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Untitled Essay, Research Paper

In 1931 at the University of Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station M. C. Smith, E. M.

Lantz, and H. V. Smith discovered that when given drinking water supplied with fluorine,

rats would develop tooth defects. Further testing by H. T. Dean and E. Elove of the

United States Public Health Service confirmed this report, and stated that what is known

as mottled tooth. Mottled tooth is a condition in which white spots develop on the back

teeth. Gradually the white spots get darker and darker until the tooth is eroded

completely. This was believed to be caused by fluorine in drinking water (Behrman pg.

181).

A strong uproar was heard when this was released and people wanted all

fluorine

out of their water. But later tests concluded that communities with high levels of

fluorine

in their drinking water suffered less dental cavities. Further testing concluded that at

least

1.0 parts per million of fluorine could help to prevent cavities, but more than 1.5 PPM

would cause mottled tooth, so basically a little fluorine would be okay but a lot of

fluorine

would be bad (Behrman 182).

In 1938, with this information, Dr. Gerald Cox of the Mellon Institute

began to

promote the addition of fluoride to public water systems, claiming that it would reduce

tooth decay, however there were two major obstacles in his path, The American Medical

Association, and The American Dental Association. Both associations wrote articles in

their journals about the dangers of fluoridation of water supplies. The American Dental

Association wrote the following in the October 1, 1944 issue: “We do know the use of

drinking water containing as little as 1.2 to 3.0 parts per million of fluorine will cause

such

developmental disturbances in bones as osteoslcerosis, spondylosis and osteoperosis, as

well as goiter, and we cannot afford to run the risk of producing such serious systemic

disturbances in applying what is at present a doubtful procedure intended to prevent

development of dental disfigurements among children.” (Yiamouyiannis pg. 138)

Despite these warnings Dr. Cox continued to promote fluoridation of

water

supplies and even convinced a Wisconsin dentist, J. J. Frisch to promote the addition of

fluoride to water supplies in his book, The Fight For Fluoridation. Frisch soon garnered

the support of Frank Bull. Frank Bull organized political campaigns in order to persuade

local officials to endorse fluoridation. This began to apply heavy pressure on the United

States Public Health Service and the American Dental Association. (Yiamouyiannis pg.

139)

In 1945 before any tests had been proven to show that fluoride reduced

cavities, it

was added to the drinking water supply of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This was done as a

test. It would be the experiment to see if fluoride would decrease the number of cavities.

The data would be collected periodically over the next five years, and in 1950 the data

showed that the number of cavities was decreasing, but in the town of Muskegon, which

did not have a fluoridated water supply, cavities decreased by the same margin. However

the information about Muskegon was covered up (Waldbott pg. 262).

A few days after the information about Grand Rapids was released the

United

States Public Health Service called a press conference in which they said that:

“Communities desiring to fluoridate their communal water supplies should be strongly

encouraged to do so.” (Waldbott pg. 263)

In June 1951, dental health representatives from around the U. S. met

with dental

health officials to discuss the promotion and implementation of fluoride. It was at this

conference that the United States Public Health Service formally endorsed fluoridation. It

had finally succumb to the pressure. Two years later in 1953, the American Dental

Association also began to support fluoridation, when they released a pamphlet, sending it

to every dentistry office in the U. S. The pamphlet told the advantages of using fluoride,

encouraged acceptance and use of fluoride, and sought to overcome public resistance to

fluoride (Coffel).

From 1953 till 1977 the only debates going on about fluoridation was

how to fund

it. Most organizations supported fluoridation, and those that did not soon did, including,

the National Research Council, the American Water Works Association, the American

Medical Association, and the World Health Organization. All of these organizations

endorsed fluoridation (Waldbott pg. 277).

However in 1977, the fluoridation controversy was brought back up by

John

Yiamouyiannis. A committee was commissioned to clear up the fluoride controversy once

and for all. But it did not, it just raised it even more. Yiamouyiannis led this

committee.

Yiamouyiannis in his statement to congress referring to the results the committee

gathered, said: “provide clear evidence that fluoride is a carcinogen”. In his

study

Yiamouyiannis learned that people living in the nation’s ten largest fluoridated

cities

suffered 15 percent more cancer than those living in the ten largest non-fluoridated

cities.

Backing up this report was senior science advisor for the Environmental Protection

Agency, William L. Marcus. He stated that the committee report not only overlooked

liver cancer evidence, but also would have reported clear evidence of carcinogenicity, had

they not fallen to pressure from pro-fluoride groups to release a “sanitized”

report

(Coffel).

