is the recycling of all materials back into nature or the marketplace in a manner that protects human health and the environment.


How We Got Fluoridated 

by Philip Heggen ... April 1, 1999


Throughout the world, and from the beginning, virtually all living creatures have been exposed to fluoride. It's nothing new. Fluoride is one of the most abundant elements in the earth's crust - cumulative and toxic to all forms of life at remarkably low dosage.

Sixty years ago U.S. dental researchers had identified areas in sixteen states where disfiguring mottled enamel was a serious problem. Thirty years ago, the World Health Organization had noted that high concentrations of fluoride are found in areas of every continent and that dental fluorosis is a problem from Finland to South Africa and from England to Japan.

But fluoride affects more than just developing teeth. Even dinosaurs have ingested water and vegetation contaminated by fluoride from volcanic gases and ash - and suffered the consequence in terms of painful arthritic effects.

Industrial mining and manufacturing, like mini-volcanoes, bring up fluorides from the earth into the biosphere, with similar effects on human communities. In the past century or so, man has spawned these "mini-volcanoes" without fully understanding the consequences. Modern well-drilling equipment has provided much needed water from deep within the earth - and this, too, has resulted in fluoride poisoning. This has not been a conspiracy in the usual sense of the word ... but rather, a colossal blunder.

"The problem is enormous, unbelievable," says Andezhath Susheela of the Fluorosis Research and Rural Development Foundation in Delhi, India. She has been unraveling the national story for a decade during which time her estimate of the number of people leading "a painful and crippled life" from fluorosis has risen from one million to 25 million and now to 60 million - six million of them children - spread across tens of thousands of communities. "In some villages three-quarters of the population are seriously affected."

This paper is a chronicle and overview spanning the history of modern industry. It shows the rise of fluoride pollution and how economic motives have overridden concerns for human health. We take you back to the early metal refinery pollution in Europe and show the record of lawsuits for fluoride damage. This reveals the basis for American industry's fear of being shut down by lawsuits. We also document the steps taken by industry to divert public attention away from fluoride air pollution. This chronicle shows that the origin of water fluoridation is in these fluoride fears of industry - not in concern for children's teeth.

During the 1940s, the development of the atom bomb required handling huge amounts of fluoride in the production of nuclear weapons. Documented here is a major safety study by the Atomic Energy Commission. As a result of this extensive study, the federal government became involved in the suppression of information about fluoride poisoning. Formerly restricted government documents now made available under the Freedom of Information Act have filled in some blank spaces in this chronology.

Thus, both big government and big industry, for different reasons, became involved in the cover-up. The succeeding collaboration of industry and government is documented in detail.

The difficulties in maintaining a deception over an extended time are significant. This is especially true with an ongoing issue like fluoridation. A compounding of dishonest statements and actions is required to maintain the original deception. At a certain point, the truth of the situation becomes obvious. These consequences are now coming to bear on the defenders of fluoridation. The Epilogue deals with this coming confrontation.


During the last half of the Nineteenth Century, ore refineries and chemical plants were introduced in Europe. In these early years of the industrial revolution came serious air pollution problems. Iron and copper refineries or smelters were the worst culprits. Fumes and fallout from their smokestacks caused obvious injury and sickness to people, livestock, crops, and other vegetation in the surrounding communities and countryside.

Unknown in the early years of the industrial revolution, the most deadly chemical killer in this effluent was hydrogen fluoride (HF), now known to be toxic in a concentration of parts per billion. The term fluorine, rather than fluoride was then commonly used in referring to the air pollutant. Hydrogen fluoride was itself first identified in industrial emissions after the turn of the century, but its effects had been clearly seen in the areas surrounding these industrial polluters.

Early European Chronology

1855Smelters in Freiburg, Germany first paid damages to neighbors injured by fluorine emissions.
1893The smelters in Freiburg paid out 880,000 marks in damages for fluorine contamination injuries and 644,000 marks for permanent relief.
1900The very existence of the smelting industry in Germany and Great Britain is threatened by successful lawsuits for fluorine damage and by burdensome laws and regulations.
1907A disease of cattle that had been endemic around Freiburg for some 20 years was identified as fluorine poisoning from the smelters.
1912Fluorine poisoning of cattle was reported near a superphosphate plant in Italy. During the 1890s there had been numerous complaints of damage to vegetation around superphosphate fertilizer plants.
1918The cattle around a Swiss aluminum plant became poisoned. Aluminum smelters, utilizing the fluxing agents flourite (49% fluorine), and cryolite (54% fluorine), were to become major sources of fluorine air pollution.

Part I   Overview

In America, the term fluoride replaced fluorine in referring to air pollution - as fluorine rarely occurs uncombined with other elements, due to its extremely high reactivity. This is the basis for its toxic effect on virtually all biological systems.

The many successful lawsuits for airborne fluoride damage in Europe were seen as a threat to American Industry. This feared risk produced a strong incentive which resulted in attempts to suppress the facts and sidetrack public concerns about hydrogen fluoride air pollution.

As American smelting industries expanded and smokestack emissions increased, the threat of legal action and regulatory controls worried these industries. Bringing about changes in people's attitude about fluoride was seen as critically important . The original strategy was to get people to believe that water was the chief source of fluoride, and that other sources were unimportant.

In 1931, this camouflage began with the announcement by Alcoa's chief chemist, H.V. Churchill, that the mottled teeth of children in the Pittsburgh area had been caused by fluoride in the water. Pittsburgh, of course, was the location of Alcoa's aluminum smelters. This trick is documented in the Pittsburgh Press for May 31 under the headline, "Scientist Here Finds Secret Poison Which Blackens Teeth of Children". Churchill's announcement left the public with the idea that it was only fluoride in the water that caused "mottling". Today the blame has shifted to toothpaste.

Alcoa's deception had the effect of covering up major airborne fluoride damage in Pittsburgh. The success of this ploy resulted from the public's acceptance of Churchill's expert opinion as unbiased, when it was strongly biased. It does not take an expert to see the circumstances pointing to bias. The tendency of many people to quickly and uncritically accept expert opinion has been utilized as a propaganda device. In fact, it was to become the principal tool and stratagem of the fluoridation campaign. If one looks through profluoridation literature, it is found to be full of authoritarian endorsements (expert opinion), but no hard evidence.

Later, it would be claimed that people need fluoride, and that fluoride should be added to the water supply so everyone could get it. This strategy was to provide an enormous outlet for waste fluorides. Shaping people's attitudes about fluoride had now begun and was to continue unabated for seven decades. Since the mid-1960s, television advertising has been intensively used to achieve this purpose, with $30 million spent on advertising Crest fluoridated toothpaste in just one year.

