. Evans, Dye Works Hospital, Penns Grove, New 
Jersey, December 28, 1937, DuPont file, Kettering Papers, RAK Collection. 6o. Kehoe 
et al., "A Study of the Health Hazards Associated with the Distribution and Use of Ethyl 
Gasoline" (April 1928), from the Eichberg Laboratory of Physiology, University of 
Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, National Archives RG 70, 101869, File 725; cited in Rosner 
and Markowitz, Deceit and Denial, p. 313. Kehoe's essential hypothesis, that low levels 
of lead in blood were safe and normal, was undercut in the late 196os by the scientist 
Clair Patterson of the California Institute of Technology, who examined polar ice and 
concluded that industrialization had greatly increased lead in the human environment. 
Kehoe's defense of lead safety was dealt a coup de grace in the 19705 by Harvard's 
Herbert Needleman, whose studies with children showed lead to be far more toxic than 
Kehoe had claimed. 

For Kehoe's contribution to industry profitability, see L. P. Snyder, ""The Death 
Dealing Smog Over Donora, Pennsylvania': Industrial Air Pollution, Public Health, 
and Federal Policy, 1915-1963 1994 PhD thesis available from University 
Microfilms. See especially chapter 5. Also, J. L. Kitman, "The Secret History of 
Lead," The Nation, March 20, 2000. See also chapter 8 of this book for further 
discussion of lead. 



61. W. F. Ashe, "Robert Arthur Kehoe, M.D.," Archives of Environmental Health, 

vol. 13 (August 1966), p. 139. Cited in Snyder. 

62. Ethyl had been established by Standard Oil and General Motors to market 


63. "Studies of the Combination Products of Di-Fluoro-Dichloro Methane" and " 
Notes on the Toxicity of Decomposition Products from Dichlorodi- 
fluoromethane" in Kettering Unpublished Reports, vol. I.d., RAK Collection. 
Kehoe dismisses the risk from phosgene, arguing that the presence of 
irritating HF acid would force prompt evacuation from the danger zone. He 
does not address the risk to firefighters or to subjects unable to flee the gases. 
'The only experimental situation which has been found to be responsible for 
the production of significant proportions of phosgene in the decomposition 
products of CC1 F was the result of rapid discharge of the refrigerant in high 
concentration, through the flame of an oil fire in an enclosed chamber — 
that is, the conditions were those of a conflagration. Situations which 
correspond to those which might develop from a leak in a home or build 
ing, are uniformly found to produce such relatively low concentrations of 
phosgene, that no amount of dilution of the decomposition products could 
eliminate the irritating and warning properties of the acids without elimi 
nating the toxic effects of phosgene." 

At a private three-day "Symposium on Fluorides" given for industry at the Kettering 
Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati in May 1953 Kehoe discussed details of secret 
human experiments he had performed to test Freon's toxicity for the U.S. government 
during World War II. He had used himself as one of the gas-chamber test subjects. (See: 
General Work on Project P.D .R. C. 377 (S E C R E T) for the Office of Scientific 
Research and Develop ment, U.S. Government Washington, DC, 7_15_43 unpublished 
Volumes 1-d, RAK Collection.) Freon produced "unconsciousness after some minutes of 
exposure to concentrations of the order of magnitude of a percent or more," Kehoe 
recounted. He added, "As the subject of the experiments carried out at the higher 
concentrations, I was alarmed, fleetingly, at the point of rapid ebb of consciousness, 
being convinced that the observers outside the chamber were not aware of what was 
happening to me. Another subject, exposed to much lower concentrations, had 
considerably less assurance than I and became apprehensive and aggrieved ... he 
became quite sure that we were exposing him to a risk which he felt we were concealing 
from him. 

"I describe these as yet unpublished experiments," he told the gathered industry 
doctors, "since it is something you, as physicians, should know. It is believed, generally, 
that exposure to Freon 12 is of negligible importance, and that the material is quite 
harmless. The significance of the matter relates primarily to the repairman, who can get 
into situations involving the escape of the material from equipment into small enclosures. 
Such a workman may become unconscious and receive serious physical injury, or even 
be killed. It is not true that this is a harmless material. " Kehoe left unexplained why the 
repairman himself should not have the information 



on Freon toxicity. Several of the papers given at the symposium were later 
published. Kehoe's was not. 

64. Kehoe died in November 1992, at the age of ninety-nine. An obituary in the 

Cincinnati Enquirer, November 29, 1992, noted that he had retired from the 
Laboratory in 1965. 

65. W. Langewiesche, 'American Ground," The Atlantic Monthly (July-August 

2002), pp. 44_79. Also published in full as American Ground: Unbuilding the 
World Trade Center (New York: North Point Press, 2002). 

66. Numerous and multiple phosgene injuries were reported as a result of chlo- 

rofluorocarbon decomposition by the Manhattan Project. Chlorofluorocar-bons 
were used in massive quantities in the K-25 plant at Oak Ridge. 

Freon caused deaths and injuries in the home, too: "Dahlman encountered two 
[poisoning cases] resulting from heating fluorocarbons above the decomposition 
temperatures. In the first case, a mechanic operated with an acetylene torch on a 
refrigerator leaking Freon 12. He developed dyspnea, vomiting, and malaise and 
required hospital treatment for five days. In the second, an agricultural worker 
sprayed his bedroom with aerosol Freon fly spray. He then switched on the electric 
heater and went to bed. During the night he developed vomiting, diarrhea, and 
malaise and died on the following day." T. Dahlmann; Nord. Hyg. Tidskr., vol. 39 
(1958), p. 165. Cited in R. Y. Eagers, Toxic Properties of Inorganic Fluorine 
Compounds (Amsterdam and New York: Elsevier, 1969). (DuPont's New Jersey 
Chamber Works plant also was blamed for poisoning local farmers and workers 
with fluoride pollution in the 194os.) The ozone-depleting gas was scheduled to be 
phased out by the 1987 Montreal Protocol. 

67. One Kettering study monitored fluoride levels in DuPont workers' urine and 

confirmed that "these results have been high." Letter from Willard Machle, MD, 
of the University of Cincinnati to Dr. E. E. Evans, Dye Works Hospital, Perms 
Grove, NJ, December 28, 1937, Report on Operations of Kinetic Chemicals, Inc., 
from 1930 through 1943, p. 17, RAK Collection. Including " History of 
Development of Fluorine Chemicals from 1928 Through 1930," for presentation 
to General Motors Policy Committee, by Donaldson Brown. Scharchburg 

Freon sales again skyrocketed higher during World War II, with Freon used as a 
coolant in the K-25 gaseous diffusion plant and as a propellant in DDT antimalaria 
bug bombs. 

68. W. Machle et al., 'The Effects of the Inhalation of Hydrogen Fluoride. I. The 

Response to High Concentrations. 2. The Response to Low Concentrations," J. 
Industrial Hygiene, vol. 16, no. 2 (1934), p. 129; and vol. 17, no. 5 (1935), p. 221. 

69. The Advisory Committee on Research in Dental Caries (Daniel F. Lynch, 

chairman; Charles F. Kettering, counselor; and William J. Gies, secretary), Dental 
Caries: Findings and Conclusions on its Causes and Controls. Stated in 195 
Summaries by Observers and Investigators in Twenty-five Countries, The Research 
Commission of The American Dental Association (New York, 1939). 



70. P. C. Lowery to C. Kettering, Kettering Office Files 1937, "L", 87-11, 1-412, 
Scharchburg Archive. 

71. 'Armed with a letter from Dr. Weidlein of Mellon Institute to Mr. A. W. Mellon, 
he ]Friesell] went to Washington to enlist the support of the Public Health Service. Mr. 
Mellon referred him to Surgeon General Cummings." Letter from H. V. Churchill of 
Alcoa to Dr. Frederick McKay of the Rockefeller Foundation, May 20, 1931, discussing 
the role of H. E. Friesell, dean of the University of Pittsburgh's Dental School. Alcoa 
Documents, Wisconsin Historical Society. Friesell sought to have naturally occurring 
dental fluorosis studied in Arizona, by University of Arizona scientists H. V. and 
Margaret Smith (far from the industrial centers of the East). 

See also the letter of August 6, 1930, from C. T. Messner of the Public Health 
Service to Friesell: "You are probably aware of the fact that the U.S. Public Health 
Service is a Bureau in the Treasury Department therefore, it might be advisable, 
especially as our Secretary is from your city, to also urge his endorsement of this 
program. The slightest interest on his part would influence the Service to a great degree 
in taking up this problem. I am sure you will hold this statement in strict confidence . . . 
after your letter is received here I will keep you advised as to how things are going 
along." File 9, Box 2, McNeil Collection, Wisconsin State Historical Society. 

The following year, in the spring of 1931, the same Captain C. T. Messner at the 
Public Health Service told H. Trendley Dean he would be studying mottled enamel. 
Dean stated that he was "assigned" to conduct the epide-miological studies that resulted 
in the key "fluorine caries hypothesis," — the scientific basis for U.S. water fluoridation. 
See Don McNeil interview with Dean, May 3, 1955, in File 13, Box 2, McNeil 
Collection, Wisconsin State Historical Society. 

72. How long Alcoa had known that fluoride produced dental mottling is not clear. (Alcoa 
was also concerned that the bad teeth in its company town of Bauxite would be linked to 
aluminum salts and further tarnish the public image of aluminum kitchenware. See 
McNeil, The Fight for Fluoridation, p. 27.) Perhaps it was coincidence that the Alcoa 
chemist H. V. Churchill's 1931 correlation of bad teeth with fluoride-contaminated well 
water in the company town of Bauxite appeared in the scientific press just weeks before 
separate studies confirming fluoride's link to mottled teeth were also published (by 
Smith and by Velu). What is certain, however, is that as soon as fluoride's links to 
mottled teeth were public knowledge, Alcoa privately confirmed that dental fluorosis 
was also found near its aluminum smelter in Massena, New York. See earlier note. 

73. H. T. Dean, "Chronic Endemic Dental Fluorosis (Mottled Enamel)," JAMA, 

vol. 107 (1936), pp. 1269-1272. 

74. "Ordered" and "hunch" quoted from Don McNeil interview with Dean, May 3, 

1955. Dean told McNeil that in 1931, before he began his work, he "had a hunch" there 
would be fewer cavities in mottled teeth. McNeil Collection, Box 2, File 13. It is not 
known how Dean arrived at this hunch. Nor 



is it known whether Dean had been ordered to "discover" some good news about 
fluoride. Of interest, however: the man who gave Dean his marching orders, the 
PHS's C. T. Messner, was the same official who, five years later, met in Detroit 
with the Freon gas magnate Charles Kettering. This meeting helped to produce the 
book Dental Caries, which also favorably introduced many dentists to fluoride. 
Indeed, Dean's "hunch" flew in the face of a study done at John Hopkins in 1925 by 
E. V. McCollum, who was hopeful that fluoride would strengthen teeth but had 
instead concluded that "the results showed, contrary to our expectations, that the 
ingestion of fluorine, in amounts but little above those which have been reported to 
occur in natural foods, markedly disturbs the structure of the teeth." E. V. 
McCollum, N. Simmons, J. E. Becker, and R. W. Bunting, J. Biol. Chem., vol. 63 
(1925), pp. 553-561. 

75. H. T. Dean, "Endemic Fluorosis and Its Relation to Dental Caries," Public 

Health Rep., vol. 53 (1938), pp. 1443-1452. Also H. T. Dean et al., "Domestic Water 
and Dental Caries," Pub. Health Rep., vol. 56 (April If, 1941), pp. 756-792. Dean was 
cross-examined in the 1960 Schuringa vs. Chicago lawsuit, to enjoin the city from 
fluoridating water supplies. According to the critic Dr. Richard G. Foulkes, Dean, under 
cross-examination by Mr. Dilling and aided by F. B. Exner, a radiologist and critic of 
fluoridation, was forced to admit that his early studies of Galesburg, Quincy , Monmouth, 
and Macomb and his later studies in twenty-one cities of 7,257 children, did not meet his 
own criteria of "lifetime exposure" and "unchanged water supply" and were, therefore, 
worthless. Dr. Exner prepared an "Analytical Commentary" on Dean's testimony. Exner 
"refers to the transcript and exhibits that show that not only were the basic criteria 
lacking in Dean's work, but also random variations found in both high and low fluoride 
areas cancelled out any 'benefits' that appeared in the high fluoride vs. lower fluoride 
cities,"according to Foulkes. State of Wisconsin Circuit Court Fond Du Lac County Safe 
Water Association, Inc., Plaintiff, vs. City of Fond Du Lac, Defendant Case No. 92 CV 
579, Affidavit of Dr. Richard G. Foulkes in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment. 

76. G. J. Cox, "New Knowledge of Fluorine in Relation to the Development of 

Dental Caries." J. Am. Water Works Assoc., vol. 31 (1939), pp. 1926-1930. PHS 
regulations for 1939 stated, for example: "The presence of ... fluoride in excess of 1 
ppm . . . shall constitute grounds for the rejection of water supply." PHS, "Public Health 
Service Drinking Water Standards," Public Health Rep., vol. 58 (1943), pp. 69-1 1 1 (at p. 
8o). A tenfold margin of safety required that fluoride in water be no higher than 1 part 
per million, water works engineers agreed. H. E. Babbitt and J. J. Doland, Quality of 
Water Supplies in Water Supply Engineering. 3rd Edition (New York: McGraw Hill, 
1939), p. 454. Cited in Waldbott et al., Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma, p. 302. 



Chapter 4 

1 . Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb (New York: Touchstone, 

1986). On p. 605 Rhodes quotes the French chemist Bertrand Goldschmidt, who wrote 
that the Manhattan Engineering District was "the astonishing American creation in three 
years, at a cost of $2 billion, of a formidable array of factories and laboratories — as large 
as the entire automobile industry of the United States at that date." On congressional 
secrecy, L. Groves, Now It Can Be Told (New York: Da Capo, 1962), p. 362. 

2. Lt. Col. E. Marsden to Gen. Groves, December 3, 1943, Memorandum, " 

Obtaining of Information from C.W.S. on Phosgene, Fluorine, and Fluorine 
Compounds": "It is requested ... for the Medical Section of the Manhattan District to be 
in full possession of all the information on phosgene, fluorine, and fluorine compounds 
that is presently in possession of the War Department." File EIDM D-2-b. MD 723.13 
Memo to the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, Washington, DC, December 3, 
1943, from Brigadier General L. R. Groves: "It is requested that Colonel Stafford L. 
Warren, M.C., be authorized to contact the Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, to obtain all 
information that may be available in the files of the Chemical Warfare Service ... on the 
detection of, and protection against, phosgene, fluorine, and fluorine chemicals." EIDM 

3. The enrichment factor was 1.0043. Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic 

Bomb, p. 340. At first, the K-25 plant produced only partially enriched uranium, which 
was further enriched at Eastman Kodak's Oak Ridge Y-12 plant and then transported as 
uranium tetrafluoride to Los Alamos. See also Rhodes, 552, 553, and 602. 

4. Uranium hexafluoride quantities: "Considerable amounts of special fluo- 

rinated chemicals will be supplied to the K-25 plant," including "Uranium hexafluoride 
33 tons per month — required by October 1944." See "Functions of Madison Square 
Area," Md 319.1, Box 26, Report Madison Square Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta 
FRC, RG 326. Also memo, "Storage Facilities at the Site For C-616," where Captain L. C. 
Burman, Corps of Engineers, notes a "2150 lb daily requirement" for hexafluoride. Md 3, 
Md 700, General Essays, Lectures, Box 34, Manhattan Engineer District Accession #4nn 
326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. Work force and power consumption: AEC Handbook 
on Oak Ridge Operations (1961), Oak Ridge Public Library. 

5. Fresh air: University of Chicago, Metallurgical Laboratory, October 30, 1942, 

Memorandum to C. M. Cooper from R. S. Apple. Also, memorandum: " Medical 
Considerations of Work in the Pilot Plant, Philadelphia Naval Yard" from Col. Warren to 
Rear Admiral Mills, October 25, 1944. C-216 refers to the substance referred to as "fresh 
air." Md 702.1, Medical Exams Specimens, Box 54, Medical Considerations Accession 
#4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

"Madison Square Area functions as the Materials Section of the Manhattan District 
to obtain special materials. The principal projects are the location, procurement and 
refining of uranium ore, preparation of uranium 



oxide, uranium hexafluoride and uranium metal, and production of fluori-nated 
hydrocarbons." "Functions of Madison Square Area," Md 319.1, Box 26, Report Madison 
Square Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. How well the fluoride secrets 
were kept, at least from foreign governments, is unclear. The Soviet spy Klaus Fuchs had 
worked on fluorine diffusion at the University of Birmingham in England and spent 
several crucial months in New York in 1944 with the British Diffusion Mission. He gave 
the Russians key details of the U.S. fluoride diffusion process, including information about 
the top-secret sintered nickel barriers through which the gas diffused. See Holloway, 
Stalin and the Atomic Bomb, p. 104. 

6. See Rhodes, 494 for K-25 size and complexity. See L. Groves, Now It Can Be Told 
(New York: Da Capo, 1962), pp. 114-115 for corrosion and need to " condition" 
equipment. Also, at an October 23, 1942, presentation to the S-i Committee of the 
OSRD, a precursor to the Manhattan Project, Mr. Z. G. Deutsch of the Standard Oil 
company, which was building a pilot centrifuge plant to separate uranium at 
Standard's Bayway refinery in Linden, NJ, stated, "AH development work, toward a 
design of plant for the separation of our isotopes has visualized working with a single 
material — uranium hexafluoride." He added, "The principal objection to it is its 
extreme chemical reactivity." See Manhattan District History, Book I, vol. 4, 
chapter 14. 

7. On October 19, 1943, top doctors from the Manhattan Project met in Captain John L. 
Ferry's Madison Square Area offices in New York. Harold Hodge from the 
University of Rochester was there. So were several doctors from Du Pont, Chrysler, 
and the Kellex Corporation, as well as the top medical officers for the Manhattan 
Project, including Col. Stafford Warren. Their secret agenda: "fluorine hazards to 
workers." Pure fluorine "would consume the skin and flesh," of exposed men, the 
doctors were warned. Ordinary protective clothing was "not satisfactory." A fluorine 
explosion would produce a terrifying mix of hydrofluoric acid and "oxygen 
fluorides." The acid burn might go undetected for twelve hours but would be 
followed by "extreme pain." Eventually the fluoride "penetrates to the bone, and then 
will spread along the bone and require amputation," the doctors were told. No one 
was then certain what the oxygen fluorides might do. Memo: Safety and Health 
Conference on Hazards of C-216 [code for F] October 19, 1943, Oak Ridge Records 
Holding Task Group Box 166 Building 2714-H, Vault, #82,761. 

See also, for UF6, Union Carbide Safety Bulletin No S-l, June 16, 1945. UF6 
breaks down into HF and uranyl fluoride [UO F ]. The latter, the bulletin notes, "has 
an action both as a surface irritant and as a poisonous agent acting internally." "When 
inhaled as a fine dust or fume, it readily goes into solution on the moist linings of the 
respiratory tract from which it is readily absorbed ... all of the UOF absorbed from 
any surface is eliminated by the kidneys, which causes kidney damage." "Deep 
penetrating burns" were produced by surface skin exposure to hydrolysis products, 
HF and UOFz, Safety Reports, Bulletins, Box 55, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, 
Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 


NOTES l'O CHAPTER 4 / Pp. 47-49 

8. "Prior to the existence of the District, elemental fluorine was a laboratory 

curiosity." The Manhattan District Official History, p. 3.13, Book 1 General, 
vol. 7, Medical Program. For most reactive element, R. E. Banks, "Isolation of Fluorine 
by Moissan: Setting the Scene," J. Fluorine Chem., vol. 33 (1986), pp. 3-26. For action 
on steel, above reference, "Memo: Safety and Health Conference on Hazards of C-216" 
[code for F], October 19, 1943. "Mild steel valves and pipes have been used [to handle 
fluorine] but it seems that any impurity or foreign substance in the pipe or valve may be 
the activating agent to start a reaction. Dr. Benning [from Du Pont] exhibited a steel 
valve . . . which had been consumed by action of C-216. The heat generated by the 
reaction is tremendous and a considerable flash hazard is present as the reaction is almost 

9. These companies and their roles are described in greater detail in The Man- 

hattan District Official History, Book 1, General, vol. 7, Medical Program. 

10. The liquid was named after Professor Joseph Simons of Penn State 
University, who invented a process known as "electro-chemical fluorination, 
" which used electricity to replace the hydrogen with fluoride in hydrogen- 
carbon bonds, producing fluorocarbons. (After the war the technology 
would be licensed to the 3M corporation, which would use it to make, 
among other things, the fabric protector Scotchgard. See chapter 17.) See J. 
H. Simons, ed., Fluorine Chemistry, vol. 1 (New York: Academic Press, 1950) 
, p. 423. 

11. H. Goldwhite, J. Fluorine Chem., vol. 33, p. 113. 

12. See "Report on the Fluoro Carbon work" by Harold Urey, September 26, 

1942, S-l files. Further, see Goldwhite. See also Industrial and Engineering Chem., 

Vol. 39. no. 3, p. 292. 

13. For example, 35,000 pounds a month of "polytetrafluorethylene" (Teflon); 1, 600,000 
pounds of "hexafluorxylene"; and 1,400 lbs of "fluorinated lubricating oil." For delivery 
schedule of fluorocarbons, see "Functions of Madison Square Area," Md 319.1, Report 
Madison Square, Box 26, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

14. Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb; p. «.Dick Powell author inter- 

view; and also Goldwhite, J. Fluorine Chem., above reference. 

15. Groves, Now It Can Be Told, p. 8. 

16. The plant was built in the basement of the Schermerhorn Laboratory in 

January 1943. Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, p. 494. 

17. "Initiation of Medical Program for Project at Columbia University," Friedell to 

the District Engineer, U.S. Engineer Office, Manhattan District, January 20, 1943. 

18. Capt. John Ferry to Col. Stafford Warren, November 10, 1943; and Capt. John 
Ferry to the Area Engineer, Columbia Area, July 14, 1944. "It would be diffi 
cult to prove that his illness had not been aggravated by his fume exposure," 
Ferry concluded in Spelton's case. Illness of Mr. Christian Spelton, Md 726.2, 
Occupational Diseases, Box 55, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, 
RG 326. For pulmonary fibrosis as symptom, see Roholm, Fluorine Intoxi 
cation, p. 150. 



19. On teeth falling out, see New York Operations Research and Medicine Divi- 

sion, Correspondence 1945-1952, Box 28-47, Box 36 ,"Du Pont File," Atlanta 
FRC, RG 326. For Priest's fluorine work at Columbia, see Industrial and 
Engineering Chem., March 1947. 

20. Princeton account at Md 319.1, Ferry Report Medical, Box 25, Accession #4nn 

326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. For Iowa State, case of Max Rankin see Md 
702.1, Medical Exams Specimens, Box 54, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta 
FRC, RG 326. For case of Dr. Oscar N. Carlson, report of Allan P. Scoog: 
Carlson had worked at Ames since 1943. He worked with beryllium fluoride. 
Multiple hospitalizations were followed with a diagnosis of "diffuse fibronodular 
pathologic process throughout both lungs . . . occupational fibrosis." Medicine, 
Health and Safety, Beryllium, July 1951-December 1951. NARA II. The gassed 
Purdue researchers had lung injuries resembling those in soldiers exposed to the 
World War I poison gas phosgene. Capt. John Ferry to Col. Stafford Warren, 
May 22, 1944. Also, Capt. John Ferry to Col. Stafford Warren, June 23, 1944, Md 
319.1, Report Medical Ferry, Box 25, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, 
RG 326. 

21. Memorandum to Col. Warren from Capt. John Ferry, November 15, 1943, " 

Visit to DuPont": "The prevailing opinion is that the irritating properties of the 
HF also formed, will not be a satisfactory guide against the toxicity of the 
oxyfluoride." "DuPont" File, New York Operations Research and Medicine 
Division, Correspondence 1945-1952, Box 28-47, Box 36, Atlanta FRC, RG 
326; "DuPont," Box 14, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

22. Memo to Col. E. H. Marsden from Col. Warren. January 6, 1945, "Safety of 

Operations at S-5o," C-616, Box 28, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 

23. "One is impressed," noted Captain John L. Ferry, senior medical officer for 

the Madison Square Area, "by the similarity between these cases and persons 
dying from work in beryllium plants." He reminded his boss that "one 
explanation of the beryllium deaths was that they resulted from exposure to 
beryllium oxyfluoride." Capt. Ferry to Col. Warren, February 2, 1944. " Fatalities 
Occurring from a By-Product of T.F.E.," Md 729.3, Safety Program Protection 
Against Hazards, Book', 6/25/42-7/31/44, Box 55, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, 
Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

24. Dr. G. H. Gehrman, DuPont Medical Director, to Capt. Ferry, May 5, 1944. 

Md 319.1, General Essays, Lectures, Medical Report, Box 34, #4nn 326-85-005, 
Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

25. Capt. Ferry to Col. Warren, February 2, 1944. "Fatalities Occurring from a By- 

Product of T.F.E." Also, DuPont was reluctant to have the government test " their 
own commercially developed material since several of the components thus far 
identified give good promise for commercial uses other than that contemplated 
here." District Engineer Ruhoff to Dr. H. T. Wensel, Clinton Engineer Works, 
March 30, 1944, Documents 366 and 367, RG 227.3.1. 

26. Capt. Ferry to Col. Warren, February 2, 1944. "Fatalities Occurring from a By- 

Product of T.F.E." 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 4 / PP. 51 — 53 

27. Richard Powell, "Fluorine Chemistry: The ICI legacy," in Fascinated by Fluo- 

rine (Amsterdam and New York: Elsevier, 2000). He quotes the visiting ICI scientist J. 
H. Brown on p. 345. 

28. Kramish, A., "They Were Heroes Too," Washington Post, December 15, 1991. 

29. The secret facility was a pilot version of the massive S-5o "thermal diffusion" 

factory being readied at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The plant at Oak Ridge appears also to 
have presented considerable fluoride health risks to workers, according to the official 
history. Each time a new hexafluoride cylinder was attached to the S-5o equipment, "the 
danger of breathing UF6 and of being burned by it in this operation is considerable. " The 
Manhattan District Official History, Book 1, General, vol. 7, Medical Program, p. 3.22. 

30. Conant had responded to Col. Warren's request for information, sending him 

reports on fluoride from the Chicago Toxicity Laboratory, and OSRD Report #3285 
"The Toxicity of Compounds Containing Fluorine." Conant to H. T. Wensel, October 6, 
1943, RG 227.3.1, Document #0398, and Ruth Jenkins ( Conant's secretary) to Wensel, 
February 15, 1945, RG 227.3.1, Document #0341. Conant sought to keep specialized 
information about fluoride out of scientific journals during the war. He wrote to the 
editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Arthur Lamb, on December 29, 
1943: "I should appreciate it if you would send any papers concerning fluorine 
compounds to me if they are submitted in the future, and I will try and get in touch with 
the more conservative reviewers." Document 01 14, RG 227.3.1. 

3 1 . TDMR-628 (Technical Division Memorandum Report from Edgewood Arsenal) 
cited p. 20, OSRD Report 3285. "Among the effects noted were photophobia, 
headaches ... as well as difficulty and pain in accommodation." 

32. Low concentrations of the organic compound cited produced "marked weariness, very 
strong mental depression, reluctance for any physical effort. Quite distinct periods of 
nervous irritation difficult to control, followed by periods of physical and mental 
exhaustion, drowsiness and giddiness." Sporzynski Y.5682 May 5, 1943, cited in OSRD 
Report 3285, p. 37. 

33. E. C. Andrus, D. W. Bronk, G. A. Carden Jr., et al., eds., Advances in 

Military Medicine, 2 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1948), p. 561. See also Fascinated 
by Fluorine, p. 347; and author interview with former Imperial Chemical Industries 
(ICI) scientist Dick Powell. 

34. J. Conant to Dr. H. T. Wensel, Clinton Engineering Works, October 6,1943. 

RG 227.3.1 Document 0398. 
35* Author interview, July 27, 2003. 

36. Capt. Joe Howland, "Studies on Human Exposure to Uranium Compounds," in Harold 
Hodge and Carl Voegtlin, eds., Pharmacology and Toxicology of Uranium Compounds, 
with a Section on the Pharmacology and Toxicology of Fluorine and Hydrogen 
Fluoride (New York: McGraw Hill, 1949), p. 1005. The official history of the 
Manhattan Project, like Gen. Groves, gives a conflicting account of the disaster. On p. 
5.3, Book VI, Section 5, it states only that " several persons were injured." However, 
Book I, vol. 6, p. 3.19 notes that, 



"Douglas P. Meigs died as a result of burns due to steam. The Aetna, insurance 
carrier for Fercleve [the contractor], was not permitted to investigate the cause, 
nor the scene of the accident, but was permitted to make a routine dependency 
investigation. After complete facts were available to the Insurance Section, the 
insurance carrier was instructed to make payment as awarded to Meigs's widow by 
the Bureau of Workmen's Compensation, State of Pennsylvania." 

37. A. Kramish, "They Were Heroes Too," Washington Post, December 15, 1991. 

Kramish told me that the Manhattan Project officer, "Dusty" Rhodes was sent to 
silence the press. The Philadelphia Record may have gone to press before he 
arrived, Kramish thinks. The following morning the newspaper reported that two 
"specialists" had been killed in an accident. "Gas was released," the newspaper 

38. Leslie Groves, Now It Can Be Told (New York: Da Capo, 1962), p. 121. 

39. Washington Post, December 15, 1991. 

40. At one beryllium factory in Ohio doing secret fluoride work for the Man- 

hattan Project, skin lesions and a crippling lung disease called berylliosis produced 
an employee turnover rate of loo percent each month. Captain Mears to Major 
Ferry, July 30, 1945. He reports on "chemical dermatitis . .. resulting from the 
fluoride compounds entering through a hair follicle, contaminating a wound, or 
through a puncture wound by a sharp crystal. In these cases a papule develops 
slowly with some of the lesions ending in ulceration taking months to heal. Some 
of the workmen's hands and forearms are covered with inflamed hair follicles, 
papules, and depressed sharply circumscribed scars." Md 319.1, General Essays, 
Lectures, Medical Report, Box 34, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 

41. "Never before had such quantities of elemental fluorine gas been handled 

daily," wrote a Manhattan Project doctor, Herbert Stokinger, who saw the daily 
health risk to American workers. "Continuous exposure to low concentrations from 
unavoidable losses from the equipment was a source of considerable concern," he 
added. Hodge and Voegtlin, eds., Pharmacology and Toxicology of Uranium 
Compounds, p. 1024. 

42. "Fluorine: Precautions to be Observed in Handling, Shipping and Storage." 

Manhattan Project Official History, Occupational Hazards, Book 1, General. 

43. Herbert Stokinger reported that animal deaths were seen in laboratory 
experiments at o.3-mg/cu m for fluorine. Hodge and Voegtlin, eds., 
Pharmacology and Toxicology of Uranium Compounds, p. 1033. Also, "The 
toxicity of oxyfluorides occurring from the liberation of fluorine in the 
atmosphere" was given a high priority for research. Memo to Col. Warren 
from Capt. John L. Ferry, November 29, 1943, Md 3, Md 700, General 
Essays, Lectures, Medical Reports, Box 34, Manhattan Engineer District 
Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

That toxicity data, only declassified in 1994, is truly spectacular. While 
exposure of laboratory animals to 0.5 parts per million of pure fluorine for 



thirty days was considered "safe," a similar, microscopic quantity of oxygen fluoride 
"was lethal after 14 hours," the scientists reported. See "Detailed Duties of Harold 
Hodge," list of "problems" and "results" encountered by the Rochester Division of 
Pharmacology and Toxicology. Folder 2, Box SOF01B219, ACHRE, RG 220; also, 
C-212 [code for oxygen fluoride] — i ppm killed all animals (rats and mice), in "Toxicity 
of C-6i6, C-212 and C-216" ' Memo to Files' by Capt. B. J. Mears. Medical Crops, Md 3, 
Md 700, General Essays, Lectures, Medical Reports, Box 34, Manhattan Engineer 
District Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. (By comparison, this 
tox-icity appears at least as bad as the World War I poison gas phosgene, which was also 
found in the bomb plants, as a result of the heating of Freon.) The Chemical Warfare 
Service had reported to Col. Stafford Warren that, when exposed to phosgene, "mice 
succumb to chronic exposure of one part per million.") Memorandum for the Files, 
"Subject: Survey of Phosgene Effects" by Stafford Warren, February 23, 1944, A2, Box 
26, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

Although the Manhattan Project had given a high priority to the experimental 
investigation of such oxyfluorides, the official and published work does not mention the 
results — perhaps a worrisome omission, given that the scientists suspected that the 
compounds might be encountered in the vicinity of bomb plants. The standard text, 
Pharmacology and Toxicology of Uranium Compounds, edited by Carl Voegtlin and 
Harold Hodge, has no mention of oxygen fluoride. Also, for evidence that scientists 
suspected oxygen fluoride would be encountered by citizens and workers, after an 
industrial hygiene survey at Harshaw Chemical in Cleveland in May 1947, Rochester 
scientists reported that "the results are on the low side, since the efficiency of the 
sampling procedure we used is not too good for fluorine and oxyfluoride; if considerable 
quantities of these two gases were present in the air, we probably missed a part of them." 
See Pharmacology Report #558, The University of Rochester Atomic Energy Project, 
Box S09F01B227, ACHRE, RG 220. 

"HF is a protoplasmic poison with great penetrating power and causes deep-seated burns 
that heal very slowly. . . . When HF comes into contact with the skin, a burn results. If HF 
is not removed, it tends to keep penetrating with the production of a deep, slow-healing 
painful ulceration." Capt. John L. Ferry to Dr. Ralph Rosen, Kellex Corp, January 24, 
1944, Md 729.3 Safety 

Program Protection Against Hazards, Book 1, 6/25/42-7/31/44, Box 55, Accession 44. 
#4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. Also, the chemical was described by 
Dr. Stokinger as "possibly the greatest single source of minor incapacitation 
of workers" in the bomb plants. Hodge and Voegtlin, eds., Pharmacology and 
Toxicology of Uranium Compounds. 

Confirmed in author interview with the ICI fluoride scientist Dick Powell. 
Such "conditioning" was a massive industrial undertaking. The uranium 
hexafluoride gas was so corrosive that thousands of pumps, blowers, and 
piping first had to be treated with either chlorine trifluoride, or elemental 




fluorine, leaving a thin film of fluoride on the machinery, protecting it from future 
corrosion. Joe Harding likened the process to "seasoning the interior of process 
equipment, like some people have heard of ~burning-in' an old cast iron skillet." 
Memorandum to U. David Goldring from Birchard M. Brund-age 1st Lt., Medical Corps, 
July 13, 1945. "Subject: S-5o Medical Check-ups": Item I. "Definitions 1. Conditioning 
Area — Building in which parts and apparatus to be used in the Process Area are treated 
chemically before being placed in operational use." Item II. "Conditioning shop 
operator — handles the chemical preparation of equipment before it is handled for 
operations. He also cleans used equipment before its reconditioning and reuse in 
operations." Item III. "Hazard Classifications. 1. Most serious. A. Transfer room 
operator. B. Conditioning shop operator." S-5o, Box 14. Also, "Conditioning of 
Equipment," Manhattan Project Official History, book VI, p. 5.17. 

