Lecture notes from a lecture given by Dr. Lita Lee in Santa Cruz, California, November 2001
Sources: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Fluoride Action Network, http://www.fluoridealert.org/
What does fluoridation mean? Hydrofluorosilicic acid, fluorosilicic acid or sodium fluorosilicate, plus fluorine and hydrogen fluoride (HF)
Hydrofluorosilicic acid is used to fluoridate your water. This is a crude industrial waste product of the aluminum, phosphate fertilizer and other industries. The hydrofluosilicic acid specs lists the % of ingredients: 24% H2SiF6, 18.5% fluorine, 1% HF and many other toxins including Pb (lead), Hg (mercury), Ag (silver), Fe (iron), As (arsenic), and Cd (cadmium). This occurs even at one ppm.
Cities are using the tax dollars of the citizens to pay the phosphate fertilizer and aluminum industry for the privilege of getting rid of their toxic industrial waste by forcing the people to drink it under the guise of fluoridation. Some cities spend between $60,000 and $70,000 to fluoridate the water supply. Some of this may come from the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
EPA states that HF (hydrogen fluoride) is the 6th most common air pollutant in the U.S. It is the 3rd most emitted pollutant from industry.
Air emissions: come from many industries: iron, steel, aluminum, copper, lead and zinc production; phosphates (in fertilizers); plastics; gasoline; bricks; cement; glass; ceramics and other clay products; coal-burning electrical powerplants and uranium processing. The USDA reports that “airborne fluorides have caused more worldwide damage to domestic animals than any other pollutant. Further evidence that industrial fluoride has been killing and crippling human beings has existed at least since the 1930’s.
Water emissions: producers of glass, pesticides, fertilizers, steel, aluminum, chemicals and metals (copper, brass, titanium, superalloys and metals for military use).
History of fluoridation
1850’s: Toxicity was recognized at the beginning of the industrial revolution (1850’s) when iron and copper factories discharged it into the air and poisoned plants, animals and people.
1920s’: This problem got worse in the 1920’s when U.S. industrial expansion and the vast profits promised would necessitate releasing millions of tons of waste fluoride into the environment.
In 1939, an industrial scientist working for a company threatened by fluoride damage claims proposed that the U.S. should fluoridate it water supplies.
1940’s: Fluoride was a key chemical in atomic bomb production in the 1940’s. Millions of tons of fluoride (uranium hexafluoride) were used to manufacture bomb-grade uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons during World War II and afterwards. At the height of World War II, a severe fluoride pollution incident occurred in Gloucester and Salem counties downwind of the DuPont chemical factory in Deepwater, New Jersey which was secretly producing millions of pounds of fluoride for the Manhattan Project. This area was noted for their high quality produce and the produce was fried. Farm workers who ate it vomited all night and the next day. Animals - horses, cows, chickens, etc. - became crippled and couldn’t walk. The New Jersey farmers sued DuPont and the Manhattan Project. The lawsuits were ultimately stymied by the government’s refusal to reveal how much fluoride DuPont had vented into the atmosphere during World War II on the grounds that “disclosure would be injurious to the military security of the United States”. The farmers received token financial settlements, in some cases amount to little more than $200.
As a result of a major safety study by the Atomic Energy Commission, the federal government became involved in the suppression of information about fluoride poisoning. Formerly restricted government documents are now available under the Freedom of Information Act.
1945: Grand Rapids, MI became the first city to officially fluoridate its drinking water in 1945.
To date: 70% of the cities in the USA are now fluoridated. Out of the 50 largest cities, 41 are fluoridated. This adds up to 130 million Americans and 250 million people worldwide.
In 1998, EPA estimated that 155,000 tons (80,359,245 pounds) of hydrogen fluoride were released into the air by industrial plants. Emissions into lakes, rivers and oceans are estimated to be as high as 500,000 tons a year. No one can escape this poisoning. Because fluoride compounds aren’t biodegradable, they accumulate in the environment, in the food chain and in your bones and teeth.
In 1959 the average American ingested about 1.1 mg of fluoride daily. In 1988 this increased to 6 mg daily.
Fluoride toxicity and health effects
- Water fluoridation advocates say fluoride is a nutrient yet The California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Section 66261.126 lists 791 chemicals as Hazardous Wastes and Hazardous Materials of which at least 39 are fluoride-containing compounds including: hydrofluoric acid, hydrofluosilicic acid, fluorosilicic acid, sodium fluoride, fluoride salts.
