Introduction: “….The report offers a glimpse ?nt? th? history ?f fluoride, a bio-accumulative toxic th?t Americans ingest ?v?r? day. Th? authors, Griffiths ?nd Bryson, spent m?r? th?n a year ?n research. W?th th? belief th?t th? information ?h?uld b? withheld n? longer, th? authors gave th??r report t? Waste N?t, ?nd ?th?r?, w?th a short note: “use ?? ??u wish.”
The science of fluoridating public drinking water systems has been, from day one, shoddy at best. As we learn from this report, the basis of that science was rooted in protecting the U.S. Atomic bomb program from litigation. Americans have been convinced that fluoride will save their teeth and we drink more fluoridated water than any other nationality on earth. We learned about the dirty politics involved in the science and selling of fluoridation to a trusting public. We spent three months researching fluoride which resulted in the longest newsletter we’ve ever produced: Waste Not # 373. We learned that fluoride is a poison that accumulates in our bones. It has been associated with cancer in young males; osteoporosis; reduced I.Q.; and hip fractures in the elderly, to name a few. George Orwell would have been dazzled by the promotion of this toxic by dental and public health officials and concurrently, the avoidance of this issue by the environmental community. The first criterion you should consider is the solid background of the lawyer in the law field. It is important that the lawyer you would choose is well educated, and more importantly, posses a license to practice law in the state you are in. You can click for more info about the BOSTON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWYERS PROVIDING AGGRESSIVE REPRESENTATION FOR CLIENTS IN SUFFOLK COUNTY. We think it has a lot to do with the sordid 50-year history of the promotion of fluoridation by the U.S. Department of Public Health and the American Dental Association. Rather than acknowledge the accumulating evidence of fluoride’s threat to human health, they have en-trenched themselves in a position that has produced tactics that include the harassment of scientists and dentists who speak out.” Look at this situation, you have just been served of a temporary restraining order prompting you to avoid returning to your house, seeing and even speaking to your kids and your partner. The police are required to escort you to your home to gather up your things in just fifteen minutes. The best thing to do right after this is to contact a skilled domestic violence lawyer to defend your case. Do not just hire any lawyer you see, make sure that the lawyer who will be defending you already handled a case on domestic violence. This is crucial because you need an expert lawyer to gather essential information, documents and witnesses for you so you can be acquitted of your criminal charge. Hiring between an experienced lawyer versus an inexperienced one could spell the difference between winning or losing your case. The internet is the best place to start your search for a domestic violence lawyer. There are a lot of websites that can provide you not only with a list of capable lawyers but also information regarding your case.
FLUORIDE, TEETH, AND THE ATOMIC BOMB
By Joel Griffiths and Chris Bryson
Introduction to “Fluoride, Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb” from Waste Not #414 (September 1997) where the article was first published
S?m? fifty years ?ft?r th? United States began adding fluoride t? public water supplies t? reduce cavities ?n children’s teeth, declassified government documents ?r? shedding new light ?n th? roots ?f th?t still-controversial public health measure, revealing a surprising connection b?tw??n fluoride ?nd th? dawning ?f th? nuclear age. thirds of U.S.thirds of U.S.
Today, tw? thirds ?f U.S. public drinking water ?? fluoridated. M?n? municipalities ?t?ll resist th? practice, disbelieving th? government’s assurances ?f safety.
S?n?? th? days ?f World W?r II, wh?n th?? nation prevailed b? building th? world’s f?r?t atomic bomb, U.S. public health leaders h?v? maintained th?t l?w doses ?f fluoride ?r? safe f?r people, ?nd good f?r children’s teeth.
Th?t safety verdict ?h?uld n?w b? re-examined ?n th? light ?f hundreds ?f once-secret WWII documents obtained b? Griffiths ?nd Bryson – including declassified papers ?f th? Manhattan Project, th? U.S. military group th?t built th? atomic bomb.
Fluoride w?? th? key chemical ?n atomic bomb production, according t? th? documents. Massive quantities ?f fluoride – millions ?f tons – w?r? essential f?r th? manufacture ?f bomb-grade uranium ?nd plutonium f?r nuclear weapons thr?ugh?ut th? Cold W?r. On? ?f th? m??t toxic chemicals known, fluoride rapidly emerged ?? th? leading chemical health hazard ?f th? U.S atomic bomb program–both f?r workers ?nd f?r nearby communities, th? documents reveal.
Other revelations include:
Mu?h ?f th? original proof th?t fluoride ?? safe f?r humans ?n l?w doses w?? generated b? A-bomb program scientists, wh? h?d b??n secretly ordered t? provide “evidence useful ?n litigation” ?g??n?t defense contractors f?r fluoride injury t? citizens. Th? f?r?t lawsuits ?g??n?t th? U.S. A-bomb program w?r? n?t ?v?r radiation, but ?v?r fluoride damage, th? documents ?h?w.