46. Joe Harding interviewed by Dolph Honicker, undated transcript supplied 

by his son, Cliff Honicker. 

47. Stokinger et al., The Enhancing Effect of the Inhalation of Hydrogen Fluoride 

Vapor on Beryllium Sulfate Poisoning in Animals, UR-68 University of Rochester, 
unclassified, June 13, 1949. Also, "Fluoride materials are undoubtedly 
significantly more toxic from the standpoint of acute disease than any other 
beryllium material now being handled at the Luckey plant." Memo from Merril 
Eisenbud to W. B. Harris, 2/27/51, Box 3353, MHS 2 Beryllium, Ger-mantown 
DOE History Archive. Eisenbud also estimated that 50 micrograms of 
beryllium — inhaled as beryllium fluoride — had "produced acute disease in three 
individuals" in just twenty minutes, and that "to produce injury by phosgene in a 
comparable period of time one would have to inhale approximately 50 
milligrams!" Health Hazards from Beryllium, Merril Eisenbud, speech presented 
at a meeting of the American Society for Metals, Boston, March 1954. Document 
DOE #051094-A-312, ACHRE, RG 220. 

48. For deaths: M. Eisenbud, "Origins of the Standards for Control of Beryllium 

Disease (1947-1949)," Environmental Research, vol. 27, no.l (February 1982). By June 
1949 Robert Hasterlik, the top doctor at Argonne National Laboratory, reported about 
sixty death from beryllium. Physics Today (June 1 949), p. 14. 

For sickness: "By far the greatest number of cases occurred in the fluoride handling 
operations," noted one government report on sickness at the Brush Beryllium Company 
in Lucky, Pennsylvania. Memo from Merril Eisenbud to W. B. Harris, stamped 
February 27, 1951: "Acute Beryllium Tox icity — Brush Beryllium Company — Lucky 
Experience," Div. Biology and Medicine, folder MHS 2 and Beryllium, Box 335, RG 
326. At Brush Beryllium Plant in Lorain, Ohio, "In July, 1947, 24 percent of employees 
in the beryllium metal department were stricken with dermatitis or respiratory disease, 
compared to 6.4 percent for all other departments. The apparent increase in rates may 
possibly be explained by the shifts in production to pure metals as the result of AEC 
contracts." Bob Tumbleson, "Public Relations Problems in Connection with 
Occupational Diseases in the Beryllium Industry." 



The Rochester Atomic Energy Project's Industrial Hygiene Section surveyed the 
Brush Beryllium Company in Lorain, Ohio, in December 1946 and found up to 64.1 
mg/m3 fluoride, with particle sizes below o.i micron (a crucial factor in determining 
toxicity). "The authors conclude that the relatively high fluoride concentrations obtained 
in the surveyed areas are of particular significance since they may represent a hazard by 
themselves and also suggest a combined action with beryllium. Further study of this 
factor is suggested, especially near the beryllium fluoride furnace where the relative 
fluoride concentration was moo times that of beryllium." Bob Tumbleson, Public and 
Technical Information Service. "Public Relations Problems in Connection with 
Occupational Diseases in the Beryllium Industry," p. 18, Medicine, Health and 
Safety— Beryllium (1947-1948), RG 326. 

49. Memo from Bob Tumbleson to Morse Salisbury, "Current Status of the Beryllium 
Problem," January 26, 1948. "Although the four neighborhood cases appeared at Brush 
in Lorain, the reporter from the Cleveland PRESS interviewed [AEC official] 
Wyndecker at Clifton, Painesville. . . . Wyndecker tried to quiet him by saying that a 
large part of their work was being done for AEC and hence was secret." RG 326 
Medicine, Health and Safety — Beryllium ( 1947-1948) National Archive. 

50. Turner reported: "Control experiments with electrolytic dust produced with fluorides, 
but in the absence of Beryllium, caused the same symptoms and mortality. It is evident, 
therefore, that electrolytic dust owes its toxicity primarily to the halogen radical 
[fluoride] and not to its content of Beryllium." Robert A. N. Turner, Resident Safety 
Engineer, Madison Square Area, Manhattan Engineer District, "The Toxicity of 
Beryllium and Its Salts," p. 2, "Oak Ridge Copy," Box 39, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, 
Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

51. Robert A. N. Turner, Resident Safety Engineer, Madison Square Area, Manhattan 
Engineer District, "Poisoning by Vapors of Beryllium Oxyfluorides," p. 1, "Oak Ridge 
Copy," Box 39, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

52. See Rochester AEP, minutes of "The Second Progress Meeting on Beryllium Toxicity," 
February 5 and 6, 1947. Also, "The First Progress Meeting on Beryllium Toxicity": 0.5 
mg/kg of "5BeO-7BeF2" killed rats, while 0.75 mg/kg of intravenous beryllium fluoride 
and beryllium oxyfluoride killed rabbits. "Injection of beryllium oxyfluoride ... caused 
histologic damage to the kidney probably as a result of the fluoride moiety." (5.0 mg/kg 
BeS04, beryllium sulfate, killed rats.) This meeting produced a crucial determination of 
a permissible limit of 1.5 mg of beryllium compound (underlined in original) per 10 
m3 of air. By not specifying which compound, public notice was not made of the specific 
and more toxic nature of the fluoride compounds, it seems. Indeed, just days later, the 
head of the Rochester AEP, Herbert Stokinger, made a recommendation of 1.5 mg of 
beryllium per 10 m3 to the AEC for the "Maximal permissible Limit of Exposure to 
Beryllium. " He does not mention nor cite the fluoride toxicity results but rather uses 
figures from the beryllium sulfate compound, which Rochester had 



determined to be ten times less toxic. Stokinger adds, "The suggested level permits an 
easily attained limit both as regards ventilator and ventilating system." H. E. Stokinger 
to Fred Bryan, February i8, 1947, Rochester, 400.112 (Pharmacology) Beryllium, Box 
48, New York Operations Office, 68Foo36, Accession #4kr 326-83-010, Atlanta FRC, 
RG 326. 

Also, researchers at Rochester and at the PHS did not find much toxic effect, 
chronic or acute, with pure beryllium, which fact allowed industry to deny that there was 
any great problem from beryllium poisoning. A hint at the agenda of the Rochester 
group and of Dr. Harold Hodge in particular comes from one of the leading scientists on 
beryllium toxicity, Dr. Harriet Hardy. "Those responsible for the medico-legal affairs of 
the AEC should consider the problem of the disability involved in the growing group of 
individuals with chronic beryllium disease," she writes and adds that "cases of chronic 
beryllium poisoning are being uncovered daily from a variety of remote and apparently 
slight beryllium exposures." However, Hardy writes, while "The chronic disease is 
certainly our most pressing problem, and at present the whole weight of the Rochester 
work, if I understood Dr. Hodge, is on the acute manifestation. ... I cannot understand 
the defeatist attitude about producing chronic changes in animals with beryllium 
compounds sufficiently approximate to the human pathology." Dr. Hardy to Dr. Warren 
" Recent trips to Cleveland and Rochester," September 13, 1949, DOE Open-net 

"Thus, we have a kind of explosive action with the formation of fluorine in status 
nascendi," Turner stated. "Hence the deeper and most important, more prolonged action 
of this gas in comparison with that which we see following the inhalation not only of 
oxides of nitrogen and chlorine but also vapors of fluorine or hydrofluoric acid," p. 6 
"The action of the fluorine in such conditions is especially strong and prolonged," 
Turner adds, "which in fact conditions the specificity of the picture of poisoning by 
Beryllium oxyfluoride." Robert A. N. Turner, Resident Safety Engineer, Madison 
Square Area, Manhattan Engineer District "Poisoning by Vapors of Beryllium 

Although the Maximum Allowable Concentration (MAC) for UO ,F had been officially 
set by the government at 50 micrograms of uranium per cubic meter, nevertheless, "the 
lowest concentration of these compounds that will give a uniformly positive response in 
all animals has not been critically established." Hodge and Voegtlin, eds., 
53 Pharmacology and Toxicology of Uranium Compounds, p. 2203. Hodge's researchers 

produced renal injury in a dog at even 50 micrograms/cu m. Dogs were judged to have 
"unusual susceptibility." Also, Harold C. Hodge and Carl Voegtlin at the University of 
Rochester to Lt. Col. H. L. Friedell at Oak Ridge, April 26, 1945. Md 3, Md 700, 
General Essays, Lectures, Box 34, Manhattan Engineer District Accession #4nn 
326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. "Uranyl fluoride is considered one of the most toxic 
uranium compounds," wrote Harold Hodge, Pharmacology and Toxicology of Uranium 




p. 33. Also, "It was envisioned that exposures of human beings to this compound 
would occur mostly by inhalation and almost solely to the fumes, UO FO and HF, 
produced upon its release into the air. Such exposure might take the form of either 
accidental high concentrations for a relatively short time, possibly repeated several 
times during a month, or of low level, continuous exposures throughout the period of 
employment arising from the loss of small amounts of material from systems 
containing UF6." Pharmacology and Toxicology of Uranium Compounds, p. 1492. 
Dangerous levels of fluoride were quickly detected in K25 plant workers' urine. In 
the early summer of 1952, for example, almost io percent of employees tested had too 
much fluoride in their bodies, doctors reported. And the poisoning was getting worse, 
"the result of an increase in the magnitude and frequency of individual exposure to 
fluoride and fluorinated compounds," officials added. Of S35 workers, 58 tested. 
"Sanitized version of K-25 Plant Quarterly Report for Fourth Fiscal Quarter April I- June 
30, 1952," p. E-9, ORFi00()6o5, Oak Ridge, DOE Public Reading Room. 

55. Letter to Ralph Rosen of the Kellex Corporation, which built the K-25 plant. 

Ferry told Dr. Rosen it was "likely" that the concentrations of gas would be at or "near" 
the level set for chronic exposure. (However, the MAC for UO F was then set at 150 
micrograms per cubic meter. That level was reduced to 50 micrograms in 1948, although 
University of Rochester scientists found kidney damage in dogs at that level too; see 
note 53 above. No information was found on whether the conditions inside the cold trap 
chamber changed after 1948 as the MAC was raised.) Captain John L. Ferry to Dr. Ralph 
Rosen, Kellex Corporation, June 16, 1944 Safety Program Protection Against Hazards, 
Book 1, 6125/42-7/31/44, Md7293, Box 55, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, 
RG 326. A similar hazard faced workers at the Harshaw Chemical plant, who made 
uranium hexafluoride for shipment to Oak Ridge. " Workmen inhale 616 [code for 
hexafluoride] when disconnecting the receivers from the reactors," noted a report. "A 
cloud of hydrolyzed 616 escapes during this operation and is not entirely vented," the 
memo added. Memo from Capt. B. J. Mears, the Madison Square Area, October 11, 
1945, to Captain Fred A. Bryan, Medical Section, Manhattan District, Oak Ridge 
Tennessee. Subject: Urinalysis on Harshaw Chemical Company Workers. 

56. Tape-recorded interview with Joe Harding. 

57. Several accounts mention the noise and heat inside the gaseous diffusion 

plant. An early report determining how long men could tolerate working in the "cells" 
notes temperatures of n8 degrees F and states that "Entrance into a cell which is in 
operation is a dramatic experience to the uninitiated, apt to be associated with some 
emotionalism. The noise within the cell might be responsible for part of the light 
headedness experienced, although the symptom is also recognized as a result of severe 
heat exposure." "Permissible Work Periods in Cells," Box 9, Accession #72C2386, 
Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

58. Accidents were frequent at K-25. For example, "On April 1, a release 

occurred in Building K- loo4-A when a cylinder containing 2 559 grams of uranium 



hexailuoride became overheated during a material transferring operation, releasing the 
entire contents of the cylinder." Sanitized version of K-25 Plant Quarterly Report for 
Fourth Fiscal Quarter April I-June 30, 1952. In ORF Ioo6o5 Oak Ridge DOE Public 
Reading Room. Also, "On December 30th [ 1953] ■ • . a total of 2,506 pounds of uranium 
hexafluoride . . . was released [ when a cylinder failed], contaminating all of Building 
K-27 ... the gas was spread widely before the ventilating system could be shut down." 
K-959-Plant Quarterly Report for Second Fiscal Quarter, October 1 -December 31, 1952, 
p. C-12, in ORF 18729, Oak Ridge, DOE Public Reading Room. 59. Another worker, 
Sam Ray of Lucasville, Ohio, told Congress in September 2000 that "Compressors would 
malfunction and process gas (UF6) would leak to the atmosphere. On one occasion, it 
was so bad that it looked like a fog moving up the mile long building. . . . We have had 
many small releases that were never reported, as well as documented large releases. 
Inside of the withdrawal room we had a major release. There were green "icicles' hanging 
in the room from crystallize uranium hexafluoride." He also told them that" process gases 
were routinely vented to the atmosphere" and "fluorine gases from the plant stack area 
were frequent and resulted in numerous complaints from workers in the area, especially 
during temperature inversions." Compensation for Illnesses Realized by Department of 
Energy Workers Due to Exposure to Hazardous Materials. Hearing before the 
Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary House of 
Representatives Io6th Congress, serial no. 132, p. 210. 

60. Col. Stafford Warren to Dr. Fred Bryan, September 24, 1947, DOE stamp 

000019, ACHRE, RG 220. 

61 . Report of Meeting of Classification Board During Week of September 8, 1947, 

Box S09F01B22, ACHRE, RG 220. See also handwritten letter in ACHRE files 
from an unnamed fluoride worker who worked at Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion 
Plant in Piketon, Ohio, in the 195os. He writes: "In the early years we used to talk 
about young people dying from cancer and leukemia that worked at the plant and 
wondered if it was due to working there." DOE document #0000 lo, Box 
So9olB146, ACHRE, RG 220. 

62. An additional five workers were poisoned by "fluorine analogs of phosgene," 

plant operators at Union Carbide claimed, caused by "pyrolysis of fluoro-carbons 
and fluorolubes." Phosgene can be produced when Freon gas is exposed to very 
high temperatures. "Summary ofK-25 chemical hazards," RHTG Ioiool, Box 219, 
RG 326. The document was only declassified in 1997-"Poisoning" was one of the 
health effects reported at K-25, along with respiratory irritation, burns, and 

63. Work Report for June 1944 To: The Chief of the Medical Section, U.S. Engi- 

neer Office, Oak Ridge, Tennessee; From: 2nd Lt. Richard Tybout, Corp of 
Engineers, Medical Section. Document via Pete Eisler, USA Today. 

64. "A distinct hazard does exist in Area C" that left the Atomic Energy Com- 

mission "very vulnerable," Kelly concluded. The government especially feared 
"pulmonary damage" in workers. While safety levels for uranium 


NOTES TO C H A P T E R 4 / PP. 59-61 

hexafluoride had been set at 40 micrograms per cubic meter, tests showed that on 
September 30, 1944, dust levels in Area C were as high as 9,130 micro-grams per cubic 
meter — 228 times the official tolerance level. March 1,1945, letter to Harshaw manager 
Fred Becker from Richard Tybout, 1 st Lt. Corps of Engineers Medical Section, via Pete 

65. Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication, p. 26. 

66. Analysis of the kidney tissue of one of the victims by the University of Roch- 

ester confirmed severe fluoride damage. "The pathological changes in the kidney are 
accounted for by the overwhelming dose of HF and the acute asphyxia." Capt. B. J. 
Mears to the District Engineer, Manhattan District, Oak Ridge (Attention: Major J. L. 
Ferry.) November 1, 1945. Oak Ridge Operations Records Holding Task Group. 
Classified Documents 1944-1994, RHTG document #38,658, ORoo34167, Box 214, 
Vault, Bldg. 2714-H. 

67. Rochester kidney report: "This report is of particular interest because (name 

redacted) was employed in the C-616 [uranium hexafluoride] plant and his duties 
required him to remove the receiver from the reactors. It is in this procedure that the 
employees come in contact with a cloud of PG [process gas] ... he was exposed to 
C-616 to the same extent as any other single employee." Capt. B. J. Mears to the 
District Engineer, Manhattan District, Oak Ridge (Attention: Major J. L. Ferry.) 
November 1, 1945. Oak Ridge Operations Records Holding Task Group, classified 
documents 1944-1994, RHTG document #38,658, ORoo34167, Box 214, Vault, Bldg. 

68. P. Dale and H. B. McCauley, "A Study of Dental Conditions in Workers 

Exposed to Dilute and Anhydrous Hydrofluoric Acid in Production," December 31, 
1943, File G-118, New York Operations Research and Medicine Division, 
Correspondence 1945-1952, Box 28-47, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

Also, on race: "Specimens showing large amount of T [code for uranium] are 
usually from the colored employees," noted an October 1945 memo from Manhattan 
Project Capt. B. J. Mears. "Because of their lack of personal responsibility," Mears 
complained, "this officer recommended that these specimens be collected before the 
employee starts to work." Of course, if workers gave urine specimens before their shift 
began, it would have the effect of measuring and recording lower levels of toxic 
exposure than they were actually receiving. Capt. Mears discriminated between the 
black workers and "employees who can be trusted." They were allowed to give urine at 
the end of their shift. Perhaps more importantly, those "trusted" workers, "consistently 
show T values well below 1 mg per liter." Memo from Capt. B. J. Mears, the Madison 
Square Area, October If, 1945, to Captain Fred A. Bryan, Medical Section, Manhattan 
District, Oak Ridge Tennessee. Subject: Urinalysis on Harshaw Chemical Company 
Workers, via Pete Eisler. 

69. P. Dale and H. B. McCauley, J. Am. Dent. Assoc., vol. 37, no. 2 (August 

1948), p. 132. 

70. Fedor formed a union safety committee, then contacted the Ohio Division of 

Safety and Health and persuaded that office to do a study of conditions in 



the fluoride plant.The state inspectors found fluoride levels as high as 6 and even 18 
ppm. State regulation permitted 3 parts per million. In 1949 Fedor submitted the first 
motion to an American Federation of Labor national convention, seeking greater 
union involvement in occupational safety issues. 
Author interview, October 2001. 


Despite multiple warnings from federal and state government, the industrial 
accidents, and pressure from John Fedor's safety committee, Harshaw's management 
seemed strangely unmoved. "Our plant hourly safety committee has been quite 
concerned about our HF problems, and I believe are exaggerating them, as I believe the 
hazards in Area C have been exaggerated," Vice President C. S. Parke wrote to the AEC 
official W. E. Kelly on February 3, 1948. "I speak somewhat as a layman, but we have 
manufactured HF fluorides for forty years. It is only lately that occupational disease has 
been suspected. Two of our men are reputed to have fluorosis, but nobody can tell us how 
this has harmed them. In fact, the inference by some doctors is that they have benefited. 
Certainly the situation is nothing to get alarmed at." C. S. Parke to W. E. Kelly, February 
3, 1948. AEC document via Pete Eisler. 72. Secretly the government was intensely 
interested in the medical fate of the Area C workers. When the plant finally closed in 
1952, AEC doctors proposed covertly "keeping tabs" on former employees — without 
letting the men and women know why they were being watched. "The ultimate objective 
is to determine the incidence of lung cancer . . . to justify the current M.A.C.'s [maximum 
allowable concentrations in the other AEC plants]," Dr. Roy E. Albert, the Assistant 
Chief of the Division of Biology and Medicine, explained in a 1955 letter to the 
University of Rochester's Dr. Louis H. Hempleman. "We have racked our brains for any 
useful subterfuge in carrying out the study but none came to mind which could possibly 
hold water for any length of time," he added. 

The subterfuge they used in the end to examine former workers at the 
Cleveland City Hospital was explained to a hospital doctor, Dr. Robert R. Stahl. "To 
putit baldly," Albert wrote Dr. Stahl on August 1, 1955, "Ithinkwe are fundamentally 
interested in the autopsy data, the examination program being a mechanism to keep 
tabs on the people involved in the survey." Extreme care was needed. If too much 
medical data were gathered from the workers, "there would be a distinct risk of 
stimulating lawsuits against the Atomic Energy Commission," Dr. Albert 
emphasized to Dr. Joseph T. Wearn at the School of Medicine at Western Reserve 
University in Cleveland, who would supervise the "study." 

The plan fell through. Dr. Stahl was appalled when he read the AEC proposal. 
He pushed the government men away, with an admonition about medical ethics. 
"The project protocol ... grossly misrepresents the type of information that AEC is 
apparently attempting to obtain," Dr. Stahl told Dr. Albert. "Basically," he added, "a 
health survey is being used as a "front' for obtaining such autopsy data . . . since this 
is the basic motive involved 

neither Dr. Scott nor myself are interested in such a project." The AEC had wanted to 
keep the men's records secret. "Allow me to remind you," Stahl added, "that a physician 
has a legal responsibility toward any patient seen to keep this patient's records in his 
files." File 092694-a, Box So95olB 196, ACHRE, RG 220. 

One disturbing aspect of this proposed study is the number of people who appear to 
have known of the gravity of the workers' exposure. For example, a May 7, 1953 memo 
to the Executive office of the CDC, from Alexander D. Longmuir, chief of the PHS 
Epidemiology Branch, states, Thursday morning I received a telephone call from Dr. 
Roy E. Albert, Medical Officer, New York Operations Office, AEC, 70 Columbus 
Avenue, New York City. Dr. Albert called me at the suggestion of my personal friend, 
Dr. David D. Rutstein, Professor of Preventive Medicine Harvard Medical School, 
because he felt we might be interested in a proposal he had to make. His proposal was 
the desirability of a follow up of between 400 and 600 employees of the Harshaw 
Chemical Company in Cleveland, Ohio. These employees were exposed for a period of 
from one to three years in 1945, *946, and 1947 to 600 times the tolerance dose of 
radioactive dust, resulting from the processing of uranium and radon. ... In view of 
reports from Europe, that uranium miners suffer an exceptionally high incidence of 
cancer of the lung, Dr. Albert and his advisory groups recommend that these employees 
also be studied for the same condition." Memo cc'd Dr. Roy E Albert and Dr. Alexander 
Gilliam. Medicine Health and Safety, AEC, RG 326. 

Stafford L. Warren, The Role of Radiology in the Development of the Atomic Bomb, p. 
856. DOE Opennet accession #NV0729o54« 
In the official review of the material releases from Oak Ridge and the relationship to 
community health effects, fluoride emissions were not even 73 considered, an omission that 
concerned at least one top scientist. Letter to Dr. Kowetha A. Davidson, Chair Oak Ridge 
Reservation Health Effects 74 Subcommittee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, from 
Kathleen M. Thiessen, ' PhD Senior Scientist, SENES, Oak Ridge, January 16, 2001 . Re: Oak 
Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee and review of the Oak Ridge Dose 
Reconstruction. Thiessen wrote that "there are a number of contaminants that were never 
evaluated quantitatively during either the Oak Ridge Dose Reconstruction ( 1 994_2ooo) or the 
preceding Phase I Dose Reconstruction Feasibility Study (1992-1993). ... [It is clear . . . that 
the fluorine and fluoride releases from K-25 alone were very large. ... It is my professional 
opinion that the historical fluorine and fluoride releases from the K-25 and Y-12 sites should 
be assessed quantitatively, both with respect to the amounts of material used and released, and 
with respect to the potential health implications for off-site individuals." cc: Rear Admiral 
Robert Williams, ATSDR, Mr. Jack Hanley, ATSDR. 

Paducah began production in 1954 At Portsmouth, Ohio, which opened in x 954, "the 
quantity of fluorine to be released was steadily increasing and that this fluorine could 
not be contained in any holding drum, but must be vented 

to keep the cascade in proper operation." Memo to H. L Caterson to K. H. Hart, 'Venting 
of Fluorine from the X-326 Building, October 3, 1955, 1089/120" cited in Arjun 
Makhijani, Bernd Franke, and Milton Hoenig, Preliminary Estimates of Emissions of 
Radioactive Materials and Fluorides to the Air from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion 
Plant, 1954-1984(unpublished), p. 19. 

76. Several of the Area C workers referred to the bridge damage and to the paint tarnishing on 
cars. The Sierra Club filed a lawsuit for $9,960,000 in Cuyahoga County Common 
Pleas Court alleging "fluoride fumes from the plant at -woo Harvard Ave., SE over the 
past twenty-two years, have destroyed the nearby Harvard Dennison Bridge." National 
Fluoridation News (January-February, 1971), p. 2. 

77- Pharmacology Report #558) Monthly Progress Report for June 1947, Box S09F0IB227, 
ACHRE, RG 220. 

78. AEC Monthly Status and Progress Reports, July 1949 via Pete Eisler, USA Today. The 

same document notes the "disastrous Donora episode of last winter." 

79. Sadtler told me that after World War II, "I was lecturing to the American Chemical 

Society in Cleveland . . . [on] "smoke, dust, fumes and fellow travellers.' . . . And a 
lawyer came up to me and said the judge wants to do something for the monsignor in a 
certain section of Cleveland. And we agreed that I would investigate. ... I did find out 
that Harshaw Chemical was letting off, I believe, HF." 

80. "At the present time, at least to percent of the fluorine generated for use in 

the manufacture of uranium hexafluoride is unavoidably lost in the vent gases from the 
process. The recovery of this fluorine has become of prime importance since the 
expansion of the uranium hexafluoride manufacturing facilities to the 48 tons of 
uranium per day production level. The estimated cost of the vented fluorine will amount 
to $400,000 per year based on the above percentage lost and a cost per pound of so. 65." 
Memo, "Recovery of Fluorine from Feed Plant Vent Gases," March 2, 1955, 0E1 14753, 
ORF18718 for plant damage. Both in Oak Ridge DOE Public Reading Room. 

For dumping, see Capt. Bernard Blum to Lt. Col. Luvern W. Kehe, "Contamination 
of Water in Poplar Creek," August to, 1945, Md 319.1, General Essays, Lectures, Box 
34, Manhattan Engineer District Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

81 . See also Chapters 5 and 8. For accounts of pollution in New Jersey and 

Pennsylvania, see 'The Peach Crop Cases." See also, for litigation, E. J. Largent, 
Fluorosis: The Health Aspects of Fluorine Compounds (Columbus, OH: Ohio State 
University Press, 1961), p. 124. "Claims of damage to plants and animals appeared in 
almost epidemic numbers along the Delaware River in the Philadelphia area in 1944 and 
1945... Since the beginning of this same period of time, a series of claims of fluoride 
induced damage have appeared in Tennessee." 

82. "Fluorine is an extremely toxic and hazardous chemical. There are three 

potential liabilities associated with its release to the atmosphere. The first 



and most significant is the potential effect on agriculture crops and livestock in the 
surrounding area. . . . The second significant liability is a hazard to personnel in the 
immediate area, both employees and the general public. The maximum allowable 
concentration of fluorine in the air as recommended by the national advisory group, the 
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, is o.i part per million. 
Any appreciable release of fluorine to the atmosphere will in all probability result in 
some concentrations in excess of this level. Although concentrations considerably in 
excess of this level can be tolerated without permanent injury, a basis for complaint and 
possible legal action does exist." Letter A. J. Garcia to C. L. Becker, " Fluorine Air 
Pollution at GAT Plant Site, August 30, 1954, 1089/124." Cited in Arjun Makhijani et 
al., Preliminary Estimates. 

83. A. Stern, Air Pollution (New York: Academic Press, 1962), p. 391. 

84. J. G. Rogers et al., Environmental Surveillance of the U.S. Department of 

Energy Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant and Surrounding Environs during 1987, 
April 1988, (ES/ESH-4/V4), 18. See also Makhijani, Franke, and Hoenig, Preliminary 
Estimates of Emissions of Radioactive Materials and Fluorides, p. 20. 

Also, for later HF releases at the Portsmouth, Ohio gaseous diffusion plant, 
although Ohio had no standards for gaseous fluorides: "As of 1986, Kentucky's seven 
day ambient air standard was .8 microgram HF/m3 ... in comparison data recording 
sheets from 1973 show individual fluoride measurements as high as 5 micrograms/m3. 
1982 and 1983 measurements also exceeded the above standard, with the maximum 
off-site average monthly concentrations of fluorides as HF around the plant varying 
between 1.94 and 6.09 microgram/m3 in 1982, and between 1.83 and 15.1 
microgram/m3 in 1983." Cited in Makhijani et al., Preliminary Estimates, p. 21. 

Chapter 5 

1. Three years later Harold Hodge would look out over another spectacular 

view as an official observer of the 1946 atomic bomb blast at Bikini Atoll in the South 
Pacific. H. Hodge, J. Dental Res., vol. 26 (1947), pp. 435-439. 

2. Md 600.914, Progress Reports Rochester, Box 47, Accession #4nn 326-85- 

005, Atlanta FRC.RG 326. 

3. Priorities were determined by combining the rating of: "(1) the toxicity and (2) the 
number of persons who had real or potential exposure to each compound." The top 
toxicological priorities were (uranium compounds) U0 ,.F2 and (nonuranium) F, and HF. 
Harold Hodge and Carl Voegtlin, eds., Pharmacology and Toxicology of Uranium 
Compounds, with a Section on the Pharmacology and Toxicology of Fluorine and 
Hydrogen Fluoride (New York: McGraw Hill, 1949), historical foreword, p. 5. 

4. Hein interview with Bob Woffinden, timecode 04.21.13, 1997. 

5. Hodge was a lead author with R. E. Gosselin, R. P. Smith, and M. E. Glea- 

son of Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, 5th ed. (Baltimore, MD: Williams 
and Wilkins, 1984). 



6. "Harold C. Hodge, 1904-1990, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeu- 

tics: Oral Biology: San Francisco." In Memoriam. E. Newborn et al., University of 
California, web posting. 

7. Biographical details in P. Morrow et al., "Profiles in Toxicology — Harold 

Carpenter Hodge (1904-1990)," Toxicological Sciences, vol. 53 (2000), pp. 

8. A once secret document, "Detailed Duties of Dr. Harold C. Hodge," lists 
the problems his Pharmacology Section helped to solve. One problem, the " 
necessity of stated daily maximum intake of fluoride to avoid poisoning," 
was solved at the Conference on Fluorine Metabolism at the Hotel Pennsyl 
vania in New York in January 1944. Hodge was one of the experts who set 
the maximum allowable concentration of "6 ppm as project allowable expo 
sure per day" (emphasis in original). Folder 2, Box So9F01B219, ACHRE, 
RG 220. 

Hodge was elsewhere also clearly conscious of the health toll the war's haste 
imposed upon workers. For example, in April 1945 he explained to Col. Hymer 
Friedell the reasons for increasing the maximum allowable con centration of 
uranium tetrafluoride and several other uranium compounds in bomb factories 
from 150 to 500 micrograms of uranium per cubic meter of factory air. It was an 
"emergency war measure to expedite industrial production," he explained, "a 
compromise between the air concentration which can be maintained during 
maximum production and the chance of injury to plant workers." Carl Voegtlin and 
Harold Hodge to Hymer Friedell, April 26, 1945. (Voegtlin was the retired head of the 
National Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester during the war.) This 
measure was implemented, directly affecting the work environment of thousands of 
Manhattan Project industrial workers. Col. Warren explained the new standard more 
bluntly: "In view of the extreme difficulty in maintaining concentrations of 150 
micrograms per cubic meter in industry, it is felt that such a change will be of definite 
benefit in expediting the war effort." Warren to the Area Engineers, June 1945. Both 
documents in Mm 3, Md 700, General Essays, Lectures, Box 34, Manhattan 
Engineer District Accession #411n 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

9. A key text is Hodge and Voegtlin, eds., Pharmacology and Toxicology of 
Uranium Compounds. See also, J. H. Simons, Fluorine Chemistry, vol. IV, by 
Harold C. Hodge and Frank A. Smith (New York: Academic Press, 1965) 
supported in part by a contract with the U.S. AEC at the University of Roch 
ester Atomic Energy Project. 

10. Hodge and Voegtlin, eds., Pharmacology and Toxicology of Uranium Compounds, 
historical foreword, p. 1 . 

1 1 . Hein interview with Mark Watts for Channel 4 Television in the United Kingdom. 
Interview recorded for "Don't Swallow Your Toothpaste," a program that aired in 
June 1997. 

12. Lansing Lamont, Day of Trinity (New York: Atheneum, 1985), p. 251: " The 
specter of endless lawsuits haunted the military." See also Groves's memo, 



cited in chapter 4, note 2, asking for toxicity data. According to the Harvard professor Phillip 
Drinker, a member of the AEC Stack Gas Committee and an AEC litigation consultant, "In 
1947 AEC was apprehensive about dam-age suits from personnel allegedly injured by 
radiations or by exposure to various chemicals used." Phillip Drinker to Dr. Thomas Shipman, 
Health Division Leader, Los Alamos, November 14, 1950, Medicine Health and Safety, RG 

For insurance, see article for Aetna's internal magazine The Aetna-izer, submitted by 
Vice President Clifford B. Morcom to Col. K. D. Nichols, August 31, 1945 for review. 'The 
billion-dollar atomic bomb plant at Oak Ridge, Term., is probably the most interesting and 
important of the large number of war projects on which the Aetna Casualty and Surety 
Company provided coverage in whole or in part, in the last few years. ... As a result of this 
need for iron-clad secrecy, the representatives of the Manhattan Project could not even hint to 
us, or to anyone else, as to what the product of the Clinton Engineer Works was going to be, 
or what exposures or hazards there would be in its manufacture. It was manifestly impossible 
for us to provide insurance on any regular basis in view of these circumstances; but the 
government had asked for our help, and we were anxious to comply." The following passage 
is scratched out: "in essence, the plan placed the facilities of our organization at the disposal 
of our policyholders; and, in return for this, the Government agreed to reimburse us for any 
losses we might sustain." Aetna, Office of Public Information 1944-1957 Box 12, Accession 
#73Ao898, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

For Travelers, see memo to Col. Warren from Capt. Ferry, March 25, 1944, "Conference 
in Wilmington, loth March 1944." Five DuPont officials, two majors from the Manhattan 
Project, and Mr. Wm. M. Worrell of the Travelers Insurance Co. "Item 3. In a number of 
instances, men working on construction have been exposed to fumes from processes which 
give off HF in concentrations sufficient to make them leave their work temporarily. In at 
least one case illness followed the exposure." Md 700.2, Univ. of Rochester ( Medical), Box 
54, Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

Groves, Now It Can Be Told, p. 57: 'To facilitate the handling of claims not resulting 
from a major catastrophe a special fund was established. This fund was placed under the 
control of du Pont so that it could continue to be available for many years." And on March 28, 
1944 at a conference on Extra-Hazardous Insurance attended by the military officials 
and industrial contractors readying the K-25 plant, Kellex management stated that they were 
"especially concerned" about the health risk from fluoride exposures. The K-25 employees 
were, accordingly, defined by a simple criterion, their exposure to fluoride, and categorized 
"into three (3) groups; those having regular, casual or no exposure to C616 and C216 [codes 
for uranium hexa-fluoride and fluorine gas]." At the conference Col. Warren was informed 
that" the decision was made by Kellex officials that the names of all employees would be 
submitted to the [Manhattan Project's] District Insurance Sec- 



tion, with estimates of the amount of their exposure." Memo to Col. Stafford Warren 
from Capt Ferry, April 4, 1944. "Conference on Extra-Hazardous Insurance 28 March 
1944." Md 337, New York Meetings and Conferences, Box 30, Accession #4nn 
326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 13 Several of the Manhattan Project's biggest 
industrial contractors had been badly exposed to worker lawsuits before the war. In the 
mid-1930s Union Carbide — now running the K-25 gaseous diffusion plant at Oak 
Ridge — had endured congressional scrutiny and legal claims following the Gauley 
Bridge silicosis deaths. DuPont, too, had won cruel headlines in the early 1 9305 from the 
New York press following an epidemic of death and injury at its New Jersey terra ethyl 
lead plants. 

