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Water Fluoridation



America's really big sacred cow is fluoridation of drinking water. 

Fact: Fluoride is so toxic that only one milligram constitutes a prescription dose. 

In spite of this, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows up to this amount in a single glass of drinking water. 

Fact: Virtually every country in Europe has stopped fluoridation. Research shows that fluoride confers little if any real benefit. 

Fact: Persons who have grown up with fluoridated water have, on the average, only 1/2 of one filling less per lifetime than people who did not drink fluoridated water (Chemical and Engineering News, May 8, 1989). 

 Fluoride naturally and properly occurs mostly in bones and teeth. In extremely small amounts, it contributes to their hardness.  Excess fluoride may be excreted in the urine... or retained in the body.

 Overdose is both well known and widespread. Fluoride overdose (fluorosis) is characterized by mottling of the tooth enamel. This overdose condition is so common in India and many other countries that they must operate fluoride removal facilities for their drinking water.

 Artificial fluoridation of water has also caused fluorosis in widespread communities in our country.  Curiously, fluoridation of public water supplies is rarely seen as the rather imprecise supplementation... or mass medication... program that it is.  Nutritionists who are repelled at the fact that now half of all Americans take vitamin C supplements almost always endorse mass fluoridation of everyone's water.

 Excess fluoride is vastly more dangerous than most minerals. Even pro-fluoride textbooks such as Nutrition and Diet Therapy, 6th edition (p. 305) indicate that "the range of safe intake is not wide."

 There is absolutely no way to control the dose of fluoride once it is in the drinking water, for different people and different ages drink radically different amounts of water each day.

 The alleged decay-preventing properties of fluoride are not as clearly established by scientific means as fluoridationists would have you believe.  Federal, state and local politics... and the American Dental Association... have been biased.  At least! Some evidence of this is provided by an article in the Canadian Whig-Standard, Monday January 27, 1992: Dr. Richard Foulkes, who had once urged water fluoridation for the entire province of British Columbia, is quoted saying that he was misled by "a powerful lobby."  He adds, "Even before 1973 there was very clear evidence that not only is fluoride in water ineffective for dental care, but it is also highly toxic, even at one part per million."

 The authoritative Physician's Desk Reference lists adverse reactions to fluoride as low as one-quarter part per million. 

 Some communities, such as the one I live in (Brockport, NY) successfully resisted water fluoridation until the town water plant was taken over by the neighboring, fluoridating county of Monroe. Then, without any public hearings, all local water was announced as now fluoridated... a month after they started doing it. No hearings; no discussion; no vote.

 In an age of fluoride toothpastes, fluoride mouthwashes and even fluoridated children's vitamins, it is very difficult to justify the very real danger of mandating still more fluoride in everyone's drinking water.

 Please remember that your Grandma and spouse may be getting fluoride that even an ADA dentist would say no longer benefits their now-mature (or artificial) teeth.

 Fluoride (in vitamins or water) interferes with magnesium metabolism in the body according to Dr. John R. Marier, of the Division of  Biological Sciences at the Canadian National Research Council, Ottawa, in a paper published in The Proceedings of the Finnish Dental Society, vol. 76, 1980, pages 82-102.  This is significant because fluoride toxicity is increased when magnesium levels are low.  Magnesium deficiency is widespread in the U.S., especially among children and teenagers, reaching the 99th percentile among young women.

 Did you know that young children swallow as much as one third of their toothpaste?  Kids have been consuming so much excess fluoride that the US Public Health Service has urged parents to see that kids brush with only a "pea-sized portion" of fluoride toothpaste... and rinse carefully afterwards.  (Daily News, Wednesday February 20, 1991, page 26)

 Fluoride DOES accumulate in bone "regardless of the level of intake." (text, p. 305). The Environmental Protection Agency responded to all these red flags by increasing the allowed fluoride levels for drinking water. Now 4 parts per million (ppm) is allowed. At only 1 ppm, four glasses of fluoridated water, equals a 1 mg prescription fluoride tablet. (one mg in one liter is 1 ppm) This literally means that in parts of the USA, persons may be getting a prescription dose of fluoride in every single glass of water they drink.

 Dissenting EPA scientists, such as Robert Carton ( and William Marcus, are subject to being fired, and Dr. Marcus was. EPA's own work on rats fails to demonstrate the safety of fluoride. Marcus and others think that the cancer danger is being played down. Fluoride appears to cause osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in lab animals.