Human studies w?r? required. Bomb program researchers played a leading role ?n th? design ?nd implementation ?f th? m??t extensive U.S. study ?f th? health effects ?f fluoridating public drinking water–conducted ?n Newburgh, New York fr?m 1945 t? 1956. Th?n, ?n a classified operation code-named “Program F,” th?? secretly gathered ?nd analyzed blood ?nd tissue samples fr?m Newburgh citizens, w?th th? cooperation ?f State Health Department personnel.
The original secret version–obtained by these reporters–of a 1948 study published by Program F scientists in the Journal of the American Dental Association shows that evidence of adverse health effects from fluoride was censored by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) – considered the most powerful of Cold War agencies – for reasons of national security.
The bomb program’s fluoride safety studies were conducted at the University of Rochester, site of one of the most notorious human radiation experiments of the Cold War, in which unsuspecting hospital patients were injected with toxic doses of radioactive plutonium. The fluoride studies were conducted with the same ethical mind-set, in which “national security” was paramount.
Th? U.S. government’s conflict ?f interest–and ?t? motive t? prove fluoride “safe” – h?? n?t unt?l n?w b??n m?d? clear t? th? general public ?n th? furious debate ?v?r water fluoridation ??n?? th? 1950’s, n?r t? civilian researchers ?nd health professionals, ?r journalists.
Th? declassified documents resonate w?th growing b?d? ?f scientific evidence, ?nd a chorus ?f questions, ?b?ut th? health effects ?f fluoride ?n th? environment.
Human exposure t? fluoride h?? mushroomed ??n?? World W?r II, du? n?t ?nl? t? fluoridated water ?nd toothpaste, but t? environmental pollution b? major industries fr?m aluminum t? pesticides: fluoride ?? a critical industrial chemical.
Th? impact ??n b? seen, literally, ?n th? smiles ?f ?ur children. Large numbers ?f U.S. young people–up t? 80 percent ?n ??m? cities–now h?v? dental fluorosis, th? f?r?t visible sign ?f excessive fluoride exposure, according t? th? U.S. National Research Council. (The signs ?r? whitish flecks ?r spots, particularly ?n th? fr?nt teeth, ?r dark spots ?r stripes ?n m?r? severe cases.)
Less-known t? th? public ?? th?t fluoride ?l?? accumulates ?n bones – “The teeth ?r? windows t? what’s happening ?n th? bones,” explains Paul Connett, Professor ?f Chemistry ?t St. Lawrence University (N.Y.). In recent years, pediatric bone specialists h?v? expressed alarm ?b?ut ?n increase ?n stress fractures ?m?ng U.S. young people. Connett ?nd ?th?r scientists ?r? concerned th?t fluoride – linked t? bone damage b? studies ??n?? th? 1930’s – m?? b? a contributing factor. Th? declassified documents add urgency: mu?h ?f th? original proof th?t low-dose fluoride ?? safe f?r children’s bones ??m? fr?m U.S. bomb program scientists, according t? th?? investigation.
N?w, researchers wh? h?v? reviewed th??? declassified documents fear th?t Cold W?r national security considerations m?? h?v? prevented objective scientific evaluation ?f vital public health questions concerning fluoride.
“Information w?? buried,” concludes Dr. Phyllis Mullenix, f?rm?r head ?f toxicology ?t Forsyth Dental Center ?n Boston, ?nd n?w a critic ?f fluoridation. Animal studies Mullenix ?nd co-workers conducted ?t Forsyth ?n th? early 1990’s indicated th?t fluoride w?? a powerful central nervous ???t?m (CNS) toxin, ?nd m?ght adversely affect human brain functioning, ?v?n ?t l?w doses. (New epidemiological evidence fr?m China adds support, showing a correlation b?tw??n low-dose fluoride exposure ?nd diminished I.Q. ?n children.) Mullenix’s results w?r? published ?n 1995, ?n a reputable peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Dur?ng h?r investigation, Mullenix w?? astonished t? discover th?r? h?d b??n virtually n? previous U.S. studies ?f fluoride’s effects ?n th? human brain. Th?n, h?r application f?r a grant t? continue h?r CNS research w?? turned d?wn b? th? U.S. National Institutes ?f Health (NIH), wh?r? ?n NIH panel, ?h? says, flatly told h?r th?t “fluoride does n?t h?v? central nervous ???t?m effects.”
Declassified documents ?f th? U.S. atomic-bomb program indicate ?th?rw???. An April 29, 1944 Manhattan Project memo reports: “Clinical evidence suggests th?t uranium hexafluoride m?? h?v? a r?th?r marked central nervous ???t?m effect…. It ???m? m??t likely th?t th? F [code f?r fluoride] component r?th?r th?n th? T [code f?r uranium] ?? th? causative factor.”
Th? memo – stamped “secret” – ?? addressed t? th? head ?f th? Manhattan Project’s Medical Section, Colonel Stafford Warren. Colonel Warren ?? asked t? approve a program ?f animal research ?n CNS effects: “Since work w?th th??? compounds ?? essential, ?t w?ll b? necessary t? know ?n advance wh?t mental effects m?? occur ?ft?r exposure…This ?? important n?t ?nl? t? protect a given individual, but ?l?? t? prevent a confused workman fr?m injuring ?th?r? b? improperly performing h?? duties.”