Bomb-program officials also recalled the prewar litigation and public scandal 
over female workers who had died following their employment at the U.S. Radium 
Corporation in Orange, New Jersey, their jaws eaten by cancer after licking radium 
from the brushes they had wetted to paint luminescent watch dials. See, for example, 
"Review of Document" by L. F. Spalding of the Insurance Branch to Charles A. Keller, 
Declassification Officer, February 5, 1948: "We have reviewed ["Biochemical Studies 
Relating to the Effects of Radiation and Metals" by Samuel Schwartz] from a 
nontechnical point of view and although it is conceivable that the contents thereof 
might arouse some claim consciousness on the part of former employees we are unable 
to predict that the Commission's interests would be unjustifiably prejudiced by its 
publication. However, in the event latent disabilities due to exposures reported in this 
document should result in publicity similar to that which arose out of the "radium dial' 
industry, the public relations division would be involved." Document S09FO lb22, File 
DOE 120994-AA #1 ACHRE, RG 220. 

See also Hodge, J. Dent. Res., vol. 26 (1947), pp. 435-439. 'These women, 
despite all safeguards, persisted in tipping on their tongues the brushes they were 
using to apply radium paint to airplane dials. Those unfortunate enough to retain lethal 
amounts of radioactive material died of cancer from radium deposited in the bones; 
deaths were recorded five, ten, fifteen years later." For an excellent summary of the 
radium dial painters, see Eileen Welsome, The Plutonium Files (New York: Dial Press, 
1999), p. 47. 

See for example, The Medical Section has been charged with the responsibility of 
obtaining toxicological data which will insure the District's being in a favorable 
position in case litigation develops from exposure to the materials," Col. Stafford 
Warren to Dr. John Foulgar of DuPont's Haskell Laboratory in a letter dated August 
12, 1944 Box 25, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. Also, it appears that 
some studies were simply not performed, or at least that data were not published. 
Where are the published studies of the toxicity of oxygen fluoride, a chemical that 
Hodge's team referred to as " the most toxic substance known" and was listed as a high 
priority for bomb program investigation? Where are the chronic studies on the various 
fluorocarbon compounds being used in the diffusion plants? The reluctance 


NOTES l'O CHAPTER 5 / P. 68 

of Hodge's team to perform such studies, which of course better resembled the actual 
conditions workers faced, was a frustration of Harvard University's Harriet Hardy, a 
leading beryllium researcher. "The chronic disease is certainly our most pressing problem, 
and at present the whole weight of the Rochester work, if I understood Dr. Hodge, is on 
the acute manifestation.... I cannot understand the defeatist attitude about producing 
chronic changes in animals with beryllium compounds sufficiently approximate to the 
human pathology." Dr. Hardy to Dr. Warren, "Recent trips to Cleveland and Rochester," 
September 13, 1949, DOE Opennet #1 153735. 

15. Col. Stafford Warren, Memorandum to the Files, "Purpose and Limitations of the 
Biological and Health Physics Research Program," July 30, 1945, p. 3, Medical and 
Health Problems, Box 36, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

16. Lt. Col. Hymer Friedell, Memo, "Future Medical Research Program," Feb- 

ruary 26, 1946, is found as the third item in a file located at 0712317 in the Department 
of Energy's HREX electronic search engine. 

17. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation had funded broad 
programs of dental research at Rochester, Yale, and Harvard during the 
Depression, seeking to improve the terrible condition of teeth in the United 
States. There is no indication in the files seen by this author that the prewar 
granting was anything other than philanthropic in nature. 

For Hodge's resume, see his testimony before Cong. Wier. HR 2341: "A Bill to 
Protect the Public Health from the Dangers of Fluorination of Water." Hearings Before 
the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, 83rd 
Congress, May 25, 26, and 27, 1954, p. 470. "Since 1937 I have been continuously 
engaged part time as a consultant toxicolo-gist for a number of industrial companies." 

18. Hodge links to Eastman from author interview with toxicologist and Roch- 

ester alumnus Robert Phalen. 

19. The University of Rochester's Manhattan Project medical budget included 
specific funding for Rockefeller projects. Rochester Organizational Chart. 
Also, ESSO labs, Standard Oil, and the Rockefeller Institute were working 
on various projects, including the hexafluoride gas centrifuge. "PB 
authorizations as of March 9, 1942, 1/14/42 Standard Oil Development Co. " 
Centrifuge method of separation leading to design of plant' PB #2 amount 
$loo,000"' and "3/9/42 Standard Oil Development Co. "Pilot Plant Building' 
PB #12 $250,000." Doc #310, Records of Section S-l Executive Committee, 
RG 227.3.1. The Carnegie Institute of Washington had fluoride interests, as 
well. It investigated liquid thermal diffusion with Philip Abelson as early as 
1941, in a precursor project to the Philadelphia Navy Yard project, which was 
itself a prototype of the S-5o complex at Oak Ridge. Amato, I., "Pushing the 
Horizon. Seventy-Five Years of High Stakes Science and Technology at the 
Naval Research Laboratory." 

See also Harold Urey, Program Chief, Columbia University to James Conant, 
January 19, 1942: "I wish to recommend that a contract be drawn 



to the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York, NY for work on the 
separation of the uranium isotopes by the mobility method, this work to be done under the 
direction of Dr. Duncan A Maclnnes and Dr. Lewis G Longsworth." And November 19, 
1942, to Dr. Wensel from Urey: "I have asked the Rockefeller Institute people under Dr. 
Maclnnis to do some work on the chemical separation work ... I wonder if it would be 
possible to amend their contract." Doc #336, Records of Section S-l, Executive Com- 
mittee, RG 227.3.1. 

20. Col. Warren to Dr. John Foulger Box 25, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

21. Much of this account was cowritten with Joel Griffiths and first appeared in 

1997 in various alternative media outlets, including Earth Island Journal, eventually 
winning a 1999 Project Censored Award. 

22. Garfield Clark was measured at 25.6 ppm blood fluoride, 01 lie Danner at 31.0 ppm. 
Farmer Willard Kille, diagnosed by his doctor as fluoride poisoned, had 15.0 ppm. 
Report submitted by Philip Sadtler, December 11, 1945. In Groves papers, NARA. That 
these levels are high can be seen from H. Hodge and F. A. Smith, Fluorine Chemistry, vol. 
IV, p. 15. (The New York Examiner's office made available for autopsy the bodies of fatal 
fluoride poisonings from 1935 to 1949. Those data showed fluoride blood levels of 
between 3.5 and 15.5 ppm.) 

23. The company's giant Chamber Works at Deepwater, New Jersey, near the mouth of the 
Delaware River, has long handled some of the company's most dangerous chemicals, with 
workers and the local community traditionally paying the price. During World War I as 
many as 1 0,000 workers had been employed there making munitions and poison gas, 
according to G. Colby, DuPont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain (Secaucus, NJ: Lyle 
Stuart, 1984), p 


Referring to World War I aftermath, Colby writes, "In DuPont's Deepwa-ter, New 
Jersey, plant across the river from Wilmington, workers died from poisonous fumes of 
the lethal benzol series, their bodies turning a steel blue. At the Penns Grove, New Jersey, 
plant workers were called ~ canaries': picric acid had actually dyed their skins yellow. 
Picric acid poisons the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, attacks the intestinal 
tract, and destroys the kidneys and nerve centers." In the 1920S several Deepwater 
workers had also been killed and hundreds injured in an horrific and months-long episode, 
dubbed by the New York press "the loony gas" poisoning, as DuPont began making the 
highly toxic gasoline additive tetra ethyl lead (TEL). Salem County, where the plant is 
located, had the highest rate of bladder cancer for white males in the United States from 
1950 to 1969, according to the National Cancer Institute. Also, the New York Times' 
Mary Churchill learned in January 1975 that since 1919, 330 employees at the plant had 
contracted bladder cancer. 

See also the testimony of Willis F. Harrington, former Chair of DuPont's Kinetic 
Chemicals, United States vs. DuPont (1953), p. 693. United States of 


NOTES TO C H A P T E R 5 / PP. 70—72 

America vs. E. 1. DuPont de Nemours, General Motors, United States Rubber, et al., 
Civil Action No. 49 C-lo71, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 
Eastern Division, before Judge LaBuy, April 13, 1953, p. 3798. For Manhattan Project 
employees during World War II, William C. Bern-stein, Captain Medical Corps. 
Memorandum To Colonel Stafford L. Warren, Chief Medical Section. November 3, 
1944. Subject: Report on Medical Section in Wilmington, Delaware. November 3, 
1944, Box 14, Wilmington Area, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. (Note 
attached from How-land, " total engaged in work of Manhattan District 1 122.") 

24. William C. Bernstein, Captain Medical Corps. Memorandum to Colonel Stafford L. 
Warren, Chief Medical Section. November 3, 1944. Subject: Report on Medical 
Section in Wilmington, Delaware. November 3, 1944, Wilmington Area, Box 14, 
Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

25. B. J. Mears, Captain, Medical Corps, Assistant. Medical Clearance on Termi- 

nated Madison Square Area Contracts. To: The District Engineer, Manhattan District, 
Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (Attention: Major J. E. Ferry). October 5, 

1945, Medical Clearances, Terminated Madison Square Contracts, Box 36, 
Accession #4nn 326-87-6, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

26. William C. Bernstein Captain, Medical Corps, Memorandum to Col. Stafford 

L. Warren, Chief, Medical Section, Subject: Occupational Disability Cases Observed. 
November 3, 1944, Wilmington Area, Box 14, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta 
FRC, RG 326. 

27. To Stafford Warren, Subject: Supplementary Report of Medical Examination 

at X- Works [code for Chamber Works] February 2, 1945, Wilmington Area, Box 14, 
Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

28. William C. Bernstein, Captain, Medical Corps. Memorandum to Col. Stafford 

L. Warren, Chief Medical Section. November 3, 1944. Subject: Report on Medical 
Section in Wilmington, Delaware. November 3, 1944. Wilmington Area, Box 14, 
Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

29. "Memorandum to the files, Subject: Recapitulation of Work Accomplished 

During Temporary Duty at X Works." 1st. Lt. Birchard M. Brundage, February 17, 

30. Memo to Capt. B. Brundage (through Col. Warren), November 23, 1945 (draft 

version, accompanied by handwritten notes detailing other "nuisance claims") . General 
Correspondence, Box 36, New York Operations Research and Medicine Division, 
Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

31. Hodge to Warren, March U, 1946. Md 700.2, Division of Rochester, Atlanta 

FRC, RG 326. For volume of fluoride in air pollution, see example, "In the Kinetics 
plant, Mr Knowles described the practice of ten years back in which SiF4 was vented to 
the air. SiF4 is quite poisonous." Hodge to Warren, May 1, 

1946, cc Lt. Col. Rhodes, Crop Contamination (New Jersey), Box 33, Acces 
sion #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

32. Hodge to Warren, May 1, 1946, cc. Lt. Col. Rhodes, Crop Contamination ( 

New Jersey), Box 33, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 



33* Lt. Col. Cooper Rhodes memo to General Nichols, "Subject: Conference with Mr. 
Willard B. Kille." March 25, 1946. Groves Papers, NARA, via Griffiths and 

34* Conference on Fluorine Residues, February 12,1946, Groves Papers, NARA, via 
Griffiths and Honicker. 

35. Cooper B. Rhodes, Lt. Col. "Memorandum for the Files. Subject: Peach 

Crop Cases (Kille et al. vs. DuPont), 2 May 1946. . . . Cc: General Groves, General 
Nichols." Groves Papers, NARA, via Honicker and Griffiths. 

36. Groves to the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, Pentagon Build- 

ing, Washington, DC, August 27, 1945, Groves Papers, NARA. 

37. Gen. Groves to Sen. McMahon, February 18, 1946, Groves Papers, NARA. 

38. The note to Groves's senior deputy includes a response, dated February 25, 1946. 
"General Groves: That firm of consulting chemists has been employed by the 
plaintiffs in the "peach crop' suits against DuPont, and Mr. Sadtler has been very 
active in gathering evidence to present on behalf of the plaintiffs in those suits." 
Groves Papers, NARA, via Honicker and Griffiths. 

39. Multiple taped author interviews with Philip Sadtler, March 1993. Also, account 
from The Chemist (1965), pp. 349-350; that the Sadtler firm had testified on 
behalf of Coca-Cola to say that cocaine was not a chemical ingredient of the 

40. Sadtler recalled that one of the agents he had met in the New Jersey orchards later 
gave an account of their wartime sleuthing to the media. Joseph Mar-shall, "How 
We Kept the Atomic Bomb Secret," Saturday Evening Post, November to, 1945, 
includes the following story: "Once, in an East Coast city, Agents Harold Jensen 
and Harold Zindle were maintaining constant surveillance of an individual under 
suspicion of being involved with enemy agents." The Post story does not give the 
name of the person being tailed but reports that the government agents believed the 
"subject . . . apparently suspected he was under surveillance," and so they built a 
fence to block escape from the house via the rear. The published account concludes, 
"It is presumed that the subject is still wondering why his neighbor decided to put 
up the fence so suddenly, and his neighbor is wondering why the subject did. And 
Security is still wondering whether the subject is a spy." Sadtler told this writer that 
he had no idea he was under surveillance but that on one occasion, "I decided to 
take the car rather than the train and I jumped the fence so they did not see me 
come out." Sadtler was gutsy. He rented a plane and flew over the DuPont works, 
to investigate the pollution, further displeasing authorities. Author interview. 

41. Interview with Joel Griffiths, first published in Griffiths and Bryson, "Fluoride, 
Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb," Waste Not: The Reporter for Rational Resource 
Management, September 1997. 

42. File. Lt. Col. Cooper B. Rhodes, "Kille et al. (12 Separate Cases) vs. DuPont." 
February 13, 1946, Groves Papers, NARA. 

43. Groves to the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, Pentagon Building, 
Washington, DC, August 27, 1945. Groves Papers, NARA. 



44. Gen. Groves to Sen. McMahon, February 18, 1946, Groves Papers, NARA. 45- Giordano 
interviews conducted in 1997 by Joel Griffiths and Clifford Hon-icker on a trip to the peach 
orchards. Clemente interview conducted by telephone and e-mail with the author in 2002. 

46. C. A. Taney Jr., Major, Corps of Engineers, to William C. Gotshalk, Sep- 

tember 24, 1945, cc. General Groves, in Groves file on New Jersey pollution, NARA, 
via Joel Griffiths. 

47. William Gotshalk to Maj. C. A. Taney, U.S. Engineer Office, New York, 

NY, August 28, 1945, Groves Papers, NARA. 

48. Maj. C. A. Taney to Gen. L. R. Groves, June I, m Groves Papers, NARA. 
49" Thiessen, interviewed several times for this book, is a senior scientist with 

SENES Oak Ridge, Inc., Center for Risk Analysis. She is the author of Summary Review of 
Health Effects Associated with Hydrogen Fluoride and Related Compounds. U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, December 1988. 5o. Lt. Col. Cooper B. Rhodes, 
"Memorandum for the Files. Subject: Peach Crop Cases, Kille et al. vs. DuPont, May 2, 1946, 
Cc: General Groves, General Nichols." Groves Papers, NARA, via Honicker and Griffiths. 

Chapter 6 

1. Time, April 24, 1944, p. 43. 

2. D. B. Ast, "A Plan to Determine the Practicability, Efficacy, and Safety of Fluorinating a 
Communal Water-Supply, Deficient in Fluorine, to Control Dental Caries," in W. J. Gies, 
ed., Fluorine in Dental Public Health (New York: New York Institute of Clinical Oral 
Pathology, 1945), p. 44. 

Ast's paper was delivered at a symposium of the New York Institute of Clinical Oral 
Pathology, New York City, October 30, 1944. According to the editors of Fluorine in 
Dental Public Health, "Dr. Ast's address (pp. 40-45) states the basis for, and the 
procedure in, the effort in the State of New York to determine, in a comprehensive and 
extended research, whether mass prevention (control) of dental caries (under the 
conditions stated in the preceding paragraph) is attainable without inducing toxic effects 
elsewhere in the body," p. 6 (emphasis in the original). See also F. McKay, Fluorine in 
Dental Public Health, p. 18, "Newburgh has become another "biological experiment 
station,' in which the rationale is applied directly to humans without previous laboratory 
experiments on animals." 

3. Memorandum "Summary of Conference with Colonel Nichols," dated New 
York City, July 23, 1943, notes, "5. Agreed to farming out Fl and HF toxicity 
experiments to Dr. Fairhall of the U.S. Public Health Service, Bethesda, Mr 
[left blank] through Dr. Wenzel — with experiments outlined by Drs Hodge 
and Ferry." Thus, the Manhattan Project is secretly directing the wartime 
PHS fluoride studies. Bomb-program medical planners, including Drs. 
Hodge, Friedell, and Warren, decided on August 31, 1943, that there was 
need for an "orientation conference on fluorine toxicity under auspices of 
the U.S. Public Health Service or OSRD." New York Operations Research 



and Medicine Division, Correspondence 1945-1952, Box 36, RG 326. The 
conference transcripts are in a file in the same box coded "G-H8." 

4. James Conant, Chairman NRDC, to Mr. J. J. Townsend, Public Health Service, 
Bethesda, MD, September 25, 1943; and Townsend to Conant, September 29, 1943, 
Documents 295 and 296, Records of Section S-i Executive Committee, RG 227.3.1. 

5. Transcript of Metabolism of Fluorides Conference, main session, Hotel 

Pennsylvania, New York, NY, January 6, 1944, Dr. Neal, p. 24, via Pete Eisler, 
USA Today. 

6. Ibid., Dr. Calvary, Chief of the Division of Pharmacology, FDA, p. 22. On 

animal tests, see Memo to Safety Section files, Joseph Faust, Assoc. Engineer 
(Safety) January 14, 1944, Oak Ridge Reading Room, ORO #1304. 

7. Transcript of "Metabolism of Fluorides" Conference, main session, Hotel 
Pennsylvania, New York, NY, January 6, 1944, via Pete Eisler, Ast comment at p. 27. 
(Interviewed by me in 1997, David Ast said that he could not remember having 
attended the New York conference.) 

8. Memorandum to The Area Engineer, Rochester Area, Rochester, NY. Subject: 
Funds for Incidental Expenses of Meeting on "Fluoride Metabolism," December 31, 
1943. John L. Ferry, Md 123 (729.3), File labeled G-l 18 (c), Az, Box 36, Accession 
#72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

9. "I think it would be a definite step forward if we forgot about definite limits and 
called them "control limits, — stated Helmuth Schrenk from the U.S. Bureau of 
Mines. Committee on Fluoride Metabolism, Round Table Discussion During 
Luncheon Period, continued in the Evening, January 6, 1944. All of these quotes 
come from the same lunchtime conference transcript. Transcript in file labeled 
G-l 18 (c), A2, Box 36, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

10. E. R. Schlesinger, D. E. Overton, and H. Chase, "Newburgh-Kingston Car 
ies-Fluorine Study II. Pediatric Aspects — Preliminary Report," Am. J. Public 
Health (June 1950), p. 725. 

u. "It is unknown," for example, complained Captain Peter P. Dale of Harold Hodge's 
Division of Pharmacology, in September 1945, "what the critical levels of T, F or 
"V storage in man are [codes for uranium, fluoride, and plutonium], or whether they 
may have a potentially deleterious effect. Are such factors as the age, sex and the 
physical and chemical properties of the reagent important?" "Dental Research 
Program" Memo to Stafford L. Warren, September 24, 1945, from Capt. Peter P. 
Dale, Capt., DC AUS. 

12. D. E. Gardner, F. A. Smith, and H. C. Hodge (with D. E. Overton and R. Feltman) 
UR 200 Quarterly Technical Report (October 1, 1951— December 31, 1951), 
University of Rochester, "Fluoride Concentration of Placental Tissue," p. 4. "D. E. 
Overton of the Newburgh Fluorine Demonstration secured the samples from 
patients in that city." Published version in Science 115 (February 22, 1952), p. 208. 

13. Memo to Lt. Col. Hymer Friedell from Capt., Henry L. Barnett, February 8, 

1946, "Organizational Plan for Manhattan District Personnel Assigned 


NOTES TO C H A P T E R 6 / PP. 83-84 

to Japanese Report." Barnett had also seen the Trinity explosion, and been among the 
first to detect the fallout cloud. Lansing Lamont, Day of Trinity ( New York: Atheneum, 
1965), p. 244. An H. "C" Barnett is listed in charge of "special studies" at the University 
of Rochester, "Organization Chart of the Manhattan Department, University of 
Rochester," in Harold Hodge and Carl Voegtlin, eds., Pharmacology and Toxicology of 
Uranium Compounds, with a Section on the Pharmacology and 'Toxicology of Fluorine 
and Hydrogen Fluoride (New York: McGraw Hill, 1949), p. lo6i. Still another member 
of the Newburgh Technical Advisory Committee, a Columbia University 
biostatistician, John Fertig, may have been connected to the bomb program. Fertig did 
war work for the Office of Scientific Research and Development ( OSRD), the same 
federal bureaucracy that had sired the atomic bomb. American Men of Science, 9th and 
loth editions. 

14. For Howland's fluoride work: F. A. Smith, D. E. Gardner, and H. C. Hodge, " 

Investigations on the Metabolism of Fluoride," J. Dent. Research (October 1950), p. 
596: "We are indebted to Dr. J. Howland for taking the Rochester blood samples." (The 
study is a comparison of the fluoride levels in blood and urine in Newburgh and 
Rochester.) Also, Howland wrote "Studies on Human Exposure to Uranium 
Compounds," which investigated the Philadelphia Navy Yard blast, blaming "the 
fluoride ion" for injuries. Hodge and Voegtlin, eds., Pharmacology and Toxicology of 
Uranium Compounds, p. 1005: Howland had helped to assemble the atomic bombs on 
the Pacific island of Tinian, then surveyed the aftermath with his Rochester colleague, 
Capt. Barnett. 

15. Eileen Welsome, The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments 

in the Cold War (New York: Random House, 1999). Capt. J. W. Howland was selected 
as Assistant Head of the Division of Biological and Health Physics Research of the 
Medical Section. "The Manhattan District Official History," Book 1, General, vol. 7, 
Medical Program, p. 5.17. 

16. Similarly, Ast could not recall a documented 1946 trip to New Jersey with 

Harold Hodge after the war, to study the poisoned children near the DuPont uranium 
hexafluoride plant. Author interview, 1997. 

17. "Fluoride Metabolism: Its significance in Water Fluoridation" J. Am. Dent. 

Assoc., vol. 52 (March 1956), p. 307. 

18. As medical director, Capt. Friedell had been well aware of the Manhattan 

Project's concern about fluorides. On January 20, 1943, for example, after visiting the 
War Research Laboratories at Columbia University, where a small-scale fluoride 
gaseous diffusion plant had already been built, he reported that "The primary potential 
sources of difficulty may be present in the handling of uranium compounds . . . and the 
coincident use of fluorides which are an integral part of the process." "Initiation of 
Medical Program for Project at Columbia University," January 20, 1943, Friedell to 
District Engineer. Friedell had also investigated fluoride poisoning in workers at the 
Harshaw Chemical Company in Cleveland. 

19. "Information that fluorides are not hazardous" would have been especially 

helpful to the bomb program's Legal Division, suggested Friedell. 



20. Author interview, December 3, 2002. 

21. Dean's epidemiological studies in the 19305 had given key scientific support 

to the idea that fluoride may play a role in dental health. As the PHS's key fluoride 
expert, Dean attended at least one Newburgh Advisory Committee meeting. 

22. G-10 file, Correspondence 1945-1952, New York Operations Research And 

Medicine Division, Box 38, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

23. Also in the G-to file is a letter from Rochester's Harold Hodge to Dr. Edward 

S. Rogers of the New York Department of Health, requesting more bone X-rays of 
Newburgh and Kingston children. "This would give us a good check on . . . 
whether the general development, especially the skeletal development, in the two 
cities is comparable," Hodge explained. Similar information was then being 
sought from workers in the wartime bomb factories, where bone X-rays were an 
early warning of fluoride poisoning. "The purpose of X-raying the Newburgh 
children was, to pick up any toxic effect which would manifest itself in bone 
changes." Conference with members of the Technical Advisory Committee on 
Fluorination of Water Supplies, June I, 1944, G-10 File. 

24. G-10 file, Correspondence 1945-1952, New York Operations Research And 

Medicine Division, Box 38, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

25. Dean's opposition "constituted a strong minority expression" Chairman Hodge 
noted. New York's leading dental official, David Ast, was furious at the Public 
Health Service expert's behavior that day. "It upset me a great deal," commented Ast. 
More than half a century later, Ast stills feels double-crossed by Dean. Ast had been 
planning the Newburgh experiment for more than a year. "I had conferred with him 
about the Newburgh study and he had encouraged me," Ast told me. Taped author 
interview, July 31, 2002. Ast was then "almost too." While he said that he knew 
Hodge had "something" to do with the Manhattan Project, he attributed Dean's 
flip-flop on public-health concerns to career ambition. Behind the scenes a furious 
scramble was taking place to be the first to add fluoride to the United States' water. 
Dean had been planning his own fluoridation experiment, Ast said. "He was going 
to do it in Michigan. He wanted to get in before I could." 

26. In an enthusiastic letter to Dr. William Davis of the Michigan Bureau of 
Public Health Dentistry, Dean makes no further mention of the worrisome 
potential "toxic effects" he had feared in Newburgh. "Let me know what you think 
of actually getting started on this proposition," he wrote to Davis on July 14, 1944. 
"I still think Grand Rapids would probably be the most desirable place for the 
fluorination." Money would be no problem, Dean suggested. "You would 
probably have little difficultly in obtaining this from a foundation, for instance the 
Kellogg Foundation," he wrote to Dr. Davis. Frank J. McClure, Water 
Fluoridation: The Search and the Victory (Bethesda, MD: U.S. NIDR, 1970), p. 

27. "Let no one think that any one of us would seriously consider exposing the 

population of a city of 165,000 [Grand Rapids' population in 19441 to a possible 
hazard of an unknown risk," the Chief Dental Officer for the PHS, 


NOTES TO C H A P T E R 6 J PP. 87-92 

John Knutson, told the Michigan State Dental Society in 1953. J. W. Knutson, "An 
Evaluation of the Grand Rapids Water Fluoridation Project," J. Michigan State Medical 
Sc., vol. 53 (1954), p. 1 0 0 1 . Cited in McClure, Water Fluorida-tion, p. n o . 

28. Multiple interviews with author. First published in Griffiths and Bryson, " 

Fluoride, Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb," Waste Not: The Reporter for Rational 
Resource Management (September 1997). 

29. Progress Report No. 1 of Contract No. W-74ol-eng-49 at the University of Rochester 
(report of the work for period May 1, 1943, to December31, 1943, submitted by Andrew 
H. Dowdy, M.D., Director), Box 800018227, ACHRE, RG 220. 

30. "DuPont" File, New York Operations Research and Medicine Division, Correspondence 
1945-1952, Box 28-47, Box 36, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. For Priest's fluorine work at 
Columbia, see multiple papers in Industrial and Engineering Chem. (March 1947). 

31. P. Dale and H. B. McCauley, "Dental Conditions in Workers Chronically Exposed to 
Dilute and Anhydrous Hydrofluoric Acid," JADA, vol. 37, no. 2 ( August 1948). First 
presented at the twenty-fifth general meeting of the International Association of Dental 
Research, Chicago, June 21-22, 1947. 

32. See chapter 4, notes 72 and 73. 

33- The published study acknowledges the "assistance and suggestions of Drs Harold C. 
Hodge, ... in the preparation of this paper." The unpublished version is via Griffiths and 

34. Division of Safety and Hygiene, March 1, 1949, John H. Fluker, Superin- 
tendent, Division of Safety and Hygiene, Columbus, OH, In Re: Harshaw Chemical 
Company. Memo, via John Fedor. 

35. "Tabulation of results obtained from measurements of urine samples collected 

from workers at the Harshaw Chemical Company from 6 to 13 December 1 945." Report 
No. 5373- From Capt. B. J. Mears to Mr. F. A. Becker, Harshaw Chemical Company, Md 
319.1, General Essays, Lectures, Medical Report, Box 34, #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta 
FRC, RG 326. 

Chapter 7 

1. J. Marks, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Con- 

trol (New York: Times Books, 1979). 

2. See Subproject 46 of John Marks collection at the National Security Archive. 
There is a second document in these files noting an interest in fluoride. A 
redacted November 29, 1949, letter discusses chemicals best suited to kill 
people. "One of these, sodium fluoacetate, when ingested in sufficient quan 
tities to cause death does not cause characteristic pathologic lesions nor 
does it increase the amount of fluorine in the body to such a degree that it 
can be detected by quantitative methods." See Box 4, file titled "Document 
Indexes Abstracts and Documents," Marks Collection, National Archive. 

3. "Those present at the meeting were Drs. Dowdy, Bale, Fink, McKann, Bas- 

sett, Hodge, and others representing the Rochester Group, Capt. Bryan 



representing Col. Warren's office, and W. Langham representing the Santa Fe 
group." Folder 4, Box SoFolB230, ACHRE, RG 220. 

4. "Distribution and Excretion of Plutonium Administered Intravenously to 

Man," September 20, 1950, Division of Health and Biology, Folder 5, Box 
SoFolB23o, ACHRE, RG 220. 

5. Welsome, The Plutonium Files, p. 475. 

6. Details of those government experiments were declassified in 1994. On June 5, 1945, 
for example, a University of Rochester letter marked "Secret" details plans for 
"increasing the human metabolism studies." Ten additional patients are scheduled for 
"injection with T [code for uranium]," the letter states. "The preparation and analysis 
will be done by Dr. Hodge," notes the author, Dr. Andrew Dowdy, to Dr. W. F. Bale, 
of Rochester's "Special Problems Division." The letter is cc'd to Dr. Hodge. Dr. 
Andrew Dowdy to Dr. W. F. Bale, Special Problems Division. University of 
Rochester intramural correspondence, Box SoFolB23o, ACHRE, RG 220. 

The following year, 1946, Hodge was given direct responsibility for the 
experiments. L. H. Hemplemann and Wright H. Langham, "Detailed Plan of Product 
Part of Rochester Experiment." This document has a section called " General Plan of 
the Rochester Experiment" at p. 5, which details Hodge's involvement in the uranium 
experiments. Document marked 9000528, Box So9FolB23o, ACHRE, RG 220. 

7. The document, titled "Detailed Plan of Product [code for plutonium] Part of 
Rochester Experiment," includes a section on other human experiments. The 
medical director, Stafford Warren, had determined that "fifty subjects" were 
needed, ten for each substance, the document explained, "in order to 
establish, on a statistically significant number of subjects, the metabolic 
behavior of the hazardous material, product [code for plutonium], radium, 
postum, tuballoy [code for uranium] and lead." Under the subheading "Per 
sonnel and Distribution of Responsibility," a single name is listed for the 
uranium experiments: "Harold Hodge." Both patient accounts are from 
University of Rochester Monthly Progress Reports, for April 1947 (M-1968) 
and February 1947 (M-1954), Box S09FolB230, ACHRE, RG 220. 

An internal Rochester report on the experiments, "The Tolerance of Man for 
Hexavalent Uranium," noted that for the final subject, the alcoholic, the experiments 
had been successful, and that the "rise in urinary catalase and protein" from the man's 
liver suggested that, for uranium exposure, "tolerance had been reached." Samuel 
Basset, Albert Frenkel, Nathan Cedars, Helen Can Alstine, Christine Waterhouse, 
and Katherine Cusson, " The Tolerance of Man for Hexavalent Uranium," Folder 4, 
Box SoFolB23o, ACHRE, RG 220. 

8. Dr. Sweet wanted to study whether uranium could be used in "therapy of 
brain tumors." See Bob Bernard, interviewed by Newell Stannard in 1975, for 
Hodge link to uranium injections on Bill Sweet's patients at Massachusetts 
General Hospital. DOE Opennet #0026691. However, according to an inter 
nal report from the Union Carbide Nuclear company, the Atomic Energy 


NOTES TO C H A P T E R 7 / PP. 93—98 

Commission at Oak Ridge was "concerned with the long-term radiological effect that 
enriched uranium may have upon production employees who have inhaled dusts, mists 
and fumes of uranium." Accordingly, uranium injections were given to Massachusetts 
General Hospital patients following their tumor operations, in order to obtain "data on the 
distribution and excretion of uranium in these patients" and to "determine the permissible 
intravenous dose." S. R. Bernard and E. G. Struxness, A Study of the Distribution and 
Excretion of Uranium in Man, An Interim Report, ORNL-23o4, Box S09F01B294, 
ACHRE, RG 220. 

9. Morgan interview, January 6, 1995, by Gil Wittemore and Miriam Bowling, 

p. 109, ACHRE, RG 220. 

10. And as an early member of a group of scientists known as the American Conference of 
Government and Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), Hodge helped set standards for the 
"threshold" levels of chemicals and contaminants that millions of citizens breathe in 
factories and mills. 

1 1 . Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, Final Report 
( Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1995). 

12. The biomedical work had continued during the cold war at the Rochester Atomic 
Energy Project (AEP), funded with millions of dollars from the federal Atomic Energy 

13. In the 1930s generally workers had contracted jaw cancer from licking their brushes as 
they painted radium onto watch dials. The poisoning was widely reported in the press and 
guided the Manhattan Project in its insistence on secrecy to prevent similar lawsuits or 
bad publicity. For example, in a letter to Charles Keller of the AEC Declassification 
Branch, L. F. Spalding of the Insurance Branch contemplates declassifying a medical 
document "Biochemical Studies Relating to the Effects of Radiation and Metals" by 
Samuel Schwartz. Spalding warns that "the contents thereof might arouse some claim 
consciousness on the part of former employees" and writes that "in the event latent 
disabilities due to the exposures reported in this document should result in publicity 
similar to that which arose out of the "radium dial" industry, the public relations section 
would be involved." When Guttman's team asked in 1995 for the files of the AEC 
Insurance Branch, he recalled, nobody at today's DOE had even heard of the Insurance 
Branch. Finding the old documents was like "asking my nephew for his grandfather's 
stamp collection," Guttman said. 