In 1931, it became widely known that mottled tooth enamel is caused by fluoride poisoning of the tooth buds while the enamel is being formed. Fluoride in the bloodstream reaches the tooth buds before the teeth erupt through the gums. Fluoride in the drinking water does not directly contact the tooth buds. For this reason dental fluorosis is clear evidence of systemic fluoride poisoning. Also, dental fluorosis is often caused by hydrogen fluoride in toxic air pollutants. It can likewise be caused by foods prepared from crops grown in fluoride contaminated soils and air.

Along with the shaping of public attitudes, industry influenced key government agencies. The US Public Health Service (USPHS), and later, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cooperated, to a surprising degree, in the economical disposal of industry's toxic fluoride waste materials. As a result of agency appointments and hiring of industry-funded scientists, these government agencies became closely identified with the motivations of industry. In the process, they have had to ignore serious adverse effects on human health - from fluoride as well as a number of other toxic chemical compounds. In the easy choice of catering to industry, these Agencies incrementally abandoned their own basic charge of promoting human and environmental health.

This identification with industry was true regarding air pollution, and later epitomized in water fluoridation, with the USPHS eventually setting the goal of mandatory national fluoridation by the turn of the century. EPA later rationalized this goal by calling it an efficient way to recycle waste.

As a consequence of the realignment of the Public Health Service into a strong supporter of fluoridation, research in academic institutions also came under the control of big industry on this feared pollution issue. Control over research in academic institutions was brought about through the giving and withholding of government grants and research contracts. All government support of academic institutions was channeled through the industry biased Public Health Service. These pressures and incentives grew as industry grew. Applied relentlessly over the years and decades, the fluoride industry's influence on academia has now spanned most of the 20th century.

By way of economic incentives the American Dental Association (ADA) also became a prominent and active promoter of fluoridation. This came about through the influence of a small clique pretending to speak for all dentists. While the public has tended to see ADA as an unbiased professional organization, it is, in fact, a trade group, with predictable motivations. The role of ADA in fluoridation has been that of an opportunist. It has received ongoing financial support from the USPHS, itself a virtual arm of big industry. ADA alleged an ethical role on the part of dentists based on their claim that fluoridation would reduce dentists' income. But expensive cosmetic dentistry required to hide the effects of fluorosis actually increased the incomes of dentists. As a result, the dental trade association has become an ideal front for big industry in their scheme to dump fluoride waste products at a profit.

Influencing the US medical community was also of crucial importance to the success of the fluoridation scheme. Thousands of American Medical Association members came to be dependent on grants from the National Institutes of Health (a part of the USPHS) for most of their support. A majority of medical schools also came to recognize their increasing dependence on government grants via USPHS. One effect of this influence was minimizing the subject of fluorosis in medical texts. Consequently, the majority of dentists and physicians know very little about chronic fluoride poisoning.

Industry's unstated motivation behind water fluoridation was to find an economical means for disposal of their accumulating fluoride waste products, and to avoid claims for compensation by workers harmed by airborne fluoride on the job. USPHS supports this industrial strategy while at the same time actively assisting industry in a cover-up of their fluoride air pollution problems. Today, through regional and county health offices, USPHS influences city councils to override previous ballot decisions against fluoridating public water, thereby subverting the basic principles of democratic government, as well as compromising public health.

With such pervasive influence of industry on government, academia, dentistry and medicine, it soon became political suicide for professionals to challenge or even question the fluoridation of drinking water. Individuals who had the boldness to do so soon found that their jobs were in jeopardy. Even outspoken dentists, the supposed experts, were ostracized from their trade organization (ADA) and saw their professional careers threatened. The ADA and their industrial backers were clearly out to destroy the opposition.

Of critical importance to industry was a complete knowledge about the chemical hazards associated with fluoride. Initially concerned with the fluoride-based refrigerant, freon, the Kettering Laboratory was founded in 1925 with gifts from Ethyl Corporation, General Electric, and DuPont and supported by other concerned industries. Kettering was to investigate chemical hazards in American industrial operations. It was Kettering policy to keep such research away from public view.

Since 1925, the great bulk of research in America having to do with fluoride poisoning has been financed by the concerned companies. It has been kept secret because it was done to protect the companies who funded Kettering. The Director of the Kettering Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Robert Kehoe, was also Medical Director of the Ethyl Corporation, and consultant to the Atomic Energy Commission - as well as the Division of Occupational Medicine of the USPHS. All three of these affiliations were with those having strong motives for suppressing the dangers associated with fluorides.

Fluoride research sponsored by industry was done by Kettering Laboratory so that it could be tightly controlled. Research supported by the federal government was channeled through the Public Health Service, which had become a virtual arm of big industry. With its strong bias, USPHS influenced the direction of fluoride investigations as well as what got published. It even censored reports after their publication. In this way, the concerned industries came to control nearly all of the fluoride research originating in the this country.

Research conducted in European countries and in Asia has not been subjected to such constraints. Their research has more starkly exposed the dangers of fluoride. This has led to the outlawing of fluoridation in 98% of Europe and clearly verifies the bias in American fluoride research. Since the classic work on Fluorine Intoxication published by Kaj Roholm in 1935 and 1937, the foreign medical literature has contained ongoing research reports on a wide variety of serious disorders stemming from fluoride poisoning. The same is true of the US veterinary literature. But our own medical literature suffers from the secrecy imposed on Kettering research and from the bias and censorship brought to bear by the Public Health Service.