On th? ??m? day, Colonel Warren approved th? CNS research program. Th?? w?? ?n 1944, ?t th? height ?f th? Second World W?r ?nd th? nation’s race t? build th? world’s f?r?t atomic bomb. F?r research ?n fluoride’s CNS effects t? b? approved ?t ?u?h a momentous t?m?, th? supporting evidence set forth ?n th? proposal forwarded ?l?ng w?th th? memo mu?t h?v? b??n persuasive.
Th? proposal, h?w?v?r, ?? missing fr?m th? files ?f th? U.S. National Archives. “If ??u f?nd th? memos, but th? document th?? refer t? ?? missing, ?t? probably ?t?ll classified,” said Charles Reeves, chief librarian ?t th? Atlanta branch ?f th? U.S. National Archives ?nd Records Administration, wh?r? th? memos w?r? f?und. Similarly, n? results ?f th? Manhattan Project’s fluoride CNS research ??uld b? f?und ?n th? files.
Aft?r reviewing th? memos, Mullenix declared herself “flabbergasted.” Sh? w?nt ?n, “How ??uld I b? told b? NIH th?t fluoride h?? n? central nervous ???t?m effects wh?n th??? documents w?r? sitting th?r? ?ll th? time?” Sh? reasons th?t th? Manhattan Project did d? fluoride CNS studies – “that kind ?f warning, th?t fluoride workers m?ght b? a danger t? th? bomb program b? improperly performing th??r duties–I can’t imagine th?t w?uld b? ignored” – but th?t th? results w?r? buried b???u?? th?? m?ght create a difficult legal ?nd public relations problem f?r th? government.
Th? author ?f th? 1944 CNS research proposal w?? Dr. Harold C. Hodge, ?t th? t?m? chief ?f fluoride toxicology studies f?r th? University ?f Rochester division ?f th? Manhattan Project. Nearly fifty years later ?t th? Forsyth Dental Center ?n Boston, Dr. Mullenix w?? introduced t? a gently ambling elderly m?n brought ?n t? serve ?? a consultant ?n h?r CNS research–Harold C. Hodge. B? th?n Hodge h?d achieved status emeritus ?? a world authority ?n fluoride safety. “But ?v?n th?ugh h? w?? supposed t? b? helping me,” says The documentary
Mullenix, “he never once mentioned the CNS work he had done for the Manhattan Project.”
The “black hole” in fluoride CNS research since the days of the Manhattan Project is unacceptable to Mullenix, who refuses to abandon the issue. “There is so much fluoride exposure now, and we simply do not know what it is doing,” she says. “You can’t just walk away from this.”
Dr. Antonio Noronha, an NIH scientific review advisor familiar with Dr. Mullenix’s grant request, says her proposal was rejected by a scientific peer-review group. He terms her claim of institutional bias against fluoride CNS research “farfetched” he adds, “We strive very hard at NIH to make sure politics does not enter the picture.”
Fluoride and National Security
Th? documentary trail begins ?t th? height ?f WW2, ?n 1944, wh?n a severe pollution incident occurred downwind ?f th? E.I. du Pont du Nemours Company chemical factory ?n Deepwater, New Jersey. Th? factory w?? th?n producing millions ?f pounds ?f fluoride f?r th? Manhattan project, th? ultra-secret U.S. military program racing t? produce th? world’s f?r?t atomic bomb.
Th? farms downwind ?n Gloucester ?nd Salem counties w?r? famous f?r th??r high-quality produce – th??r peaches w?nt directly t? th? Waldorf Astoria Hotel ?n New York. Th??r tomatoes w?r? bought u? b? Campbell’s Soup.
But ?n th? summer ?f 1943, th? farmers began t? report th?t th??r crops w?r? blighted, ?nd th?t “something ?? burning u? th? peach crops ?r?und here.”
Poultry died ?ft?r ?n all-night thunderstorm, th?? reported. Farm workers wh? ?t? th? produce th?? h?d picked ??m?t?m?? vomited ?ll night ?nd ?nt? th? n?xt day. “I remember ?ur horses looked sick ?nd w?r? t?? stiff t? work,” th??? reporters w?r? told b? Mildred Giordano, wh? w?? a teenager ?t th? t?m?. S?m? cows w?r? ?? crippled th?? ??uld n?t stand u?, ?nd grazed b? crawling ?n th??r bellies.
Th? account w?? confirmed ?n taped interviews, shortly b?f?r? h? died, w?th Philip Sadtler ?f Sadtler Laboratories ?f Philadelphia, ?n? ?f th? nation’s oldest chemical consulting firms. Sadtler h?d personally conducted th? initial investigation ?f th? damage.
Although the farmers did not know it, the attention of the Manhattan Project and the federal government was riveted on the New Jersey incident, according to once-secret documents obtained by these reporters. After the war’s end, in a secret Manhattan Project memo dated March 1, 1946, the Project’s chief of fluoride toxicology studies, Harold C. Hodge, worriedly wrote to his boss Colonel Stafford L. Warren, Chief of the Medical Division, about “problems associated with the question of fluoride contamination of the atmosphere in a certain section of New Jersey. There seem to be four distinct (though related) problems,” continued Hodge;
“1. A question of injury of the peach crop in 1944.”
