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
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
completely. This was believed to be caused by fluorine in drinking water
A strong uproar was heard when this was released and people wanted
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
Association, and The American Dental Association. Both associations
wrote articles in
their journals about the dangers of fluoridation of water supplies. The
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
well as goiter, and we cannot afford to run the risk of producing such
disturbances in applying what is at present a doubtful procedure intended
development of dental disfigurements among children." (Yiamouyiannis pg.
Despite these warnings Dr. Cox continued to promote fluoridation of
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.
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
did not have a fluoridated water supply, cavities decreased by the same
the information about Muskegon was covered up (Waldbott pg. 262).
A few days after the information about Grand Rapids was released
States Public Health Service called a press conference in which they said
"Communities desiring to fluoridate their communal water supplies should
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
had finally succumb to the pressure. Two years later in 1953, the
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
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
Medical Association, and the World Health Organization. All of these
endorsed fluoridation (Waldbott pg. 277).
However in 1977, the fluoridation controversy was brought back up
Yiamouyiannis. A committee was commissioned to clear up the fluoride
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
gathered, said: "provide clear evidence that fluoride is a carcinogen".
In his study
Yiamouyiannis learned that people living in the nation's ten largest
suffered 15 percent more cancer than those living in the ten largest non-
Backing up this report was senior science advisor for the Environmental
Agency, William L. Marcus. He stated that the committee report not only
liver cancer evidence, but also would have reported clear evidence of
they not fallen to pressure from pro-fluoride groups to release a
In 1978 Dr. Wallace Armstrong, Dr. Robert Hoover, and Dr. Stephen
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
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
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
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
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
gradually become darker and darker until the tooth is completely eroded
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
and serves as a major structural component in skin, ligaments, bones,
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
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
Fluoride can also damage the immune system. Studies done by Dr.
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
rates of white blood cells treated with different concentrations of
(Yiamouyiannis pg. 23)
Another one of the most damaging health hazards caused by 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
are damaged by fluoride the children to be born of the person whose
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,
vommiting, shallow breathing, stomach cramps, tremors, 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)
1. Behrman, A. S., Water is Everybody's Business. Doubleday, New York,
2. Coffel, Steve, "The Great Fluoride Fight", Garbage, Vol. 4, Issue 3.
Publishers, New York, 1992.
3. Waldbott, George L., Fluoride: The Great Dilemma. Coronado Press,
4. Yiamouyiannis, John, Fluoride: The Aging Factor. Health Action