Fluoride: America’s not-so-secret poison

by Shirley Wentworth


Fluorine: A pale-yellow, highly corrosive, highly poisonous, gaseous halogen element, the most electronegative and most reactive of all the elements. It is used in a wide variety of industrially important compounds.

Fluoride: Any binary compound of fluorine with another element.


When Dwight D.Eisenhower left the presidential office in 1961, the former military commander warned the American public to beware of the rapidly growing power of the military-industrial complex. He surely knew then how deeply entrenched the connections between industry and military affairs had become.While Eisenhower was overseas, enmeshed in the World War II theater (isn’t it odd how the word theater is used in connection with war?), the mad scientists at home were racing furiously to perfect the weapon of ultimate destruction.


Supported by the American Dental Association, HB3099 would require cities of more than 10,000 people to fluoridate their municipal water supplies once funds become available, whether from the state or private sector.

"It really is time for Oregon to join with the other 46 other states that fluoridate their water supplies," said the bill's chief sponsor, state Rep. Mitch Greenlick, a Portland Democrat and professor emeritus of public health and preventive medicine at Oregon Health Science University.

Those who say the government is incapable of keeping evil secrets should think twice. The creation of the atom bomb, carried out in the darkest secrecy, should dispel that fantasy. Only a handful of people knew what was being done at Los Alamos, N. M., Hanford,Wash., and Oak Ridge, Tenn., in the most isolated enclaves of the country Gen. Leslie Groves could find — until Fat Man and Little Boy were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945, after it was clear the Japanese were on the verge of surrender. Photographs documenting the ravages of those bombs were cut off at the pass and most Americans never saw the melted-down victims.

What’s the point of bringing this up? We, the people, created government.That government has been running amok for a long time. The Repug/Demo system doesn’t seem to work for the people. The destructive power of radiation is well-known. The role of uranium and plutonium in creating holocaustal bombs is also well-known.What’s less well-known is the impact uranium and plutonium production had on the communities surrounding the labs, production facilities and testing sites. Places like Hanford, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Livermore, Calif.; Savannah River, S.C., and a large portion of the state of Nevada. Places where workers did not know the nature of the chemicals they were dealing with on a daily basis or even what they were working on. Groves, who was in charge of making the atom bomb, made sure of that. All they knew is that they were working on a secret weapon to end the war. Does that sound like Nixon’s secret plan to end the war in Vietnam, proclaimed even as he was secretly heading into Cambodia?

The history of the making of nuclear bombs is rife with secret testing, using humans as guinea pigs. One of those secret tests took place in the Hanford area on Dec.2, 1949, when green uranium was deliberately released without the knowledge of area residents, many of whom were farmers. The release resulted in massive contamination of soil and water, the poisoning of dairy herds, fish and crops. Oh — did I mention people, too? The cancer rate rose dramatically, as it did around every U.S. facility using those chemicals. The downwinders,as they came to be called — and not only in the Hanford area — were betrayed not only by the secret testing, but also by government denial. Even when the undeniable “secret” documentation finally surfaced, the government continued to deny its culpability by saying,”Well, we don’t know how much of a radiation dosage you got, so we don’t know if you deserve compensation or not.”


It so happens that highly placed military, medical and industrial figures did know that these chemicals had harmful effects. Documentation exists that spells out their worries about chemicals and liability. Groves also was afraid that he’d have no workers if they knew how lethal these chemicals are. Of course, some workers wondered. At least one worker reportedly remembered hiring on at Oak Ridge and receiving the safety rule from a veteran co-worker,”Just watch anyone that has a tie on. If he leaves hurriedly, you leave behind him.”

There’s something pathologically twisted about how government, military and industrial figures can keep justifying their secret activities — that incidentally make a lot of money — by killing the citizens they claim to be protecting.

This way of thinking is not merely a byproduct of wartime hysteria and the necessity of killing “krauts” and “nips,” not merely a one-time event in the WWII frenzy of sacrifice. It’s a cold, calculated way of thinking that continues today in the name of profit.


What’s even less known about the making of the atom bomb is the role of fluorine/fluoride — a critical component in uranium and aluminum production, necessities in the “war effort.” A number of critical events took place with the use of fluorine/fluoride,catastrophic in some cases to both workers and surrounding communities exposed to the chemicals.

Many of the early opponents to water fluroidation recognized fluoride as an aluminum waste product and common sense told them that adding the waste product of a chemical that can cut through steel is bound to have some deleterious health effects. Despite their best efforts, a massive PR campaign was waged and won. Fluoride was shoved into public drinking water supplies and into dental curriculums — a tidy solution to the expensive problem of what to do with toxic waste. Much of the research supporting fluoridation came from industry-funded studies.

Why does the dental association still cling to the idea that fluoridation is good? Maybe because they are in the dark ages? Maybe because of successful dental school indoctrination? Maybe more likely because of liability. It’s more convenient to carry on with the idea that fluoridation is beneficial than to suffer a deluge of lawsuits.

After all these decades, it’s about time for those still lulled by the fluoride myth to read The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson, published in 2004. Bryson foraged through mountains of documents, dating back to the ‘40s, to connect the dots between fluorine/fluoride and its industrial use in nuclear weapon-making, and its sale to the public.


One of the pieces in that long saga involves Dr. Phyllis Mullenix, herself then an establishment neurotoxicologist, whose research proved fluoride to be a neurotoxin affecting the central nervous system. Her work was not only dismissed when she published it in 1995, but also resulted in the death knell for her career. One of the ironies is that one of her mentors, a Dr. Harold Hodge, who served as the chief toxicologist for the Manhattan Project, was instrumental in selling fluroide to the public.As her work progressed and she reported her findings to Hodge, he’d more or less say,”Hmm.You don’t say.” It wasn’t until much later that Mullenix learned that Hodge had conducted his own research 50 years earlier and had discovered then the connection between fluoride and its ill effects on the central nervous system. Hodge was also involved in secret human radiation experiments, injecting unknowing patients at a hospital in Rochester, N.Y., with uranium and plutonium, and was also involved with CIA experiments exploring the use of LSD as a mind-control drug.


The real question is: Why are we still having this debate about fluoridation? A bill mandating fluoridation failed last week to gain support in the Oregon legislature, but you can bet the issue is not going away. Fluoridation has a way of rearing its ugly head time and again in city after city. And what do you know? Here it comes again. It’s time to get unfooled. It’s time to take Eisenhower’s warning seriously.

Think about it. Military and industry officials have unlimited taxpayer money for war and weapon-making with license to throw all their toxic chemicals around. Voila.The superfund site, which taxpayers again get to pay to clean up. And what the hey — they already managed to commit genetic genocide on an entire group of people when they pummelled Iraq with depleted uranium during the first Gulf War. What’s a little fluoride? So why not add insult to injury and have the taxpayer pay to put poison in the water?

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