In 1978 Dr. Wallace Armstrong, Dr. Robert Hoover, and Dr. Stephen

Barret

published a two part report on fluoridation for “Consumer Reports”. These two

articles

were meant to discredit Yiamouyiannis’ findings that fluoridation is linked to

cancer. The

authors deliberately lied and slandered Yiamouyiannis, so that the general public would

feel safe, after all, by now the majority of water supplies in the country had been

fluoridated. This battle waged on for several years, with people trying to discredit

Yiamouyiannis, but he would not go away. The battle of whether to use fluoride or not is

still going on. It has been proven to be toxic and cause some serious health problems, but

it is still widely used in dentistry, and more importantly, is still contained in our

drinking

water supplies (Yiamouyiannis pg. 144).

Although fluoride is still used and fluoridated water is still drank,

there are many

disadvantages that many people may not know about that could cause serious health

problems. The first major health threat, is fluoride’s link to cancer. The most

recent study

done was conducted with rats. 180 male rats were given fluoridated water. Out of those

180, 80 were given fluoridated water with a 78 parts per million fluoride count. Out of

those 80 rats three developed a very rare type of bone cancer called Osteosarooms. Such

a rare cancer should not be found at such a rate of three out of 80, but 78 parts per

million

is 78 times what is in people’s water today, but if given enough water a person could

develop cancer.

Of course more that 1 part per million would cause mottled tooth, or as

it is also

known as, dental fluorosis. A condition in which white spots appear on teeth, and

gradually become darker and darker until the tooth is completely eroded away and

destroyed (Coffel).

In the town of Kizilcaoern, Turkey, the water has 5.4 parts per million

fluoride. In

this town all the people and animals age prematurely. Men that are 30 look 60, this is due

to the high fluoride content in the water. Their skin wrinkles excessively, they have

severe

arthritic pain, and their bones shatter like glass after a fall. The fluoride in the water

breaks down the protein Collagen. Collagen makes up 30 percent of the body’s protein

and serves as a major structural component in skin, ligaments, bones, tendons, muscles,

cartilage, and teeth. When the Collagen is broken down the skin and other parts of the

body weaken. As the skin weakens it wrinkles (Yiamouyiannis pg. 4).

There are many other problems attributed to increased aging due to

fluoride. Like

severe arthritis. Also other body organs will not function properly because they get old

too fast, just like a person getting old, naturally their organs don’t function like

they once

did.

Fluoride can also damage the immune system. Studies done by Dr. Sheila

Gibson,

from the University of Glasgow, show that fluoride slows the migration rate of white

blood cells. White blood cells must travel through the walls of blood vessels to fight

disease, but fluoride slows down white blood cells. They don’t work as fast as they

should, and this weakens the immune system. The following table shows the migration

rates of white blood cells treated with different concentrations of fluoride.(Yiamouyiannis pg. 23)

Another one of the most damaging health hazards caused by fluoride is

fluoride

poisoning. This does not consist of one symptom or condition, but many. It begins with

dental fluorosis. Then the bones begin to show signs of faster aging. The bones get what

is known as outgrowth. Bony outgrowth is when the bones get larger unnaturally. This is

caused because fluoride redeposits calcium and other ions on the bones and teeth. Bony

outgrowth can cause joints to lock because the bone will get too large and prevent the

tendons and ligaments from working properly (Yiamouyiannis pg.40).

Other damage that can be caused is chromosome damage. When chromosomes

are damaged by fluoride the children to be born of the person whose chromosomes were

damaged will have serious defects. Other side effects of fluoride that are not as serious

as

the ones mentioned above are, black tarry stools, bloody vomit, faintness, nausea,

vommiting, shallow breathing, stomach cramps, tremors, unusual excitement, unusual

increase in saliva, watery eyes, weakness, constipation, loss of apetite, pain and aching

of

bones, skin rash, sores in mouth and on lips, stiffness, weight loss, and white, brown, or

black discoloration of teeth. (Yiamouyiannis pg. 6)

Besides all of these disadvantages of fluoride, it has been proven to

reduce tooth

decay by 25%. It does this by redepositing calcium and other ions onto the teeth, but this

comes with many disadvantages, so it is not really beneficial to one’s health to use

it. It

will benefit one’s dental health, but will harm many other aspects of their lives.

(Coffel)Works Cited

1. Behrman, A. S., Water is Everybody’s Business. Doubleday, New York, 1968.

2. Coffel, Steve, “The Great Fluoride Fight”, Garbage, Vol. 4, Issue 3. Dovetail

Publishers, New York, 1992.

3. Waldbott, George L., Fluoride: The Great Dilemma. Coronado Press, Kansas, 1978.

4. Yiamouyiannis, John, Fluoride: The Aging Factor. Health Action Press, Delaware,

1986.


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