14. AEC Memorandum dated October 8,1947, to Advisory Board on Medicine and Biology, 
"Subject: MEDICAL POLICY," Document DOE #1019707, also marked RHTG 
Classified Docs, Box RHA 248-7 2 of 3, Building 2714.H, Vault. Via Peter Eisler, USA 

15. "Questions of General Policy," November 16, 1943, Md 319.1 Report Medical 

Ferry Box 25, Manhattan Engineer District Accession #4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, 
RG 326. See also Jack Hein interview with UK journalist Bob Woffinden, at timecode 
04:18:55 1997; "They also did extensive studies on 



the people working in the atomic energy plants that might be exposed to fluoride." 

16. "Memorandum to Major J. L. Ferry, Manhattan District Oak Ridge, from 

Capt. B. J. Mears, July 5, 1945, subject, Visit to E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co." 
"Preparation of the IBM cards will be done by Dr. Evans [DuPont] after he has received 
his new equipment and the operators have been instructed by Mr. M. Wantman 
[Rochester].... The results of the statistical survey will be available only to the Medical 
Section of the Manhattan District," Md 701, Medical Attendance, Box 54, Accession 
#4nn 326-85-005, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

17. Whether fluoride damaged kidneys, and whether fluoride in urine would therefore be a 
good measurement of occupational fluoride exposure, was key information sought by the 
bomb program. (Extra fluoride was stored in the bones of those injured patients, the 
government scientists found.) AEC No. UR-38, 1948, Quarterly Technical Report. Also 
cited in Kettering Lab unpublished report, "Annual Report of Observations on Fluorides. 
October 25, 1954." Kettering did similar experiments on patients with damaged kidneys, 
according to this report. 

18. Special Report 454, "Report on the Work of the Pharmacology Division," 

included in summarized subsection "The Toxicology of Special Materials," via Joel 

19. Roholm to Col. J. P. Hubbard, Public Health Section, Dagmarhus, July 20, 1945. 
Hubbard is probably an Allied occupation official. The letter is in the files of the 
Rockefeller Archive, Folder 2102, Box 310, RF RG2 713. Roholm explained that he 
wanted to recontact H. T. Dean at the National Institute of Health and Margaret C. Smith 
at the University of Arizona, who had discovered that fluoride causes dental mottling. 

20. Roholm to Frank J. McClure (U.S. National Institutes of Dental Research), June 13, 
1946. On Roholm's attitudes toward American health care: Danish newspaper clipping in 
Roholm family scrapbook, translated by daughter-in-law Karin Roholm. Personal 
meeting in New York, May 2001. 

21. "Fluorine interferes with the normal calcification of the teeth during the 

process of their formation," the U.S. Department of Agriculture claimed in 1 939, "so that 
affected teeth, in addition to being unusually discolored and ugly in appearance, are 
structurally weak and deteriorate early in life. For this reason, it is especially important 
that fluorine be avoided during the period of tooth formation, that is from birth to the age 
of 12 years . . . this dental disease is found when water containing even as little as 1 part 
per million is used." Yearbook of Agriculture (1939), p. 212. 

"Fluorides are general protoplasmic poisons," the American Medical Association 
warned in 1943, "probably because of their capacity to modify the metabolism of cells by 
changing the permeability of the cell membrane and by inhibiting certain enzyme 
systems.... The sources of fluorine intoxication are drinking water containing 1 part per 
million or more of fluorine. . .. Another source of fluorine intoxication is from the 
fluorides used in the 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 7 / PP. 99—102 

smelting of many metals, such as steel and aluminum, and in production of glass, enamel 
and brick." /AMA, vol. 123 (September 18, 1943), p. 150. Even the American Dental 
Association had editorialized in October 1944, "our knowledge of the subject certainly 
does not warrant the introduction of fluorine in community water supplies," the 
association's magazine stated, " we do know that the use of the drinking water 
containing as little as 1.2 to 3. 0 parts per million of fluorine will cause such 
developmental disturbances in bones as osteosclerosis, spondylosis and osteopetrosis, as 
well as goiter." ( Today, the EPA permits 4 parts per million of fluoride in water, a 
standard vigorously resisted by some EPA scientists, including the former senior 
toxicologist of the Office of Drinking Water, Dr. William Marcus.) Marcus interview 
with author. 

22. K. Roholm, Rejsebreve Indtryk Fra USA (Efteraar 1945); Ugeskrift For Laeger, 

vol. lo8 (1946), pp. 234-243. 

23. Ibid. Before the war, Roholm recalled, "it was discovered that the concen- 

tration of fluoride; 1 milligram of fluoride per 1 liter drinking water; causes mottled 
teeth amongst those who drink the water, while the permanent teeth calcify, i.e., during 
infancy. The enamel become indistinct, chalklike and sometimes dark colored and 
fragile. The disease has since been discovered throughout the entire world and continues 
to be a serious problem of sanitary reasons, which makes it necessary to change the 
water supply." 

24. Ibid., pp. 234-243. 

25. In early 2001 Roholm's daughter-in-law, Karin, showed me a scrapbook of 

news stories collected by a family friend during his lifetime. She translated them for me 
over coffee at the New York YMCA at West Sixty-third Street. In his address Roholm 
made a single reference to fluoride. "In recent years, we have learned that a small 
quantity of the element fluoride in the drinking water significantly seems to protect 
against caries," he said. Ugeskrift For Laeger, vol. no (1948), pp. 221-226. 

Chapter 8 

1. Jamie Lincoln Kitman, "The Secret History of Lead," Part 1, The Nation ( 

March 20, 2000), in which a 1985 EPA study is cited for heart-disease deaths. Kitman 
wrote, "According to a 1988 report to Congress on childhood lead poisoning in America 
by the government's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, one can 
estimate that the blood-lead levels of up to 2 million children were reduced every year to 
below toxic levels between 1970 and 1987 as leaded gasoline use was reduced. From 
that report and elsewhere, one can conservatively estimate that a total of about 68 
million young children had toxic exposures to lead from gasoline from 1927 to 1987." 

2. Humor and ancestry; Interview with Edward Largent Jr. Arrogance: inter- 

view with Dr. Albert Burgstahler. 

3. Kehoe testimony at Martin trial, p. 965. 

4. For example, he was an associate editor of the American Medical Associa- 

tion's Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Medicine. 



5. From 1925 to 1958 Kehoe was the medical director of the Ethyl Corporation, 
the partnership between Standard and General Motors that distributed the 
DuPont-manufactured antiknock gasoline additive known as tetra ethyl lead 
(TEL). In 1966 he told Congress that he "had been looking for 30 years for evi 
dence of bad effects from leaded gasoline in the general population and had 
found none." Kitman, "The Secret History of Lead." Kehoe's work would take 
him to Germany immediately after World War II, from which he sent home 
photographs of the Nazi death camps. See also diary, RAK Collection. 

The German industrial conglomerate I. G. Farben had operated the Auschwitz camp 
with Hitler's SS. Before the war Farben had partnered in Germany and the United States 
with Standard Oil. Shortly before European hostilities broke out, Ethyl Corporation 
transferred the technology for making TEL to its German partner, greatly aiding the Nazi 
war effort. According to Farben official August von Knieriem at the Nuremberg war 
crimes trial, "Without tetraethyl lead the present method of warfare would have been 
impossible. The fact that since the beginning of the war we could produce tetraethyl lead is 
entirely due to the circumstance that shortly before, the Americans presented us with the 
production plans, complete with their know how." J. Borkin, The Crime and Punishment 
of I. G. Farben (New York: The Free Press, 1978), p. 78. 

6. On April 17, 1952, Kehoe wrote to Seward Miller — medical director of the Division of 
Industrial Hygiene, Public Health Service — on behalf of nine corporations then 
sponsoring his fluoride research, to request that the PHS perform some fluoride safety 
studies on animals. The industry groups, Kehoe noted, "are concerned mainly with the 
results of exposure to fluorides in various occupations." These industries included "The 
Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company, Aluminum Company of America, Reynolds 
Metals Company, Universal Oil Products Company, American Petroleum Institute, Kaiser 
Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, Tennessee Valley Authority, The Harshaw 
Chemical Company, [and] Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corporation." RAK 

7. A great number of claims were settled out of court. The following is a partial listing of 
legal actions against U.S. corporations following the war, and during the early cold war, in 
which fluoride was suspected as a poison. These data are culled from press accounts and 
this author's research. See also E. J. Largent, "Fluorosis — The Health Aspects of Fluorine 
Compounds," for the difficulty of comprehensively tracking the frequency and number of 
fluoride lawsuits. Also, M. J. Prival and F. Fisher, "Fluorides in the Air," Environment, vol. 
15, no. 3 (April 1973), pp. 25-32. "The number of out of court settlements of claims of 
fluoride damage to vegetation is impossible to determine, although it certainly exceeds the 
number of court-ordered payments." 

1946. The "Peach Crop Cases" by New Jersey farmers in Gloucester and Salem 
County, claiming $430,000 against DuPont and the U.S. government. 



1946. Suit "exceeding half a million dollars" mounted against the Pennsylvania Salt 
Company, Sun Oil, and the General Chemical Company by some 4 1 farmers near the town 
of Delran, New Jersey, on the Delaware River. Pennsylvania Salt was being sued along 
with Sun Oil and General Chemical for more than a half-million dollars by as many as 
forty-one different farmers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The farmers claimed that they 
had been poisoned by fluoride — their crops and farm animals killed. Downwind of the 
Pennsylvania Salt Company's plant in Cornwall Heights, built by the government during 
the war, lay a half-mile-square zone just across the Delaware River, "where all trees have 
been killed." Another of the company's fluoride plants in Easton, Pennsylvania, "revealed 
an almost identical picture of damage." John H. Claypool to Edward Largent, 10/19/45; 
"Recently the first actions in bringing suit have been taken in behalf of 26, out of an 
original 41, peach growers." Also Largent to R. W. Champion, Harshaw Chemical, 
4/25/1946, File 13, Box 32, RAK Collection. 

• Immediately postwar. A Philadelphia gun club filed suit against the nearby Pennsylvania 
Salt Company. According to Philip Sadtler: "The Plant had damaged the Philadelphia gun 
club which was next door — that was a relatively simple case. The gun club won because of 
my testimony, and all I had done was gather some of the vegetation and measured the 
fluorine." Taped author interview, March 23, 1993. 

• 1948. Claims filed by a group of horticulturist farmers against phosphate fertilizer 
manufacturers in Bradenton, Florida, on the Gulf Coast, alleging agricultural damage. 
"They won a large settlement," according to lead investigator Philip Sadtler. "The 
vegetation showed [damage] around the edges. One farmer named the (claprood?) family 
grew a large number of gladioli which were shipped all over the United States. For at least 
two years they were ruined by the phosphate roasting. Therefore, I was asked to go down to 
Bradenton to investigate the problem. I took samples and came home and analyzed them. 
They were no different from [what Sadtler had found in the fluorine poisoning from 
industry in] New Jersey. They won a large settlement. It took several years but they got 
repaid for what they had lost." 

• October 1948. Donora, Pennsylvania. Four and half million dollars in legal claims 
against U.S. Steel following some two dozen fatalities and thousand of injuries, blamed 
by one investigator on fluoride. The legal action did not focus on fluoride. 

•1949. Lawsuits filed against the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) alleging fluoride 
pollution. For example, "In connection with the plaintiffs living in the Columbia area who 
should be examined for possible fluorosis," Edward Largent to Joseph C. Swidler, 
General Counsel, TVA, Knoxville, Tennessee. Also, Kettering's William Ashe performed 
a pilot study in 1950 of conditions at TVA's phosphate fertilizer plant at the Wilson Dam. 
While most of the men had worked in the plant "a relatively short time 



(a few months to 7 years; ay. 2.6 years)," X-ray and urine analysis of the men found 
widespread bone fluorosis, urine values as high as 27.28 mgs of fluoride per liter, 
and concluded "I) There was a fluoride problem in the fertilizer plants at Wilson 
Dam 2) Some workmen are absorbing abnormal amounts of fluoride in quantities 
sufficient to produce fluorosis of the bone." Ashe to Dr E. L. Bishop, Director of 
Health TVA, File 14, Box 15, RAK Collection. 

• 1950 Alcoa was fined for dumping fluorides into the Columbia River. Airborne 
fluorides heavily contaminated the grass and animal forage "which resulted in injury 
and death to cattle" and a claim for $200,000 compensation, according to newspaper 
accounts. "Oregon Rancher asks $200,000 of Aluminum Company," Seattle Times, 
December 16, 1952. Cited in G. L. Waldbott et al., Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma, 
p. 296. Alcoa had dumped between 1,000 and 7,000 pounds of fluorides per month 
into the Columbia before 1950, according to National Fluoridation News 
( March-April, 1967), p. 3. 

• 1950. Mr. and Mrs. Julius Lampert won suit against Reynolds' Troutdale, Oregon, 
plant for fluoride damage to gladiolus crops. Cited in Waldbott et al., Fluoridation, p. 
298, "Damages for Crop Burns," Lewiston (ID) Morning Tribune, February 6, 

• Alcoa had compensated 141 farmers and cattle raisers in Blount County, Tennessee, 
prior to January 1, 1953, when another suit charged that fluoride fumes had damaged 
farmlands and injured cattle. Cited in Waldbott, Fluoride, p. 298, "Jury Decides 
Alcoa Liability Ended in 1955," Knoxville (Tenn.) Journal, July 30, 1955. Cited in 
Waldbott et al., Fluoridation, p. 298, "Alcoa Sued for Nearly $3 Million," Knoxville 
(TN) Journal, October 29, 1970. 

• Also in Tennessee, by 1953 Monsanto was "faced with a number of claims for 
personal and property damage which total a considerable amount" including "claims 
for personal injury due to fluoride-containing effluents released from the stacks of the 
plant at Columbia owned by Monsanto." ( "Last week when Mr. Wheeler was in 
Cincinnati he talked briefly with Dr. Heyroth about Monsanto's fluoride problems. As 
you know, Monsanto is faced with a number of claims for personal and property 
damage which total a considerable amount. These cases have accumulated over quite a 
period and have been pending for three or four years. It now appears that they may 
come to trial this fall." R. Emmet Kelly, M.D., Monsanto's medical director, to Robert 
Kehoe, July 7, 1953, File 26, Box 38, RAK Collection. Also: "Two couples, a man and 
a wife in each case, have filed claims for personal injury due to 
fluoride-containing effluents released from the stacks of the plant at Columbia owned 
by Monsanto .. . Symptoms described by the plaintiffs in part fit the description of 
acute fluoride poisoning, in part fit the description of chronic fluoride poisoning, 
and in part they appear so bizarre as to fit neither." Memorandum of meeting held 
August 19, 1953 between Edward Largent, Dr. 



Francis Heyroth, Mr. John Jewell. Monsanto Chemical Company, and their attorney, 
Mr. Lon McFarland, August 20,1953, File 26, Box 38, RAK Collection. 
In Utah, byl957, U.S. Steel had settled 88o damage claims totaling $4,450, 234 
with farmers in Utah County. An additional 305 claims for a further $25,000,000 
were filed against the company. D. A. Greenwood, "Background for Studies in Utah 
County." Unpublished paper given at the 1957 Kettering Fluoride Symposium, File 17, Box 
42, RAK Collection. Another figure states that the legal claims against U.S. Steel in Utah 
were for $30 million. C. Butler, Discussion in: Proceedings: Nat'l. Conf. on Air 
Pollution, Nov. 18-2o, 1958 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office), p. 268. Also, 
Prival and Fisher: "U.S. Steel paid $4 million to cattle ranchers around its steel mill near 
Provo, Utah, before spending $9 million on pollution control devices," citing Chemical and 
Engineering, vol. 65, no. 4, p. 66, February 24, 1958, and W. T. Purvance, Chem. Eng. 
Prog., vol. 55, no. 7 (July 1959), p. 49, . This writer did not delve into the legal papers 
surrounding these cases. However, a clue as to their ultimate fate may be found in an essay by 
Keith E. Taylor Esq., senior partner, Parsons, Behle, and Latimer, Salt Lake City. He writes in 
1982 of a proceeding "of nearly 25 years ago [in which] farmers and ranchers, approximately 
300 strong, sought damages in a Federal Court for claimed injury to thousands of cattle and 
sheep and to numerous types of vegetation from fluorides emitted from an industrial facility." 
According to Taylor, Utah State scientists examined a dairy cow, Ms. Penelope, "ear tag No. 
G-571023," that plaintiffs claimed had been poisoned by fluoride; these scientists then 
"testified on behalf of the defendant, [and] came up with opposite conclusions. They found no 
evidence of fluorosis. The cause of her poor health was a wire that she had ingested, which 
had punctured her heart. . . . Except for that research . . . the result would probably have been 
different. Cows like Penelope would have continued to be diagnosed as dying of fluorosis. 
The farmers would not have had a compelling reason to clean the nails and wire from cattle 
feed, and to correct the various other problems that were contributing culprits. In the long run 
even the farmers would have been the losers." K. E. Taylor " Research Needs — A Lawyer's 
View" in J. L. Shupe, H. B. Peterson, and N. C. Leone, eds., Fluorides: Effects on 
Vegetation, Animals, and Humans (Salt Lake City, UT: Paragon Press, 1983), p. 359. 8. 
At a gathering of industry scientists and profluoride dental researchers in 1983, Seamans 
explained how wartime production had propelled a wave of fluoride pollution lawsuits against 
industry. "After the German bombing of Coventry had knocked out the English aluminum 
production," Sea-mans began, "President Roosevelt announced that America would build 
50,000 planes. This was an unbelievable number and required a tremendous amount of 
aluminum, far more than existing capacity could produce. Accordingly, through a government 
agency known as the Defense Plant 



Corporation, aluminum smelters were built wherever the needed electricity could be 
obtained . . . one DPC plant was built in the San Joaquin Valley of California.... "]here 
were, of course, no controls of any kind on this plant. As you can expect, there was a great 
consternation in the San Joaquin Val-ley. Vigilante committees were formed, and an 
injunction suit was filed. In August 1943, as a young lawyer for Alcoa I was sent out there 
to find out what the problem was all about.... Fortunately, Dr. Francis C. Frary, who was 
then director of research at Alcoa, had seen Roholm's book describing some of the 
consequences of cryolite mining in Greenland and this led him to wonder whether 
fluorides were the culprit ... we all finally became convinced that there had been undue 
exposure to fluorides. Because we had the injunction suit and other claims to handle, as 
soon as possible we persuaded the Defense Plant Corporation to close the San Joaquin 
Plant. Thereafter, over a period of years we were able to settle all the cases, and thus the 
~Riverbank, California' nightmare came to an end. After this experience however, 
knowledge quickly spread and soon we had claims and lawsuits around aluminum 
smelters from coast to coast. These required prodigious effort and great expenditures of 
time and money to settle. During the course of events, many significant and extended 
lawsuits were tried. Some of the more crucial were the Fraser case involving the 
Vancouver, Washington, plant and the Hitch case involving the Alcoa, Tennessee, Plant." 
Seamans continued, " There was very little solid information on the subject about what 
harm fluorides could do, what harm they did not do and what the tolerance levels were for 
people." Accordingly, "research was encouraged and supported at the University of 
Wisconsin, Utah State, Stanford Research Institute, University of Tennessee, Kettering 
Institute, the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant research and other noted scientific 
centers." F. L. Seamans, " Historical, Economic and Legal aspects of Fluoride," in Shupe 
et al., eds., Fluorides, p. 5. 

9. Frank Seamans to attorney Theodore C. Waters, August 30,1956. "You will 

recall the occasion of our meeting together in Washington with a group of lawyers who 
have clients interested in the fluoride problem, at which time we were discussing the U.S. 
Public Health Service. The group, which in the past has consisted of representatives of 
Aluminum Company of Canada, Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation, U.S. Steel, 
Kaiser Aluminum and Steel, Tennessee Corporation and subsidiaries, Monsanto 
Chemical, Victor Chemical, Reynolds Metals Company, T.V.A. and Alcoa has had 
some discussions with Dr. Kehoe relative to some research and regarding the effect of 
fluorides on human beings." File 5, Box 76, RAK Collection. 

10. On the relationship of Medical Advisory Committee to the Fluorine Lawyers, 
Seamans to Medical Advisory Committee, April 16, 1957: "The legal 
representatives of the several companies interested in the Kettering Research 
project have agreed that it would be advantageous if the principal liaison 
with Kettering were undertaken by persons of competent technical back 
ground . . . [to] conduct the necessary liaison between the Kettering Insti- 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 8 / PP. 103—105 

tute and the lawyers' group by a system of regularly scheduled visitations to Kettering and 
regular reports to the lawyer's group." File 17, Box 42, RAK Collection, n. Memorandum on 
the Meeting of the Pittsburgh Section of the Industrial Hygiene Association, April 30, 1946, 
marked "Confidential." 

12. During the key wartime Manhattan Project-sponsored "Conference on 
Fluoride Metabolism" at New York's Hotel Pennsylvania on January 6, 1944, 
Largent was a member of an inner-sanctum group of experts — along with 
Harold Hodge from the University of Rochester — that had decided how 
much fluoride U.S. workers could be "safely" exposed to inside the giant 
wartime atomic-bomb factories. 

13. The phrase is from Francis McClure of the National Institutes of Dental Research. 
Largent's human experiments, McClure said, "provided much basic information not only 
for appraisal of industrial fluoride hazards but for resolution of a public health hazard 
which might be associated with use of fluoride drinking waters." F. J. McClure, 
Fluoridation (N1H publication, 1970 ), p . 2 0 0 . 

14. From the 1933 level of 1.43 mg F/Kg, raised in 1944 to 7 mg F/Kg. K. Roholm, 
Rejsebreve Indtryk Fra USA (Efteraar, 1945); Ugeskrift For Laeger, vol. lo8 (1 946), pp. 

15. Mellon guests were told that fluoride air concentrations of up to 4 parts per million had 
been found inside Alcoa plants, according to Dr. Lester Craw-ley of Alcoa. 
Memorandum on the Meeting of the Pittsburgh Section of the Industrial Hygiene 
Association, April 30, 1946. Stamped "Confidential." File 13, Box 38, RAK Collection. 

16. See note 7 above. Also, E. J. Largent, Fluorosis: The Health Aspects of Fluorine 
Compounds (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1961), p. 124. 

17. "We have on file in our laboratory evidence of bone changes in employees in 
manufacturing operations where there are known atmospheric contaminations from 
fluorides," Largent noted. Attending the Mellon conference might help industry confront 
such threats, Largent added. The aluminum industry, in particular, had long ago seen the 
danger of workers' lawsuits for fluoride exposure and had taken preemptive action. "It 
was in anticipation of such an eventuality that Aluminum Company of America set out 
several years ago to obtain all possible data with which to meet such a situation," Largent 
told the Harshaw Chemical Company. Edward Largent to R. W. Champion, assistant 
sales manager, Harshaw Chemical Company, April 25, 1946, File 13, Box 38, RAK 

18. Bovard announced at the Pittsburgh conference that there was "no evidence 
to prove that there was any relation between ankylosing spondylitis [the fus 
ing of spinal vertebra] and the deposition of fluorides in the osseous tissue," 
Largent reported. Memorandum on the Meeting of the Pittsburgh Section of 
the Industrial Hygiene Association, April 30, 1946. Stamped "Confidential." 
RAK Collection Box 38 File 13. Bovard would regularly consult for the Ket- 
tering Laboratory and industry during the cold war, helping the TV A, for 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 8 / PP. 105—106 


example, in preparing its 1953 report, "Study of Fluoride Hazards — Final 
Report — Project Authorization 408." 

19. Edward Largent to Dr. S. C. Ogburn Jr., manager, Research and Develop- 

ment Department, Pennsylvania Salt Company, May 8, 1946, File 13, Box 38, RAK 

20. Memorandum on the meeting of the Pittsburgh Section of the Industrial 

Hygiene Association, April 30, 1946. Stamped "Confidential," File 13, Box 38, RAK 

21. "Suggestions have been made both by Dr. Frary and by some of the du Pont 

group, including their medical director . . . that it might be advisable for representatives 
of du Pont, Aluminum Company, and Pennsylvania Salt to get together and to discuss 
carefully the whole problem." Robert Kehoe to S. C. Ogburn Jr., Pennsylvania Salt 
Company, May 25, 1946, File 13, Box 38, RAK Collection. 

22. Joel Griffiths interview. 

23. George Blakstone said that Maurice and Elmo had both participated in the lead 
experiments. He recalled that Maurice "would go in a chamber and inhale." Gentry 
Blackstone, who inhaled hydrogen fluoride gas, was also " drinking something, I think," 
according to George. 

24. "Summary of Investigations of the Metabolism of Fluorides by Man and Dogs, 

" Nov. 1, 1950, Unpublished Reports, vol. 24 b, RAK Collection. 

25. Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner, Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Poli- 

tics of Industrial Pollution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), p. no. 

26. E. K. Largent, P. G. Bovard, and F. F. Heyroth, "Roetgenographic Changes 

and Urinary Fluoride Excretion among Workmen Engaged in the Manufacture of 
Inorganic Fluorides," Amer. J. Roentgenol, vol. 65 (1951), p. 42. 

27. The dueling European and American medical theories had an odd trans- 

atlantic symmetry. Both scientists had studied workers handling cryolite, mined in the 
Danish colony of Greenland. Most of Europe's cryolite arrived via Roholm's hometown 
port of Copenhagen, while an old Philadelphia Quaker firm, the Pennsylvania Salt 
Manufacturing Company, whose workers Largent studied, had been granted sole rights 
to sell Danish cryolite in the U. S. During World War U, when the Nazis occupied 
Denmark, Greenland was governed by the Danish minister in Washington and a 
committee of five advisers, one of whom was Leonard T. Beale, the President of 
Pennsylvania Salt. R. K. Leavitt, Prologue to Tomorrow: A History of the First Hundred 
Years in the Life of the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company (The Pennsylvania 
Salt Company, 1950), chapter on fluorine, "Bad Actor turns Patriot," p. 78. 

28. From 1939 to 1944, for example, industrial consumption of the most volu- 

minous fluoride mineral, fluorspar, had more than doubled. It rose from 176,000 tons of 
fluorspar in 1939 to 410,000 tons in 1944. See Largent, Table 4, "The Occurrence and 
Use of Inorganic Fluorides." Paper given at 1953 Fluoride Symposium, in Unpublished 
Reports 32b, RAK Collection. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 8 / PP. 106—109 

29. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1975 DHEW/NIOSH- 

76-103. Cited in "Summary Review of Health Effects" EPA/600/8-89/oo2F, December 
1988, pp. 3-5. 

30. Largent spent a career doubting Roholm. Roholm's findings were not " authenticated" 
and "cannot be generally accepted," Largent insisted. The Dane had failed to show "a 
causal relationship" between fluoride and injury, he told a Kettering roundtable of 
industry doctors. 1957 Kettering Fluoride Symposium, Box 63, RAK Collection. 

31. H. C. Hodge and F. A. Smith, Fluorine Chemistry, vol. IV, p. 385. Also, " Largent's 
research is often quoted as evidence that bone changes, of the kind encountered in high 
fluoride areas and in industry, are never associated with harm elsewhere in the human 
organism and therefore have no significance." G. L. Waldbott, A Struggle with Titans 
(New York: Carlton Press, 1965), p. 289. 

32. "When one finds, in cases of severe fluorosis of the bone, limitation of motion 

of the elbow and the X-ray reveals exostoses of unusual density about the elbow, one is 
probably entirely justified in concluding that the deformity and dysfunction are due to 
fluorosis, and that disability exists in association with and because of this disease, 
whether or not the man is aware of it, and whether or not he continues to do his job at 
the plant. " Aluminum Company of America, Niagara Falls Works Health Survey, File 
4, Box 82, RAK Collection. 

33. "An exostoses (a bony outgrowth from the surface of the bone) on one of the 

bones of the right forearm and some calcification of the ligaments of the lower vertebrae 
were noted" in Ira Templeton's X-rays, according to Dr Smyth. He also found "In 
several instances bony outgrowths which seemed very much like the bone changes seen 
by Roholm in the monograph, 'Fluorine Intoxication,'" Largent told the Pennsylvania 
Salt Company. "On the basis of the data and the conclusions of that book alone, one 
would accept the presence of these outgrowths as evidence of the existence of fluorine 
intoxication. The conclusions of Dr. Smyth, who used the expression 'fluorine 
intoxication,' in the interpretation of his findings, would seem to follow this thesis," 
Largent added. Edward Largent, "Report to the Pennsylvania Salt Company," May 8, 
1948, File 13, Box 38, RAK Collection. 

34. Bovard to Kehoe, February 28, 1946. Also, Bovard X-ray interpretation, Feb- 

ruary 19, 1946, File 13, Box 38, RAK Collection. 

35. J. Russell Davey, M.D., to Pennsylvania Salt Co., In Re: Ira Templeton. 

January 31, 1947, File 13, Box 38, RAK Collection. 

36. S. C. Ogburn Jr., manager, Research and Development Department, Penn- 

sylvania Salt Company, to Kehoe, February lo, 1947, File 13, Box 38, RAK 

37. Kehoe to S. C. Ogburn Jr., February 12, 1947, File 13, Box 38, RAK Collection. 

38. "Final Report of the Results of Investigations Relating to Fluoride Metabo- 
lism Conducted Under the Sponsorship of the Pennsylvania Salt Company." 
Unpublished Reports vol. 24-a, Kettering Laboratory, p. 13, RAK Collection. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 8 / PP. 109-1 12 


39. Largent was familiar with Roholm's research, of course, and knew about the subtle 
effects of fluoride poisoning. During the war, for example, Lar-gent told a 1943 
industry conference at the Mellon Institute that "it seems probable that exposure to 
fluoride dusts may be capable of lowering the efficiency and well-being of 
workmen without inducing any very specific and dramatic symptoms." Proceedings 
of the Eighth Annual Meeting of Industrial Hygiene Foundation of America, Inc., 
November 10-11, 1943, p. 32. 


E. J. Largent, P. G. Bovard, and F. F. Heyroth, "Roetgenographic Changes 

and Urinary Fluoride Excretion among Workmen Engaged in the Manufacture of 

Inorganic Fluorides," Am. J. Roentgenol., vol. 65 (1951), p. 42. See 


chapter 6 for the January 1944 fluoride conference held at the Hotel 
Pennsylvania in New York. 
42. The Kettering Laboratory's "investigation of the metabolism of fluorides in 
the human body" was funded in 1953 by Alcoa, Reynolds, Kaiser, Harshaw 
Chemical, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Universal Oil Products, 
the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the American Petroleum Institute. 
Kehoe to Seward E. Miller Medical Director, Division of Industrial Hygiene, 

and Hvdroaen 43. 

Fluoride," The Pharmacology and Toxicology of Uranium Compounds (New York: 

McGraw Hill, 1949), p. 1021. (Stokinger was a former Kettering scientist who went 

to Rochester during the war. Largent called him Herb). Also, in 1909 Ronzani had 

done HF inhalation studies on animals. He found no harm at 3 ppm, during a 

month's exposure, but was unable to report the same at 5 and 7.5 ppm. The 

Kettering Laboratory had abstracted Ronzani in their Kettering Abstracts series. 
. Among the attendees were the medical directors of DuPont, Alcoa, and 44 

TVA. Alcoa's attorney, Frank Seamans, from the Pittsburgh firm of Smith, 
Buchanan, Ingersoll, Rodewald, and Eckert, was also in attendance. File 13, 
Box 38, RAK Collection. 

Largent had suggested in 1943 that 1.5-2.00 mg/liter of fluoride in urine 

45. might be associated with deposition in worker's bones. "Proceedings of the 
Eighth Annual Meeting of Industrial Hygiene Foundation of America, Inc," 
November 10-11, 1943, p. 32. 

"If there were any changes in the bone as a consequence of 3 ppm it was 

46. beneficial deposition of fluoride, not harmful," he told writer Joel Griffiths. 
Griffiths interview. 

Largent, "Absorption and Elimination of Fluorides by Man," Kettering Fluoride 


Symposium 1953, p. 92. Also, Largent reported in the unpublished "Industrial 
Health Surveys in Plants Processing Inorganic Fluorides," that in "a plant 
dealing with hydrogen fluoride ... One man, who had an average urinary 
fluoride concentration of 9 mg. per liter, gave evidence of a moderate increase 
in radiopacity." He continued, "If all threats of medico-legal problems are to be 
avoided it seems probable that average urinary fluoride levels must be kept 
below 10 mg. per liter." Fluoride Symposium, 11.1, RAK Collection. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 8 / PP. 1 12-1 13 

8. See 2001 ACGIH TLV, data summary for HF, "based on results of controlled 4 
inhalation studies in human volunteers" (Largent cited). ACGIH also cite E. Ronzani, 
"Influence of the Inhalation of Irritant Industrial Gases on the Resistance of the Organism 
to Infectious Disease. Experimental Investigations. II. Hydrofluoric Acid Gas, Ammonia, 
Hydrochloric Acid Gas," Arch. Hyg., vol. 70 (1909), pp. 217-269. Ronzani was 
prompted to his studies because "disputes about the duties of factory and workshop 
owners towards their neighbors are brought to the court in rising frequency." He therefore 
sought a "no effect" level to help resolution of such disputes. He studied animals at 
various concentrations of HF, including 7.5 ppm and 5.0 ppm, but was forced to go to 3 
ppm to find a no-effect level over 3 1 days — little comfort surely almost a century later for 
workers breathing HF today at 3 ppm for all of a working life. 

In the NIOSH "Criteria Document for a Recommended Standard: Occupational 
Exposure to Hydrogen Fluoride," Publication 76-143, it is noted that Elkins had found 
"workers in the etching process had nosebleeds as did welders exposed to O.4-0.7 mg F/cu 
m who were excreting 2-6 mg F/liter of urine . .. other workers exposed to 0.1-0.35 mg 
F/cu m and excreting, on the average, 4. 5 mg F/liter reportedly experienced sinus trouble. 
The ACGIH suggested that the urinary excretion values reported by Elkins seemed 
"inconsistently high' relative to airborne HF levels, and that dietary F was suggested as a 
possible factor." Citation, H. B. Elkins, The Chemistry of Industrial Toxicology, 
2nd ed. (New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1959), pp. 71-73. 

The ramifications of the ACGIH reliance on Largent and Ronzani can 
perhaps be seen in the U.S. standard for HF occupational exposure of 2.5 mg 
HF/cu m, compared to other countries (cited in NIOSH, above document, 
1976): The (former) Soviet Union, 0.5 mg HF/cu m, Hungary and Poland o.5 
mg HF/cu m, (the former) East Germany and Czechoslovakia,! mg HF/ cu m, 
and Bulgaria 1 mg HF/cu m. 

In that second interview, Largent became aware that the interviewer Joel 

Griffiths might not view his experimental work favorably. The verbatim 
exchange continued as follows: 49. 

EL: I never did develop osteofluorosis. 
JG: Excuse me? 

EL: I never developed personally any aspect of osteofluorosis — you just got through 

saying I developed osteofluorosis. 
JG: Because I think that is what you told me the last time we talked. 
EL: No — I would have talked about skeletal deposition, and that is not osteo-fluorosis. 
JG: Well, skeletal deposition, right — that led to some difficulties with your knees. 
EL: Not in the slightest. 