 Marcus also cites numerous studies, up to and including 1991 JAMA articles "demonstrating adverse effects to bone caused by fluoride at levels to which the majority of the U.S. population on public water supplies are exposed." (Environment Week, Washington, D.C., Thursday, August 15, 1991) For instance, fluoride actually contributes to increased bone fractures. One wonders if perhaps there had been a politically-motivated attempt to find a rationale for continued fluoridation of water in aging communities.

 It gets even more dramatic: both the National Toxicology Program (January 22, 1990 Fact Sheet) and the National Cancer Institute found a fluoride-related increase in osteosarcoma (a bone cancer) in young males ("Review of Fluoride Benefits and Risks," U.S. Public Health Service, February, 1991.) 

"There is no evidence that fluoride is an essential nutrient for humans." (Physicians' Desk Reference)  


Fluoride is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


California is 28% fluoridated; Hawaii is 9% fluoridated. These states are tied for the lowest rate of tooth loss in the USA. On the other hand,

Kentucky is 100% fluoridated and has the highest toothless population of

older adults.

(,1,2990789.story?coll=la-health-medicine )

A lengthy and remarkably unbiased review of the detrimental effects of "Fluoridation of Water" appeared in Chemical and Engineering News, Vol. 66, August 1, 1988, pp 26-42.  This is the most important single reference on the fluoride controversy you will ever read, or not read, as the case may be.

The National Parent-Teachers Association withdrew its support for water fluoridation on April 17, 1991.

 Does your community fluoridate your water? Is that what you want? Whose decision was it?


by Christopher Bryson

Reviewed by Andrew W. Saul


"One of the best book reviews I have ever read." Abram Hoffer, M.D.

It was an era of thalidomide and plutonium; school segregation and human experimentation; 24-hour SAC bomber patrols and classroom "duck and cover" drills; atmospheric H-bomb testing and DDT. The Red Scare dominated the news and physicians endorsed their favorite cigarette on TV.

The "Atomic Genie" was out of the bottle and radium treatment was in vogue. And, of course, there was the latest of modern wonders, water fluoridation. Scientists of post WW II America promised us the world. And, as with 3-D movies and the Edsel, the promise was far beyond what would be delivered.

Fluoridated water was idealized as the ultimate form of 1950's failsafe social engineering. What could be more appealing than to be able to have your children virtually drink away dental decay? Yet like vaccination, municipal water fluoridation has never been satisfactorily tested with double-blind, placebo controls. But it hardly mattered to those in power. Like the lure of a quick war, with the troops all to be home by Christmas, dental publicists promised 75% or even 90% reductions in dental caries. Today, most of the strongest fluoridation proponents rarely offer expected benefits of over 35%.

The real numbers are almost certainly far lower. There is little or no difference in decay rates between sister cities' caries incidence regardless whether they are fluoridated or not. And this, says Christopher Bryson, author of The Fluoride Deception, has been the case from the start.

When Newburgh, NY's water was fluoridated nearly 60 years ago, it was more a test to see if fluorine would hurt people than to see if it would stop cavities. Mr. Bryson traces the whole scandal, using recently declassified US Army and other genuinely embarrassing government documents.

Fluoride pollution, much of it a byproduct of WW II nuclear weapons manufacturing, had opened industry and government to lawsuits. Fluoridated water was engineered to be an antidote to liability as much as to dental decay.

Fluoridation rode a wave of politicized science, the dark side of which was the nuclear arms race. According to Bryson's publisher, "Documents discovered in the files of the Manhattan Project connect the atomic bomb program with the 1945 public experiment compared the teeth and health of the children of Newburgh with that of fluoride-free neighboring Kingston. It was the most significant of the early water fluoridation trials, purporting to demonstrate fluoride's safety in low doses. The top scientist who oversaw the Newburgh experiment, and the leading voice promoting water fluoridation, issuing reassurances of fluoride's safety in low doses, was Dr. Harold Hodge. Hodge is regarded as the dean of the science of toxicology in the United States. While selling fluoride to children, he was simultaneously head of the Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology for the Manhattan Project, charged with protecting the government from worker and community lawsuits for fluoride damage. Showing that fluoride was safe in low doses reduced the risk of lawsuits against the bomb program."

Blanket and blatant reassurances about safety is nothing new to the military. If you have ever viewed the documentary movie entitled The Atomic Café, you have seen actual U.S. Army film footage showing soldiers, shielded only by their cotton uniforms and a G.I. helmet, walking straight towards a still-rising mushroom cloud from an atomic detonation just a few miles away. It hardly ended there; from 1942 until the 1980’s, uranium was added to the materials in dentures. No doubt this was to help Grandpa see them in the dark when he craved a midnight snack. Sounds pretty odd, doesn't it. Uranium in dentures. How very silly, we now say. Yet to this day, the American Dental Association, the FDA, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control all maintain that mercury, a toxic heavy metal, is perfectly safe to have drilled into your living teeth. (1, 2, 3)

Not surprisingly, they also all support fluoridation of water.