Part I   Chronology - 1909 to 1938

1909Alcoa was now producing 16,500 tons of aluminum per year and releasing 132 tons of hydrogen fluoride air pollutants per year.
1909Pennsylvania law prohibits use of fluoride compounds in food - including water.
1916The National Research Council, a subgroup of the National Academy of Sciences, is organized as an independent, non-government group. It would provide a close liaison between the USPHS and American Industry, and came to represent industry through the affiliations of its membership. Government agencies came to pass on their chartered responsibilities by taking recommendations from NRC, instead of using their own professional staff. Decisions affecting industry came to be handled this way, to the great advantage of industry.
1922Aluminum cookware is introduced in the US. Aluminum production increases, along with production of the toxic waste product, sodium fluoride.
1925The Kettering Laboratory is set up by an industrial consortium to do contract research work on chemical hazards in industrial operations. The research findings are hid from public view.
1925Andrew Mellon becomes US Treasurer. The USPHS is under the direct jurisdiction of the Department of the Treasury. Andrew Mellon was a founder and major stockholder of Alcoa, the main producer of toxic fluoride waste materials. During the 1920s there was growing concern abroad, and in our own Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Mines over fluoride as a public hazard - but not in the Public Health Service. During this decade, no mention of fluoride can be found in the official USPHS publication, Public Health Reports. Also in 1925, the Mellon Institute was founded by Andrew and Richard Mellon, former owners of Alcoa.
1930The world's first major hydrogen fluoride fog disaster occurred in the Meuse Valley, Belgium. Six thousand people became violently ill, and sixty died in this episode. Many cattle were also killed. The Danish scientist, Kaj Roholm studied the aftereffects of this episode and the subject of fluorine poisoning. His classic work, Fluorine Intoxication, published in London and Copenhagen, is unique to this day, as it examined in detail substantial numbers of human subjects poisoned by a well defined and dated episode.
1931A considerable portion of Kettering Laboratory's facilities are dedicated to the study of fluorides, initially with investigations into Freon 12 gas. Under contract, the studies are not released to the public. Hydrogen fluoride air pollution from Alcoa's Pittsburgh smelters were causing mottled teeth in the area's children. Alcoa's chief chemist ignores this known relationship and announces that fluoride in the drinking water is responsible. That successful camouflage was to be used later as a reason to fluoridate water supplies of cities with the worst fluoride air pollution, thereby diverting attention from air pollution
1931USPHS dentist, H. Trendley Dean, is dispatched by Alcoa founder, Andrew Mellon, to certain remote towns in the Western US where water wells have a naturally high concentration of calcium fluoride. Dean's mission would be to find out how much calcium fluoride young children could tolerate before there was obvious visible damage to their teeth.
1933Dr. Lloyd DeEds, Senior Toxicologist with the Department of Agriculture published a sixty page review on chronic fluorine poisoning (Medicine 12:1-60 (Feb)1933): "Only recently, that is within the last ten years, has the serious nature of fluorine toxicity been realized, particularly with regard to chronic intoxication. It is from the viewpoint of chronic intoxication that fluorine is of importance to the public health." He discussed poisoning of vegetation and livestock near aluminum plants; and pointed out that superphosphate plants were annually pouring 25,000 tons of fluorine into the air and adding 90,000 tons to the topsoil each year.
1935From now on, and in the face of growing fluoride air pollution, the USPHS described "mottling" as a "water-borne disease", and began investigating the extent of the disorder in the US.
1938H. Trendley Dean and the USPHS conduct the "Galesburg-Quincy" study, one of the two studies upon which water fluoridation rests (the other is the "21 cities" study, done in 1939 and 1940). On these two studies rested the "fluorine-dental caries hypothesis" which was to be tested in the experiments at Grand Rapids, Michigan, Newburgh, New York, and Brantford, Ontario.

Note: These studies were later examined by non-government expert statisticians and found to be statistically flawed, as well as having a significant number of other serious problems, making the studies worthless. (see Fluoride the Aging Factor by Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, p. 119-123. also: Fluoridation Errors and Omissions in Experimental Trials, by Philip R. N. Sutton, DDSc, LDS, Senior Research Fellow, Dept of Oral Medicine and Surgery, University of Melbourne, in collaboration with Sir Arthur B. P. Amies, Dean of the Dental School, University of Melbourne) It is interesting to note that Dean visited Galesburg earlier on a mottled enamel survey in 1934 and listed Galesburg as a city that "lacked the requisites for quantitative evaluation".


A Federally Funded, National Strategy Supporting Big Industry

It was a quirk of fate that the early industrial secrecy surrounding fluoride in America was to be strongly reinforced by the federal government for reasons of national security. Fluoride was the key chemical compound in the production of the atomic bomb, and extensive government information on the serious health risks of fluoride was kept secret both during and after World War II. This helps explain how the fluoride industries were able to get virtually total cooperation from government agencies in covering up industry's fluoride pollution.

When the concept of water fluoridation surfaced around 1939, it was quickly seized by big industry and turned into a relentless, no-holds-barred drive for universal fluoridation. This drive was soon to be implemented by the US Public Health Service as if it were a military mandate - a "mission".

USPHS was ideal for this mission, being organized in a similar way to the US Armed Forces. Its officers are commissioned and expected to obey orders of the Surgeon General. The common public view of the Surgeon General as an impeccable and totally objective authority is often naive. In the real world the Surgeon General is expected to support and carry out current policy. If a particular policy, such as water fluoridation is supported successively by two or more Surgeons General, it would be naive to think this proves the policy is based on science.

USPHS has a Dental Corps which is closely associated with those in the American Dental Association (ADA) and holds interlocking memberships on its boards, committees, and councils. Significantly, officers of the USPHS also sit on the editorial boards of every important medical and dental journal in the United States.

The national strategy for universal fluoridation utilized state and regional health departments as ersatz field headquarters. Strongly biased literature was used, such as the Kettering abstracts published in 1963, and the key ADA propaganda piece, Fluoridation Facts, first published in 1960, and used to this day, although it is proved lacking in credibility by its own references. As this pamphlet was published more than three decades ago and is still uncorrected, one can only call it fraudulent. This promotional material was distributed to health departments and agencies throughout the country.

The disinformation campaign conducted by USPHS has been extended since the 1960s down to local health districts, sometimes employing state or field fluoridation coordinators. With a national communications network of state and regional health departments in place, community assessments can be made and those showing the least resistance are targeted first. The most successful tactics used in previously fluoridated communities are employed on prospective communities. The USPHS campaign has involved literally hundreds of such intrusions on communities, and has become a fine-tuned operation. District health department officials typically contact city councils with a strongly biased sales pitch and promises of federal funding. The attempt is often made to get city councils to vote and rule on the fluoridation issue without a public vote. In some cases, where it is legal, this may involve overriding previous public vote, even though it directly affects all the people in the community on a daily basis.

When a community is overrun by such tactics, the victory often gets wide publicity, as practiced in psychological warfare. Further, there is strong circumstantial evidence that the USPHS campaign includes overturning state laws that interfere with the USPHS "mission". For example, in the State of Washington, the State Code prohibiting city councils from directly overriding previous public vote was successfully used in Spokane in 1984 to stop fluoridation in that city. The following year that State Code was overturned with no motivation from within Washington. When viewed in the larger context revealed in this chronicle, such circumstantial evidence is compelling.