JG: Well, this doesn't seem to jibe with what you told me the first time. EL: That's not 
true — I was developing more like osteoporosis — I have arthritic difficulties in my 
extremities serious enough that the right knee was 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 9 / PP. 1 13-114 


replaced with a prosthesis but that was more on the side toward osteoporosis than 
fluorosis — I didn't get enough to do me any good, I can tell you that. [Osteosclerosis, 
thickening of the bone, is a sign of a small amount of additional fluoride exposure; 
osteoporosis is an indication of massive fluoride exposure, Roholm and others 

JG: Because you said to me quite distinctly the first time that it was osteo-fluorosis. 
EL: No. 

JG: And that fluoride can cause this condition. 
EL: No. 

JG: And that as far as you were concerned that was what it was. 
EL: No. 

JG: And that you believed it could have possibly come from the drinking water in the 

high school you attended in Fort Ames, Iowa, back in nine-teen-whatever-it-was. 
EL: Yeah. 

JG: And also that the fluoride that you absorbed in your experiments might possibly 

have been a contributing factor. 
EL: Factor — what factor? 
JG: To the osteofluorosis. 
EL: I didn't have osteofluorosis — at any time. 
JG: I see, because the first time I'm certain that you said you did. 
EL: No — I don't think that I did. 
JG: In other words, you're not saying it now. 

EL: I don't know what I said then, but if I said it then I was wrong. ... If you say I 
developed osteofluorosis I will challenge that ... I didn't get enough fluoride to do 
me any good. 

JG: Well, let me see if I can find the tape and see I'll see if I misheard you. EL: You may 
not have misheard me, but you may be able to correct me if I misspoke. 

50. Fluoride appears to carry aluminum over the blood-brain barrier; the alu-minofluoride 
complexes then damage the brain structure. See esp. J. A. Varner, K. F. Jensen, W. 
Horvath, and R. L. Isaacson, "Chronic Administration of Aluminum-Fluoride or 
Sodium-Fluoride to Rats in Drinking Water: Alterations in Neuronal and 
Cerebrovascular Integrity," Brain Research, vol. 7 84 (1998), pp. z84-298. "There are 
striking parallels between al-induced alterations in cerebrovasculature [and] those 
associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia." 

Chapter 9 

1. Collected by Dan Hoffman, "Three Ballads of the Donora Smog," New York Folklore 
Quarterly, no. 5 (spring 1949), pp. 58-59. Quoted in Lynne Page Snyder, — The Death 
Dealing Smog over Donora, Pennsylvania': Industrial Air Pollution, Public Policy, and 
Federal Policy, 1915-1963" (1994). Available from UMI Dissertation Services. 



2. Bulletin No. 306, Air Pollution in Donora, PA, Epidemiology of the Unusual 

Smog Episode of October 1948 (Public Health Service). 

3. Donora is often referred to as the worst recorded air-pollution disaster in U. 

S. history. This may or may not be entirely true. During a similar seasonal temperature 
inversion from November 12 to 22, 1953, between 175 and 260 people were killed in 
New York City from air pollution, according to Howard R. Lewis, With Every Breath 
You Take (New York: Crown Publishers, 1965), p. 19. Although there were numerous 
complaints of eye irritation and coughing, the total number of New York deaths from the 
smog incident was only revealed later by statistical analysis, Lewis writes. 

4. A key source for this chapter is Lynne Page Snyder's excellent ""The Death 

Dealing Smog over Donora.'" 

5. The 1949 official Public Health Service report, Bulletin No. 306, Air Pollution 

in Donora, PA, lists twenty deaths. However, Snyder refers to "dozens" of deaths, p. viii. 
Residents report many additional deaths in the weeks after the disaster. For example, 
"The death of an estimated loo people in the following year was attributed to the smog. 
Also, there were a lot of people who were affected in other ways. They were sick with 
respiratory problems. Internal illness and a couple of cases of blindness occurred." 
Account of former resident Joe Battilana, submitted as a 1970 report to Professor Gerard 
Judd of Phoenix Community College. 

6. Berton Roueche, article in The New Yorker, September 30, 1950. 

7. Roueche, case u, p. 51; and from PHS Bulletin No. 306. Ceh's name is from 

The New Yorker article. 

8. Roueche, case 9, p. 50 ; PHS Bulletin No. 306. 

9. Author's taped interview, March 24, 1993. 

10. Snyder, p. 25. 

11. Roueche, p. 41. 

12. Author's taped interview, March 24, 1993. 

13. Recollections of Mayor John Lignelli, who attended the game, in "Donora's 

Killer Smog Noted at 50," Pittsburgh Tribune, October 25, 1998. See also PHS report 
and Snyder, p. 27, for death tally. 

14. Snyder, p. 28. 

15. New York Times, November 1,1948; cited in Snyder, p. 29. 

16. Snyder, p. 33. 

17. For employment data, see Snyder, p. 35. For profit data, see Ross Bassett, " 

Air Pollution in Donora, PA" (December 6, 1990), unpublished paper, pp. 1 1 , 21-41. 
Paper from Allen Kline. See also Paul A. Tiffany, The Decline of American Steel: How 
Management, Labor, and Government Went Wrong (New York: Oxford University 
Press, 1988). 

18. The main thoroughfare, McKean Avenue, was named for Andrew Mellon's 

banker James S. McKean, who had brought Mellon and Donner together with coke 
baron Henry Clay Frick and whose combined investment of $20 million raised the first 
steel works on the virgin site in 1901. Pittsburgh Press, 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 9 / PP. 1 18— 122 


March 18, 1934, Society Section, p. 11. Also, H. O'Conner, Mellon's Millions 
( New York: Blue Ribbon Books, 1933). 

19. Bassett, "Air Pollution in Donora, PA." 

20. Snyder, p. 71. Also, author interview with Bill and Gladys Shempp. 

21. E. K. Roholm, "The Fog Disaster in the Meuse Valley, 1930: A Fluorine 
Intoxication," J. Hygiene and Toxicology (March 1937), p. 126. Also, W. S. 
Leeuwen, "Fog Catastrophe in Industrial Section South of Liege," abstracted in J. 
Ind. Hygiene, vol. 13, no. 7 (September 1931), pp. 159-160 (abstract section). 

22. Sadtler gathered vegetation from across the region, tested it, and found that 

fluoride pollution was endemic and serious. "Buttonwood leaves had anywhere up 
to twelve hundred parts per million of fluorine," Sadtler noted. Further afield there 
was much less fluoride in the environment. "To get clean air with no fluorine 
damage, I had a friend who was a professor at Penn State University and he picked 
up leaves for me and they had ten parts per million," Sadtler said. Author interview. 

23. Although coal was a source of fluoride, this knowledge was poorly dissemi- 

nated. (Francis Frary announced the discovery to the Air Hygiene Foundation in 
1946, as we saw in chapter 8.) Roholm makes no mention of coal in his discussion 
of the Meuse Valley disaster, for example. And the role that fluoride from coal may 
have played in the London smog disasters is almost entirely ignored. 

24. E. K. Roholm, Fluorine Intoxication: A Clinical-Hygienic Study, with a Review 

of the Literature and Some Experimental Investigations (London: H. K. Lewis and 
Co. Ltd, 1937), chapter 13. 

25. When the senior U.S. Steel metallurgist Glen Howis, who was born in Donora, had 
a routine medical exam before attending Penn State, a college doctor told him, "I 
can always tell you boys from the valley from the looks of your X-rays. Your lungs 
are always clouded," Howis recalled. Author interview in Donora. 

26. The U.S. steel industry emitted 64,600 tons of fluoride in "1968 or 1972," 

according to EPA figures, cited by the Canadian National Research Council, NRCC 
#16081, ISSN 0316-01 14. "Coal for power" is next at 26,000 tons, phosphate rock 
processing at 21,200 tons, and then aluminum smelting, at 16,230 tons. See similar 
data in "Summary Review of Health Effects Associated with Hydrogen Fluoride 
and Related Compounds" (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, December 
1988). For characterization of fluoride as "worst," see citations for fluoride toxicity 
and damage in chapter 15. For example: "From 1957 to 1968, fluoride was 
responsible for more damage claims than all twenty other air pollutants combined." 
N. Groth, "Air Is Fluoridated," Peninsula Observer, January 27-February 3, 1969. 
See also chapter 8, citations on lawsuits against the steel industry, and chapter 15's 
reference to fluoride's synergistic potential to worsen the toxicity of such pollutants 
as sulfur dioxide. 

27. For fluoride's chronic health effects in Donora, see account of resident Devra 




28. B. Davidson, Collier's (October 23, 1948). But other air pollution experts, 

such as Harvard Professor Philip Drinker, had scorned the idea that a Meuse 
Valley — type disaster could occur in the United States. "We have no districts in which 
there is even a reasonable chance of such a catastrophe taking place," he asserted. P. 
Drinker, Industrial and Engineering Chem. ( November 1939). 

29. Medical exams of plaintiffs by Kettering physicians, July 1950, William Ashe 

physician in charge. Box 5, RAK Collection. 

30. Snyder, p. 28. 

3 1 . Dudley A. Irwin, Aluminum Company of America, minutes of meeting, Air 

Pollution Abatement Committee, the Chemists Club, New York City, January 1 1, 1950. 
Minutes of Manufacturing Chemists Association, from searchable database of the 
Environmental Working Group. 

32. Oscar Ewing also led a semisecret group of administration insiders known 

informally as the Monday Night Steak Group. These men met most weeks at Ewing's 
Wardman Park apartment in Washington, DC, to plot strategy and discuss government 
policy over dinner and cigars. Clark Clifford, a military confidante and Truman favorite, 
was a regular at the Monday night meetings. See Ewing interview and Clark Clifford's in 
the Truman Library ( available online). 

33. P. Healy, "The Man the Doctors Hate," Saturday Evening Post, July 8, 1950. 

34. Ewing's war years were spent in a Washington hotel suite with Alcoa senior 
management, defending the company's strategic interests from upstart companies such as 
Reynolds and Kaiser, who were fighting Alcoa's nearly fifty-year monopoly on 
aluminum production. After the war Ewing was invited to an intimate Washington dinner 
with Alcoa's president, Arthur Vining Davis, and senior officials from the Alcoa 
"family." Arthur Hall to Ewing, September 4,1945. Personal Correspondence: August 
1,1944-September 20, 1945. 

35. In early 1947 Ewing was a special assistant to the attorney general. He 

became FSA administrator in August 1947. See oral history interview, Truman Library, 
available online. 

36. Ewing to Ingersoll, June 30, 1947, Political File, Correspondence, Ewing Collection. 
Ewing helped family members gain from trading fluoride. On July 8, 1946, he arranged a 
meeting for a relative, Thomas Batchelor, and Paul Collom, president of the Farmers 
Bank of Frankfort, Indiana, with President Allen B. Williams of the Aluminum Ore 
Company, in regard to " some fluorspar property in Kentucky" that Collum had acquired. 
Personal Correspondence, Ewing Collection. 

37. Pittsburg Press, November 3, 1948. John Bloomfield was no stranger to Donora. 
Twenty years earlier, as a public official, he had helped American Steel and Wire 
attorneys to prepare a legal defense against pollution-damage claims by area residents. 
His job had been to test air quality. Bloomfield now told the newspaper that he recalled 
that his old measurements in Donora had shown that industrial emissions were safely 
diluted. Snyder, p. 40. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 9 / PP. 127-132 


38. "Therefore the Company comes to us." Kehoe handwritten note, with the 

word "Mr. Jordan" (president of American Steel and Wire) at the top. Box 5, 
RAK Collection. 

39. Snyder, p. 148. 

40. On Schrenk's participation, see "Committee on Fluoride Metabolism, Round 

Table Discussion During Luncheon Period, Continued in the Evening, January 6, 
1944." Conference on Fluoride Metabolism, Hotel Pennsylvania, New York. File 
Labeled G-118 (c), Az, Box 36, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. Also, 
James Conant wrote to the Bureau of Mines, at Col. Warren's request, to have 
Schrenk go to the Rochester bomb program during the war. Conant to R. R. Sayers, 
February 3, 1944, Document #029 1 , Records of Section S-l Executive Committee, 
RG 227.3.1. 

41. Snyder, p. 152. 

42. Snyder, p. 152. 

43. Chemical and Engineering News (December 18, 1948) and author interview. 

The PHS report on Donora did not find excessive dental mottling. Author visit to 
Donora in 1993 noted severe mottling. For preexisting community health problems, 
see Donora resident Devra Lee Davis's When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of 
Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution (New York: Basic 
Books, 2003). 

44. U.S. Steel officials knew of the Meuse Valley disaster and of Roholm's report 

that blamed fluoride. Court Brief, "Evidence of Foreseeability," Box 5, RAK 

45. Snyder, p. 29. 

46. Pete Eisler, "Poisoned Workers and Poisoned Places," multipart series, USA 

Today, September 6-8, 2000. 

47. All correspondence, Box 5, RAK Collection. 

48. W.F.A to Dr. Kehoe, undated, RAK Collection. 

49. Box 5, RAK Collection. 

50. Ashe, of course, was well acquainted with Alcoa officials and their concerns 

with fluoride. That summer he had performed an investigation of health conditions 
for Kettering in Alcoa's Niagara Falls aluminum plant and found widespread injury 
and disability in workers that he attributed to fluoride. Aluminum Company of 
America, Niagara Falls Works Health Survey, File 4, Box 82, RAK Collection. 

51. Not a conclusion shared by Phyllis Mullenix, who said that if the fluorine 

had been in soluble gaseous form, then it might readily have passed into the 
blood, leaving no trace in the lung tissue. 

52. The meeting had been arranged in advance through a family friend, Sadtler 

explained. Author interview. 

53. After meeting directly with the FSA in Washington, the CIO allocated $lo, 

000 for the investigation. Oscar Ewing was close to labor leaders and had been 
an associate of Sidney Hillman, boss of the CIO. Hillman died in 1946. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 9 / PP. 132—143 

54. PHS memorandum, November 16,1948: "Report of Investigation at Donora, 
Pennsylvania," to Chief of Industrial Hygiene Division from Chief of the Field Unit, 
Duncan A. Holaday. PHS, Air Pollution Medical Branch, Special Projects, Folder 542.1 
(1956). National Archives. 

Chapter to 

1. Snyder, p. 70. 

2. Author interview with Allen Kline, March 23, 1993. 

3. "The Donora Smog Disaster," Hygia, The Health Magazine (AMA), October 1 


4. Thomas Bell, Out of This Furnace (Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1941; reprinted 
Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1976), PP- 356-357, cited in Ross Bassett, 
"Air Pollution in Donora, PA," unpublished paper, December 6, 1990. 

5. Snyder, p. 217. 

6. Following the smog, "Not a single adjustment was made in the production 

system — no pollution control devices, nothing, and there was nothing ten years later," 
Allen Kline told me. 

7. Snyder, p. 219. 

8. Kehoe to J. G. Townsend, Townsend to Kehoe, and data for Ashe, Box 5, 

RAK Collection. Also, Snyder, p. 258. 

9. See chapter 9. 

10. Air Pollution in Donora, PA, Bulletin 306, USPHS, p. 161. 
n. Box 5, RAK Collection. 

12. W. F. Ashe to E. Soles, July II, 1949, and Largent's report from August 8, 1 

949, which found no mgs f/kilo (dry basis) in elm leaves three quarters of a mile 
opposite the open-hearth furnace. Box 5, RAK Collection. 

13. F. A. Exner, "Economic Motives Behind Fluoridation," address to the West-ern 
Conference of Natural Food Associates, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 27, 1961. 

14. Monessen Daily Independent, November 18, 1949, cited in Snyder, p. 170. 

15. She has evaluated the health threat from several government Department of Energy 
nuclear sites, including Oak Ridge. She wrote the government monograph "Summary 
Review of Health Effects Associated with Hydrogen Fluoride and Related Compounds." 
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, December 1988). 

16. So did the Society for Better Living, which charged the mill with reducing effluents 
during the test smog by staggering the run of mill processes rather than performing them 
simultaneously, as was standard practice. Snyder, p. 170. 

17. Drinker, too, was well aware of the fluoride problem facing the AEC, since he serviced 
the agency as a litigation consultant on stack "waste gases." Phillip Drinker to Dr. 
Thomas Shipman, Health Division Leader, Los Alamos, November 14, 1950. RG 326. 
Medicine Health and Safety. NARA. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 1 1 / PP. 144—149 


18. A. Ciocco and D. J. Thompson, "A follow-up of Donora ten years after: 

methodology and findings," Am. I. Public Health, vol. 51 (1961), pp. 155-64. H. 
Lewis, With Every Breath You Take, p. 201 

19. Memorandum: "Discussion with Mr. Rumford on his "Study of the Correlation of 
Meteorological Conditions and Morbidity in Donora' during his recent one day visit 
to Washington," from Nicholas Manos, Chief Statistician, Air Pollution Medical 
Program, Division of Special Health Services, to Records File, November 18,1957, 
Box 13, File 542.1, RG 90 Records of the Public Health Service, Air Pollution 
Medical Branch Project Records, 1953-1960. 

20. Snyder describes Rumford as a "consultant." He is described as being " assigned" 
to Dr. Ciocco in the memorandum "Mr. Rumford's Report on Donora" from 
Nicholas Manos, Chief Statistician, Air Pollution Medical Program, to Chief, Air 
Pollution Medical Program, January 29,1958, Box 13 File 542.1, RG 90 Records of 
the Public Health Service, Air Pollution Medical Branch Project Records, 

Chapter u 

1. In 1946 Congress passed the Strategic and Critical Materials Stockpiling Act. In 
2001 the Defense Nation Stockpile, maintained by the Pentagon, held 112, 000 tons 
of fluoride in sites around the country. U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals Yearbook, 

2. The task force was known formally as the President's Materials Policy Com- 
mission; its report was published in five volumes as Resources for Freedom in June 
1952. (An annex to this report, referred to in several commission documents found 
in the Truman Library, is not in the National Archives holdings, and researchers 
were not able to find a reference for it. "The final report of the Paley Commission 
consists of only 5 volumes, all of which are open," stated an e-mail from NARA 
archivist Tab Lewis, June 26, 2001.) 

3. D. M. Lion, "Fluorspar, Draft Commodity Study," marked "RESTRICTED," Box 
12, Folder "Fluorspar," PMPC, Truman Library. Fluorspar's use increased a 
hundredfold from 1887 to 1950 — annual consumption from 5,000 short tons to 
426,000 thousand short tons. D. M. Lion, "Commodity Studies, Fluorspar," NSRB 
6109, Paley Commission, Truman Archive. 

4. Haman and Anderson to PMPC. Haman noted especially "the comparatively new 
use of fluorspar in the production of uranium hexafluoride for the manufacture of 
the atomic bomb." PMPC, Truman Library, Box 113, Fluorspar. 

5. D. M. Lion, "Fluorspar, Draft Commodity Study." Also, H. Mendershausen, " 
Review of Strategic Stockpiling." Only 28,671 tons of bomb-quality "acid grade" 
fluoride was stockpiled in October 1951, just n percent of desired levels, 
Menderhausen reported. PMPC, Truman Library. 

6. Analysts were enthusiastic about the phosphate beds as a source of fluorine. "If 
economic methods can be developed and applied for recovering most of this 
fluorine as a byproduct of phosphate processing, the yield would amount to the 
equivalent of about 600,000 to 700,000 tones of loo percent 


NOTES TO C H A PTE R 11 / PP. 149-151 

calcium fluoride . . . Such an annual increment would more than make up our potential 
deficit to years hence," the Paley Commission stated. "All the resources of technology 
must be enlisted to solve the problems of assuring ample supplies of fluorspar, or 
fluorine containing materials," the report added. Resources for Freedom, June 1952. 

7. A. F. Blakey, The Florida Phosphate Industry (Cambridge, MA: Harvard 

University Press, 1973), p. 1 12 citing the Florida Air Pollution Control Commission. 

8. Paul Manning to Donor M. Lion, August 13, 1951, PMPC, Truman Library, 

Box 113, Fluorspar. 

9. For an account of this longstanding battle, see A. F. Blakey, The Florida 
Phosphate Industry, citing the Florida Air Pollution Control Commission. 
Also interview with Philip Sadtler and Congressional hearings chaired by 
Senator Ed Muskie. Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution of the Com 
mittee on Public Works of the United States Senate, 59th Congress, June 7-15, 
1966 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office), pp. 1 13-343. 

Paul Manning was well aware of the scale of the fluoride-pollution problem around 
the country. He was an associate of both Robert Kehoe and the head of the Fluorine 
Lawyers Committee, Frank Seamans, who invited him to participate in the sponsored 
research at the Kettering laboratory. "On behalf of our client, Alcoa, I have for some 
time been participating in an informal group of lawyers, all of whom have clients 
involved in fluoride claims of one kind or another. ... I know that your company is 
interested in this problem to some extent and that conversations have occurred between 
myself and other Alcoa representatives and personnel of your company." Seamans to 
Paul D. V. Manning, International Minerals and Chemical Corporaton, August 30, 1956. 
File 76, Box 5, RAK Collection. 

10. The Tennessee Valley Authority was also interested. "A recovery system that 

would pay its own way should be attractive ... the present price of sodium fluosilicate 
and increased demand for it will very likely encourage more manufactures to recover 
it" said TVA's T. P. Hignett. PMPC, Truman Library, Box 113, Fluorspar. 

11. Elias, Technology Reports, p. 9, PMCC, Truman Library, Box 130. 

12. It was beyond my resources to probe deeply the Florida cold-war uranium 

story. How much additional fluoride was produced by such production, and whether 
money was saved by using fluorsilicic acid as a water fluoridation agent remains to be 
reported. For Florida as source of cold-war uranium, see P. Eisler, "Poisoned Workers 
and Poisoned Places," USA Today, multipart series, September 6-8, 2000. Of interest, 
two companies producing uranium from phosphate included International Minerals 
and Chemical Corporation and the Olin Mathieson Corporation. The former is cited in 
the text and notes above, while Olin was one of the companies that joined Reynolds in 
the amicus curie brief for the Martin trial appeal (see chapter 13). 

13. Rebecca Hanmer, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water, to Leslie A 

Russell, DMD, March 3, 1983. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 1 1 / PP. 151-153 


14. D. McNeil, Fight for Fluoridation,(New York: Oxford University Press, 1957), 

p. 209, II. 22. 

15. "By the end of the fifth year a reexamination of the school pupils in New-burgh and 
Kingston showed that the Newburgh children had approximately 65 percent fewer 
cavities than the children of Kingston. The report of these findings was made public over 
my name ... ," Oscar Ewing, Oral History Interview with J. R. Fuchs of the Truman 
Library in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, April and May 1969. Truman Library. 

16. Philip R. N. Sutton, Fluoridation; Errors and Omissions in Experimental Trials 
(Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1959), p. 49, for calcium in water, citing 
E.W. Lohr and S. K. Love., 1954, "The Industrial Utility of Public Water Supplies 
in the United States, 1952" (U.S. Geological Survey), and United Kingdom 
Mission Report, The Fluoridation of Domestic Water Supplies in North America 
as a Means of Controlling Dental Caries (London: HM Stationary Office, 1953). 
John A. Forst, MD, The University of the State of New York, the State Education 
Department, Albany, NY, Division of Pupil Services, to Dr. James G. Kerwin, the 
Department of Health, Passaic, New Jersey, October 26, 1954. Via Martha Bevis. 

17. See chapters 9 and io for Ewing's profile. Clifford had helped to write the 

National Security Act of 1947, which had authorized the CIA. See his interview 
at the Truman Library. 

18. Letter from H. V. Smith to George Waldbott, January 6, 1964, cited in A 
Struggle with Titans, p. 65 . See also, "Beyond certain limits, fluorides are toxic 
and that the first evidence of toxicity manifests itself in the form of mottled 
enamel," B. Bibby, "Effects of Topical Application of Fluorides on on Dental 
Caries." In Fluorine in Dental Public Health (New York Institute of Clinical Oral 
Pathology Inc, A Symposium, 1944). 

19. D. McNeil, Fight for Fluoridation, p. 74. 

20. M. C. Smith and H. V. Smith, "Observations on the Durability of Mottled 

Teeth," Am. J. Public Health, 30 (1940), p. 1050, cited in Waldbott, A Struggle 
with Titans, p. 12. 

21. B. Lee, "Boon or Blunder?" Toronto Globe and Mail, January 1954, cited in G. 

L. Waldbott, A Struggle with Titans, p. 1 1. 

22. Waldbott had emigrated to the United States in 1923. His father, Leo Wald- 

bott, barely escaped the terror of Hitler's regime, in December 1938 joining 
George and an elder brother Emil in Detroit, Michigan. For several generations the 
Waldbotts had been important members of the community of Speyer, on the Rhine. 
Leo Waldbott was chairman of the Speyer teachers' and cantors' club, and 
treasurer of the local Jewish home for the elderly, which was burned to the ground 
by the Nazis on November io, 1938. "My Life Before and After Jan. 30, 1933," by 
Leo Waldbott, via Elizabeth Ramsay, George Waldbott's daughter. 

23. For pollen, "In Memoriam— G. L. Waldbott (January 14, 1898-July 17,1982)," 

Fluoride vol. 15, no. 4 (1982); Contact Dermatitis (Springfield, IL: Charles C. 
Thomas, 1935); "Anaphylactic Death from Penicillin," J. Am. Med. Assoc., 



vol. 139 (1949), pp. 526-527; Time, March 7, 1949; "Smoker's Respiratory Syndrome," 
J. Am. Med. Assoc., vol. 151 (1953), pp. 1398-1400. 

24. Edith Waldbott referred her husband to the hearings chaired by New York Congressman 
James Delaney (Dem.) in February 1952, before the House Select Committee to 
Investigate the Use of Chemicals in Food and Cosmetics. (Congressman A. L. Miller here 
exposed Oscar Ewing's vested interest as a former Alcoa attorney.) She pointed to a 
January 1954 eight-part series called "Boon or Blunder" in t h e Toronto Globe and Mail. 
She had also seen a Seattle Times story of December 16, 1952, which detailed Alcoa's 
efforts to fund fluoride research, according to Waldbott, A Struggle with Titans. The first 
article Edith Waldbott gave her husband was James Rorty's "The Truth About 
Fluoridation" in The Freeman (Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: June 1953). 

25. G. L. Waldbott, "Chronic Fluorine Intoxication from Drinking Water," Int. Arch. 
Allergy Appl. Immunol., 7 (1955), pp. 70-74. "Incipient Chronic Fluorine Intoxication 
from Drinking Water," Acta Med. Scand., 156 (1956), pp. 157-168. "Tetaniform 
Convulsions Precipitated By Fluoridated Drinking Water," Confin. Neurol., 17 (1957), 
pp. 339-347. 

26. G. L. Waldbott, "Allergic Reactions to Fluorides," Intern. Arch. Allergy, 12 ( 

1958), p. 347, and "Urticaria Due to Fluoride," Acta Allergologica, 13 (1959), 
p. 456. 

27. R. Feltman and G. Kosel, "Prenatal and Postnatal Ingestion of Fluorides — Fourteen 
years of Investigation — Final Report," J . Dent Med., 16 (1961), pp. 190-199. See also 
double blind tests in Haarlem, Holland, by Moolenburgh and others. G. W. Grimbergen, 
"A Double Blind Test for Determination of Intolerance to Fluoridated Water (Preliminary 
Report)," Fluoride, 7 (1974), PP. 147-152. 

28. The director of the Forsyth Dental Infirmary for Children in Boston, V. O. Hurme, 
warned in 1952, "Medical researchers have paid relatively little attention to the problem 
of chronic fluoride toxicosis." He worried about fluoride's potential effect on teeth and 
gums. "Among the very inadequately studied physical signs of fluoride toxicosis are 
inflammation and destruction of gingival and periodontal (gum) tissue. Published and 
unpublished observations by many men suggest rather strongly that periodontoclasia 
( gum disease) may be induced by certain chemicals, including fluoride," noted Hurme. V. 
O. Hurme, "An Examination of the Scientific Basis for Fluoridating Populations," Dent. 
Items of Interest, 74 (1952): pp. 5i8-534. 

29. G. W. Rapp, "The Pharmacology of Fluoride," The Bur (April 1950). Cited in 

Walbott, A Struggle with Titans, p. 19. 

30. H. T. Dean,"Chronic Endemic Dental Fluorosis," JAMA, 107 (October 17, 1936), pp. 
1269-1273. Also, H. T. Dean, F. S. McKay, and E. Elvove, "Mottled Enamel Survey of 
Bauxite, Arkansas Ten Years After Change in the Common Water Supply," Pub. Health 
Rep, 53 (September 30, 1938), pp. 1736-1748. 

31. H. C. Hodge and F. A. Smith, "Some Public Health Aspects of Water Fluo- 

ridation," in James H. Shaw, ed., Fluoridation as a Public Health Measure ( AAAS, 
1954), and The Problem of Providing Optimum Intake for Prevention 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 1 1 / PP. 155—156 

of Dental Caries: A Report of the Committee on Dental Health of the Food and Nutrition 
Board, Prepared by the Subcommittee on Optimal Fluoride Levels ( NRC Publication 
294, 1953). 

32. Hodge relied on the unpublished personal assertions of Alcoa's top fluoride expert, Dr. 
Dudley Irwin, for his frequently reiterated assurances that industrial workers, and by 
extension the general population, were not being injured by fluoride. "In industrial 
populations, Irwin (REF: Irwin, Dud-ley. Personal communication) has come to the 
conclusion that if the urine contains less than 5 mg. per liter (presumably indicating a 
fluoride intake of less than 5 to 10 mg per day), osteosclerosis never develops. On this 
basis, it can be predicted that persons drinking fluoridated water and excreting 
approximately 1 mg of fluoride per day will never develop demonstrable 
osteosclerosis." (Emphasis added)-H. C. Hodge, "Fluoride metabolism: its significance 
in water fluoridation," DADA, vol. 52 (1956) pp. 307-314. Such reassurances flew in 
the face of the work of Siddiqui (1955), for example, who measured the urine F in 
skeletal fluorosis: "The urinary fluoride excretion varied between 1.2 and 5.8 ppm . . . 
The mean values for blood and urinary fluoride were 0.34 and 2.75 ppm respectively." A. 
H. Siddiqui, "Fluorosis in Nalgonda district, Hyderabad-Deccan," British Medical 
Journal (December to, 1955), pp. 1408-1413. There are a number of additional and 
obvious problems with relying on Dr. Dudley Irwin for medical reassurances. The 
aluminum industry was one of leading fluoride polluters in the country, with an 
enormous interest in "proving' fluoride safe. And Alcoa in particular had failed to 
disclose a great deal of health information about fluoride. For example, their discovery 
of high fluoride levels in the blood of one of the Donora dead was never made public 
(see chapter 9). Their 1948 study of aluminum workers in Niagara Falls, NY, in which 
high incidence of disability was reported was also never disclosed (see chapter 3). 
Additionally, Dr. Irwin was the head of the Medical Advisory Committee, which had 
been constituted by the Fluorine Lawyers Committee in order to help industry fight and 
defend against legal claims of fluoride injury from workers (see chapter 8). Nor would 
the threshold injury level for skeletal fluorosis be the only serious misstatement by 
Hodge relating to fluoride analysis. Astonishingly, and with surely devastating 
consequences for public health, he claimed, " Serious kidney injury or disease does not 
interfere with fluoride excretion, e.g., in rabbits given near-fatal doses of uranium (a 
kidney poison), in rats poisoned with fluoride, in elderly patients and in children 
suffering from kidney diseases (Hodge and Smith 1954)." H. C. Hodge. "Safety factors 
in water fluoridation based on the toxicology of fluorides." Proceedings of the 
Nutrition Society 22 (1963), pp. 1 1 1-1 17. 

33- D. McNeil, The Fight for Fluoridation, p. 184. 
34. HR 2341 "A Bill to Protect the Public Health From the Dangers of Fluorina-tion of 
Water." Hearings Before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. House of 
Representatives, 83rd Congress. May 25-27, 1954. Fred- 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 1 1 / PP. 156—161 

erick Exner of Seattle and Dr. Veikko Hurme of the Forsyth Dental Infirmary also 

36. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. 
Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997), p. 311, citing Ft. 
C. Hodge and F. A. Smith, "Occupational Fluoride Exposure," J . O c c u p . Med., 19 
(1977), pp. 12-39. 

Chapter 12 

1. "Outlook," November 22, 1991, BBC Word Service. 

2. Although a favorite Bernays strategy was to harness liberal ideals such as 
women's suffrage for clients, it was often done with cynical or mercenary 
intent. Privately he was contemptuous of those with average intelligence and 
won corporate clients by warning them of the dangers of democracy and 
socialism. See the account of his speech to oil executives: "Eddie led the oil 
boys up to the brink of the public ownership precipice, and let them look 
into the yawning abyss. Oh my, hold on tight!" E. L. Bernays, Biography of 
an Idea: Memoirs of Public Relations Counsel Edward L. Bernays (New York: 
Simon and Schuster, 1965), p. 780. 

Bernays's "hallucination of democracy" was described by writer Stuart Ewen as a 
hierarchical world in which "an intelligent few" had the responsibility of "adjusting the 
mental scenery from which the public mind, with its limited intellect, derives its opinions." 
S. Ewen, PR: A Social History of Spin ( New York: Basic Books, 1996), p. 10. 

3. Bernays does not mention the fluoride campaign in his autobiography, Biography of an 
Idea. He was reluctant to discuss it with this author, at first denying his involvement. When 
confronted with his own prior admissions to the medical writer Joel Griffiths, Bernays 
agreed to discuss several aspects of his involvement. Second taped author interview at 
Bernays home, December u, 1 993. 

4. L. Tye, The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and the Birth of Public Rela- 

tions (New York: Crown, 1998); for Crisco: Procter and Gamble file in ELB Archive, 
Library of Congress. 

5. E. L. Bernays, Propaganda (New York: Horace Liveright, 1928). 

6. Chapter 11. 

7. Bernays to Dr. Leona Baumgartner, commissioner of health, the City of New York, 
December 8, 1960. City officials were also advised by Dr. Edward A. Suchman, a social 
scientist employed by the Health Department, on how "to obtain fluoridation by edict 
rather than referendum" because, he explained, " the opposition seems to get a better 
reception from the public in any battle of propaganda or public debate." E. Suchman to Dr. 
Paul Densen, December 13, 1960. 

Fluoridation could be achieved, Suchman added, by "a systematic targeted campaign 
directed at those specific officials who had voted against fluorida-tion" and by lobbying 
"ethnic groups of political importance." E. Suchman 

NOTES TO C H A P T E R 12 / PP. 161-163 


to Dr. Arthur Bushel, Director of the Bureau of Dentistry, New York Health 
Department, February 9, 1961. Suchman suggests several "courses of action." The 
first: "Remove the fluoridation issue from the arena of public opinion. Make the 
decision a health ruling form the Board of Health and/or secure enough votes from 
the Board of Estimate to back up this ruling." The second item: "Change the 
balance of public opinion so that the political leader can be convinced that a large 
majority of his supporters favors this action. This is difficult to do on a mass basis, 
but should be possible in terms of specific group pressures, especially from those 
groups carrying political weight. This is behind our current attempt to determine 
the major ethnic groups of political importance in particular communities." This 
memo is cc'd to Leona Baumgartner, Paul Densen, and Edward Bernays. Leona 
Baumgartner file, ELB Collection, Library of Congress. 