- Fluoride is more toxic than lead and just slightly less toxic than arsenic. It is cumulative and toxic to all forms of life at extremely low dosages.
- There are double-blind studies proving adverse health effects at a 1 ppm level in water. There are no studies documenting safety at any intake level.
- Airborne fluorides have caused more worldwide damage to domestic animals than any other air pollutant.
- Even in minute doses, fluoride accumulates in and damages the brain/mind development of children leading to reduced IQ in children
- Fluoride causes thyroid disease with it’s many symptoms (over 150). In fact, in the 1930’s 1158 hyperthyroid patients were treated with either sodium fluoride or fluorothyrosine given orally.
- Almost all hypothyroid symptoms can be correlated with fluoride poisoning. The effects of fluoride on the thyroid gland have been studied so extensively, that it baffles the mind how experts on thyroid disease from Harvard or the University of Toronto can claim that fluoride doesn’t affect thyroid gland function, especially when it has been used to suppress thyroid function in hyperthyroid people.
- Fluoride causes cancer. In 1981, Dean Burk (Chief Chemist at the National Cancer Institute) testified at congressional hearings that over 40,000 yearly cancer deaths are attributable to fluoridation. He said that no chemical causes as much cancer, and faster, than fluorides. Public health officials say his data aren’t verified but the reverse is true. This information is well documented and verified.
- Another study was begun which was to be released in 1980 but was not released until 1990. It showed that animals given fluoride developed cancer. Meanwhile the EPA refuted these studies and raised the standard fluoride level in drinking water from 2.4 to 4 ppm.
- A report from the PHS called Review of Fluoride showed higher rates of bone cancer in young men drinking fluoridated water.
- The New Jersey Dept of Health found that the risk of bone cancer was about three times as high in fluoridated areas as in nonfluoridated areas. This is because bone is a target organ for fluoride.
- The levels of fluoride that cause cancer in animals is actually lower than those levels ingested in people.
- Fluoride causes genetic damage: An article in Mutation Research says that a study by Proctor and Gamble, makers of Crest, did research showing that 1 ppm fluoride causes genetic damage. Results were not published.
- A National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences publication, Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, also linked fluoride to genetic damage. “Fluoride exposure in cultured human and rodent cells results in increased chromosome aberrations resulting in birth defects and the mutation of normal cells into cancer cells.
- The Journal of Carcinogenesis says that “fluoride not only has the ability to transform normal cells into cancer cells but also to enhance the cancer-causing properties of other chemicals.
- Fluoride poisons over 100 enzymes in your body
- Fluoride disrupts collagen, the major connective tissue of the body, causing premature wrinkling and aging
- Fluoride causes seizures in humans and animals
- Fluoride causes bone disease - skeletal fluorosis - severe damage to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems resulting in muscle wasting, limited joint motion, spinal deformities, calcification of the ligaments and neurological damage. This problem occurs whether the water is naturally or intentionally fluoridated.
- Fluoride increases risk of bone fractures and bone diseases. The U.S. hip fracture rate is now the highest on earth.
- Dental fluorosis: 2% of children drinking water with 1 ppm fluoride get dental fluorosis. Up to 23% of children living in areas with 4 ppm fluoride develop severe dental fluorosis. Other research gives higher figures of from 51 to 80%. The amount recommended by dentists to prevent tooth decay is the same as the amount that causes dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is more than a cosmetic problem. It is associated with elevated tooth decay levels. A class action suit has been filed in England against fluoride-toothpaste makers on behalf of children suffering from dental fluorosis.
- Acute fluoride poisoning causing sickness and death: a common occurrence when excessive fluoride levels are added to the water by incompetent operators. These occurrences are not made public but have been obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Law suits have been filed.
- From 1967 to 1975, intentional dumping of massive quantities of fluoride into the air and water have caused sickness and death among people and animals. Severe fluoride poisoning occurred on an Indian reservation. “Cows crawled around the pasture on their bellies, inching along like giant snails. So crippled by bone disease, they could to stand up, this was the only way they could graze. Some died kneeling, after giving birth to stunted calves. Others kept on crawling until, no longer able to chew because their teeth had crumbled down to the nerves, they began to starve…” These were the cattle of the Mohawk Indians on the New York-Canadian St. Regis Reservation during the period 1967 - 1975 when industrial fluoride pollution devastated the herd – and along with it the Mohawks’ way of life. Mohawk children too have signs of damage to bones and teeth. Mohawks filed suit against the Reynolds Metals Co. and Alcoa in 1960 but ended up settling out of court where they received only $650,000 for their cows.