It has been a priority of big industry to settle lawsuits out of court. This prevents legal precedents being set on fluoride damage, which could open the way for further litigation. A good example involved the Troutdale, Oregon aluminum plant east of Portland, which was operated by Alcoa during World War II. After the war some millions in damage suits were filed, and many hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid in settlements from the new renter of the plant, Reynolds Metals Co.

One such suit was for serious injuries to members of the Paul Martin family. It was considered so important by big industry that an armada of six corporations all joined in the suit as "friends of the court." They were Alcoa, Kaiser, Harvey Aluminum, Olin-Mathieson, Victor Chemical, and Food Machinery and Chemical. When it appeared that the Martin family might win their case, an out of court settlement was arranged by purchasing the Martin ranch at an inflated price. Once again, a potentially important legal precedent did not get into the legal record.

PART II   Chronology - 1939 to 1959

1939The concept of fluoridation arises as an alternative method of disposing of industrial waste chemicals, where disposal expense is replaced by profit. This fact was confirmed with approval in a 1983 letter written by Rebecca Hanmer, Assistant Administrator, from EPA Office of Water.
1939The Hatch Act was passed after revelations that employees of the WPA, a New Deal agency, were pressured to make political contributions. The new Act protected against a politicized federal work force. It also prohibited any federally funded agency, whether county, state, or federal, from trying to influence public referenda. Since the beginning of the effort to fluoridate water in the 1940s, however, the Hatch Act has been repeatedly and flagrantly violated
1939On Sept 29, Mellon Institute scientist, Gerald J. Cox, begins his major role in the promotion of fluoridation by saying, "the present trend toward removal of fluorides from food and water may need reversal".

Note: Scientist Cox also had this to say in 1939: "Fluorides are among the most toxic of substances. Mottled enamel results from as little as 0.0001 percent of fluorine in the drinking water. Every use of water must be examined before fluoridation can begin". (Journal of the American Water Works Assn. pp. 1926-1930, Nov 1939). Despite all of this, Alcoa sponsored biochemist, Gerald J. Cox, fluoridates rats in his lab and mysteriously concludes that "fluoride reduces cavities". He makes a public proposal that the US should fluoridate its water supply. Cox begins to tour the US, stumping for fluoridation.

1939The American Water Works Association decided there was sufficient evidence about fluoride to classify it as a hazardous material, like lead and arsenic. It then suggested that drinking water should contain no more than 0.1 ppm fluoride.
1941Instead of forbidding the dumping of fluoride in water, the USPHS regulations set 1.0 ppm of fluoride as the maximum tolerance allowed in a public water supply. This allowed industries to continue to dump fluoride wastes into rivers.
1941In December, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. All anti-pollution regulations are suspended. Many parts of America now suffer hydrogen fluoride air pollution on an unprecedented scale. Major fluoride hazards develop in war materials production of WWII, consolidating government collusion with big industry on a coverup of fluoride hazards.
1942In England, a Lancet report showed that out of 589 London children, 28% had mottled teeth. According to Alcoa's chief chemist and the USPHS, London's drinking water should contain well over one ppm fluoride to account for this. Tests showed just 0.19 ppm. Clearly, hydrogen fluoride was the cause. In this case, it was surely related to the heavy use of coal for fuel, a known source of HF.
1942Hydrogen fluoride supplants sulfuric acid as a catalyst in the production of high test gasoline in Los Angeles. One such plant required 500-750 tons of HF yearly (Fluorine Industry Chem. and Met. Eng., 52:94-99 Mar. 1945).
1943Planning began on the Newburgh, NY, Fluoridation Demonstration Project. Atomic bomb program scientists played a prominent but unpublicized role in this first US fluoridation experiment. Fluoride was the key chemical in atomic bomb production. Millions of tons of fluoride were needed for the manufacture of bomb-grade uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons. Today, memos released under the Freedom of Information Act show that scientists from the atomic bomb program secretly shaped and guided the Newburgh fluoridation experiment. This reveals the US government conflict of interest and its motive to prove fluoride safe.
1944Oscar Ewing is put on the payroll of the Aluminum Company of America as an attorney, at an annual salary of $750,000.
1945Program "F" is implemented by the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). This is the most extensive US study of the health effects of fluoride - a key chemical component in atomic bomb production. One of the most toxic chemicals known to man, fluoride was found to have marked adverse effects to the central nervous system. But much of the information was classified "secret" in the name of national security because of fear that lawsuits would undermine full-scale production of atomic bombs.
1946With no new evidence of safety, and no stated reason, USPHS raised the maximum tolerance level of fluoride in public water supplies to 1.5 ppm.
1947Alcoa lawyer, Oscar Ewing, is appointed head of the Federal Security Agency, later HEW, a position that places him in charge of the USPHS. He is the second Alcoa executive (after Andrew Mellon) to direct the course of the Public Health Service, completing its mutation into a virtual pawn of big industry. Under Ewing, a national fluoridation campaign rapidly materializes, spearheaded by the USPHS. Over the next three years, eighty-seven cities were fluoridated. This included the control city of Muskegan in the original Michigan experiment, thus wiping out the most scientifically objective test of safety before the test was half over.

Ewing's public relations strategist was Edward L. Bernays, Sigmund Freud's nephew, who pioneered Freudian theory toward advertising and government propaganda (see Bernays' 1928 book, Propaganda). Because of Bernays, people would be induced to forget that fluorides were toxic poisons. Opponents to the fluoridation program were painted as deranged. In 1996 they would be painted as civil rights activists, crackpots, and right-wing loonies. As the newspapers were heavily influenced by industry advertisers, they became key dispensers of such propaganda.

1948The Donora Death Fog was the second major air pollution disaster in history. It was caused by the accumulation of stagnant hydrogen fluoride gas from steel and zinc smelters in a narrow industrialized valley. Six thousand of the 13,000 residents of this Pennsylvania town's population became ill, and on the fourth day seventeen died. A leading forensic chemist, Philip Sadtler, investigated the tragedy and reported strong evidence of acute fluoride poisoning. His report appeared in Chemical and Engineering News under the headline, FLUORINE GASES IN ATMOSPHERE AS INDUSTRIAL WASTES BLAMED FOR DEATH AND CHRONIC POISONING OF DONORA AND WEBSTER. The USPHS whitewashed the incident in their report (see Public Health Bull. No. 306, Washington, D.C., 1949). Their conclusion was: No pollutant present could have caused the disaster. The following are excerpts from a critique of that report by Frederick B. Exner, MD:

"A 173-page report tells us that there had been no unusual kind or amount of pollution, and that no pollution present could have caused the trouble. Sampling methods of doubtful reliability were applied at arbitrarily selected times and places, and the results averaged with no attempt at proper weighting. Calculations therefrom, replete with arithmetical errors and discrepancies, were combined with outright guesses to arrive at estimates of emission.