8. Baumgartner wrote Bernays: "The problem of equal time has been a continual 
headache with the networks. I don't know what to do about this." Baumgartner to 
Bernays, February 14, 1961, Baumgartner file, ELB papers, Library of Congress. He 
responded on February 16, 1961. 

9. Robert Kehoe wrote, "The question of the public safety of fluoridation is non- 
existent from the viewpoint of medical science." Our Children's Teeth (New York: 
Committee to Protect our Children's Teeth, 1957), p. 31. io. The committee received a 
$25,350 grant from Kellogg Foundation and "a second" $2,500 grant from the 
Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Bethuel Webster to Detlev Bronk, January 13, 1958. Folder 
42, Correspondence, Box 21, Detlev Bronk Collection, Rockefeller Archive, RG 303-U. 
11. Beginning in May 1940, Webster had been present at luncheon meetings of the 
prestigious Century Association, an elite club of powerbrokers and wealthy families, 
whose members have included eight presidents of the United States. Those luncheons, 
"resulted in the organization of the wartime Office of Scientific Research and 
Development, led by Centurions Vannevar Bush and James Conant," according to a 
chronicler of the group, William J. Vanden Heuvel. See "Franklin Delano Roosevelt: A 
Man of the Century," an address by William J. Vanden Heuvel to the Monthly Meeting 
of The Century Association, April 4, 2002, press release of the Franklin and Eleanor 
Roosevelt Institute. 

Also, Webster worked with Vannevar Bush and Carroll L. Wilson (the AEC's 
first general manager) to help shape the direction of scientific research in the 
immediate postwar period. See J. D. Kevles,"The National Science Foundation and 
the debate over Postwar Research Policy — A Political Interpretation of 
Science — the Endless Frontier," in R. L. Numbers and C. Rosenberg, eds., the 
Scientific Enterprise in America:Readings from Isis (Chicago: University of 
Chicago Press, 1996), p. 313. 

Webster wanted to win the public battle for fluoridation in New York and thus 
persuade the entire nation. See Webster's letter to Robert Kehoe, asking him to 
contribute to the Committee's booklet: "Local authorities must be more than 
convinced. . . . For the good of the cause I hope you 


NOTES TO C H A P T E R 12 I PP. 163—164 

will not be unduly modest . . . they must be furnished with irrefutable evidence in a 
popular form to protect them from criticism of the favorable action which we hope they 
will take. ... By conclusively demonstrating to local authorities our ability to meet and 
demolish the opposition, fluorida-tion and future public health measures may be saved 
from the impossible requirements of mass scientific education, popular referenda, etc." 
Webster to Kehoe, December 11, 1956, Box 42. File: "Committee to Protect Our 
Children's Teeth," RAK Collection. 

12. Listening as Bronk dictated his contribution to Our Children's Teeth was Shields 
Warren, the former director of the AEC's Division of Biology and Medicine. Dr. Warren 
"was in agreement with all that I have said," wrote Bronk in his contribution. Bronk was 
president of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. 

13. Bernays, Biography of an Idea, p. 380. 

14. New York's Board of Estimate voted for fluoridation after a marathon public 

hearing, which lasted for twenty hours. 

15. Dr. J. Knutson, Assistant Surgeon General, Chief Dental Officer PHS to E. 

L. Bernays, February 14, 1961, and Bernays to Knutson, February 16, 1961, in 
Baumgartner file, E. L. Bernays papers, Library of Congress. 

16. In the summer of 1951, just one year after the PHS endorsement, Dr. John 
Knutson — then the top official at the National Institutes of Dental Health — 
summoned state dental directors to Washington. It was time for a sales 
pitch. The officials gathered at 9:40 AM in the Washington, DC, offices of the 
Federal Security Administration on Wednesday, June 6, 1951. Sitting in the 
meeting were the surgeon general, Leonard Scheele, Katherine Bain of the 
Children's Bureau, Phil Phair from the American Dental Association, and a 
top official from the Kellogg Foundation, Phil Blackerby. 

The keynote speaker was Wisconsin's state dental director, Dr. Frank Bull. He had 
recently fought a furious but losing battle for fluoridation in the town of Seven Points. He 
now outlined a game plan for state authorities. "Keep fluoridation from going to a 
referendum," advised Bull. "Are we trying to promote this thing, or do we want to argue 
about it? When we are inviting the public in and the press in, don't have anybody on the 
program who is going to go ahead and oppose us because he wants to study it some 
more. . . . You are like any salesman," Bull told his fellow dental directors, " You have got 
to be positive." He added, "Don't put any ifs, ands or buts, or maybes in the thing . . . you 
have got to get a policy that says "Do it.' That is what the public wants, you know." 

Health officials had to choose their words carefully, Bull advised. If asked, " Isn't 
fluoride the thing that causes mottled enamel or fluorosis?" Bull suggested, "Tell them 
this, that at one part per million dental fluorosis brings about the most beautiful teeth that 
anyone ever had. And we show them some pictures of such teeth. We don't try to say that 
there is no such thing as fluorosis, even at 1.2 parts per million, which we are 
recommending, but you have got to have an answer. Maybe you have a better one.... We 



use the term 'artificial fluoridation,'" he added. "There is something about that term 
that means a phony. . . . We call it controlled fluoridation." 

Bull especially chided Katherine Bain of the Children's Bureau. Fluoride 
toxicity was probably the toughest issue facing promoters, he noted. "I noticed that 
Dr. Bain used the term "adding sodium fluoride.' We never do that. That is rat 
poison," Bull said. "You add fluorides. Never mind that sodium fluoride 
business ... all of those things give the opposition something to pick at, and they 
have got enough to pick at without our giving them any more. But this toxicity 
question is a difficult one. I can't give you the answer on it." 

17. Some of the best information on this spying comes from the archive of 
author Donald McNeil. While writing influential articles on fluoride for The 
Nation, among others, McNeil had compiled an extensive list of antifluoride 
opponents. He was helped in his list-keeping by the American Water Works 
Association. He had written to its executive secretary Raymond J. Faust, on 
May 5, 1954, asking for the names of fluoride opponents: "I have a dossier 
on every anti I have ever heard of in the country. This includes even names 
and what background I know about of a person who might only have writ 
ten a letter to the editor. By collecting the background on EVERYONE I 
hope to find a pattern which will eventually lead to an intelligent labeling of 
the opposition" (emphasis in original). 

Faust wrote to McNeil in reply, "We have from time to time developed some 
background information on some opponents of fluoridation. I will send you a copy 
of the material we have produced, however, it is sent to you with the understanding 
that it must be kept confidential or if used the source of the material must not be 
made public. We have been very careful to keep this material under lock and key as 
you may well understand." A document entitled "List of Rabid Opponents of 
Fluoridation" is found alongside. Faust to McNeil, May 13, 1954, File ADA 53-56, 
and ADA Misc, Box 1, McNeil Collection, Wisconsin State Historical Society. 

18. Science, vol. 1S3 (September 23, 1966), p. 1498. See also letter from Donald 
McNeil to Peter Goulding, Director of Public Information, ADA, February 24, 1961. 
"Dear Pete ... I see your powerful hand at work.... Today, along with your letter, I 
received one from Dr. Van Rensselaer Sill, Information Officer, Division of Dental 
Public Health and Resources, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He 
wrote to me care of The Nation, which was strange, but because of what he said, I 
can only conclude that he has been in touch with you or someone from the ADA. He 
said that he was interested in the "paperback on the opponents' [a book McNeil was 
then shopping] and that he had "some material on these learned gentlemen.' He 
hoped that I would call on him for any of the information they had in their offices." 
File 15, ADA Correspondence 6o-63, Box 1, McNeil Collection, Wisconsin State 
Historical Society. 

19. Several examples of professional censure for opposing fluoridation are 

cited in G. L. Waldbott et al., Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma 
( Lawrence, KS: 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 12 / PP. 165—166 

Coronado Press, 1978), p. 324. "In 1961 Dr. Max Ginns of Worcester, Massachusetts 
was dropped from his state dental society after he refused to discontinue use of a petition, 
circulated in 1953, which listed 119 dentists and 59 physicians in Worcester who 
opposed fluoridation.... [In 1962] the ADA House of Delegates voted to uphold the 

20. F. B. Exner and G. L. Waldbott, The American Fluoridation Experiment ( 

New York: Devin-Adair, 1957), p. 232, letter exchange between John W. Knutson, 
assistant surgeon general, chief dental officer PHS, and Mr. James Rorty. Feltman was 
charged in his PHS grant, according to Knutson, with deter-mining "the efficiency (in 
preventing dental caries) of the addition of measured doses of fluoride salts to 
pregnant women and children." His funding was cut off because he had "not reached 
his objective and was not likely to do so." Letter to Rorty from Knutson, August 9, 

21. Waldbott's books on fluoride include Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma, 

with Albert W. Burgstahler and H. Lewis McKinney; The American Fluoridation 
Experiment, with F. B. Exner and James Rorty; and A Struggle with Titans. 

22. B. Hileman, "Fluoridation of Water," Chemical and Engineering News, vol. 

66 (August 1, 1988), pp. 26-42. 

23. Dr. Exner had served six terms as secretary of the Association of American 

Physicians and Surgeons. For McNeil's subterfuge, see File ADA 53-56, McNeil 
Collection, Wisconsin State Historical Society. 

24. Irene R. Campbell, The Role of Fluoride in Public Health: The Soundness of 

Fluoridation of Communal Water Supplies, A Selected Bibliography, Supported by 
Research Grant DE-ol493 (Formerly D-1493) from the National Institute of Dental 
Research, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. 
As an example of the censorship in the bibliography, there is not a solitary citation for 
the published works of Dr. George Waldbott discussing fluoride's toxic effects in low 
doses, nor of the published studies of French epidemiologist Lonel Rapport, who 
linked fluoride in water to mongolism, also known as Down syndrome. 

Rapport's work is discussed in Waldbott et al., Fluoridation. The following citation 
of Rapport's work included: "Rapaport, I.: "Les opacifications du crystalline 
mongolisme et cataracte senile.' Rev. Anthropol. (Paris), Ser. 2,3: 133-135, 1957. 
"Contribution a 1'etude du mongolisme. Role pathogenique du fluor.' Bull. Acad. Natl. 
Med. (Paris), 14o: 529 — 531, 1956. "Contribution a 1'etude etiologique du mongolisme. 
Role des inhibiteurs enzymatiques. Encephale, 46: 468—481, 1957. "Nouvelles 
recherches sur le mongolism. A propos du role pathogenique du fluor.' Bull. Acad. Nat. 
Med. (Paris), 143:367-370, 1959. "Oligophrenic mongolienne et ectodermoses 
congenitatles. Ann. Dermatol. Syphiligr., 87: 263-278, 1960. "A propos du 
mongolisme infantile. Une deviation du metabolisme de tryptophane ches es enfants 
mongoliens. C. R. Hebd. Acad. Sci. 251: 474-476,1960. "Oligophrenic mongolienne et 
caries dentaires.' Rev. Stomatol. 64: 207-218, 1963." 

25. From 1957 to 1973 the ADA received $6,453,816 from the federal govern- 

ment, according to Waldbott et al., Fluoridation, p. 294, citing "Directory 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 13 1 PP. 167—170 


of Dental Consultants and Executive Personnel and Representatives of the 
American Dental Association to National Agencies and Societies," Bureau of 
Public Information, Am. Dent. Assoc., October 19, 1955. Direct funding for 
fluoridation from the PHS is harder to ascertain. According to S. J. Kreshover, 
director of the National Institute of Dental Research, the Office of Management 
and Budget "advises that a breakdown of budgeted funds spent specifically on such 
programs or portions of projects dealing with fluorides is not available." Cited in 
National Fluoridation News, vol. 21. no. 1 (October-December 1975), p. 4. 

26. American Dental Association Radio Script, National Children's Health Day, " 

Fluoridation Fights Tooth Decay," ADA Duplicates, Box 1. 

27. This note was found in Donald McNeil's papers. It is marked "ADA Files." 
The newspapers identified as carrying the identical story are listed as: Hot 
Springs, AR, Sentinel Record, August 20, 1952; Lead, SD, Daily Call, August 
19, 1952; Idaho Evening Statesman, Boise, Idaho, August 18, 1952; Poplar 
Bluff, MO, American Republic, August 21, 1952; Newton Daily News (Iowa) 
reprinted in Boone, Iowa News-Republican on August 22, 1952. The note is 
in a file marked "ADA duplicates," Box 1, McNeil Collection, Wisconsin State 
Historical Society. 

Chapter 13 

1. See Reynolds Metals Company vs. Paul Martin. Appellant's Brief, Appeal from 

Final Judgements of the District Court for the District of Oregon, Honor-able 
William G. East, Judge. May 14, 1956, p. 3. U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit Ct. 
of Appeals, San Francisco, Court Case Papers and Printed Mat-ter, Case #14990, 
transcript of Record in six volumes, Folder 14990-14992, Box 5888-589o, RG 276. 

2. The attorneys were Frank Seamans, for Alcoa; Gordon Martin, for Kaiser 

Aluminum and Chemical Corporation; E. J. Epielman, Louis C. Viereck, and 
Lawrence A. Harvey, for Harvey Aluminum; B. W. Davis, for West Vaco Chemical 
Division of Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation; Lon P. MacFarland, for 
Monsanto Chemical Company; and R. E. McCormick and Francis R. Kirkham, for 
Olin Mathieson Chemical Corportaion. Brief Amicus Curiae, In the US Court of 
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Rehearing en banc on Appeal from Final Judgments 
of the District Court for the District of Oregon, File 18, Box 63, RAK Collection. 

3. At Harvard, Hunter had studied with Dr. Philip Drinker. Reynolds Metals 

Company vs. Paul Martin, plaintiffs direct examination, p. 471, US Court of 
Appeals, 9th Circuit Ct. of Appeals, San Francisco, Court Case Papers and Printed 
Matter, Case #14990, transcript of Record in six volumes, Folders 1 4990-14992, 
Boxes 5888-589o, RG 276. 

4. Testimony of Dr. Donald Hunter, p. 492. 

5. Ibid., p. 473. 

6. Ibid., p. 475. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 13 / PP. 171-175 

7. Ibid., p. 476. Hunter was an examiner at Cambridge University. Cambridge 

had been a fluoride poison gas research center during the war. Sir Rudolph Peters also 
did his enzyme studies at Cambridge. R. E. Banks, ed., Fluorine Chemistry at the 
Millenium (Amsterdam and New York Elsevier, 2000), R. E. Banks (ed) p. 500.] 

8. University of Rochester, Progress Report for October, 1944-Abstracts, Dr. 

Harold Hodge, p. 478. "The results indicated that the inhibition of esterase activity 
produced by T [code for uranium] was small compared with that by C-216 [code for 
fluorine]. Thus 0.025 ppm C-216 caused the same percentage inhibition of esterase 
activity as too ppm T (33 percent). From these results it is concluded that in a mixture of 
T and C-2 1 6 in which the amount (by weight) of T is not more than 50-fold that of C-2 1 6 
the effect of the T upon the activity of liver esterase can be neglected." Also, "The useful 
range of this curve for determining C-216 concentrations was from 0-0.5 ppm, C-216." 
Document #S09F01B227, p. 19, ACHRE, RG 220. For a discussion of the role of 
fluoride on enzyme inhibition, and for comprehensive citations, see Waldbott et al., 
Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma. 

9. Court of Appeals for 9th Circuit, , Brief Answer to Petition for Rehearing, 

Appeals from the Final Judgements of the District Court for the District of Oregon, p. 5, 
Folders 14990-14992. 

10. Reynolds Metals Company vs. Paul Martin. Plaintiffs direct examination, p. 

500, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit Ct. of Appeals, San Francisco, Court Case 
Papers and Printed Matter, Case #14990, transcript of record in six volumes, Folders 
14990-14992,Boxes 5888-5890, RG 276. 

11. Ibid., p. 492. 

12. Ibid., p. 1913, deposition of Paula Martin. 

13. Ibid., pp. 259 and 213, direct and cross examination of Richard Capps. 

14. Ibid., p. 245. 

15. Ibid., p. 197. 

16. See chapters 3 and 9. 

17. Direct examination of Robert Kehoe, Reynolds Metal Company vs. Paul 

Martin, pp. 995 and 997- 

18. Robert Kehoe to Edward Largent, February 13, 1956, File 5, Box 76, RAK 


19. Manufacturing Chemists Association, Inc. Minutes of the Air Pollution 
Abatement Committee, November 2, 1955. Via Environmental Working 
Group searchable database. 

20. Appellant's Brief, Appeal from Final Judgments of the District Court for the 

District of Oregon, Honorable William G. East, Judge. May 14, 1956, p. 7. 

21. Following the Martin trial, the company put Largent directly on its payroll as 

a health and environment consultant. In the years to come Reynolds and its health 
consultants would be preoccupied with another citizen protest, this time from Mohawk 
Indians on the Akwesasne reservation on the New York-Canada border, who lived 
downwind of a newly built Reynolds alu- 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 14 / PP. 177—178 


minum plant and who claimed that their health and economy were being destroyed 
by fluoride (see chapter 15). 

Chapter 14 

1. Reynolds Metals Company vs. Paul Martin. Petition for Rehearing en banc, p. 

6, and Appellant's Brief, p. 32 Appeal from Final Judgments of the District Court for 
the District of Oregon, Honorable William G. East, Judge. May 14, 1956. P. 3. RG 
276, US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit Ct. of Appeals, San Francisco, Court Case 
Papers and Printed Matter, Box 5888-589o, Folder 1 4990 to 14992, case #14990, 
transcript of record in six volumes. 

2. The judges were told that Our Children's Teeth included "the statements of 

one medical and scientific expert after another, all to the effect that fluorides in low 
concentrations (such as are present around aluminum and other industrial plants) 
present no hazard to man." Brief Amicus Curiae, In the U.S. Court of Appeals for 
the Ninth Circuit, Rehearing en banc on Appeal from Final Judgements of the 
District Court for the District of Oregon, p. 8, File 18, Box 63, RAK Collection. 

3. Statement of Robert Kehoe, Our Children's Teeth, A Digest of Current Scien- 

tific Opinion Based on Studies of Fluorides in Public Water Supplies, prepared by 
the Committee to Protect Our Children's Teeth, Inc., submitted to the Mayor and 
the Board of Estimate of the City of New York (1957), p. 3 1 . 

4. R. Kehoe, "Memorandum on the Present Status and the Future Needs, with 

Respect to Information Deriving from Observation and Investigation of the 
Behavior of Inorganic Compounds of Fluorine in the Animal Organism," 
February 1, 1956, File 5, Box 76, RAK Collection. 

5. Robert Kehoe to James M. McMillan, September 20, 1961, cc: Mr. Frank 

Seamans, Box 63, RAK Collection. 

6. R. Kehoe, "Memorandum on the Present Status and the Future Needs, with 

Respect to Information Deriving from Observation and Investigation of the 
Behavior of Inorganic Compounds of Fluorine in the Animal Organism," 
February 1, 1956, File 5, Box 76, Kettering Files. 

7. The corporations "which are concerned mainly with the results of expo-sure 

to fluorides in various occupations" included "The Pennsylvania Salt 
Manufacturing Company, Aluminum Company of America, Reynolds Metals 
Company, Universal Oil Products Company, American Petroleum Institute, Kaiser 
Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, Tennessee Valley Authority, The Harshaw 
Chemical Company, [and] Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corporation," 
Kehoe told the Medical Director of the Division of Industrial Hygiene, Dr. Seward 

8. "In a meeting a little while ago," Kehoe wrote to Dr. Miller, "the question was 

raised, naturally, as to the long-term influence of small quantities of fluorides, such 
as those which might be taken in with drinking water, both in areas in which 
fluorides occur in somewhat unusual concentrations in the drinking water as well as 
those areas in which fluorides are being added to community water supplies ... I 
feel that I should transmit to you the 


NOTES 'CO C H A P T E R 14 / PP. 178-179 

opinions expressed by this group and by the industries for whom they speak, not as a 
matter of their right to request any activity on the part of the Public Health Service, but 
rather as evidence of their interest in a broad problem of public health," Kehoe wrote. 
"That this interest has been aroused by their concern for the employees of their own 
companies, is a phenomenon which seems to me to be of some public consequence." 
Kehoe to Miller, May 20, 1952, RAK Collection. 

9. The Bartlett Cameron study examined the health of n6 people in Bartlett and 

113 from Cameron. George Waldbott noted that there was no information about how 
much fluoride the Cameron residents might have consumed in food, which had perhaps 
been grown in the nearby Bartlett area, or elsewhere in Western Texas, known as a high 
fluoride region. Although the study reported no "significant differences" in the health 
status of the two populations, there was a high incidence of cataracts, bone changes, 
arthritis and deafness in both communities, compared to the national aver-age. Also, 
mortality in Bartlett was 265 percent higher in Bartlett than in Cameron. Furthermore, 
using data on just 116 individuals to justify adding fluoride to the drinking water of 50 
million people meant that, according to George Waldbott, "if 1 in 1 17 were to suffer ill 
effect from fluoride in water, the number of those so afflicted among the fifty million 
citizens would be 427,35 0-a sizable incidence. Thus the sampling in the Bartlett survey 
was far too small to assure the safety of millions of people drinking fluoridated water. " G. 
L. Waldbott, A Struggle with Titans, p. 296. (Leone's Bartlett research was published as 
"Medical Aspects of Excessive Fluoride in a Water Supply," Public Health Report, vol. 
69, no. 10 (October 1954). Submitted as part of the amicus curiae brief in the Martin trial, 
it was additionally published as N. C. Leone, et al. 1955. "Review of the 
Bartlett-Cameron survey: A Ten- Year Fluoride Study," J . Amer. Dent. Assoc., vol. 50, 
pp. 277-281. And Leone et al., Am J. Roentgen, vol. 74 (1955), p. 874. 

10. "This undoubtedly was the paper Dr. Leone referred to in our long distance telephone 
conversation while I was engaged in the trial of the Martin personal injury case." W. T. 
Lennon to Robert Kehoe, March 15, 1957, cc: R. W. Anderson, Alcoa, File 5/6, Box 76, 
RAK Collection. 

11. Leone had given Lennon the reference to a version of the Bartlett Cameron study, 
published as "A Roentgenologic Study of a Human Population Exposed to 
High-Fluoride Domestic Water" in Am. J. Roentgenology, Radium Therapy and 
Nuclear Medicine, vol. 74, no. 5, November 1955. The paper included reference to an 
autopsy, Lennon wrote Kehoe. "Evidently the autopsy was only complete to the extent 
of bone analysis as the paper contained no comment on soft tissue. I was wondering 
whether or not you had any talks with Dr. Leone regarding this autopsy and whether or 
not any examination was made of soft tissue." W. T. Lennon to Robert Kehoe, March 15, 
1956, cc: R. W. Anderson, Alcoa, File 5/6, Box 76, RAK Collection. 

12. Dr. Leone to Dr. Irwin, letter sent on March 5, 1957, File 5/6, Box 76, RAK Collection. 

NOTES to CHAPTER 14 / PP. 179—182 


13. D. A. Greenwood, "Background for Studies in Utah County," paper given at the 
1957 Kettering Fluoride Symposium. Greenwood was Professor of Biochemistry 
and Pharmacology, Utah State University. Another figure claims that the legal 
claims against U.S. Steel in Utah were for $30 million. Butler C, Proceedings: 
National Conference On Air Pollution, November 18-20, 1958, p. 268. 

14. Leone was an unapologetic propagandist for fluoride. For example, in 1983 he 
helped organize a conference at Utah State University. In the proceedings he writes, 
"Further publicizing the importance [of fluoride] in the treatment of selected cases 
of osteoporosis can help us achieve control of another facet of the fluoride problem. 
By emphasizing and appraising the older members of our aging population as to the 
beneficial aspects of fluoride at levels in the neighborhood of 5 mg per day, we can 
make known the obvious safety of fluoride levels at higher than the advocated (1 
ppm) in the prevention of dental caries in children. The process would thus give 
supportive evidence as to the safety and desirability of fluorides in human diets." J. 
L. Shupe, H. B. Peterson, and N. C. Leone, eds., "Fluorides: Effects on Vegetation, 
Animals, and Humans" (Salt Lake City, UT: Paragon Press, 1983), p. 361. 

15. Dudley Irwin to Frank Seamans, March 13, 1957, 42.17, RAK Collection. 

16. Reynolds Metals Comp vs. Yturbide, 258 F. 2d 321 (9th Cir.) cert. den. 358 U. 

S. 840 (1958), p. 25. 

17. Motion for Leave to File Brief Amicus Curiae, p. 2, and Brief, p. 5, File 18, 

Box 63, RAK Collection. 

18. Kehoe notes of meeting, Folders 18, 19, and 23, Box 63, RAK Collection. For the 
relationship of the Medical Advisory Committee to the Fluorine Lawyers, see 
Seamans to Medical Advisory Committee, April 16, 1957: "The legal 
representatives of the several companies interested in the Kettering Research project 
have agreed that it would be advantageous if the principal liaison with Kettering 
were undertaken by persons of competent technical background . . . [to] conduct the 
necessary liaison between the Kettering Institute and the lawyers' group by a system 
of regularly scheduled visitations to Kettering and regular reports to the lawyer's 
group," File 17, Box 42, RAK Collection. 

19. Leone's Bartlett Cameron study, comparing two Texas communities with low and 
high natural fluoride in water, was cited. So was his work in Provo, Utah, where 
U.S. Steel's giant plant was being blamed for widespread injury to crops and 
livestock, and where Leone was serving as a consultant to R. A. Call, who was 
studying fluoride deposition in soft tissues. Leone was also working with Harold 
Hodge and Frank Smith at Rochester, studying the soft tissues of people who had 
died in areas with varying levels of fluoride in water. Much of this work, including 
a summary of Call's work, was brought together in the 1957 Symposium at the 
Kettering Laboratory and published by editor Philip Drinker in the Archives of 
Industrial Health, vol. 21 (1960). See also Public Health Report., no. 8o (1965), pp. 
529 — 538, for an expanded version of Call's report. In regards to the Call study 
(Leone was not 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 14 / PP. 183 — i85 

publicly listed as an author or "consultant' on the work), George Waldbott noted, "Their 
grants were not renewed, according to Dr. Call's letter to the author, June 22, 1964. 
Therefore, the study of ill-effect of airborne fluoride on kidney disease which their 
research had disclosed was abandoned." G. L. Waldbott, A Struggle with Titans: Forces 
Behind Water Fluoridation (New York: Carleton Press, 1965), p. 251. 

20. The final ruling of the Appeals Court on absolute liability was a victory for 

industry. "This case can no longer be cited for the proposition that in a case of this kind 
absolute liability exists. Thus, the companies filing amicus curiae briefs at least 
succeeded in winning the major point which they argued. This may be of doubtful value 
because of the view taken on proof of negligence but at least we succeeded on this 
point." Legal memo from Frank Seamans, sent to Robert Kehoe, June 13, 1958, File 18, 
Box 64, RAK Collection. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Kehoe to Willard Machle, May 29, 1956, Box 42; and Drinker to Kehoe, July 

8, 1958, File 17, Box 42, RAK Collection. 

Chapter 15 

1. Boscak, 1978. EPA report No. epa-450/3-78-109. Cited in EPA, "Summary Review of 
Health Effects ... ," EPA/600/8-89/oozF (December 1988), pp. 3-5. It states, regarding 
HF manufacturing plants and additional sources of industrial air exposure, "The figure 
is naturally higher when other fluoride or HF sources are considered." 

2. In 1975, 350,000 men and women in 92 occupations were exposed to fluorides. National 
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1975, DHEW/NIOSH-76-103. Cited in EPA, 
"Summary Review of Health Effects," pp. 3-5. Also, 22, 000 workers were potentially 
exposed to hydrogen fluoride gas alone, in 57 occupations. Criteria For a Recommended 
Standard . . . Occupational Exposure to Hydrogen Fluoride, NIOSH 
DHEW/PUB/NIOSH-76-143, cited pp. 3-5, EPA, "Summary Review of Health Effects." 

3. Kehoe to Derryberry, January 9, 1956, File 18, Box 63, RAK Collection. 

4. "Memorandum Concerning the Objectives of the Investigative Program on the 

Behavior of Fluoride in the Human Body and Concerning the Purposes and Policies of 
the Kettering Laboratory and the University of Cincinnati, in the Prosecution of This 
Investigative Program," Prepared by Robert Kehoe, November 10, 1956. Box 42, RAK 

5. Some 2,845 pounds a day of Reynolds's fluoride had spilled over the Mar-tin ranch as 
hydrofluoric acid gas and also as tiny particles of fluoride dust. Memorandum from 
Frank Seamans summarizing the finding of the Appeals Court en banc, June 12, 1958, 
File 18, Box 63, RAK Collection. 

6. R. Kehoe, "Memorandum on the Present Status and the Future Needs, with Respect to 
Information Deriving from Observation and Investigation of the Behavior of Inorganic 
Compounds of Fluorine in the Animal Organism," February I, 1956, File 5, Box 76, 
RAK Collection. 

7. Ibid. 

NOTES TO C H A P T E R 15 / PP. 186-187 


8. Minutes of the meeting of the Fluoride Committee on October 1 0 , 1956, at 1 0 . 

00 A M in Room 207, College of Medicine, Folders 18, 19, and 23, Box 63, RAK 

9. Hosted by the Kettering Laboratory, the symposium had been planned ear- 

lier in the year at the May 20 meeting at the Kettering Laboratory, following the 
Martin Appeals Court verdict. It was arranged by Alcoa's Dudley Irwin, Robert 
Kehoe, and the government's Dr. Nicholas Leone as part of their " strategic" 
information plan. 

10. R. A. Kehoe, handwritten notes, "A World of Welcome on Behalf of the 

Kettering Laboratory," 1957 Fluoride Symposium, File 42, Box 17, RAK 

11. For aluminum employees, see amicus curiae brief, Reynolds vs. Martin, p. 


12. Other papers on fluoride safety were given by NIDR officials Nicholas Leone, 
Isadore Zipkin, and Harold McCann. Another study by Richard A. Call on the 
effects of fluoride air pollution on humans was being conducted in Utah. That 
project had been explained by the NIDR's Dr. Leone, who described himself as a 
"consultant" on the project, to Alcoa's Dudley Irwin in a letter of March 5, 1957: 
"As you know, it has been proven beyond a question of a doubt that similar 
conditions have an effect upon animals," wrote Leone. He explained that the Public 
Health Service was financing the human studies " with funds supplied by another 
Bureau." They were being conducted in the laboratories of the Mormon Latter Day 
Saints Hospital in Provo, Utah. Urine levels were being recorded. The bones and 
tissues of individuals who died suddenly were examined. "Inmates of a mental 
institution close by comprise the study material," Leone noted. The study of 
forty-eight autopsied bodies that had experienced sudden death concluded that "no 
histologic abnormities attributable to fluorides were recognized." Nevertheless, 
29.3 percent of the "major causes of death" in the study area were listed as 
"respiratory tract" in origin, compared with just 5.9 percent in the control group. 
Nicholas D. Leone, MD, Chief Medical Investigations NIDR, to Dudley A. Irwin, 
MD, Alcoa Medical Director, March 5, 1957, RAK Collection. 

13. Kehoe to Dudley Irwin, Alcoa, December 4, 1959. "Dear Dudley: The Symposium 
has been accepted for publication by Phil Drinker in the [AMA] Archives [of 
Industrial Health] and it will appear in the April or May number. It will be made 
available in one volume in reprints and, therefore, it is now time to decide how and in 
what numbers we wish to have it assembled. . .. I would suggest that the sponsors be 
polled for the numbers of copies they desire, that this information, together with the 
addresses to which the reprints and the bill for them are to be sent, be forwarded to 
me, so that I can hand all of this, in a complete and orderly manner, to Phil Drinker. 
The sooner this is done the better it will be, I believe, since I would like to be sure 
that the sponsors get just what they want." File 1 7 , Box 42, RAK Collection. (The 
editorial board of the Archives of Industrial Health included DuPont's John Foulger, 
the Mellon Institute's Helmuth Schrenk, the Kettering 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 15 / PP. 188-191 

Institute's Frank Princi, and Herbert Stokinger, formerly of the University of Rochester's 
Atomic Energy Project.) The publication of the papers was part of the post-Martin 
strategy drawn up by Kehoe, Alcoa, and Dr. Leone from the NIDR at their planing 
meeting that spring. The collected papers appeared in the Archives of Industrial Health, 
vol. 21 (1960). 

14. Frank Seamans to Robert Kehoe, April 16, 1957, File 17, Box 42, Kettering 


15. William Jolley died of colon cancer in the 197os, the result of what Bingham and 
Jolley's family believe was radiation poisoning from his earlier work at the AEC's 
Mound Laboratory in Miamisburg, Ohio. According to a July 15, 2002, author interview 
with Eula Bingham, Davis "had worked up at Mound laboratory, the radiation laboratory 
up in Miamisburg, Ohio, Bill Jolley worked up there also. Bill died of colon cancer in the 
seventies and his family tried to file a lawsuit and they didn't get anything out of it. He 
got out of that job — they came here to the university because they really were worried 
about all the radiation up there." Bingham also believed radiation killed Jolley: "I feel so, 
too," she said. 

16. An earlier draft of the report found in Kehoe's files records the investigators' shock at 
the results, and the discussion section notes that even the control animals had been hurt by 
a small amount of fluoride, to which they had somehow been exposed. "The principal 
findings in the lung were of peri-bronchial fibrosis and scattered granulomatous 
(inflammatory) lesions. . .. The striking enlargement of the tracheal lymph nodes was 
caused by a hyperplastic lymphadenitis. In the lungs there was a strikingly large amount 
of cholesterol, which, at present, has no clear explanation. . . . Some degree of ' reaction 
to injury' was encountered even in the lungs of the control dogs which sustained only a 
modest degree of incidental exposure to air borne calcium fluoride." Folders 18-20, Box 
63, RAK Collection. 

17. Albert A. Brust, Director, Toxicology Division, to Dudley Irwin, February to, 196o, 
cc: R. A. Kehoe and R. K. Davis, File 17, Box 42, RAK Collection. 

18. Industry's fear of lawsuits for emphysema damage can be seen in a 1966 symposium at 
the Mellon Institute in which the managing director of the Industrial Hygiene Foundation, 
Robert T. P. deTreville, MD, announced: "The Foundation's interest in emphysema stems 
partly from the concern reflected by its membership that the potential for abuse in the 
awarding of claims for compensation could easily dwarf that for silicosis at its worst." 
Emphysema in Industry, Medical Series Bulletin No. to, Mellon Institute Library. (See 
also Epilogue for discussion of emphysema in industry in 2003.) 