“2. A report of extraordinary fluoride content of vegetables grown in this area.”
“3. A report of abnormally high fluoride content in the blood of human individuals residing in this area.”
“4. A report raising the question of serious poisoning of horses and cattle in this area.”
The New Jersey farmers waited until the war was over, then sued du Pont and the Manhattan Project for fluoride damage – reportedly the first lawsuits against the U.S. A-bomb program.
Alth?ugh seemingly trivial, th? lawsuits shook th? government, th? secret documents reveal. Und?r th? personal direction ?f Manhattan Project chief Major General Leslie R.Groves, secret meetings w?r? convened ?n Washington, w?th compulsory attendance b? scores ?f scientists ?nd officials fr?m th? U.S W?r Department, th? Manhattan Project, th? Food ?nd Drug Administration, th? Agriculture ?nd Justice Departments, th? U.S Army’s Chemical Warfare Service ?nd Edgewood Arsenal, th? Bureau ?f Standards, ?nd du Pont lawyers. Declassified memos ?f th? meetings reveal a secret mobilization ?f th? full forces ?f th? government t? defeat th? New Jersey farmers:
Th??? agencies “are making scientific investigations t? obtain evidence wh??h m?? b? used t? protect th? ?nt?r??t ?f th? Government ?t th? trial ?f th? suits brought b? owners ?f peach orchards ?n … New Jersey,” stated Manhattan Project Lieutenant Colonel Cooper B. Rhodes, ?n a memo c.c.’d t? General Groves.
27 August 1945
Subject: Investigation ?f Crop Damage ?t Lower Penns Neck, New Jersey
T?: Th? Commanding General, Army Service Forces, Pentagon Building, Washington D.C.
“At th? request ?f th? Secretary ?f W?r th? Department ?f Agriculture h?? agreed t? cooperate ?n investigating complaints ?f crop damage attributed… t? fumes fr?m a plant operated ?n connection w?th th? Manhattan Project.”
Signed, L.R. Groves, Major General U.S.A
“The Department ?f Justice ?? cooperating ?n th? defense ?f th??? suits,” wrote General Groves ?n a Feb. 28, 1946 memo t? th? Chairman ?f th? U.S. Senate Special Committee ?n Atomic Energy.
Wh? th? national-security emergency ?v?r a f?w lawsuits b? New Jersey farmers? In 1946 th? United States h?d begun full-scale production ?f atomic bombs. N? ?th?r nation h?d ??t tested a nuclear weapon, ?nd th? A-bomb w?? seen ?? crucial f?r U.S leadership ?f th? postwar world. Th? New Jersey fluoride lawsuits w?r? a ??r??u? roadblock t? th?t strategy. Choosing a Boston personal injury attorney ??n b? overwhelming. But ?t th? end ?f th? day, ??u just want ??m??n? wh? cares ?nd knows fr?m experience h?w t? g?t ??u th? compensation ??u deserve. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers ?n Boston ??n help ??u d? just th?t. A good personal injury lawyer helps ??u g?t monetary compensation f?r injuries th?t ??u h?v? suffered du? t? th? fault ?f ?th?r?. Y?u w?ll n?t realize th? important ?f a good personal injury lawyer unless ??u h?v? actually b??n injured ?nd f?nd ??ur??lf unable t? d? ??ur job w?th th? level ?f skill th?t ?? required. Th? Law Offices ?f Thomas J. Lavin- Personal Injury Attorney ?n WPB gives ??u assiduity t? g?v? ??u compensation wh??h ??u deserve.
“The specter ?f endless lawsuits haunted th? military,” writes Lansing Lamont ?n h?? acclaimed book ?b?ut th? f?r?t atomic bomb test, “Day ?f Trinity.”
In th? case ?f fluoride, “If th? farmers won, ?t w?uld open th? door t? furth?r suits, wh??h m?ght impede th? bomb program’s ability t? u?? fluoride,” said Jacqueline Kittrell, a Tennessee public ?nt?r??t lawyer specializing ?n nuclear cases, wh? examined th? declassified fluoride documents. (Kittrell h?? represented plaintiffs ?n ??v?r?l human radiation experiment cases.) Sh? added, “The reports ?f human injury w?r? especially threatening, b???u?? ?f th? potential f?r enormous settlements – n?t t? mention th? PR problem.”
Ind??d, du Pont w?? particularly concerned ?b?ut th? “possible psychologic reaction” t? th? New Jersey pollution incident, according t? a secret 1946 Manhattan Project memo. Facing a threat fr?m th? Food ?nd Drug Administration (FDA) t? embargo th? region’s produce b???u?? ?f “high fluoride content,” du Pont dispatched ?t? lawyers t? th? FDA offices ?n Washington, wh?r? ?n agitated meeting ensued. According t? a memo sent n?xt day t? General Groves, Du Pont’s lawyer argued “that ?n view ?f th? pending suits…any action b? th? Food ?nd Drug Administration… w?uld h?v? a ??r??u? effect ?n th? du Pont Company ?nd w?uld create a bad public relations situation.” Aft?r th? meeting adjourned, Manhattan Project Captain John Davies approached th? FDA’s Food Division chief ?nd “impressed u??n Dr. White th? substantial ?nt?r??t wh??h th? Government h?d ?n claims wh??h m?ght arise ?? a result ?f action wh??h m?ght b? taken b? th? Food ?nd Drug Administration.”