- Fluoride is one of industry’s major toxic pollutants. In 1989, 155,000 tons were being released annually into the air and 500,000 tons a year were dumped into our lakes, rivers and oceans.
Councilman Keith Beier, City of Escondido, Council Meeting, March 24 1999: “I wasn’t elected to sit idly by or to provide political cover for state legislators that rubber-stamp industry’s attempt to recycle hazardous waste by dumping it into our drinking water. Our water department calculates that we would be buying more than 33 tons/year of a substance that can’t be given to use for free because it is classified as a toxic hazardous waste; yet, we are supposed to accept that, if we pay $.35 per gallon and they slap a new label on the container, this same toxic waste can be shipped to us untreated, directly from the scrubber systems of the phosphate fertilizer industry that they use to keep fluorine from becoming airborne and killing everything in sight, and that on the truck-ride here it will magically be converted to a safe and desirable nutrient.”
Gary O. Pittman, Rt. 1 Box 85-A, Jennings, FL 32053 letter to Congressman or Senator: “I worked in the phosphate fertilizer industry for 21 years at the Occidental Chemical Corp. (we produce phosphoric acid for fertilizer and animal feed supplements, a process which requires the use of fluoride). Today I am disabled and suffer from toxic brain syndrome, emphysema, heart arrhythmias and other health problems due to chemical exposure. Many of my coworkers also suffer from similar illnesses. Of the eight original people in my support group, two are dead from cancers (one had lung and liver cancer and the second man died from bone cancer). Neither man every smoked … Another man has leukemia. Many of my coworkers have developed brain cancer and stomach cancers. Myopathy, arthritis, liver dysfunction, lung problems are also very common health problems among my coworkers and myself. Toxic brain syndrome and heart problems seem to be the most common problems among the workers. Hamilton County has the highest rate of cancer in Florida due to pollution from phosphoric acid manufacturing….”
Fluoridation does not prevent tooth decay
- Children who live in areas of the U.S. where the water supplies are fluoridated have tooth decay rates nearly identical with those who live in non-fluoridated areas.
- School districts recently reporting the highest caries free rates were totally non-fluoridated
- Dental caries either didn’t increase or actually decreased in cities where fluoridation was discontinued.
- More children had decayed teeth in the high fluoridated area than in non-fluoridated areas. This confirms the association between high fluoride levels in the drinking water and dental caries.
Fluoride and fluorosis increases cavities
American children consume so much fluoride that it may actually cause rather then prevent tooth decay. A new study shows that, otherwise fluoride-free, South African children who drink naturally fluoridated water, at 3 parts per million (ppm), have more tooth decay than South African children drinking much lower concentrations, 0.48 ppm and 0.19 ppm fluoride. With virtually no dental care or fluoride therapy, these South African children have less tooth decay than fluoride-saturated American children.
Neglecting poor diet, organized dentistry prescribes more and more fluoride, as the only antidote for cavities, in more and obscure ways without concern for individuals' total fluoride intake. Sadly, most dentists refuse to actually treat America's poorest who have over twice the decay rate as the non-poor. As a result, tooth decay is of epidemic proportions in the US poor and minority populations at the same time fluoride overdose, dental fluorosis, is growing in incidence and severity.
Drugs, chemicals and foods containing fluoride
- Cipro and other drugs: In the aftermath of September 11 we are already hearing talk of mass medicating our entire nation with substances like Cipro, a fluorinated quinine. Side effects: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatal liver failure, acute renal failure, seizures and musculoskeletal disorders such as rhabdomyolysis, tendonitis, tendon rupture, etc.
- Baycol: fluorinated anti-cholesterol drug, was taken off the market
- Scotchguard: fluorinated chemical, was taken off the market.
- The Prozac drugs: fluorinated SSRIs are still on the market, with terrible side effects.
- Foods: ocean fish, teas, soy baby formulas, mechanically deboned meat products, and soda pop all contain fluoride.
- Reconstituted liquids (juices, beverages, beer, wine, canned soups, etc.) using fluoridated water
- Air pollution, ocean mist, inhaled shower water and humidifier steam from fluoridated water sources.