19. Charles McCarthy to Robert Kehoe, July 9, 1962, RAK Collection. 

20. Dr. Arden Pope at the University of Utah recommended Phalen. Pope 
described Phalen as "honest and candid." 

21. Two early influential members of ACGIH were Harold Hodge and Jim Sterner. (Both 
had attended the Conference on Fluoride Metabolism at the Hotel Pennsylvania.) Hodge 
and Sterner were bread-and-butter pragma-tists, in Phalen's opinion, forging compromise 
in the real world of industry 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 15 / PP. 191-193 


smokestacks and worker paychecks. "If I wanted to harm someone's health, I would put 
their breadwinner out of a job," Phalen said. "It has a greater health effect dropping 
someone below the poverty level than becoming a heavy smoker. These people 
realized the critical nature of someone earning a living. They had seen the Depression. 
ACGIH decided it would establish limits that workers could be exposed to and most 
workers, the vast majority, not get ill . . . Harold was of that sort," Phalen added. 

22. "No studies were located regarding respiratory effects in animals following 

inhalation of fluoride." Draft Toxicological Profile for Fluorides 2001 (Department of 
Health and Social Services, Public Health Service, ATSDR). p. 50. 

23. ACGIH's current 2.5 mg/m standard is based on a 1963 paper by Dr. O. M. 

Derryberry of the Tennessee Valley Authority, a member of the Medical Advisory 
Committee that had shaped the original Kettering research program. 

24. "If it is a study that you are saying is very important and clearly has some 

relevance, I think it is unlikely that we would ignore it, so I think that you might assume 
[that we didn't see it] . . . but I can't say that for sure," Bros-sard added. Author 
interview, July 22, 2002. 

25. Of significance is the report by Laura Trupin, an epidemiologist at the Uni- 

versity of California, San Francisco, in the European Respiratory Journal vol. 22, no. 3 
(September 2003), that on-the-job exposure to dust or toxic fumes may cause as many 
as five million cases of a group of deadly lung diseases called chronic obstructive 
pulmonary disease [COPD.] According to USA Today, "this study suggests that 
workplace exposure to pollutants may be a more important cause of the disease than 
previously suspected. The new study found that workplace exposure may cause as 
much as 31 percent of all cases of COPD, which kills more than 100,000 Americans 
each year." USA Today, August 26, 2003, Section D, p. 7. 

26. "Compensation for Illnesses Realized by Department of Energy Workers Due 

to Exposure to Hazardous Materials" — Hearings before Subcommittee on Immigration 
and Claims, September 21, 2000, Serial No. 132, p. 147. 

27. Ibid., p. 142. 

28. Harding recalled, "At any time, you could see that haze of smoke and smell a 

strong acrid odor, and you could taste it in your mouth. So you were literally breathing 
and eating uranium-containing gases and dusts and powder all the time." 

29. For "Buchenwald," see J. G. Hamilton, University of California, to Shields 

Warren, DBM, AEC, November 28, 1950 ("Unfortunately, it will not be possible for me 
to be at the meeting on December 8"), Document #DOE-o72694-B-45, p. 1, ACHRE, 
RG 220. 

30. Congressional testimony of Rep. Ed Whitefield of the State of Kentucky. " 

Compensation for Illnesses Realized by Department of Energy Workers Due to 
Exposure to Hazardous Materials," Hearings before Subcommittee on Immigration 
and Claims, September 21, 2000. Serial No. 132, p. 123. 

31. Ibid., pp. 234-235. 




32. However, as of August 2003, according to an Internet posting from the worker advocacy 
group, the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, "DOE has received over 17,000 claims 
requesting assistance with state workers' compensation for occupational illnesses, but as 
of June 25 had processed only 45 claims through its Physicians' Panels for a 
determination, and none of these claims had yet been paid. DOE has advised Congress 
that it expects it will take another 5 years to work through its backlog of claims." 

33* "The Link Between Exposure to Occupational Hazards and Illness in the Department of 
Energy Contractor Workforce" (The National Economic Council, 2000), p. 18. This 
study provided the scientific foundation upon which the legislation was based. At Oak 
Ridge, a K-25 worker, Sam Vest, watched his father sicken with chronic fatigue 
syndrome. He watched an uncle get cancer. Both had worked in the K-25 uranium 
production plant at Oak Ridge, and both died in their fifties and sixties. Today they are 
buried alongside each other in an Oak Ridge cemetery. Vest continued to work at the 
plant during the 199os. He now has bladder cancer, arthritis, and memory loss, he asserts. 
He was placed on disability in 1998. He describes Oak Ridge as "a tragedy," where 
sickness stalks former workers. "They all have joint and muscular problems, skeletal 
problems, a lot of them have memory problems similar to mine," says Vest. "A lot of 
people have respiratory problems." "Nobody wanted to work in the gaseous diffusion 
buildings," Vest added. "Deep down they knew they were being exposed to very 
hazardous chemicals, the HF and the hexafluoride and all the other things." 

34. Although the legislation and compensation process did not create a special category for 
fluoride injury, fluoride had played a leading role in hurting atomic workers, Congress 
heard. One government-funded study found that 20 percent of former gaseous-diffusion 
employees have chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. Exposure to "hydrofluoric acid 
and other powerful lung irritants in the gaseous diffusion process played a significant 
contributing role," in causing that illness, scientists said. Congressional testimony of 
Steven B. Markowitz, Director of the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems, Queens 
College, Flushing, NY, September 21, 2000, "Compensation for Illnesses Realized by 
Department of Energy Workers Due to Exposure to Hazardous Materials" — Hearings 
before Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, September 2 1 , 2000, Serial No. 132, p. 

35. Other investigators, while seemingly aware that hazards exist, are simply unwilling to 
evaluate the risk communities and workers face from fluoride. Arjun Makhijani, director 
of the Institute for Energy and Environment Research and one of the nation's most quoted 
nuclear-health experts, told me that he had "made a decision not to go there" in examining 
fluoride's health effects, choosing instead to focus on the risks from radiation. He 
confirmed that little accounting has yet been made of the health damage fluoride has 
inflicted on nuclear workers. "I don't know how to begin thinking about this question. It is 
a sleeper," Makhijani said. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 15 / PP. 194—197 


36. Richard Wilson and John Spengler, eds., Particles in Our Air: Concentra- 

tions and Health Effects (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), p. 212. 

37. C. Schneider, Death, Disease, and Dirty Power: Mortality and Health Damage 

Due to Air Pollution from Power Plants (The Clean Air Task Force, October 2000). This 
report is a summary of a fuller report done by Abt Associates for the Clean Air campaign. 
On p. 5 it states, "The Abt Associates report further shows that hundreds of thousands of 
Americans suffer from asthma attacks, cardiac problems and upper and lower 
respiratory ailments associated with fine particles from power plants." Lung cancer 
study cited in the New York Times, March 6, 2002, Section A, p. 14, from JAMA study 
of same date. 

38. Children breathe 50 percent more air per pound of body weight than adults. 

Children make up 40 percent of all asthma cases, while only 25 percent of the total 
population. "Asthma: A Public Health Response" (U.S. CDC), cited in Death, Disease, 
and Dirty Power, p. 9. 

One study found infants in high-pollution areas were 40 percent more likely to die of 
respiratory causes. Another found a 26 percent increase in the risk for sudden infant 
death syndrome. T. J. Woodruff et al., "The Relationship Between Selected Causes of 
Postneonatal Infant Mortality and Particu-late Air Pollution in the United States," 
Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 105, no. 6 (June 1997); cited in Asthma: A 
Public Health Response. U.S. CDC; cited in Death, Disease, and Dirty Power, p. 9. 

39. New York Times, May 12, 2000, p. 32. 

40. EPA Toxic Release Inventory data— 1999 data, updated as of August 1, 2001. 

41. For fluoride synergy, see A. S. Rozhkov and T. A. Mikhailova, The Effect of 

Fluorine-Containing Emissions on Conifers, trans. L. Kashhenko, Siberian Institute of 
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of 
Sciences (Frankfurt: Springer- Verlag, 1993). Part of this text was excerpted on the 
Fluoride Action Network website. See also Stok-inger et al., "The Enhancing Effect of 
the Inhalation of Hydrogen Fluoride Vapor on Beryllium Sulfate Poisoning in Animals," 
UR-68, University of Rochester, unclassified. 

42. Florida: from the late 1940s through the 196os, multiple lawsuits were launched 

against several fertilizer manufacturers mining the state's rich natural phosphate beds. 
U.S. Senate hearings were prompted when 25,000 acres of citrus land in Polk County 
were damaged and 150,000 acres of pasture abandoned as " fluorides gushed into the 
orange-blossom-scented air.... As cattle ate the grass, they absorbed fluorine into the 
bloodstream. Teeth decayed, joints stiffened, and bones became brittle," the Associated 
Press reported. Local citizens were also injured, according to news reports. According to 
one news account in Florida's Polk and Hillsborough County, "17 plants are clustered 
abound rich deposits of phosphate rock. Fumes from these plants have destroyed 25,000 
acres of citrus trees and damaged vegetation for 50 miles in all directions. Cattle in Polk 
county have suffered from fluoro- 



sis and died and people have been afflicted with sore throats and burning eyes and nosebleeds 
and respiratory problems. Millions of dollars in damage suits have been filed against 
phosphate plants." Ned Groth, Pennisula Observer, January 27-February 8, 1969. In 1966 the 
Chemical Manufacturers Association mandated a decrease in airborne fluoride emissions 
from the phosphate industry in Polk County, from 17 tons to 9 tons per day, according to Dr. D. 
R. Hendrickson, professor of Sanitary Engineering, University of Florida. Cited in 
Manufacturing Chemists Association minutes, January 26-28, 1966, CMA Archives, 
Document 085439, Environmental Working Group searchable database. 

Human effects were also claimed by an attorney in Lakeland, Florida, A. R. Carver from 
the firm of Carver and Langston, whose letter to Dr. Robert Kehoe refers to "air pollution 
litigation" on behalf of "A man, his w i f e and two teenage children. They have been living for 
several years in close proximity; that is to say, within a circle, the radius of which extends five 
miles, would include eight producing super triple phosphate plants." May 8, 1956, A. R. 
Carver to Kehoe, RAK Collection. 

A Lakeland resident, Mrs. Harriet Lightfoot, told the AP about the human effects of 
fluoride pollution: "It seemed as she came suddenly awake that a strangler's hands were at her 
throat. Madly she gasped for breath. Her head was pierced by a splitting pain. Her throat and 
eyes burned." Pensacola News-Journal, December 18, 1966. 

See also the account "Death in Our Air," reported in The Saturday Evening Post by Ben H. 
Bagdikian, "Donald McLean, of Polk County, Fla, told a Senate subcommittee that since 
phosphate plants began putting seven tons of fluoride a day into the air he has had to sell his 
cattle and his citrus crops because cattle died, crops that used to mature in 8o days now take 
200, barbed wire that used to last 20 years rots in 4, and he doesn't dare grow vegetables for his 
family for fear they will pick up the same chemicals that fall onto his pastures and groves. "It 
eats up the paint and etches glass, it kills trees, it kills cattle. It is an irritant to mucous 
membrane, and we have sore throats, tears run out of our eyes, we sneeze, we have nosebleeds. 
Gentlemen, am I a fool to assume that that stuff [is] injurious to humans?'" ( Date missing on 

1961, The Dalles, OR: Fairview Farms Inc. received $300,000 from the Harvey 
Aluminum Company's reduction plant because of damage to farmlands and animals. 
Orchardist W. J. Meyer and his wife Mary Ann also received $485,000 for "willful damage" 
to cherry, apricot, and peach crops, according to news accounts. ("Harvey Loses Fluoride 
Case," Hood River (OR) News, October 29, 1970. Cited in G. L. Waldbott et al., Fluoridation: 
The Great Dilemma, p. 298. The company argued that pollution reduction equipment would 
cost $15 million and require loo extra employees. National Fluoridation News (March-April 
1965), p. 3. • 1962, Vancouver, WA: Alcoa paid William Fraser s6o,000 and, in the same 
year, $20,000 to Earl Reeder because of fluoride injury to their cattle on Sau- 



vies Island. Sauvies Island. Portland (OR) Reporter, June 26, 1962. Cited in 
Waldbott et al., Fluoridation, p. 298. 

1962, Contra Costa County, CA: Cattle ranchers in California sued four chemical 
plants for damages to their herds. Ned Groth, Peninsula Observer, January 
27-Febraary 8, 1969. 

• Garrison, MT: Human harm from fluoride pollution was alleged after the Rocky 
Mountain phosphate plant opened in 1963, with residents complaining of, among 
other symptoms, heart problems and asthma. Lawsuits for $740,000 were filed. 
"Smog Battle Ends in Montana Town," New York Times, September 17, 1967. Cited 
in Waldbott et al., Fluoridation, p. 299. See also New York Times, December 1966: 
"It is charged among other things that fluoride-laden smoke from the phosphate plant 
has caused malformations and deteriorating teeth in cattle and horses, that trees have 
been afflicted by cancerous growths and that people have developed symptoms akin 
to bronchitis, sinus trouble and heart attacks." See also, B. Merson, "The Town That 
Refused to Die," Good Housekeeping, January 1969, lawsuits cited in National 
Fluoridation News, March-April 1965, p.3. "People were made so ill that many were 
literally driven out of their homes," according to Ned Groth in Peninsula Observer. 

• 1968: Cominco American Phosphate Company in Douglas Creek was successfully 
sued for $250,000. L. Greenall, "Industrial Fluoride Pollution in British Columbia," 
Canadian Scientific Pollution and Environmental Control Society, Vancouver, 
mimeo, January 1971. Cited in M. Prival and F. Fisher, "Fluorides in the Air," 
Environment, vol. 15, no. 3 (April 1 973), pp. 25-32. 

• Columbia Falls, MT, 1970: Six damage suits for $625,402 were filed on Sept 24 
by residents for alleged fluoride damage caused by the Anaconda Aluminum 
Company and the Anaconda Wire and Cable Co, according to news accounts. A 
week earlier a $21.5 million dollar action was filed against the two companies by 
Dr. and Mrs. Loren Kreck of Columbia Falls, and a suit filed by Mr. and Mrs. 
Harold Dehibom asked $1,650,000 from the same defendants. National 
Fluoridation News (September-October 1970) , p. 4. 

Tennesse, 1970: Reports of $3 million in fluoride claims against Alcoa. " Alcoa 
Sued for Nearly $3 Million," Knoxville (TN) Journal, October 29, 1970, Cited in 
Waldbott et al., Fluoridation, p. 298. 

• 1971: $9 million lawsuit in by the Sierra Club against the Harshaw Chemical 
Company for fluoride pollution, which, the Club charged, had corroded a main 
bridge over the Cuyahoga River. 

• Ferndale, WA, 1972: $83,060 judgment by farmer against Intalco 
Aluminum Company in Ferndale, WA. R. Park, "The Italco Trial," Bellingham 
(WA), Northwest Passage March 20- April 2, 1972, cited in Prival and Fisher. 

• 1980: $150 million lawsuit against Reynolds Metals and Alcoa, alleging fluoride 
injury to cattle on the New York-Canadian St. Regis Reservation, during the 
period of 1960-1975, settled for $6.50,000. Karen St. Hilaire, "St. 



Regis Indians to Settle Fluoride Dispute," Syracuse Post Standard, January 8, 1985, cited in 
Griffiths "Fluoride: Commie Plot or Capitalist Ploy?" Covert Action Information Bulletin, no. 
42 (fall 1992), p. 26. 43- Ned Groth, "Capitalist Plot? Air Is Fluoridated," Peninsula Observer, 
January 27-Febraary 3, 1969. Also, Public Law 84-159 of the 84th Congress (1955) 
established the PHS's first air-pollution program. "At the time Public Law 84-159 was 
implemented, fluorides constituted the major industrial pollutant of immediate concern to 
agriculture," in "Six Years of Research in Air Pollution: A review of Grants in aid, Contracts, 
and Direct Operations Sponsored by the Division of Air Pollution, Bureau of State Services. 
July 1, 1 955, to June 3o, 1961." U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. 

44. Agriculture Handbook, No. 38o, published by the Agriculture Research Ser- 

vice of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1970), cited in E. Jerard and J. B. Patrick, 
"The Summing of Fluoride Exposures" Intern. J. Environmental Studies, vol. 4 (1973), 
pp. 141-155. "Whenever domestic animals exhibited fluorosis, several cases of human 
fluorosis were reported, the symptoms of which were one of more of the following; 
dental mottling, respiratory distress, stiffness in knees or elbows or both, skin lesion, or 
high level of F in teeth and urine. Man is much more sensitive than domestic animals to 
F intoxication," that report added. 

45. Weinstein: "Whereas threshold concentrations for ozone or sulfur dioxide that 

will produce an irreversible effect [upon plants] were found to be generally above 0.05 
ppm for exposure periods of about 7 days, and more than double that concentration and 
time for nitrogen dioxide, gaseous hydrogen fluoride could cause a metabolic or 
physiologic change and produce lesions on leaves of the most sensitive species at o.OOi 
ppm (i ppb v/v, or o.8 Mg HF ID') or less for similar durations of exposure. Only 
peroxyacetylnitrate, a constituent of photochemical smog, can rival this extreme 

Does fluoride have a role in acid rain? Weinstein, in this report in 1982, wrote, 
"Even less is known of effects of fluoride on soil structure and chemistry, micro- and 
macro flora, and on fluoride availability to the plant. Increased acidity in precipitation 
has heightened interest in these subjects" (p. 53). Also, "There are huge gaps in our 
knowledge with respect to effects on insects and other anthropods, soil microorganisms 
and aquatic flora and fauna" (p. 56). Weinstein's comments were made at an 
industry-funded conference of fluoride lawyers, government dentists, and former 
bomb-program scientists, held at Utah State University in 1982. L. H. Weinstein, " 
Effects of Fluorides on Plants and Plant Communities: An Overview," in J. L. Shupe, H. 
B. Peterson, and N. C. Leone, eds., Fluorides: Effects on Vegetation, Animals and 
Humans (Salt Lake City, UT: Paragon Press, 1983), p. 54. Attending this conference 
were Frank Seamans, Nicholas Leone, Harold Hodge, Frank Smith, David Scott (a 
former director of the National Institute of Dental Research), and B. D. Dinman, the 
vice president of health and safety for Alcoa. (Harold Hodge, Nicholas Leone, and 
fluoride lawyers 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 15 / PP. 197-198 


Frank Seamans and Keith Taylor organized that industry-funded conference, the 
book states.) 

46. In 1966 Morris Katz, professor of atmospheric sanitation, explained at a 
Canadian National Conference on Pollution and Our Environment why 
atmospheric fluoride levels are measured in parts per billion, although maximum 
permissible levels for most atmospheric contaminants are calculated in parts per 
million. "Prolonged exposure to ambient air with concentrations of less than 1 part 
per thousand million part of air by volume may create a hazard. ... In this respect 
fluorides are more than one-hundred times more toxic than sulfur dioxide." Elise 
Jerard and J. B. Patrick, " The Summing of Fluoride Exposures," Intern. J. 
Environmental Studies, vol. 4 ( 1973), pp. 141-155; citation from p. 143. Also see, 
cited in Jerard, a report in Environmental Science and Technology (August 1970) 
that states fluoride " compared to other pollutants is toxic at much lower 
concentration (0.5 ppb) and also acts as a cumulative poison. . . . Aside from the 
injury to vegetation there is a potential danger to animals and even human beings 
feeding on plants high in fluoride content." 

47. According to historian Lynn Snyder, the U.S. military had designed the 
National Air Sampling Network. The network had, for example, measured protein 
in air as a marker for the presence of biological weapons. L. P. Sny-der, The 
Death-Dealing Smog, p. 58, n. 50. According to Groth, fluoride had been one of 
the chemicals initially reported. After pressure from New York Congressman 
Richard L. Ottinger, national monitoring of fluoride pollution was reinitiated in 
1968. See Groth, "Capitalist Plot? Air Is Fluoridated." 

48 Summary Review of Health Effects Associated with Hydrogen Fluoride and 

Related Compounds," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, December 1988, 
pp. 2-9. 

49. Globally that figure was an estimated 3.6 million tons in 1972. Ibid., Section 

3, P. 2. 

50. "Despite the fact that the further litigation which was anticipated with appre- 

hension some years ago has failed to appear, the industries are vulnerable in the 
field of occupational disease hazard and in the field of community health relating to 
air pollution." Robert Kehoe to Reynolds's medical director, James MacMillan, 
September 20,1961, cc: Frank Seamans, Box 63, RAK Collection. 

51. See Taylor in Fluorides: Effects on Vegetation, Animals, and Humans, p. 359. 

52. The six criteria pollutants were sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocar- 

bons, nitrogen oxides, ozone, and particulate matter. (Lead was added in 1978.) 
Air pollutants were listed as hazardous by EPA according to whether those 
emissions, "can be expected to result in an increase in mortality or irreversible 
illness," according to an EPA official, D. F. Walters. In 1977 the U.S. Forestry 
Service asked EPA to fix a national ambient air quality standard (AAQS) for 
fluoride, to control fluoride damage in Montana. According to Walters, "EPA's 
reevaluation concluded that though there may be a number of local problems with 
fluoride damage to sensitive species around 



industrial sources, the problem was not of a sufficiently national character to require a 
NAAQS. [National Ambient Air Quality Standard]." Also, for " permissive": "States 
may apply less stringent standards to sources when economic factors or physical 
limitations specific to those sources make less stringent standards significantly more 
reasonable," Walters added. D. F. Walters, "Regulatory, Economic, and Legal Aspects 
of Fluoride" in Fluorides: Effects on Vegetation, Animals, and Humans, pp. 351-358. 
53. For D. F. Walters, see ibid. Perhaps a telling illustration of how fluoride has been 
"disappeared" or whitewashed as an air pollutant can be seen in the discussion 
surrounding the important study by Pope of the health improvement in local citizens 
following the temporary shuttering in the 198os of the U.S. Steel mill in Provo, Utah. 
Although that plant was sued in the 19505 for some $30 million for fluoride pollution, 
by the time of the Pope study that history had so faded that there was little or no 
discussion of fluoride's role in the pollution-related health effects proved by the Pope 
study. C. A. Pope, " Respiratory Disease Associated with Community Air Pollution and 
a Steel Mill, Utah Valley," Am. J. Public Health, vol. 79 (May 1989), pp. 623-628. 

54- The EPA concluded, "Fluoride pollutants were highly located in the vicinity of major 

point sources, in contrast to the other criteria pollutants which were more pervasive and 
widespread." See Walters, p. 351. 

55- Reynolds had just concluded the Martin trial and was commissioning fresh studies at 

Kettering. But according to EPA official D. F. Walters, instead of instituting strict 
emission controls, it was not until the 197os — a full decade after the plant was 
opened — that pressure from Canadian officials and lawsuits from farmers forced 
Reynolds to begin to install air-pollution control equipment. Ibid, Walters, p. 353. 

56. J. Raloff, "The St. Regis Syndrome," Science News, vol. 118 (July 19, 1980), 

p. 42. 

57. B. Carnow and S. A. Conibear, "Airborne Fluorides and Human Health, 

Report to the St. Regis Band on the Implications of Airborne Fluoride Contamination 
of Cornwall Island for the Health of its People," January 1978. 

58. The transborder International Joint Commission, the U.S. Department of 

State, the Canadian Department of External Affairs, Canadian Department of the 
Environment, New York State, and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment were 
variously involved in addressing the dispute. See Walters, p. 353. 

59. Curiously, in 1980 and 1981 the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Selikoff received 
two awards totaling $446,975 from the National Institute of Dental Research to study 
"Long-term, low-level exposure to environmental agents (human)." See NIH CRISP 
awards, Project #5P30ES00928-08 and ... 928-09. 

60. "The increase noted in cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity/mortality 

rates in the older population (and females in particular) of the entire Band indicates a 
possible adverse effect from environmental exposure." Also: "The early infant mortality 
appears significant. Moreover, the higher number of hospital admissions . . . due to 
disease of the joints and connective tissue 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 16 / PP. 2 0 1 - 2 0 9 


could be related to fluorine effect." I. J. Selikoff, E. C. Hammond, and S. M. Levin, 
"Environmental Contaminants and the Health of the People of the St. Regis Reserve," 
Fluoride: Medical Survey Findings (Environmental Sciences Laboratory, Mount Sinai School 
of Medicine of the City University of New York), vol. 1, pp. 342-343. 61. "Should notable 
correlations between fluoride exposure and adverse health effects be found in Selikoff s 
epidemiological study of Cornwall Island residents, major changes in the way EPA looks at 
fluoride could result, including its reclassification as hazardous," Science News, vol. 118 
(July 19, 1980), p. 43. 

Chapter 16 

1. The attorneys for the workers, Bruce McMath and Steve Napper of Little Rock, 
Arkansas, had signed up a hundred of these clients, known as the Beaty cases, for a 
claim against Reynolds to be mounted following the first Bareis trial, which is 
described in the following pages. The former group, which included Alan Williams 
and Jerry Jones (interviewed here), had been part of a team that developed a 
chemical process to dispose of the by-product waste of aluminum smelting. (The 
waste is called treated spent potliner and is described in the chapter.) 

2. Author interview with EPA's Steve Silverman, June 18, 2002. 

3. Arkansas Business, January 12, 1998, p. 23. 

4. The old Reynolds Troutdale plant, which had injured the Martins, was des- 

ignated a Superfund site, for example. 

5. In the months after the Benton trial, Alan Williams would have open-heart 

and back surgery and lose most of his body hair. 

6. Author interview, June 24, 2002. 

7. A Reynolds memo as read in deposition states, 'Alcoa expressed some concern 
that the actual soluble fluoride content in the kiln discharge is actually more than 
revealed — more than revealed by the TCLP. We are aware of this, but TCLP is the 
procedure used." Plaintiffs exhibit 173, in George Bareis, et al. vs. Reynolds Metals, 
Saline County Court, Case 97-703-2. 

8. In December 1997 the EPA finally reversed course and reclassified the " treated" 
chemical waste as toxic. It was the first time the agency had taken back a delisting, 
said Peace. It was far too late, however, for Scotty and Dianne Peebles and the 
several hundred Hurricane Creek workers who had been breathing and handling 
the fluoride waste for years. And it was too late for the local environment, where 
thousands of tons of toxic waste had been buried in two mighty landfills. 
Eventually nearly 225,000 tons of treated potliner waste would be dumped in 
unlined pits at the Hurricane Creek site, according to the Associated Press, 
December, 2 1997. 

9. Following the redesignation in December 1997 of the treated potliner as a 
hazardous material, new safety and disposal criteria were instituted. 

10. The verdict, OSHRC Docket No. 98-0057, was voided on December 14, 2001 on 
jurisdiction grounds. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 16 / PP. 210—217 

u. Kehoe to James MacMillan, medical director, Reynolds Metals, September 20, 1961, 
Box 63, RAK Collection. 

12. Nevertheless, as Mullenix described the beagle study to the jury on October 20, 2000, 
McMath attempted to sneak in some history and context. Hadn't the Reynolds study been 
done in the 195os, he asked Mullenix, "in connection with some litigation they had going 
at that time?" Johnson was ready. " Your Honor, objection," he exclaimed. "We ruled on 
this in chambers, didn't we?" McMath retreated. "I'll withdraw the question," he 

13. In the end it seems that McMath's hunch about the jury was correct. Polled after the 
trial, a majority sided with Reynolds. The Benton claimants were simply looking for 
easy money, according to juror Marilyn Schick. "It was a situation where [workers] 
were exposed to a lot of dust, but as far as the ALROC [the name Reynolds had given to 
the treated spent potliner] being toxic to them, I just wasn't convinced that it was," she 
told me. 

But there were some jurors who did lean in favor of the workers against Reynolds. "It 
was a big company not caring about some low-class workers," said juror Sue Magness. 
"So what if it cost them some health problems — they had to get the job done." She blames 
the "excellent" Reynolds lawyers for portraying the plaintiffs as "sorry" drunks and drug 
addicts. "They weren't looking at them as people. They were looking at them as just 
bringing this lawsuit to get a buck. They didn't strike me that way," she added, about the 
workers. Magness had wanted a chance to talk with the other jurors and maybe influence 
them to rule in favor of the workers, she said. "I can be pretty persuasive. Sometimes 
people don't pick up on things, and when you bring it up in a jury room and they get to 
thinking about it, they change their minds," she said. 

Chapter 17 

1. "No deleterious systemic effects have occurred," he added. HR 2341 "A Bill to 

Protect the Public Health From the Dangers of Fluorination of Water," Hearings Before 
the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, 83rd 
Congress, May 25-27, 1954, p. 470. 

2. Philip R. N. Sutton, Fluoridation: Errors and Omissions in Experimental Trials 
(Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1959); "United Kingdom Mission Report 
(1953): The Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies in North America as a Means of 
Controlling Dental Caries" (London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office); World Health 
Organization (1958) Expert Committee on Water Fluoridation, First Report, Technical 
Report Series No. 146 (Geneva: World Health Organization); New Zealand Commission 
of Inquiry, "The Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies" (Wellington: Government Printer, 
1 957). 

3. "I accept the whole of the evidence given by Professors Hodge [and others]," Justice 
Kenny wrote in his ruling verdict, which had the effect of imposing fluoridation on 
Ireland's entire population, a situation that remains to this day. M. Stanley, "Fluoridation 
of Public Water Supplies in Ireland," New 

NOTES TO C H A P T E R 17 / PP. 218—219 


Jersey State Dental Soc, vol. 37 (1966), p. 242, cited in Frank McClure, Water 
Fluoridation: The Search and the Victory (NIDR, 1970), p. 275. 

4. J. V. Kumar and P. A. Swango, Community Dent. Oral Epidemiol, vol. 27, no. 3 
(June 1999), pp. 171-180, L. L. Lininger, G. S. Leske, E. L. Green, and V. B. Haley, 
"Changes in dental fluorosis and dental caries in Newburgh and Kingston, New 
York," Am. J. Public Health, vol. 88, no. 12 (December 1998), pp. 1866-187o. 

5. Boston Globe, November 11, 1999; "Cincinnati's dental crisis," Cincinnati 

Enquirer October 6, 2002; Washington Post, March 5, 2002; and J. Kozol, 
Savage Inequalities (New York: HarperPerennial, 1991). 

6. J. A. Lalumandier and R. G. Rozier, Pediatric Dentistry (January- 
February 1995), pp. 19-25, cited in Medical Abstracts Newsletter, July 1995, p. 
28. Also, the University of York's fluoridation review found that up to 48 
percent of children in fluoridated areas in the United Kingdom had some 
form of fluorosis. M. McDonagh, et al. "A Systemic Review of Public Water 
Fluoridation," NHS Center for Reviews and Dissemination, 2000, 
Executive Summary, p. 3. 

7. M. Teotia, S. P. Teotia, and K. P. Singh, "Endemic chronic fluoride toxicity 
and dietary calcium deficiency interaction syndromes of metabolic bone 
disease and deformities in India: year 2000," Indian JPediatr., vol. 65, no. 3 ( 
May-June 1998), pp. 371-381. 

8. The Australian scientist Mark Diesendorf writes that "infants who are bottle fed 
with milk formula reconstituted with fluoridated water . . . receive loo times the daily 
fluoride dose of breast-fed babies and at least 4-6 times that recommended by medial 
authorities for fluoride supplementation in unfluoridated areas." M. Diesendorf and 
A. Diesendorf, "Suppression by Medical Journals of a Warning About Overdosing 
Formula-Fed Infants with Fluoride," Accountability in Research, vol. 5 (1997), pp. 
225-237. Also, the chicken in infant food can reach 8.38 micrograms per gram. J. R. 
Heil-man et al., "Fluoride Concentrations in Infant Food," DADA (July 1997), p. 
857. ( Mechanically boned meat can include higher fluoride content. Fluoride 
concentrates in bone, therefore when some of that bone is found in the " boned" meat, 
the fluoride content can rise.) 

9. The American fluoride researcher H. V. Smith, who codiscovered the fact that 
fluoride caused dental mottling, wrote, "Mottling, no matter how mild, is an 
external sign of internal distress," Letter from H. V. Smith to George Waldbott, 
June 1 , 1964, cited in Waldbott, A Struggle with Titans, p. 65. 

to. Christa Danielson, MD, Joseph L. Lyon, MD, et al., "Hip Fractures and 
Fluoridation in Utah's Elderly Population," JAMA, vol. 268, no. 6 (August 
12, 1992), p. 746. u. For hip fracture rate, see U.S. National Research Council, Diet 

and Health ( 

Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1989), p. 121. For arthritis data, 
see Newsweek, September 3, 2001, pp. 39-46. 


NOTES TO C H A P T E R 17 / PP. 219—223 

12. See, for example, Y Li et al., "Effect of Long-Term Exposure to Fluoride in 

Drinking Water on Risks of Bone Fractures," J. Bone and Mineral Research, vol. 16 
(2001), no. 5, pp. 932-939. 

13. M. T. Alarcon-Herrera et al., "Well Water Fluoride, Dental Fluorosis, Bone 

Fractures in the Guadiana Valley of Mexico," Fluoride, vol. 34, no. 2 (2001), PP. 

14. One published account, quoting data from the U.S. National Center for 

Health Statistics, reported that bone fractures in male children and adolescents may be 
increasing. Joel Griffiths, "Fluoride: Commie Plot or Capitalist Ploy?" Covert Action 
Information Bulletin, no. 42 (fall 1992), p. 65. 

15. Fluoridation Facts (published since 1956 by the American Dental Associa- 

tion). Paul R. Thomas, program officer at the Food and Nutrition Board of the National 
Academy of Sciences wrote in a March 18, 1991, letter to Dar-lene Sherrell, "The 
statement you quote from the ADA pamphlet on water fluoridation — "The Academy 
found that the daily intake required to produce symptoms of chronic toxicity ... is 20 to 
8o milligrams or more . . . ' may be misleading." It was an easy lie to perpetuate, 
however. For example, even the "Recommended Daily Allowances for Fluoride" 
published in 1989 by the National Academy of Sciences, stated that "chronic toxicity ... 
occurs after years of daily exposures of 20 to 8o mg of fluorine, far in excess of the 
average intake in the United States." That, too, was hugely disingenuous, conveying the 
impression that toxicity was found only at this elevated threshold. 

16. H. C. Hodge, "The Safety of Fluoride Tablets or Drops," in Continuing Evalu- 

ation of the Use of Fluorides, eds. E. Johansen, D. R. Taves, and T. O. Olsen, AAAS 
Selected Symposium (Westview Press, 1979), p. 255. 

17. Review of Fluoride Benefits and Risks (Public Health Service, Department of 

Health and Human Services, 1991), p. 45. 

18. National Research Council, Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride (Washington, 

DC: National Academy Press, 1993), p. 59. 

19. South Carolina was suing the EPA, objecting to the federal requirement to 

remove fluoride in water supplies that exceeded the threshold. 

20. Presented in part as the David Murray-Cowie Memorial Lecture, University 

of Michigan, Ann Arbor, October 12, 1951. Published in full in S.Z. Levine, ed., 
Advances in Pediatrics (New York: Interscience Publishers, 1955), pp. 13-51. 

21. Safe Drinking Water Committee, Drinking Water and Health (National 

Research Council, NAS, 1977), p. 389. 

22. National Toxicology Program (NTP) (1990), Toxicology and Carcinogenesis 

Studies of Sodium Fluoride in F344/NRats and B6C3fi Mice (Technical report Series 
No. 393, NIH Publ. No 91-2848, National Institute of Environmental Health Studies, 
Research Triangle Park, NC). 