Th?r? w?? n? embargo. Instead, new tests f?r fluoride ?n th? New Jersey area w?uld b? conducted – n?t b? th? Department ?f Agriculture – but b? th? U.S. Army’s Chemical Warfare Service b???u?? “work d?n? b? th? Chemical Warfare Service w?uld carry th? greatest weight ?? evidence ?f… lawsuits ?r? started b? th? complainants.” Th? memo w?? signed b? General Groves.
M??nwh?l?, th? public relations problem remained unresolved – local citizens w?r? ?n a panic ?b?ut fluoride.
Th? farmer’s spokesman, Willard B. Kille, w?? personally invited t? dine w?th General Groves – th?n known ?? “the m?n wh? built th? atomic bomb” – ?t h?? office ?t th? W?r Department ?n March 26, 1946. Alth?ugh h? h?d b??n diagnosed w?th fluoride poisoning b? h?? doctor, Kille departed th? luncheon convinced ?f th? government’s good faith. Th? n?xt day h? wrote t? th? general, wishing th? ?th?r farmers ??uld h?v? b??n present, h? said, ?? “they t?? ??uld ??m? away w?th th? feeling th?t th??r interests ?n th?? particular matter w?r? b??ng safeguarded b? men ?f th? v?r? highest type wh??? integrity th?? ??uld n?t question.”
In a subsequent secret Manhattan project memo, a broader solution t? th? public relations problem w?? suggested b? chief fluoride toxicologist Harold C. Hodge. H? wrote t? th? Medical Section chief, Col. Warren: “Would th?r? b? ?n? u?? ?n making attempts t? counteract th? local fear ?f fluoride ?n th? ??rt ?f residents ?f Salem ?nd Gloucester counties thr?ugh lectures ?n F toxicology ?nd ??rh??? th? usefulness ?f F ?n tooth health?” Su?h lectures w?r? ?nd??d given, n?t ?nl? t? New Jersey citizens but t? th? r??t ?f th? nation thr?ugh?ut th? Cold W?r.
Th? New Jersey farmers’ lawsuits w?r? ultimately stymied b? th? government’s refusal t? reveal th? key piece ?f information th?t w?uld h?v? settled th? case – h?w mu?h fluoride du Pont h?d vented ?nt? th? atmosphere dur?ng th? w?r. “Disclosure… w?uld b? injurious t? th? military security ?f th? United States,” wrote Manhattan Project Major C.A Taney, Jr. Th? farmers w?r? pacified w?th token financial settlements, according t? interviews w?th descendants ?t?ll living ?n th? area.
“All w? knew ?? th?t du Pont released ??m? chemical th?t burned u? ?ll th? peach trees ?r?und here,” recalls Angelo Giordano, wh??? father James w?? ?n? ?f th? original plaintiffs. “The trees w?r? n? good ?ft?r th?t, ?? w? h?d t? g?v? u? ?n th? peaches.” Th??r horses ?nd cows, t??, acted stiff ?nd walked stiff, recalls h?? sister Mildred. “Could ?n? ?f th?t h?v? b??n th? fluoride ?” ?h? asked. (The symptoms ?h? detailed t? th? authors ?r? cardinal signs ?f fluoride toxicity, according t? veterinary toxicologists.)
Th? Giordano family, t??, h?? b??n plagued b? bone ?nd joint problems, Mildred adds. Recalling th? settlement received b? th? Giordanos, Angelo told th??? reporters th?t “my father said h? got ?b?ut $200.”
Th? farmers w?r? stonewalled ?n th??r search f?r information, ?nd th??r complaints h?v? l?ng ??n?? b??n forgotten. But th?? unknowingly left th??r imprint ?n history – th??r claims ?f injury t? th??r health reverberated thr?ugh th? corridors ?f power ?n Washington, ?nd triggered intensive secret bomb-program research ?n th? health effects ?f fluoride. A secret 1945 memo fr?m Manhattan Project Lt. Col. Rhodes t? General Groves stated: “Because ?f complaints th?t animals ?nd humans h?v? b??n injured b? hydrogen fluoride fumes ?n [the New Jersey] area, ?lth?ugh th?r? ?r? n? pending suits involving ?u?h claims, th? University ?f Rochester ?? conducting experiments t? determine th? toxic effect ?f fluoride.”
Mu?h ?f th? proof ?f fluoride’s safety ?n l?w doses rests ?n th? postwar work performed b? th? University ?f Rochester, ?n anticipation ?f lawsuits ?g??n?t th? bomb program f?r human injury.