History is stranger than fiction, and just as subject to revision. For decades, fluoridationists declared that teeth were strengthened from within by fluoride; it was supposedly a systemic, nutritional benefit. It is not. Fluoride weakens bone, increases incidence of bone cancer, and increases fracture rates. (

Today the "authorities" have quietly flip-flopped, and now claim that dilute fluoride has a topical, perhaps bactericidal effect. Think about that for a moment. If fluoride has that kind of killing power at just a few parts per million, what are doctors doing wasting their time writing antibiotic prescriptions? Forget the Cipro: Why not just tell patients to drink more tap water? If fluoride is that powerful, imagine the effect on the rest of the body. Indeed, fluoride is the most chemically reactive of all naturally-occurring elements. When Linus Pauling originated the four-point electronegative scale, fluorine was and remains the one and only top scorer with a perfect 4. All other elements are weaker. And this is the element you drink, without prescription, in doses that vary with how thirsty you may be on a given day.

Most of the United States is now fluoridated. Most of Europe is not. ( Blinders on, everyone: surely America's scientists are smarter than Europe's. Scientific dogma lives in the sacred cow of fluoridation, and dissent over doctrine is enough to wreck a Yankee scientist's career in a hurry, even though fluoridation remains far more a matter of faith than of fact.

"The addition of fluoride to water supplies violates modern pharmacological principles," writes Dr. Arvid Carlsson, Nobel Prize for Medicine laureate. "It is my sincere hope that Christopher Bryson's apparently thorough and comprehensive perusal of the scientific literature on the biological actions of fluoride and the ensuing debates through the years will receive the attention it deserves and that its implications will be seriously considered." Dr. Carlsson, by the way, is the scientist "who helped lead the successful campaign to stop water fluoridation in Sweden (and) argued that public water supplies were not an appropriate vehicle with which to deliver 'pharmacologically active' drugs to the entire population. According to Carlsson: 'I am quite convinced that water fluoridation, in a not-too-distant future, will be consigned to medical history. . . The addition of drugs to the drinking water means exactly the opposite of an individualized therapy. Not only in that the dose cannot be adapted to individual requirements: it is, in addition, based on a completely irrelevant factor, namely consumption of drinking water, which varies greatly between individuals and is, moreover, very poorly surveyed.'" (

Since the 1950's, we have learned a few things. Everyone now knows that nuclear radiation is dangerous; most know that heavy metals are poisonous. Although dentists still implant mercury into teeth, at least lead is no longer added to gasoline. You'll like this one: in his book, Bryson shows that "the man who reassured the nation as to the safety of lead in gasoline, Robert Kehoe, Director of the Kettering Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati, simultaneously reassured us of the safety of water fluoridation. . . . He testified in a federal court there had been no cases of fluoride disability in US industry. His own laboratory, however, had confidentially reported numerous cases."

What a story, and it's just one of many more to be found in The Fluoride Deception. Christopher Bryson's narrative has captured the feel of the progress-patriotism-and-profit postwar years with his comprehensive, interview-based history of fluoridation. The Fluoride Deception is genuinely interesting, impeccably referenced, and scary. For those who still believe that fluoridation is the public's passive panacea for tooth decay, here's the book that may finally set them straight.

(This review reprinted with permission from The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.)

The Fluoride Deception, by Christopher Bryson. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2004. (ISBN: 1-58-322526-9)

Doctor Yourself’s Andrew W. Saul Interviews CHRISTOPHER BRYSON, author of The Fluoride Deception:

DY: So, Mr. Bryson: How do you get along with your dentist?

Christopher Bryson: Very well. He has no idea I am the author of The Fluoride Deception. I cannot abide those one sided so-called "conversations" in the chair, talking with a mouthful of metal.

DY: Questioning fluoridation is the kiss of death for many a scientist. Almost all of the over 5,000 fluoride-related scientific papers indexed on Medline are openly in favor of the practice. A search for "fluoride dangers" brings up only two papers; "fluoride toxicity" gets you a handful more. Where has there ever been any fair and reasonable discussion of fluoridation, pro and con?

Bryson: Perhaps the most balanced review I came across was a long article in Chemical and Engineering News, from August 1, 1988, by Bette Hileman. (Vol. 66, p 26-42.)