They guess that 210 tons of coal burned in homes emit 30 lb. of fluorine but that 213 tons burned in the blooming-mill boilers emit only four lb. No possible reason for the difference is offered.

On page 104, waste gas from the blast furnace contains 4.6 mg of fluorine per cubic meter. On page 108 it contains one-tenth as much.

Calculations for open-hearth emission show a discrepancy of several thousand fold, with no way to know where the error lies.

The biological studies and general air sampling are similarly inappropriate and meaningless. Air samples at twelve arbitrarily selected points between Feb. 16, and April 27, 1949, can tell us nothing about concentrations during the episode."

Test results of a study made of the Donora disaster by US Steel have been withheld from public view to this day. This is unmistakable evidence of an effort to cover up highly toxic HF emissions.

1948As a direct consequence of the Donora disaster, USPHS began quietly sampling fluorides in the air over 27 major cities across the country. This sampling turned up serious HF air pollution (up to 80 ppb) in the following twelve cities: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Buffalo, Denver, Oklahoma City, and Indianapolis (see Register of Air Pollution Analyses, US Department of Health, Education and Welfare. USPHS, Washington DC, 1949-1961).
1950The new hydrogen fluoride air pollution data collected by the USPHS presented a major problem. Data gathered showed HF contamination up to 80 ppb, more than ten times what had been proposed for standards.

Strong circumstantial evidence suggests that the camouflage strategy adopted more than a decade earlier by Alcoa in Pittsburgh was to influence the strategy adopted by the USPHS: If the nation's twelve cities with the most serious HF air pollution were fluoridated, this expensive-to-correct problem would be camouflaged. Dental fluorosis could then be attributed to the water, and authorities could describe mottled teeth as an "acceptable trade-off" for the claimed caries preventing properties of fluoridated water. To bring this about, the Great Fluoridation Experiment underway in Grand Rapids and three other cities was declared a success in June 1950, five years before the experiment would be complete. Before a single tooth had fully developed under the influence of the experimental fluoridated water, USPHS claimed a reduction in tooth decay of between 50 and 60 percent. (Dean, H. T. et al., Studies on Mass Control of Dental Caries through Fluoridation of the Public Water Supply, Public Health Report 65, 1950).

This "success" then allowed USPHS to rush out to fluoridate the twelve cities with major HF air pollution and thereby camouflage the toxic air problems. All twelve cities were fluoridated in the following five years. The same camouflage was to be carried out two years later by Alcoa in Australia.

1950Two years after the disaster in Donora, when the USPHS found serious HF air pollution across the country, their analytical method was changed from measuring the level of HF to measuring the level of fluoride ions in the air. Deception clearly motivated this change. Fluoride ions, like fluorine gas, are relatively rare toxic air emissions. By pretending that fluoride ions, not the far more harmful HF, was the concern in contaminated air, the USPHS avoided exposure of incriminating HF data which it thereby managed, once again, to ignore.
1950From 1950 to 1951, Alcoa advertises sodium fluoride for addition to water supplies.
1950The Journal of the American Dental Association, (30:447, 1950), features an article by Dr. G. J. Cox, University of Pittsburgh, who says, "To solve the esthetic problem for victims of mottled enamel, porcelain facings, jacket crowns, or even dentures may be required". Note: The public is expected to bear the cost of what is being done to them while the dental industry profits.
1951Early in 1951 Oscar Ewing allocated $2 million to "promote fluoridation nationwide".
1951Oscar Ewing was sponsoring a bill which the conservative American Medical Association claimed would be the first step toward socialized medicine. The AMA appealed to its members for a "fighting fund" to defeat the Bill and $3 million was raised. But at the AMA convention in Los Angeles, Ewing notified the committee that the bill was to be withdrawn. That same committee, which had never before considered the subject, suddenly released a statement saying that the AMA totally endorsed the "safety of fluoridation". At that time there was not one published paper providing evidence to support the AMA endorsement. But from then on, the AMA left fluoridation to dentists - and to those powerful forces which were manipulating the dental trade association (ADA).
1952The ADA Journal instructs its dentists not to discuss their personal opinions about fluoride. Here is blatant evidence of ADA political bias.
1952In London, the greatest toxic fog disaster in history occurred from December 5-9 in a temperature inversion. Hydrogen fluoride (HF) gas was the culprit, as in the two earlier major disasters. During those five days there were 2,000 excess deaths in London, and some 10,000 more people were wiped out in the surrounding Thames Valley. Similar episodes, both before and after this one, occurred in London. In 1945, a noxious fog brought death to 600; in 1956, to 500; and in 1957, to 400 (Air Pollution, published on behalf of the World Health Organization, Columbia University Press, N.Y., 1961, p. 175).

Shocking as it is, the toll of lives does not tell the whole story. Neither the assessments of the toxic air disasters, nor tests establishing maximum contaminant levels, take into account the widespread effects on mental function brought about by HF poisoning. Human behavior is exquisitely sensitive to minute traces of hydrogen fluoride - in the parts per billion range. In London, it is likely that millions were so affected. This includes symptoms of confusion, fatigue, partial loss of memory, and mental dullness and apathy. The condition identified in 1982 as chronic fatigue syndrome is currently of undetermined origin, and is now increasingly widespread. The same symptoms are caused by HF air pollution. Research on hydrogen fluoride is lacking, and funding is not available.