Fluoride and the Cold War
Delegating fluoride safety studies t? th? University ?f Rochester w?? n?t surprising. Dur?ng WWII th? federal government h?d b???m? involved, f?r th? f?r?t t?m?, ?n large-scale funding ?f scientific research ?t government-owned labs ?nd private colleges. Th??? early spending priorities w?r? shaped b? th? nation’s often-secret military needs.
Th? prestigious upstate New York college, ?n particular, h?d housed a key wartime division ?f th? Manhattan Project, studying th? health effects ?f th? new “special materials,” ?u?h ?? uranium, plutonium, beryllium ?nd fluoride, b??ng used t? make th? atomic bomb. Th?t work continued ?ft?r th? w?r, w?th millions ?f dollars flowing fr?m th? Manhattan Project ?nd ?t? successor organization, th? Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). (Indeed, th? bomb left ?n indelible imprint ?n ?ll U.S. science ?n th? late 1940’s ?nd 50’s. U? t? 90% ?f federal funds f?r university research ??m? fr?m ??th?r th? Defense Department ?r th? AEC ?n th?? period, according t? Noam Chomsky’s 1996 book “The Cold W?r ?nd th? University.”)
Th? University ?f Rochester medical school b???m? a revolving door f?r senior bomb program scientists. Postwar faculty included Stafford Warren, th? t?? medical officer ?f th? Manhattan Project, ?nd Harold Hodge, chief ?f fluoride research f?r th? bomb program.
But th?? marriage ?f military secrecy ?nd medical science bore deformed offspring. Th? University ?f Rochester’s classified fluoride studies – code- named Program F – w?r? conducted ?t ?t? Atomic Energy Project (AEP), a top-secret facility funded b? th? AEC ?nd housed ?n Strong Memorial Hospital. It w?? th?r? th?t ?n? ?f th? m??t notorious human radiation experiments ?f th? Cold W?r took place, ?n wh??h unsuspecting hospital patients w?r? injected w?th toxic doses ?f radioactive plutonium. Revelation ?f th?? experiment ?n a Pulitzer prize-winning account b? Eileen Wellsome led t? a 1995 U.S. Presidential investigation, ?nd a multimillion-dollar cash settlement f?r victims.
Program F w?? n?t ?b?ut children’s teeth. It grew directly ?ut ?f litigation ?g??n?t th? bomb program ?nd ?t? main purpose w?? t? furnish scientific ammunition wh??h th? government ?nd ?t? nuclear contractors ??uld u?? t? defeat lawsuits f?r human injury. Program F’s director w?? n?n? ?th?r th?n Harold C. Hodge, wh? h?d led th? Manhattan Project investigation ?f alleged human injury ?n th? New Jersey fluoride-pollution incident.
Program F’s purpose ?? spelled ?ut ?n a classified 1948 report. It reads: “To supply evidence useful ?n th? litigation arising fr?m ?n alleged loss ?f a fruit crop ??v?r?l years ago, a number ?f problems h?v? b??n opened. S?n?? excessive blood fluoride levels w?r? reported ?n human residents ?f th? ??m? area, ?ur principal effort h?? b??n devoted t? describing th? relationship ?f blood fluorides t? toxic effects.”
Th? litigation referred t?, ?f course, ?nd th? claims ?f human injury w?r? ?g??n?t th? bomb program ?nd ?t? contractors. Thu?, th? purpose ?f Program F w?? t? obtain evidence useful ?n litigation ?g??n?t th? bomb program. Th? research w?? b??ng conducted b? th? defendants.
Th? potential conflict ?f ?nt?r??t ?? clear. If lower dose ranges w?r? f?und, hazardous b? Program F, ?t m?ght h?v? opened th? bomb program ?nd ?t? contractors t? lawsuits f?r injury t? human health, ?? w?ll ?? public outcry.
Comments lawyer Kittrell: “This ?nd ?th?r documents indicate th?t th? University ?f Rochester’s fluoride research grew ?ut ?f th? New Jersey lawsuits ?nd w?? performed ?n anticipation ?f lawsuits ?g??n?t th? bomb program f?r human injury. Studies undertaken f?r litigation purposes b? th? defendants w?uld n?t b? considered scientifically acceptable today, ” adds Kittrell, “because ?f th??r inherent bias t? prove th? chemical safe.”
Unfortunately, mu?h ?f th? proof ?f fluoride’s safety rests ?n th? work performed b? Program F Scientists ?t th? University ?f Rochester. Dur?ng th? postwar period th?t university emerged ?? th? leading academic center f?r establishing th? safety ?f fluoride, ?? w?ll ?? ?t? effectiveness ?n reducing tooth decay, according t? Dental School spokesperson William H. Bowen, MD. Th? key figure ?n th?? research, Bowen said, w?? Harold C. Hodge – wh? ?l?? b???m? a leading national proponent ?f fluoridating public drinking water. Program F’s ?nt?r??t ?n water fluoridation w?? n?t just ‘to counteract th? local fear ?f fluoride ?n th? ??rt ?f residents,’ ?? Hodge h?d earlier written. Th? bomb program needed human studies, ?? th?? h?d needed human studies f?r plutonium, ?nd adding fluoride t? public water supplies provided ?n? opportunity.