DY: Agreed. That article that showed that fluoridated water reduces dental caries by about 1/2 filling per person per lifetime. It is not indexed on Medline. There has also been what I consider to be a very good article on the cancer risk of fluoridated water published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, also posted at . That is not on Medline, either.

Now for a standard question: how did you come to write this book?

Bryson: I was a BBC radio reporter in New York in 1993 and was asked by a London producer to find an American "angle" on water fluoridation. I interviewed two dissident government scientists, Robert Carton ( Bill Hirzy, with the US Army and the EPA respectively. They explained that the science underpinning the US government fluoride safety standards for drinking water was fraudulent. At the same time I read an extraordinary piece of journalism, "Fluoride: Commie Plot or Capitalist Ploy," from the fall 1992 issue of Covert Action Information Bulletin, by the medical writer Joel Griffiths. (The full text is posted at He explained how industry had long manipulated health information about fluoride to launder fluoride’s public image, with the secret agenda of defending itself from lawsuits being launched by workers and farmers alleging fluoride pollution.

DY: You researched and developed this into a major portion of your book. To shift gears: Is your community’s water fluoridated?

Bryson: Yes, New York City’s water has been fluoridated since the mid 1960’s, when the father of public relations Edward L. Bernays secretly worked the New York’s Public Health Commissioner Dr. Leona Baumgartner, to "engineer consent" as he put it, for water fluoridation.

DY: What steps have you taken, personally, to limit fluoride intake for your family?

Bryson: I do not use fluoridated toothpaste, and have a fluoride filter for drinking water.

DY: In your book, one cannot help but notice how many personal interviews you conducted with your sources. What can you tell me about interviewees who did not wish to go on the record?

Bryson: Most everyone went on the record. Some of them, I’m sure, had no idea that my book would be as critical of fluoridation. Director Jack Hein of the Forsyth Dental Center was reluctant to a formal interview, but was drawn out in a telephone conversation, and ended up telling me a great deal. Attorney Pete Johnson who represented the Reynolds Metals Company in the 2000 Hurricane Creek lawsuit did not return my phone call. Arnold Kramish of the Manhattan Project also declined a request for an interview.

DY: Your book, with its very commendable 110 pages of notes, might be well described as sort of a "Fahrenheit FL." What facts, what parts of your book are your critics specifically attacking you over?

Bryson: I don’t know that I have any critics. If they exist, they have been profoundly silent, well aware that any attack would be good publicity for the book.

DY: I think your book is so tightly documented that they haven't a leg to stand on if they try. I noticed that there was an advertisement for your book in the NY Times, but am unaware that the Times ever reviewed it. Where may we find and read major media reviews of The Fluoride Deception?

Bryson: Thus far, there has not been a single mention of the book in the US media, with the exception of Publisher's Weekly. I’m certain industry would love to keep it thus.

DY News: The Publisher's Weekly notice (May 2004) was favorable, saying in part: "Investigative reporter Bryson revisits the decades-long controversy, drawing on mountains of scientific studies, some unearthed from secret archives of government and corporate laboratories, to question the effects of fluoride and the motives of its leading advocates. . . Fluoride in its many forms may be one of the most toxic of industrial pollutants, and Bryson cites scientific analyses linking fluoridated drinking water to bone deformities, hyperactivity and a host of other complaints."

Thank you for getting the word out.

Bryson: Thanks for your interest in the book.

MERCURY AMALGAM Quotes and Notes, referred to in the above review:

1. "Dental amalgam (silver filling) is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. . .The ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs’ 1998 report (J Am Dent Assoc. 1998 Apr;129(4):494-503.) on its review of the recent scientific literature on amalgam states: 'The Council concludes that, based on available scientific information, amalgam continues to be a safe and effective restorative material.' The Council’s report also states, 'There currently appears to be no justification for discontinuing the use of dental amalgam.' . . . (T)he ADA continues to believe that amalgam is a valuable, viable and safe choice for dental patients and concurs with the findings of the U.S. Public Health Service that amalgam has 'continuing value in maintaining oral health.'"(American Dental Association, revised January 8, 2003, accessed July 31, 2004)

2. "No valid scientific evidence has shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in the rare case of allergy." U.S. Food and Drug Administration (, accessed July 31, 2004)

3. "The U.S. Public Health Service believes it is inappropriate at this time to recommend any restrictions on the use of dental amalgam . . . (C)urrent scientific evidence does not show that exposure to mercury from amalgam restorations poses a serious health risk in humans." (CDC/National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Oral Health Resources., accessed July 31, 2004)

(Editor's note: I disagree with all mercury apologists, and predict, in time, that each of these organizations will eat their words.)


Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


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