1952USPHS officials, Drs. Dean, Arnold and McClure, concentrate their efforts to introduce fluoridation into Australia and New Zealand, providing more evidence for an underlying industrial motivation.
1952Alcoa starts construction of the first aluminum smelter in Australia, two miles from the small town of Beaconsfield, Tasmania. The following year, Beaconsfield became the first town in all of Australia to install water fluoridation. Dental fluorosis could then be attributed to the water as an "acceptable trade-off" for prevention of caries (unproven). Beyond coincidence, here is more evidence of the industrial strategy to camouflaging airborne HF poisoning by fluoridating the water supply.
1955The Kettering Laboratory in Cincinnati has become the largest organization of its kind in the world with a staff numbering about 120. Its specified purpose is to investigate chemical hazards that develop in American industrial operations (to prevent a replay of the litigation that plagued European industry and gave American industry a competitive edge).
1956On Jan 26, Procter & Gamble ran a full page ad in the New York Times, proclaiming Crest toothpaste "an important milestone in medicine", comparing it to Dr. Fleming's discovery of penicillin. P & G published no evidence supporting their extravagant claims. Harold Hillenbrand, secretary of ADA responded saying there was no evidence that any fluoride paste could prevent tooth decay. Initially there was an FDA warning label on Crest, but it disappeared in 1958, without explanation, and did not reappear until nearly forty years later.
1957Alcoa announces the direct sale of sodium fluoride to cities and towns - for fluoridation of drinking water. A decade later, when it was found that phosphate fertilizer companies could sell fluorides from their smokestack scrubbers for even less money, Alcoa was priced out of the fluoride dumping market.
1957The American Dental Association receives $6,453,816 in federal funds, from 1957-1973.
1958The World Health Organization (WHO) establishes an Expert Committee in Geneva to study fluoridation. At least five of the seven committee members had promoted fluoridation in their own countries. The American proponent, Professor H. C. Hodge, had some of his research financed by the Atomic Energy Commission, which was confronted with serious fluoride disposal problems from uranium processing. Professor Ericsson, the member from Sweden and a prominent advocate of fluoridation in Europe, was the recipient of a USPHS grant and received royalties from Sweden's toothpaste industry. Such are the sources of the WHO endorsement of fluoridation.
1959Reynolds Metals Co. built an aluminum smelter on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, upwind of a Mohawk Indian Reservation. Fifteen-hundred Mohawk Indians farmed on their island Reservation. Forty-five farmers had forty cattle barns and 364 dairy cattle. Cattle became lame and many cows died. In 1977, there were just 177 left. The farmers themselves were found to have muscular and skeletal abnormalities. The Mohawk way of life became the victim of a preventable man-made plague caused by hydrogen fluoride.

PART II   Chronology - 1960 to 1999

1960In Canada, the Committee on Fluoridation meets in Toronto. Dr. G. E. Hall guides the deliberations. His daughter was employed by an aluminum corporation with fluoride pollution problems. He was himself serving as honorary advisory director for a leading fluoridation promoting organization, and his University (U. of Western Toronto) was the recipient of grants from the US Public Health Service (three conflicts of interest). Predictably, fluoridation of all public water supplies throughout Canada was advocated.
1960In August, the ADA suddenly endorses the "safety and effectiveness" of Crest fluoride toothpaste, with no scientific evidence available. P & G stock rose by $8 per share. Toothpaste manufacturers around the world, including Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever and Beechams, jumped aboard the fluoride bandwagon.
1961USPHS again raises the maximum tolerance level for fluoride in water supplies, this time to 2.4 ppm, in spite of the fact that one USPHS investigator said that at 1.5 ppm, the safety factor was zero.
1963At the bequest of its industrial sponsors, The Kettering Laboratory collected US research articles on fluoride and "sanitized" them by rewriting their findings in published abstracts in a book titled, The Role of Fluoride in Public Health. Sponsors included Alcoa, American Petroleum Institute, Columbia-Geneva Steel Company, The Du Pont Company, Harshaw Chemical Company, Kaiser Aluminum and Chemicals Corporation, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company, Reynolds Metals Company, and the Universal Oil Products Company - all concerned about regulations bearing on fluoride air pollution and worker health problems.

This book of 158 sanitized abstracts was then distributed to all health agencies throughout the US, thus becoming the standard reference work for state and county health departments. Busy health professionals relied on these convenient and readily available abstracts, rather than searching the literature for the original (unsanitized) research. In this way, many key professionals throughout the country were duped on the issue of fluoride poisoning.

1967On October 15, the Pittsburgh Press reported that 98% of Pittsburgh school children 13-15 years of age had crooked teeth. It was not mentioned that chronic fluoride toxicity from childhood induces such malocclusion. Hydrogen fluoride poisoning from Alcoa aluminum smelters in the Pittsburgh area had not been monitored. Significantly, the Pittsburgh water supplies were fluoridated fifteen years earlier, in 1952.
1968EPA chemist Ervin Bellack noted that recovered phosphate fertilizer acid waste contains about 19% fluorine. He reported that this concentrated scrubber liquor, which is 23% fluorosilicic acid, could be used as a water fluoridating agent - instead of sodium fluoride. Further, this waste product was available in enormous quantities - enough to fluoridate the entire nation's water supply. The EPA and USPHS approved and promoted this source of fluoride waste for public water supplies, without conducting any tests for safety.

Note: Legal disposal of the scrubber liquor as a waste product would cost about $1.40 per gallon due its highly toxic contents. Instead, it could now be sold to municipal water departments for upwards of sixty cents per gallon. Its toxic contents are called out in detail in the supplier's specification sheet.

The amount of this scrubber liquor sold annually for water fluoridation has been above one hundred thousand tons for many years. The scale of this business is in the millions of dollars annually. In this perspective, it is easy to appreciate the lengths to which big industry will go to try to rationalize and legitimatize the scheme. Sad to say, it now permanently compromises the health of more than one hundred million Americans.

The only answer ever given to the above charge is that "toxicity is a function of concentration", and that at one ppm in water, fluoride is not harmful. This glib statement ignores the most important fact concerning fluoride poisoning: it accumulates in the body. Half the daily dosage will produce the same poisoning effects in twice the time period. Chronic fluoride poisoning is a time bomb that the majority of Americans now face in their senior years. It can both cause and aggravate arthritis, a condition which affects virtually all who reach the age of retirement.

1970Over 90% of toothpaste now contains fluoride. This is the result of an intensive advertising campaign backed by a profit oriented dental trade association which is mistakenly perceived as an unbiased authority. This advertising has tended to establish the image of fluoride as a beneficial, even essential element, while, in fact, it is officially rated more toxic than either lead or cadmium. Have Americans been brainwashed? You decide.
1971Germany bans water fluoridation.
1971Birmingham, Alabama, the steel capitol of the South, experienced a calamitous air pollution disaster. Thousands suffered smarting eyes and scratchy throats. Eight deaths were reported. Mayor George Seibels said the disaster was caused by stack gasses from steel works in the area. The emissions hung over the city for three days in a temperature inversion. Unfortunately, the city had no standards for hydrogen fluoride (HF) and never monitored the air for these gases. Newspapers throughout the country blamed the disaster on "high particulates," but had no information on the particulates.