The A-Bomb Program and Water Fluoridation
Bomb-program scientists played a prominent – ?f unpublicized – role ?n th? nation’s first-planned water fluoridation experiment, ?n Newburgh, New York. Th? Newburgh Demonstration Project ?? considered th? m??t extensive study ?f th? health effects ?f fluoridation, supplying mu?h ?f th? evidence th?t l?w doses ?r? safe f?r children’s bones, ?nd good f?r th??r teeth.
Planning began ?n 1943 w?th th? appointment ?f a special New York State Health Department committee t? study th? advisability ?f adding fluoride t? Newburgh’s drinking water. Th? chairman ?f th? committee w?? Dr. Hodge, th?n chief ?f fluoride toxicity studies f?r th? Manhattan Project.
Subsequent members included Henry L. Barnett, a captain ?n th? Project’s Medical section, ?nd John W. Fertig, ?n 1944 w?th th? office ?f Scientific Research ?nd Development, th? Pentagon group wh??h sired th? Manhattan Project. Th??r military affiliations w?r? kept secret: Hodge w?? described ?? a pharmacologist, Barnett ?? a pediatrician. Placed ?n charge ?f th? Newburgh project w?? David B. A?t, chief dental officer ?f th? State Health Department. A?t h?d participated ?n a key secret wartime conference ?n fluoride held b? th? Manhattan Project, ?nd later worked w?th Dr. Hodge ?n th? Project’s investigation ?f human injury ?n th? New Jersey incident, according t? once-secret memos.
Th? committee recommended th?t Newburgh b? fluoridated. It ?l?? selected th? types ?f medical studies t? b? d?n?, ?nd “provided expert guidance” f?r th? duration ?f th? experiment. Th? key question t? b? answered w??: “Are th?r? ?n? cumulative effects – beneficial ?r ?th?rw???, ?n tissues ?nd organs ?th?r th?n th? teeth – ?f long-continued ingestion ?f ?u?h small concentrations…?” According t? th? declassified documents, th?? w?? ?l?? key information sought b? th? bomb program, wh??h w?uld require long-continued exposure ?f workers ?nd communities t? fluoride thr?ugh?ut th? Cold W?r.
In M?? 1945, Newburgh’s water w?? fluoridated, ?nd ?v?r th? n?xt t?n years ?t? residents w?r? studied b? th? State Health Department. In tandem, Program F conducted ?t? ?wn secret studies, focusing ?n th? amounts ?f fluoride Newburgh citizens retained ?n th??r blood ?nd tissues – key information sought b? th? bomb program: “Possible toxic effects ?f fluoride w?r? ?n th? forefront ?f consideration,” th? advisory committee stated. Health Department personnel cooperated, shipping blood ?nd placenta samples t? th? Program F team ?t th? University ?f Rochester. Th? samples w?r? collected b? Dr. David B. Overton, th? Department’s chief ?f pediatric studies ?t Newburgh.
Th? final report ?f th? Newburgh Demonstration Project, published ?n 1956 ?n th? Journal ?f th? American Dental Association, concluded th?t “small concentrations” ?f fluoride w?r? safe f?r U.S.citizens. Th? biological proof – “based ?n work performed … ?t th? University ?f Rochester Atomic Energy Project” – w?? delivered b? Dr. Hodge.
Today, news th?t scientists fr?m th? atomic bomb program secretly shaped ?nd guided th? Newburgh fluoridation experiment, ?nd studied th? citizen’s blood ?nd tissue samples, ?? greeted w?th incredulity.
“I’m shocked – b???nd words,” said present-day Newburgh Mayor Audrey Carey, commenting ?n th??? reporters’ findings. “It reminds m? ?f th? Tuskegee experiment th?t w?? d?n? ?n syphilis patients d?wn ?n Alabama.”
As a child in the early 1950’s, Mayor Carey was taken to the old firehouse on Broadway in Newburgh, which housed the Public Health Clinic. There, doctors from the Newburgh fluoridation project studied her teeth, and a peculiar fusion of two finger bones on her left hand she had been born with. Today, adds Carey, her granddaughter has white dental-fluorosis marks on her front teeth.
Mayor Carey wants answers from the government about the secret history of fluoride, and the Newburgh fluoridation experiment. “I absolutely want to pursue it,” she said. “It is appalling to do any kind of experimentation and study without people’s knowledge and permission.”
Contacted by these reporters, the director of the Newburgh experiment, David B. Ast, says he was unaware Manhattan Project scientists were involved. “If I had known, I would have been certainly investigating why, and what the connection was,” he said. Did he know that blood and placenta samples from Newburgh were being sent to bomb program researchers at the University of Rochester? “I was not aware of it,” Ast replied. Did he recall participating in the Manhattan Project’s secret wartime conference on fluoride in January 1944, or going to New Jersey with Dr. Hodge to investigate human injury in the du Pont case–as secret memos state? He told the reporters he had no recollection of these events.