- Even organic plants are allowed to be watered with fluoridated water.
- Green and black teas are very high in F (1995) study: fluoride content of 340 ppm in 16 varieties of black tea. Canadian study (1995) reports avg fluoride content in tea to be 4.57 mg/l in the 1980’s. A pro-fluoridation infant medical group lists a cup of black tea to contain 7.8 mg of fluoride which is equal to drinking 7.8 liters of water fluoridated at 1 ppm. Other studies (1990’s) showed a daily fluoride intake of 5.8 - 9 mg daily from tea alone.
- Nearly 127 million people (half of all Americans) are drinking tea. Tea is consumed in 80% of U.S. households.
- Virtually every company selling green tea advertises it’s high fluoride content as beneficial in preventing cavities. Even though green tea contains antioxidants, studies involving other antioxidants and fluoride compounds show that fluorides can adversely affect the action of the antioxidants. Problem: many available green tea/cancer studies last only a few months and don’t take into account the cumulative effects of fluoride, a known carcinogen.
- Decaffeinated teas are found to contain even higher fluoride content than their caffeinated counterparts. It is thought that this is due to the high fluoride content in the water used in the decaffeination process, which would also make decaffeinated coffee similarly high in fluoride content.
- Fluoride in teas are found together with aluminum. This increases the damage done by fluoride when combined with aluminum, especially neurological and renal damage. Animal studies showed that green tea caused decreased cerebrum calcium content and increased cerebrum aluminum content. The cerebrum (frontal lobes) is the part of the brain where thought and higher functions live. This may be important as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum alone isn’t readily absorbed by the body. However, in the presence of fluoride ions, aluminum fluoride (AlF3) is formed which is absorbed by the body and eventually combines with oxygen to form aluminum oxide and alumina. Alumina is the compound of aluminum found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In the brain, protein binds to the alumina and this is the key to the plaques and tangles which are the hallmarks of this terrible disease.
- Experiment: Aluminum fluoride was added to rat diets. Contrary to normal expectations, it passed through the brain barrier and gave the rats Alzheimer’s disease symptoms: short term memory loss, smell sensory loss, unsteady gait, loss of structures of the neo-cortex and hippocampus.
- Statistics: if you drink one cup of green or black tea daily containing 5 mg of fluoride, you will develop skeletal fluorosis (data based on a 100 pound person):
Phase 1 within 5 years (sporadic pain, stiff joints, osteosclerosis of pelvis and vertebral column).
Phase 2 after 10 years (chronic joint pain, arthritis, slight calcification of ligaments, increased osteosclerosis with or without osteoporosis of long bones)
Phase 3 after 23 years (limited joint movement, calcification of ligaments/neck, vertebrae, crippling deformities of the spine and the major joints, muscle wasting, neurological defects and spinal cord compression.
- Fluorinated halothane - this is the most frequently used anaesthetic for general surgery.
- Fluoride - containing pesticides.
- Cooking in fluoridated water greatly increases the fluoride content. For example, raw peas contain 12 mcg of fluoride. Cooking in fluoridated water increases the fluoride content to 1200 mcg or 1.2 mg
- Teflon: An article in the latest issue of Nature ( July 19, 2001) highlights the dangers posed by heating teflon. Teflon is the trade name for the polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) used in electrical insulating tape; combustion engines; chemical apparatus and tubing designed to resist attack from most chemicals, and in non-stick frying pans and other cookware. Prior to this article there have been stories about caged birds dying in kitchens after fires involving teflon cookware, suggesting the emissions of toxic gases when this polymer is burned. This article is more serious because the researchers did not burn the teflon but simply heated it. Presumably, typical cooking procedures would also heat the teflon to the temperature range investigated by these researchers. Thus, this material which is perceived by most as being benign, could be a source of both significant indoor and outdoor air pollution.
- F toothpaste: Fluoride toothpastes commonly contains 1000 ppm. Children can ingest up to .5 mg of fluoride a day from toothpaste. In the 1950’s, fluoride-toothpastes were required to carry warning on their labels saying that they were not to be used in areas with fluoridated water. Crest even had a caution: Children under 6 should not use Crest. These regulations were dropped in 1958.
- Fluoride pills: In Oregon, teachers hand out fluoride pills to the students.
- Fluoride in bottled water: In many cities, fluoridated bottled water is available for moms to give to their children
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Lita Lee, Ph.D.
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