GASP, a local environmental group turned to EPA for help, but no federal standards had been set, and even though human deaths occurred no one could be cited. Two months later the independent National Research Council hastily contrived a report for EPA stating, "Airborne fluoride currently presents no direct hazard to man." This could be technically correct, if they were referring to ionic fluoride, which is rare in industrial emissions. The culprit in this disaster, however, was hydrogen fluoride, which NRC must have known. Furthermore, no committee can make a scientific judgement about safety when there are no standards and no data. Clearly, federal air pollution policies protect polluters and poison people.

1972The February issue of the ADA's own Journal reports that dental incomes and dental costs per person are higher in fluoridated communities. Dentists don't mention that fluorides embrittle rather than toughen tooth enamel. Resultant cracks and chipping make tooth repair more difficult - and more expensive. Also, fluoride makes enamel porous, thereby increasing the wear rate of the tooth surface. These facts alone warrant ruling out fluoride treatment for teeth.
1972Sweden bans fluoridation of public water.
1973The Netherlands constitution bans water fluoridation.
1976The CBS News almanac showed there were 76.7 dentists per 100,000 population in fluoridated cities, and only 59.2 in non-fluoridated cities. This was based on a study of thirty representative cities. The real surprise came in looking at the three US cities that have been fluoridated the longest: Grand Rapids, Michigan, Newburgh, NY, and Evanston, Illinois. These cities averaged 121 dentists per 100,000 population, which was more than double the national average - after 25 years on fluoridated water. It is easy to see why ADA promotes fluoridation so aggressively.
1980From March 1980 to December 1980, the Houston Health Systems Agency allocated $1,399,822 federal tax dollars to promote fluoridation in Texas. The Texas Department of Health gave instructions to the Health Systems Agency on how to promote fluoridation. It stated: "A low profile of government pressure will be maintained. Convince citizens that they will receive personal health benefits without local tax money expenditures." Here is evidence of the USPHS campaign.

More than $94,000 was spent on media promotion of fluoridation in Portland, Oregon, and $5000 for the poll on why fluoridation failed to pass.

Of a $90,000 federal grant for fluoridation, that city officials in Phoenix, Arizona had never requested, $38,000 was earmarked for media promotion. Here is more evidence of the USPHS campaign.

1982The Water Chemicals Codex is published from Washington DC showing all fluoride products used in public water supplies are lead contaminated. Further, it is widely known that fluorides are extremely corrosive and leach lead from pipe joints. When water stands in pipes, the lead contamination in the water can easily double or triple. It is also widely known that fluoride has a synergistic action on lead in the water, increasing lead's absorption in the human body.
1982USPHS conducts its first group of studies on animal cancer and fluorides, mandated by the Congressional Hearings in 1977. The study lasts until 1984, and is then scrapped because of flaws in design and progress.
1985USPHS contracts a second set of studies on animal cancer and fluoride, mandated by the 1977 Congressional Hearings, eight years earlier. USPHS again contracts Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio, which conducts a study lasting until 1987. The results are released in 1988.
1985The cost of dental services in the US rapidly increases - from $13.6 billion in 1979 to $27.1 billion in 1985 - in parallel with the increasing environmental saturation of fluoride from many sources. This is almost exactly a doubling of dental costs in six years. Inflation cannot account for changes on such a scale.
1985EPA raises the maximum contaminant level for fluoride in drinking water to 4 ppm (4mg per liter). It was raised by USPHS in 1961 to 2.4 ppm. Both of these official increases were made without any scientific evidence or rationale. The EPA professionals union thereupon initiated legal action to stop this political decision by EPA management.
1986Production of lead free gasoline in the US is growing rapidly. The process involves the use of HF to achieve high octane ratings without using lead. HF is now present in automotive exhaust gases instead of lead, even though it is more toxic than lead (see Townsend N. and Campbell D., Deadly Risks of Lead-free Petrol. New Statesman, 20 Ocober 1988).
1987A series of hydrogen fluoride accidents in Texas City, Texas, Torrance California, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, demonstrate that industrial hydrogen fluoride sites are a major public safety threat. Small amounts of HF liquid will release a dense ground hugging gas cloud, lethal for several miles. The first symptoms of exposure to trace amounts of HF are psychological, including confusion, fatigue, partial memory loss, and mental dullness.
1988Battelle Memorial Institute releases its studies on fluoride and animal cancer, for the USPHS, reporting highly specific fluoride-related cancers. The data is turned over by USPHS to the National Toxicology Program (NTP), who gives the data to the Experimental Pathology Labs, who reclassify and delete items damaging to the pro-fluoridation faction. The altered data is then submitted to the "pathology working group" on Dec 6, 1989, after a year of reworking - all this with the full knowledge of EPA. USPHS had data from the National Cancer Institute, as well as Procter and Gamble, indicating that fluoride causes bone cancer, but chose, likewise, to cover up those studies. By these inordinate delays spanning more than a decade, USPHS was able to make a travesty of the 1977 Congressional mandate.
1990Procter and Gamble spends $30 million advertising Crest on US television. On March 5th the ADA News published a photo of ADA President Mike Overbey accepting a check for $100,000 from Procter and Gamble: "to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ADA's recognition of Crest."
1990Dr. William Marcus, a senior scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency, was fired for exposing a coverup in a government study showing clear evidence that fluoride causes cancer.
1991Dr. Robert J. Carton, Vice President of the Union representing twelve hundred scientists, engineers, and lawyers at EPA headquarters, presented the Drinking Water Subcommittee of the Science Advisory Board of EPA with evidence of scientific fraud in the preparation of EPA's fluoride in drinking water standard. No follow up by the Science Advisory Board was ever made.
1991Over 143,000 tons of toxic fluorides were dumped into US public drinking water this year. Most of it was fluorosilicic acid from the fertilizer industry, still untested by the federal government.
1992In December, Dr. William Marcus was vindicated when Administrative Law Judge, David A. Clark, Jr., ordered EPA to give him back his job, with back pay, legal expenses, and $50,000 in damages. EPA appealed, but the appeal was turned down in 1994, by Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, who accused EPA of firing Dr. Marcus in retaliation for speaking his mind in public. Reich found, among other things, that EPA had shredded important evidence that would have supported Dr. Marcus in court. The original trial proceedings also show that EPA employees who wanted to testify on behalf of Dr. Marcus were threatened by their own management. EPA officials also forged some of his time cards, and then accused him of misusing his office time.
1997The Union of professionals at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., voted unanimously to co-sponsor a safe drinking water initiative that would reverse California's 1995 mandatory fluoridation law. Local 2050 of the National Federation of Federal Employees has charged EPA management with "fraudulent alterations of data and negligent omission of facts to arrive at predetermined Agency positions regarding fluoride". The above major news item on EPA went largely unreported across the country, clear evidence of the effective blackout on factual news concerning fluoride.
1997Administrative "mandates" for fluoridation have been rejected at the polls in Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Washington States and in several other communities within the last year. This indicates growing public concern and a new emergence of public awareness.
1998It was determined that over the past 50 years industries have released more than 25,000,000 tons of fluoride gases and particulates into the atmosphere. Arthritis, one of the most common physical symptoms of HF, is now found in the bulk of the senior population in the US. Why is this striking synchronism not being investigated? The answer is simple: Industry does not support it.
1998The financial motivation of dental trade organizations are high. In California, in September of this year, Delta Dental Plan of California pledged $100,000, and the California Dental Association pledged $30,000, to help fund-raising efforts for fluoridating the State of California.
1999Jan 21 Newswire/ -- Y2KNEWSWIRE.COM today urged cities and municipalities to disconnect water fluoridation equipment during the Y2K rollover to prevent possible fluoride fatalities. Over the last 25 years fatalities have occurred when fluoride saturation levels ran too high; some due to faulty flow control systems. In 1994, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study of a fatal fluoride overdose incident in Alaska, and dozens of verified fluoride "overfeeds" have occurred in cities and schools across the country. The risk of a fatal fluoride overdose is highest in schools, where the low body weight of children increases the risk. Saturation devices based on embedded systems or computer controls should be considered "unsafe" until proven otherwise.