23. W. Marcus, "Fluoride Conference to Review the NTP Draft Fluoride Report," 

Memorandum dated May I, 1990, from Wm. L. Marcus, senior science adviser, Office 
of Drinking Water (ODW), U.S. EPA, to Alan B. Hais, acting direc- 



tor, Criteria & Standards Division, ODW, U.S. EPA. See also: "Such a trend 
associated with the occurrence of a rare tumor in the tissue in which fluoride is 
known to accumulate cannot be causally dismissed," Environmental Health Criteria, 
no. 227 (WHO 2002), p. 169. 

24. The Lancet, vol. 336, no. 8717 (September 22,1990), U.S. Department of 

Labor, Case # 92-TSC-5, Recommended Decision and Order, p. 27. 

25. There has been a great deal of information associating fluoride with cancer. 
Cancer has been experimentally linked to fluoride since the early 1950s, 
when Alfred Taylor at the University of Texas in Austin found that cancer- 
prone mice drinking water containing 1 ppm NaF, and eating food with a 
negligible fraction of fluoride, developed mammary tumors at an earlier age 
than similar mice fed nonfluoridated water. A. Taylor, "Sodium Fluoride in 
the Drinking Water of Mice," Dental Digest, vol. 6o (1954), pp. 170-172. Cited 
in Waldbott et al., Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma (Lawrence, KS: 
Coronado Press, 1978), p. 223. 

For cancer in fluoride workers and around fluoride industrial plants, see A. J. 
deVilliers and J. P. Windish, "Lung Cancer in a Fluorspar Mining Community. 
Radiation, Dust, and Mortality Experience," Br. J. Ind. Med., vol. 21 (1964), pp. 
94-109; N. N. Litvinov, M. S. Goldberg, and S. N. Kimina, " Morbidity and 
Mortality in Man Caused by Pulmonary Cancer and Its Relation to the Pollution of 
the Atmosphere in the Areas of Aluminum Plants," Acta Unio Int. Contra Cancrum, 
vol. 19 (1963), pp. 74z-645, V. A. Celilioni, " Lung Cancer in a Steel City [Hamilton, 
Ontario]: Its Possible Relation to Fluoride Emission," Fluoride, vol. 5 (1972), pp. 
172-181, cited in Waldbott et al., Fluoridation, p, 236. 

The late John Yiamouyiannis — a biochemist and antifluoride activist, and a 
retired National Cancer Institute biochemist, Dean Burke, reported more cancer in 
fluoridated communities in the United States. J. Yiamouyi-annis and D. Burk, 
"Fluoridation and Cancer: Age-Dependence of Cancer Mortality Related to 
Artificial Fluoridation," Fluoride, vol. 10 (1977), pp. 102-123. And J. 
Yiamouyiannis, "Fluoridation and Cancer: The Biology and Epidemiology of Bone 
and Oral Cancer Related to Fluoridation," Fluoride, vol. 26 (1993), pp. 83-96. 

For bone cancer and fluoridated water, see A. Takahashi, K. Akiniwa, and K. 
Narita, "Regression Analysis of Cancer Incidence Rates and Water Fluoride in the 
U.S.A. based on IACR/IARC (WHO) data (1978-1992)," J. Epidemiol., vol. If, no. 
4 (July 2001), pp. 170-179, abstracted in Fluoride, vol. 34, no. 3 (May 2001). In this 
study the researchers found that "cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, colon and 
rectum, hepato-biliary and urinary organs were positively associated with FD 
[fluoridation of drinking water] . This was also the case for bone cancers in males, in 
line with results of rat experiments." 

In 1991 the National Cancer Institute found that the occurrence of osteo-sarcoma 
in young males was, in fact, significantly higher in fluoridated versus unfluoridated 
communities. However, the researchers concluded that the 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 17 I PP. 223—224 

increased was unrelated to water fluoridation. According to the U.S. Public Health 
Service, 'Although the increase in rates of osteosarcoma for males during this period 
was greater in fluoridated than nonfluoridated areas, extensive analyses revealed that 
these patterns were unrelated to either the introduction or duration of fluoridation." R. N. 
Hoover, S. Devesa, K. Cantor, and J. F. Fraumeni Jr., "Time Trends for Bone and Joint 
Cancers and Osteosarcomas in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results" 
( SEER) Program, National Cancer Institute," in Review of Fluoride: Benefits and Risks, 
Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Fluoride of the Committee to Coordinate 
Environmental Health and Related Programs (U.S. Public Health Service, 1991), pp. F 
1-177. Despite those assurances, similar increases in bone cancer in young men were 
also found in New Jersey in a 1992 study. In that report, between the years 1970 and 
1989 the rate of osteosarcoma ( among ten- to nineteen-year-old males) was found to be 
3.5 to 6.3 times greater in the fluoridated areas versus the unfluoridated ones. P. D. Cohn, 
An Epidemiologic Report on Drinking Water and Fluoridation (Trenton, NJ: New 
Jersey Department of Health, 1992). The latter two references are cited on the Fluoride 
Action Network webpage. 

26. Interview with Paul Connett, May 1998. This taped interview can be 

obtained from GG Video, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. 

27. The researchers reported that fluoridated drinking water helped to carry 

aluminum to the brain in experimental rats, producing "irregular mincing steps 
characteristic of senile animals." Autopsies revealed brain damage. The data are "the 
latest of several studies hinting at some link between aluminum in the environment and 
Alzheimer's," according to the Wall Street Journal, October 28, 1992, section B, p. 6. 

Also, J. A. Varner, C. Huie, W. Horvath, K. F. Jensen, R. L. Issacson, " Chronic 
A1F3 Administration: JX Selected Histological Observations," Neuroscience Research 
Communications, vol. 13, no. 2 (1993), pp. 99-104. R. L. Isaacson, J. A. Varner, and K. 
F. Jensen, "Toxin-Induced Blood Vessel Inclusions Caused by the Chronic 
Administration of Aluminum and Sodium Fluoride and Their Implications for 
Dementia," Neuroprotective Agents. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, no. 
825 (1997), pp. 152-166, J. A. Varner, K. F. Jensen, W. Horvath, R. L. Isaacson, 
"Chronic Administration of Aluminum-Fluoride or Sodium-Fluoride to Rats in 
Drinking Water: Alterations in Neuronal and Cerebrovascular Integrity," Brain 
Research, no. 784 (1998), pp. 284-298. 

28. Fluoride, the Pineal Gland, and Melatonin: An Interview with and Presenta- 

tion by Dr. Jennifer Luke. Videotape, length: 40 minutes. Available from GGVideo, 82 
Judson Street, Canton, NY. GGVideo [Grassroots and Global Video] (1999). 

29. The Newburgh Times, January 27, 1954: "The 283 heart deaths in Newburgh 

in the year were equal to a rate of 882 deaths per loo, 000 population. This was more than 
the rate for the nation as a whole, 507 per loo,000. It was also higher than the Middle 
Atlantic States, 590 heart deaths per ioo,000." 

NOTES TO CHAPTER 17 / PP. 224—226 


30. For Michigan, see T. L. Hagen, M. Pasternack, and G. C. Scholz, "Water-borne 

Fluorides and Mortality," Public Health Rep., vol. 69 (1954), pp. 450-454, cited in 
Waldbott et al., Fluoridation, p. 158; see also p. 16o. For fluoride's effect on 
chicken embryo hearts, see also, J. D. Ebert, "The First Heartbeats," Scientific 
American, vol. 56 (1959), pp. 4-7: "At low concentrations [fluoride] primarily 
affects the heart. ... At any given stage of development ... the locations of the cells 
destroyed by fluoride coincide with the sites that have the greatest capacity to form 
heart muscle, and with the areas that have the greatest capacity for the synthesis of 
actin and myosin." 

31. T. G. Reeves, Water Fluoridation: A Manual for Engineers and Technicians ( 

U.S. Public Health Service, CDC Division of Oral Health, 1986) and Water 
Fluoridation; A Manual for Water Plant Operators (U.S. Public Health Service, 
CDC Division of Oral Health, April 1994), cited in M. Coplan and R. D. Masters, 
"Why Have U.S. Health Agencies Refused to Test Silicofluorides for Health 
Safety?" (unpublished, 2001), via authors. 

32. For risk of cancer at the trace levels (up to 1.6 parts per billion) of arsenic 

found in water that is fluoridated by silicofluoride, see Arsenic in Drinking Water: 
2001 Update (National Academies Press, 2001). See discussion on p. 7 in 
Summary, of linear nature of toxic effects at low doses. For lead, see R. D. Masters, 
M. J. Coplan, B. T. Hone, J. E. Dykes, "Association of Silicofluoride Treated 
Water with Elevated Blood Lead," Neurotoxicology, vol. 21, no. 6 ( December 
2000), pp. 1091-1100. See also Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy and 
Environment, Cong. Ken Calvert (R-CA), May 8, 2000, letter to Carol M. 
Browner, EPA administrator. 

33. Almost no fluorspar is mined domestically. Of a reported 2001 consumption 

of 536,000 tons of fluorspar, 353,000 tons were imported from China. U.S. 
Geological Survey, Minerals Yearbook (2001). 

34. Only a tiny fraction of the recovered silicofluoride waste is now converted for 

use as industrial fluoride-4,7oo tons, for A1F3, for aluminum smelting. U.S. 
Geological Survey, Minerals Yearbook (2001). (The fluosilicic acid recovered 
from the phosphate industry must first be converted into fluorspar, or aluminum 
fluoride, before being reused by industry.) But the potential of the Sunshine State as 
a source of industrial fluoride remains. In 2001 65,200 tons of fluosilicic acid were 
recovered from the phosphate industry. That's one-fifth of the nation's potential 
industrial fluoride needs, according the U. S. Geological Survey. 

35. http://www.fluoride-journal.com/ 

36. University of Rochester, Progress Report for October, 1944-Abstracts, Dr. 

Harold Hodge, p. 478. "The results indicated that the inhibition of esterase activity 
produced by T [code for uranium] was small compared with that by C-216 [code 
for fluorine]. Thus 0.025 ppm C-216 [code for fluorine] caused the same 
percentage inhibition of esterase activity as loo ppm T [code for uranium] (33 
percent). From these results it is concluded that in a mixture of T and C-216 in 
which the amount (by weight) of T is not more than 50-fold that of C-216 the 
effect of the T upon the activity of liver esterase can 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 17 / PP. 226—232 

be neglected." Also: "The useful range of this curve for determining C-216 
concentrations was from O-0.5 ppm, C-216." Document #S09F01B227, ACHRE, RG 

37. Twenty-fifth ISFR Conference Abstracts, Fluoride, vol. 35, no. 4 (2002), p. 


38. A Century of Public Health: From Fluoridation to Food Safety (CDC, 

Division of Media Relations, April 2, 1999). 


1. PFCs are "organic" chemicals, which means that they are based on carbon. In a PFC 
chemical, the fluorine atom is joined to the carbon molecule with a much stronger 
"covalent" bond, rather than the weak "ionic" bond in fluorides. 

2. In September 2000 EPA officials met with a lobbying group known as the 
Fluoropolymer Manufacturers Group, composed of DuPont and Dow Chemical, plus the 
giant European and Japanese chemical manufacturers Elf Atofina and Asahi Glass 
Fluoropolymers. The industry representatives impressed upon the EPA the importance of 
PFOA chemicals in scores of vital commercial products, upon which industries worth an 
estimated $25 billion depended, from aerospace to automobiles to medical devices, 
according to records of that meeting. Despite "repeated attempts," industry declared, there 
had been "no success" in finding alternatives. 

3. T. Midgley Jr. and A. L. Henne, Ind. Eng. Chem. vol. 22 (1930), p. 542. On December 
31, 1928, General Motors' Frigidaire Division was issued the first patent for CFCs: 
US#1, 886,339. A new company called Kinetic Chemicals, owned by DuPont and General 
Motors, was incorporated on August 1, 1930. By 1935, 8 million new refrigerators had 
been sold in the United States, filled with DuPont's patented "Freon" CFC gas. Global 
CFC production continued to soar; it increased from 150,000 tons in 1960 to 800,000 tons 
in 1974. 

4. The secret PFC called "Joe's Stuff that was delivered to Columbia University in 
December 1940 was named after Professor Joseph Simons from Penn State University. 
Simons invented a process known as "electro-chemical fluorination" which used 
electricity to replace the hydrogen with fluoride in hydrogen-carbon bonds, producing 
fluorocarbons. After the war the technology would be licensed to the 3M corporation, 
who would use it to make, among other things, the fabric protector Scotchgard. J. H. 
Simons, ed., Fluorine Chemistry, vol. 1 (New York: Academic Press, 1950), p. 423. T. 
Abe, "Electrochemical fluoridation as a locomotive for the development of fluorine 
chemistry at NIRIN, Nagoya," and John Colin Tatlow, "Fluorine Chemistry at the 
University of Birmingham: A Cradle of the Subject in the UK" in Fascinated by Fluorine 
(Amsterdam and New York: Elsevier, 2000), pp. 273 and 476. H. Goldwhite, J. Fluorine 
Chem., vol. 33, p. 113. Industrial and Engineering Chem. vol. 39, no. 3 (March 1947), p. 

5. Colborn has since learned that some organofluorines are "really nasty" 

endocrine disrupters, she told me in an e-mail. 



6. "It would be desirable," Col. Stafford Warren told Dr. John Foulger in a letter dated 
August 12, 1944, "to have the work on the toxicity of fluorocar-bons being done in 
your laboratory parallel the investigations being made on similar compounds 
elsewhere. For that reason it would be appreciated if Dr. Harold Hodge of the 
University of Rochester could visit your laboratory in the near future and an 
exchange of ideas be effected.... The Medical Section has been charged with the 
responsibility of obtaining toxicological data which will insure the District's being in 
a favorable position in case litigation develops from exposure to the materials." 
Warren to Dr. John Foulger, Box 25, Accession #72C2386, Atlanta FRC, RG 326. 

7. In a document titled "Research Plans for the Division of Pharmacology 1946-47," a 
subsection, "Industrial Hygiene," lists item "k" as "Investigation of the Nature of 
Fluoride in Blood." Fluoride exists in blood in "an organic and an inorganic state," 
while "organic fluorine compounds appear to be more toxic than the fluoride ion," 
the research summary noted. The Rochester team now planned "to investigate the 
nature of the compounds of fluorine existing in the blood, devoting special attention 
to the so-called organic fraction." Additional questions the bomb program 
researchers wanted answered were as follows: 

An investigation of the possible relations between fluorides, 
iodide and calcium levels and the thyroid gland. 

The effect of fluorine upon enzyme systems of the blood, particularly by 
means of an in vivo experiment. 

• The relation between fluorine and non-diffusable (protein bound) 
blood calcium. 

• How high can the blood fluoride level be raised before ill effects are 
raised in animals. 

The document concluded: "These experiments are intended to give fundamental 
information regarding the mode of action and metabolism of fluorine in the system. 
The information would appear to be of value for the following reasons.... Exposure 
to fluoride is of industrial significance, particularly since the advent of atomic 
energy programs," and that, "the determination of base levels is of immediate 
practical value in the impending litigation between the DuPont Co. and residents of 
New Jersey areas." DOE's HREX search engine, found at 0712317, document 

numbers 1075992. 1076012, 1076013. Where are the results of these experiments? 
,. DuPont bulletin No. X-59a. 

"Two tvrjes of reaction have been noted in humans as the result of acciden 8. 
tal inhalation of the products of heated polymer. 1) a condition similar to metal 
fever; and 2) a condition in which there may be an irritation of the lungs leading to 
pulmonary edema." DuPont bulletin No. X-59a. DuPont conducted human 
experiments giving volunteers Teflon-laced cigarettes to investigate fume fever. J. 
W. Clayton, "Fluorocarbon Toxicity and Biological Action," Fluorine Chem. 
Reviews, vol. 1, no. 2 (1967), pp. 197-252. 



9. Harold D. Field to the Kettering Laboratory, January 23, 1958. Albert 
Henne to Robert Kehoe, October 15, 1958. "Teflon Coated Cooking 
Utensils," File 12, Box 15, RAK Collection. In the early 19305 Henne, a 
Belgian immigrant, had invented a manufacturing process for the first CFC 
Freon gas. He had also done fluoride work for the Manhattan Project. 

10. Nature, vol. 217 (March 16, 1968), pp. 1050-1051. 

1 1 . "Little has been published about the metabolic handling and toxicology of perfluorinated 
fatty acid derivatives. Computer assisted literature searches using Medline, Toxline and 
Chemcon developed no information on these subjects." W. S. Guy, D. R. Taves, and W. S. 
Brey, "Organic Fluorocompounds in Human Plasma," Biochemistry Involving 
Carbon-Fluorine Bonds (American Chemical Society, 1976), p. 132. 

On the subject of collaboration, "3M got concerned apparently," Taves told me. "They 
would come check with me periodically — they wouldn't tell me what they were doing," he 
said, "but they wanted to know what I knew." 

12. Taves's 1976 observation that "little has been published" on the toxicity of 
PFCs deserves scrutiny. During the cold war Taves was a leading arbiter of 
fluoride safety for the National Academy of Sciences. (Taves is listed on p. 
396 of the 1977 document "Drinking Water and Health" by his initials as 
an author. This research was conducted by the National Research Council 
for the National Academy of Sciences and the EPA.) Donald Taves may also 
have buried evidence of fluoride's harm to humans on behalf of his Rochester 
colleagues, such as Harold Hodge, who worked for the nuclear program. 

In 1963 another colleague of Dr. Taves at Rochester, Dr. Christine Water-house, 
reported a case in which a patient at the Strong Memorial Hospital, a female nurse, 
"convulsed, aspirated and died suddenly" following kidney dialysis. Waterhouse and a 
team of scientists watched as the forty-one-year-old nurse suffered a collapse of her central 
nervous system. "A bizarre neu-romuscular irritability characterized by a twitching of the 
right arm with occasional generalized convulsive seizures developed five days after the 
third dialysis," Waterhouse reported. Kidney dialysis can greatly concentrate the amount 
of fluoride in blood, scientists suspected. But the Waterhouse team never mentioned 
fluoride as a possible cause of the woman's symptoms or death. L. H. Kretchmar, W. M. 
Greene, C. W. Waterhouse, and W. L. Parry, " Repeated Hemodialysis in Chronic 
Uremia," J. Am. Med. Assoc., vol. 184, no. 41 (1962), pp. 1037-1044. 

Two years later Dr. Donald Taves reported the same case in the medical literature. He 
discussed the high levels of fluoride found in the patient's bones and blood. He speculated 
as to a possible "beneficial" effect from the fluoride. But Taves failed to report that the 
patient had died an hour after dialysis, that she had died in agony, and that the fatality had 
been reported by his Rochester colleague a year earlier. (He claimed that he was unaware 
of Dr. Waterhouse's JAMA paper in which she reported the patient death. However, in the 
acknowledgments in his own work he thanked none other than his colleague, Dr. Christine 



"Did they tell you how the patient had fared?" I asked 'raves. "No, I don't think 
I ever heard," he said. "You were interested in fluoride and dialysis but you didn't 
follow up or ask what had happened to the patient?" I asked. " Right," Taves 
replied. (D. R. Taves, R. 'ferry, F. A. Smith, and D. E. Gardner, " Use of 
Fluoridated Water in Long-Term Hemodialysis," Chronic Uremia., J. Am. Med. 
Assoc., vol. 184 [1963], pp. 1030-1031.) Both Rochester papers were funded by 
the U.S. Public Health Service. Neither mentioned the secret AEC kidney studies 
on human patients performed at Strong Memorial Hospital nor the government's 
interest in fluoride. 

Did Taves censor his paper at the behest of Drs. Waterhouse and Hodge? In the 
196os Dr. Waterhouse was at the center of cold- war human experimentation, 
monitoring Harold Hodge's Rochester patients who had been given plutonium 
injections. (See Eileen Welsome, The Plutonium Files [New York: Dial Press, 
1999]') "Waterhouse was uncomfortable with me publishing [the 1965 kidney 
paper]," Taves told me. "She didn't want me to do any-thing that sounded 
antifluoridation. Just like Hodge didn't. They were all biased that way. Hodge had 
gotten on the bandwagon of being in favor of fluoridation so his blinders were up," 
Taves added. 

Similarly, the effects of fluoride on kidneys were another critical concern of 
the scientists overseeing health conditions inside the nuclear factories, and 
Rochester and Kettering researchers each performed multiple human experiments. 
Hodge's researchers performed secret human experiments in the 19405 at 
Rochester, giving fluoride to "patients having kidney diseases" to determine how 
much fluoride their damaged kidneys could excrete, according to declassified 
papers. Extra fluoride was stored in the bones of those injured patients, the 
government scientists found. Quarterly Technical Report, AEC No. UR-38, 1948. 
Also cited in Kettering Laboratory unpublished report, "Annual Report of 
Observations on Fluorides — October 25, 1 954." Kettering did similar 
experiments on patients with damaged kidneys, according to the unpublished 

13. Again, there is not a solitary reference to organofluorines in the book. 

14. There may also be a link between accounts of birds dying, injured humans, 

and carpets impregnated with fluorochemicals, such as Scotchgard. In the early 
1 990s CNN and other media reported on families who claimed that they had been 
poisoned by newly installed carpets. One family told the BBC (in an interview 
conducted by the author) that their caged birds had died soon after the new carpet 
arrived. See also U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit No. 94-1882 Sandra 
Ruffin; Catherine Ruffin, by and through her Guardian Ad Litem, C. Timothy 
Williford, Plaintiffs-Appellants, vs. Shaw Industries, Incorporated; 
Sherwin-Williams Company, Decided: July 16, 1998. "With their motion for 
summary judgment, defendants submitted the affidavit of Larry D. Winter, an 
analytical chemist for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M). Mr. 
Winter specializes in the analysis of fluorochemicals such as those used in the 
manufacturing of 3M's Scotchguard carpets, the type involved in the present 
case." The case was dismissed. 



15. Scientific American, March 1, 2001, pp. 16-17. Also, when 3M announced 

that the company was phasing out Scotchgard, the EPA praised 3M's openness in 
sharing data about the toxicity of PFCs. But Purdy is not so sure. As soon as the 
ecotoxicologist arrived at 3M in 1981, he says he grew concerned about the impact of 
PFCs on the environment, proposing new testing. "I could see that this could be a 
potential problematic class of chemicals, and so did everybody else in the ecological 
group," says Purdy. "We were very suspicious that we were seeing the tip of an iceberg. 
There was a proposal to do a lot of different testing — and it wasn't done." 

Former Michigan State scientist Kurunthachalam Kannan is not sure either about 
the 3M announcement in 2000 to phase out PFOS chemicals. "I work closely with 3M 
so I know what is really going on. But in terms of the words 'phase out,' when we try to 
talk to them, their people are not sure what it really means [laughs]. It is only a fraction 
of what they really manufacture in terms of organofluorines." Author interview, 2002. 

Also on 3M's internal studies, see the collection of documents in possession of the 
Environmental Working Group. In 1976, 3M company medical tests showed that some 
employees had levels of fluorocarbons in their blood as high as 30 parts per million. 
Although those exposure levels fell for a while, in 1984 blood contamination "remained 
constant or increased," according to 3M documents. That situation prompted concern 
about "employee health" and "corporate liability," according to the documents (thirteen 
tests showed values of over 10 ppm). Subsequently 3M workers showed abnormal liver 
function tests and "high kidney function tests," while other workers had lung 
abnormalities, described as "cases of pleural thickening." (Internal memo from 3M 
doctor Larry Zobel to D. W. Dworak dated March 20, 1987, entitled "Medical 
Examinations.") Also, in the late 1970s, 3M ran toxicity tests for the fluorocarbon PFOS 
on rhesus monkeys. All the animals died. ( J. Morris, "Did 3M and DuPont Ignore 
Evidence of Health Risks?" Mother Jones, September-October 2001, online edition.) 

16. Scientific American, March 1, 2001, pp. 16-17. 

17. "3M's Big Clean Up," Business Week, June 5, 2000 via online edition. 

18. "3M's Big Clean Up," Business Week, June 5, 2000; Scientific American, 

March 1,2001, pp. 16-17. 

19. Kannan et al., "Perfluorooctane Sulphonate in Fish Eating Water Birds 
Including Bald Eagles and Albatrosses," Environmental Science and Tech 
nology, vol. 35, pp. 3065-3070. 

20. Scientific American, March 1, 2001, pp. 16-17. 

2 1 . http://www.ewg.org/issues/pfcs/ 

22. It is not the first time DuPont chemicals have been linked to eye defects in 

children. In the early 199os a DuPont fungicide marketed as Benlate was discovered to 
contain a fluorine chemical called flusalizole, which was not licensed for use in the 
United States. Benlate provided one of the most disastrous and expensive episodes in 
U.S. corporate history. Some of the lawsuits blamed Benlate for causing children to be 
born without eyes. 



DuPont has since paid $1.3 billion in costs and settlements with farmers who used 
Benlate and whose crops were damaged. In July 2003 the Florida Supreme Court also 
reinstated a $4 million jury award to the family of a boy born without eyes, in what the 
Associated Press described as "a birth defect linked to the agricultural pesticide 
Benlate." (Associated Press, July 3, 2002.) And although another judge threw out a 
ruling that DuPont had engaged in "racketeering," by allegedly concealing evidence in 
the Benlate saga, a similar case in Atlanta was settled when DuPont agreed to pay $2.5 
million dollars to each of Georgia's four law schools. 

Judge Hugh Lawson explained that settlement made a statement about the 
importance of legal ethics, according to the New York Times, January 2, 1 999, section 
A, p. 12. How much was learned about legal ethics is not clear. DuPont was also 
accused of destroying evidence in the West Virginia PFC litigation. "In April 2003 a 
Judge in West Virginia found that in 2002, DuPont had destroyed evidence relevant to 
ongoing litigation on PFOA brought by 3000 citizens of West Virginia and Ohio." Press 
Release, Environmental Working Group, June 6, 2003. 

The billion-dollar DuPont/Benlate debacle may be an example of one of fluoride's 
best-known chemical properties gone tragically awry. As early as 1 949 the Atomic 
Energy Commission reported that fluoride had a synergistic ability to boost the toxicity 
of beryllium. When fluoride was added, twice as many rats were killed, according to 
experiments performed at the University of Rochester. (H. Stokinger et al., "The 
Enhancing Effect of the Inhalation of Hydrogen Fluoride Vapor on Beryllium Sulfate 
Poisoning in Animals," UR-68, University of Rochester, unclassified.) Similarly, during 
World War II, Hitler's chemists discovered that fluoride could dramatically boost the 
toxicity of nerve gases. Sarin — the same gas used by Saddam Hussein on the Kurds of 
Halabja and used in the deadly subway attack in Tokyo — is a fluorinated chemical, 
named after the German scientists who invented it. ( Fascinated by Fluorine, p. 515). 
Today drug companies know that adding even a single fluorine atom to a drug molecule 
can boost chemical potency. Numerous modern drugs now contain small amounts of 
fluoride, including the antidepressant Prozac and the powerful antianthrax antibiotic 
Cipro. " Just one fluorine placed at a strategic site in an organic molecule can hot up its 
activity," says the English scientist Eric Banks. "The opportunities for finding something 
useful for society are truly mind blowing." Unfortunately, adding fluorine to drugs may 
also make them quite literally "mind blowing." Cipro, for example has numerous 
reported side effects, including central-nervous-system problems such as acute anxiety. 
And recently several fluorine-containing drugs have been withdrawn because of their 
side effects, including: . Baycol, a cholesterol-lowering drug taken by 700,000 
Americans, and 

linked to 3 1 deaths in the United States, with at least nine other fatalities 




■ Cisapride ("Propulsid"), withdrawn in 2000 because it caused severe cardiac side 


■ Mibefradil ("Posicor"), withdrawn in 1998 after it was shown that in patients with 
congestive heart failure the drug produced a trend to higher mortality; 

■ Flosequinan, withdrawn in 1993 after it was shown that the beneficial effects on the 

symptoms of heart failure did not last beyond the first three months of therapy. After 
the first three months of therapy, patients on the drug had a higher rate of 
hospitalization than patients taking a placebo; 

■ Astemizole (allergy drug), withdrawn in 1999 because it also became associated 

with life-threatening cardiac adverse events; 

The "weight loss" drugs fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, withdrawn in 1997 
because of serious adverse cardiac health effects, generating almost a billion 
dollars in lawsuits; 

• Tolrestat (antidiabetic), withdrawn in 1997 after the appearance of severe liver 
toxicity and deaths; 

Temafloxacin ("Omniflox"), withdrawn in 1992. The antibiotic had caused deaths 
and liver dysfunction; 

Grepafloxacin, removed from the market in 1999 because of serious cardiac 

(List courtesy of Andreas Schuld and Wendy Small, Parents of Fluoride Poisoned 
Children [PFPC], Vancouver, BC, Canada.) 
Fluoride's potential role in drug toxicity has not been well studied. An expert on the 
withdrawn diet drug dexfenfluramine, Dr. Kenneth Weir at the University of Minneapolis, 
said that he had no information on whether fluoride played a role in that drug's toxic action on 
the human heart. Central-nervous-system problems, such as depression, were also reported 
among the drug's unwanted effects. "It seems an intriguing question," notes Dr. Weir, "if you 
broke it down into its constituent parts, whether they would have a toxic effect." A mighty 
paradox exists. Just as fluoride performs some of the heaviest lifting in modern industry — but 
gets a glancing scrutiny from regulators and health officials — it is also routinely added to 
drugs to boost their chemical effect but mostly overlooked for its potential role in toxicity. Dr. 
Phyllis Mullenix points her finger at the not-too-distant past. She believes the sweeping 
cold-war-era assurances on fluoride safety from such scientists as Robert Kehoe and Harold 
Hodge have left a "black hole" in our understanding of fluoride's biological effects, and a 
failure by regulators to consider the toxicity of fluoride compounds. "Any drug that has a 
fluoride component should be automatically red-flagged," Mullenix says. "It simply is not 
done." 23. "PFOS caused postnatal deaths (and other developmental effects) in offspring in a 
two-generation reproductive-effects rat study," EPA official Charles Auer noted in a May 16, 
2000, e-mail, referring to the PFC used in Scotchgard, "At higher doses in this study," the 
summary continued, "all progeny in the first 



generation died while [at the lower level] many of the progeny from the second 
generation died. It is very unusual to see such second generation effects" ( emphasis 
in the original). The e-mail concluded, "PFOS accumulates to a high degree in 
humans and animals. It has an estimated half-life of 4 years in humans. It thus 
appears to combine Persistence, Bioaccumulation, and Toxicity to an extraordinary 
degree. . . . EPA's preliminary risk assessment indicated potentially unacceptable 
margins of exposure (MOE's) for workers and possibly the general population." 

DuPont has concerns about PFC toxicity, too. In the 199os, for example, the 
company worried about the cancer risk from PFCs. "We may have a product 
stewardship issue if we have a [Teflon] finish that contains a suspect carcinogen," a 
1994 Dupont document noted. "The worst-case scenario is that [PFOA] could be 
classified as a large X' carcinogen," a 1996 company memo added. Mother Jones, 
September-October 2001, online edition. 

That "scenario" may be scientific reality. Working on a grant from the U. S. Air 
Force, Michigan State's Brad Upham collected evidence that the PFOS and PFOA 
fluorocarbons disrupt intercell communication, allowing potentially 
tumor-producing cells to multiply. "We have very good reasons to think that they 
could contribute to cancer," the scientist told me. (Author interview). 

24. Richard Hefter, chief, High Production Volume Chemicals Branch, USEPA, to A. 
Michael Kaplan, director, Regulatory Affairs and Occupational Health, DuPont 
Haskell Laboratory, May 22, 2003. Andrea V. Malinowski to Richard Hefter, chief, 
High Production Volume Chemicals Branch, USEPA, June 20, 2003. Ken Cook, 
president, EWG, to EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, April 11, 2003. 

25. DuPont worries about a public-relations catastrophe and has shied from media 
attention regarding its blood-seeking fluorochemicals. When farmers Wilbur and 
Sandra Tennant of Parkersburg, West Virginia blamed PFC pollution from the 
DuPont factory for killing their cattle and harming their health, DuPont asked U.S. 
District Judge Joseph Goodwin to prevent the Tennants from testifying at an EPA 
hearing in March 2000, according to court documents cited by investigative 
reporter Jim Morris at Mother Jones magazine. (J. Morris, "Did 3M and DuPont 
Ignore Evidence of Health Risks?" Mother Jones, September-October 2001, online 

DuPont's attorney, John Tinney, blamed Hollywood for the company's woes 
and for the necessity of a restraining order against the farmers. "The court need 
look no further than the movies for practical application," the lawyer told Judge 
Goodwin, citing "the enormous success at the box office of Erin Brockovich and A 
Civil Action." The company, however, need not have worried. Although no 
restraining order was issued, media attention was limited, according to Mother 

DuPont also claims that there is no risk to Teflon workers. The company's 
recent employee monitoring has found no elevation of PFOA-class chemicals in 
employees directly involved in production, according to comments 



by spokesperson Dave Korzeniowski in the journal Environmental Science and 
Technology. DuPont seems reassured by that data. It was 3M's discovery of high PFOS 
levels in its employees, for example, that helped to lead to the promised phase-out of 
Scotchgard. "PFOS appears to behave differently from our products," Korzeniowski 
states. (R. Renner, Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 35, no. 7 [April 1, 
2001], pp. 154A-16oA.) 

26. Cited in letter from Kenneth Cook, president of Environmental Working 

Group to Mr. Richard H. Hefter, chief of High Production Volume Chemicals Branch, 
United States EPA, August 15, 2003. At web location www.ewg. 
org/issues/pfcs/2oo3o8 1 3/. 

The company also told workers that "a female who has an organic fluorine level 
above background level should consult with her personal physician prior to 
contemplating pregnancy." Washington Works Proposed Communication to Females 
Who Had Worked in Fluoropolymers Area, embedded as link in above letter. Cook to 
EPA, August 15, 2003. 

27. Q. Xiang et al., "Effect of Fluoride in Drinking Water on Children's Intel- 
ligence," Fluoride, May 2003, J. A. Varner, K. F. Jensen, W. Horvath, and R. L. 
Isaacson, "Chronic Administration of Aluminum-Fluoride or Sodium-Fluoride to Rats 
in Drinking Water: Alterations in Neuronal and Cerebro-vascular Integrity," Brain 
Research, vol. 784 (1998), pp. 284-298. 

28. Sunday Telegraph, November 24, 1996. 

29. L. Trupin et al., "The Occupational Burden of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary 
Disease," European Respiratory Journal, vol. 22, no. 3 (September 1, 2003), pp. 462-469. 

30. March 18, 2002, comments submitted to the EPA, on DowAgroSciences 

petition to establish fluoride and sulfuryl fluoride tolerances for a large number (40) of 
raw and processed foods. Federal Register, February 15, 2002, U.S. EPA Docket 
control number PF-1068, submitted by Paul Connett, professor of Chemistry, St. 
Lawrence U, Canton, NY, and Ellen Connett, editor, Waste Not, Canton, NY. 

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