A spokesperson for the University of Rochester Medical Center, Bob Loeb, confirmed that blood and tissue samples from Newburgh had been tested by the University’s Dr. Hodge. On the ethics of secretly studying U.S citizens to obtain information useful in litigation against the A-bomb program, he said, “that’s a question we cannot answer.” He referred inquiries to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), successor to the Atomic Energy Commission.
A spokesperson for the DOE in Washington, Jayne Brady, confirmed that a review of DOE files indicated that a “significant reason” for fluoride experiments conducted at the University of Rochester after the war was “impending litigation between the du Pont company and residents of New Jersey areas.” However, she added, “DOE has found no documents to indicate that fluoride research was done to protect the Manhattan Project or its contractors from lawsuits.”
On Manhattan Project involvement in Newburgh, the spokesperson stated, “Nothing that we have suggests that the DOE or predecessor agencies – especially the Manhattan Project – authorized fluoride experiments to be performed on children in the 1940’s.”
When told that the reporters had several documents that directly tied the Manhattan Project’s successor agency at the University of Rochester, the AEP, to the Newburgh experiment, the DOE spokesperson later conceded her study was confined to “the available universe” of documents. Two days later spokesperson Jayne Brady faxed a statement for clarification: “My search only involved the documents that we collected as part of our human radiation experiments project – fluoride was not part of our research effort.
“Most significantly,” the statement continued, relevant documents may be in a classified collection at the DOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory known as the Records Holding Task Group. “This collection consists entirely of classified documents removed from other files for the purpose of classified document accountability many years ago,” and was “a rich source of documents for the human radiation experiments project,” she said.
The crucial question arising from this investigation is: Were adverse health findings from Newburgh and other bomb-program fluoride studies suppressed? All AEC-funded studies had to be declassified before publication in civilian medical and dental journals. Where are the original classified versions?
The transcript of one of the major secret scientific conferences of WW2–on “fluoride metabolism”–is missing from the files of the U.S. National Archives. Participants in the conference included key figures who promoted the safety of fluoride and water fluoridation to the public after the war – Harold Hodge of the Manhattan Project, David B. Ast of the Newburgh Project, and U.S. Public Health Service dentist H.Trendley Dean, popularly known as the “father of fluoridation.” “If it is missing from the files, it is probably still classified,” National Archives librarians told these reporters.
A 1944 WW2 Manhattan Project classified report on water fluoridation is missing from the files of the University of Rochester Atomic Energy Project, the U.S. National Archives, and the Nuclear Repository at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The next four numerically consecutive documents are also missing, while the remainder of the “MP-1500 series” is present. “Either those documents are still classified, or they’ve been ‘disappeared’ by the government,” says Clifford Honicker, Executive Director of the American Environmental Health Studies Project, in Knoxville, Tennessee, which provided key evidence in the public exposure and prosecution of U.S. human radiation experiments.
Seven pages have been cut out of a 1947 Rochester bomb-project notebook entitled “Du Pont litigation.” “Most unusual,” commented chief medical school archivist Chris Hoolihan.
Similarly, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by these authors over a year ago with the DOE for hundreds of classified fluoride reports have failed to dislodge any. “We’re behind,” explained Amy Rothrock, FOIA officer for the Department of Energy at their Oak Ridge operations.
Was information suppressed? These reporters made what appears to be the first discovery of the original classified version of a fluoride safety study by bomb program scientists. A censored version of this study was later published in the August 1948 Journal of the American Dental Association. Comparison of the secret with the published version indicates that the U.S. AEC did censor damaging information on fluoride, to the point of tragicomedy.
This was a study of the dental and physical health of workers in a factory producing fluoride for the A-bomb program, conducted by a team of dentists from the Manhattan Project.
The secret version reports that most of the men had no teeth left. The published version reports only that the men had fewer cavities.
The secret version says the men had to wear rubber boots because the fluoride fumes disintegrated the nails in their shoes. The published version does not mention this.
The secret version says the fluoride may have acted similarly on the men’s teeth, contributing to their toothlessness. The published version omits this statement.
The published version concludes that “the men were unusually healthy, judged from both a medical and dental point of view.”
Asked for comment on the early links of the Manhattan Project to water fluoridation, Dr Harold Slavkin, Director of the National Institute for Dental Research, the U.S. agency which today funds fluoride research, said, “I wasn’t aware of any input from the Atomic Energy Commission.” Nevertheless, he insisted, fluoride’s efficacy and safety in the prevention of dental cavities over the last fifty years is well-proved. “The motivation of a scientist is often different from the outcome, ” he reflected. “I do not hold a prejudice about where the knowledge comes from.”
After comparing the secret and published versions of the censored study, toxicologist Phyllis Mullenix commented, “This makes me ashamed to be a scientist.” Of other Cold War-era fluoride safety studies, she asks, “Were they all done like this?”
About the authors:
Joel Griffiths is a medical writer in New York City, author of a book on radiation hazards and numerous articles for medical and popular publications. Chris Bryson holds a Masters degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and has worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation, The Manchester Guardian.
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