EPILOGUE       The Approaching Confrontation

Alcoa responded to the human health issue in Pittsburgh with the initial plan to change public perceptions in order to protect industry. Andrew Mellon and Oscar Ewing, from Alcoa, the largest fluoride polluter, were both appointed to positions in control of the US Public Health Service. These appointments spanned the better part of two decades and had the effect of redirecting an agency established to protect people's health into an agency to protect industry. EPA took on a similar role since its inception in 1971, led by William Ruckelshaus. At that time there existed a longstanding need for national standards on hydrogen fluoride emissions. During the first EPA press conference in January 1971, Mr. Ruckelshaus solemnly pledged to do so before the National Press Club. Neither he nor his successor, Russell Train, ever did.

Industry and these government agencies have been largely successful in obscuring the facts. This has been brought about by authoritarian endorsement and opinion, by making claims unsupported by valid science, and by repetition - the devices used by advertisers and propagandists. At the same time, opposition and even open discussion on the subject of fluoride pollution has been widely suppressed in the media. All of this has resulted in an erroneous public mindset. The best antidote is an investigation of the facts, and making this material widely available. Radio talk shows, television programming, and informative internet websites are now beginning to erode the deceptive mask constructed over decades by industry and their propagandists.

This historical review poses a challenge to the citizens of this country. Is this the Brave New World of Aldous Huxley? Has democracy become a total fiction? Tens of millions of people in this country now have mottled teeth, all caused by fluoride. The severity of dental fluorosis is increasing, as are the number affected. Are we actually being conditioned to accept this as normal and a mere "cosmetic effect"?

Recent studies have implicated fluoride in many chronic diseases, and also in more subtle impairments of the central nervous system. But current law is concerned with only one health effect: crippling skeletal fluorosis. To stop fluoridation we must first focus on enforcing existing law.

EPA is responsible for enforcing the Safe Drinking Water Act. That this Law is being subverted is incontestable. If EPA were forced to comply with the law, fluoridation of public water would clearly be illegal in America. A Congressional Investigation of the details of EPA's violation of this Law could bury fluoridation nationally.


  1. Caldwell, Gladys and Philip Zanfagna, Fluoridation and Truth Decay, Top-Ecol Press, 1974
  2. Exner, F. B., Economic Motives Behind Fluoridation, Aqua Pura, Jan 1966
  3. Griffiths, Joel and Chris Bryson, Fluoride, Teeth, and The Atomic Bomb, 1997
  4. Ronsivalli, L. J., Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies, Mermakk Pub, 1998
  5. Smith, E. G., The Secret War and The Fluoride Conspiracy, Epeius Pub, Australia, 1997
  6. Valerian, V., Analytical Chronology of Fluoridation, Leading Edge International Research Group, 1997
  7. Government document summaries on fluoride, hydrogen fluoride, sodium fluoride, and fluorosilicic acid, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

February 13, l999
U.S. Department of Justice
Environmental Crimes Division
601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20004
Subject: Safe Drinking Water Act
Maximum Contaminant Level
for fluoride in drinking water
When EPA set the maximum contaminant level for fluoride in drinking water at four milligrams per liter, they based their calculation on incorrect dosage figures, which they described as 20 mg/day for 20 or more years. The calculation should have been based on a minimum of 10 mg/day for 10 or more years. This figure represents the total daily fluoride dosage according to the National Research Council which might cause crippling skeletal fluorosis.

EPA also erred in failing to consider individual tolerances and lifetime exposures. Twenty years does not a lifetime make.

EPA further violated the essence of the Safe Drinking Water Act in failing to consider arthritis (phase 1 and 2 skeletal fluorosis) as an "adverse" health effect ... and in classifying disfiguring dental fluorosis as not an adverse health effect but merely "cosmetic."

EPA has set the MCL at a level too high to provide the legally required margin of safety. In addition to the errors mentioned above, EPA also neglected to consider background levels of fluoride which, unlike the situation fifty years ago, can be several times the dosage delivered in drinking water. In short, EPA has relied on outdated and inaccurate information.

EPA must re-calculate the MCL according to law. Their minimum dosage figures 20 mg/day for 20 years for crippling skeletal fluorosis, were the result of an error in arithmetic, miscalculated by Harold C. Hodge, Ph.D., in 1953 and corrected by Dr. Hodge in 1979. NAS/NRC corrected their figures in 1993. The minimum is currently estimated to be 10 mg/day for 10 years, or far less, on a daily basis, when ingested over a lifetime, or by individuals who are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of soluble fluorides. EPA management, however, has steadfastly ignored these facts.

I am writing to you today to ask your assistance in forcing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to obey the law.


  • The Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f, et seq.
  • National Primary Drinking Water Regulations; Fluoride, Federal Register, 50(220): 47142-47171, Nov 14, 1985.
  • National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council, HEALTH EFFECTS OF INGESTED FLUORIDE, 1993, p 59.
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, REVIEW OF FLUORIDE BENEFITS AND RISKS, 1991, page 46.
  • See images of the USDHHS symptoms & NAS/NRC dosage figures at: http://move.to/stopfluoride



Philip Heggen

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