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18. Manhattan Project Covered Up Effects of Fluoride Toxicity

Source: WASTE NOT, Title: “Fluoride, Teeth and the Atomic Bomb,” Date: September 1997, Authors: Joel Griffiths and Chris Bryson

SSU Censored Researcher: Corrie Robb
SSU, Faculty Evaluator: Daniel Markwyn

Recently declassified government documents have shed new light on the decades-old debate over the fluoridation of drinking water, and have added to a growing body of scientific evidence concerning the health effects of fluoride. Much of the original evidence about fluoride, which suggested it was safe for human consumption in low doses, was actually generated by “Manhattan Project” scientists in the 1940s. As it turns out, these officials were ordered by government powers to provide information that would be “useful in litigation” and that would obfuscate its improper handling and disposal. The once top-secret documents, say the authors, reveal that vast quantities of fluoride, one of the most toxic substances known, were required for the production of weapons-grade plutonium and uranium. As a result, fluoride soon became the leading health hazard to bomb program workers and surrounding communities.

Studies commissioned after chemical mishaps by the medical division of the “Manhattan Project” document highly controversial findings. For instance, toxic accidents in the vicinity of fluoride-producing facilities like the one near Lower Penns Neck, New Jersey, left crops poisoned or blighted, and humans and livestock sick. Symptoms noted in the findings included extreme joint stiffness, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea, severe headaches, and death. These and other facts from the secret documents directly contradict the findings concurrently published in scientific journals which praised the positive effects of fluoride.

Regional environmental fluoride releases in the northeast United States also resulted in several legal suits against the government by farmers after the end of World War II, according to Griffiths and Bryson. Military and public health officials feared legal victories would snowball, opening the door to further suits which might have kept the bomb program from continuing to use fluoride. With the Cold War underway, the New Jersey lawsuits proved to be a roadblock to America’s already full-scale production of atomic weapons. Officials were subsequently ordered to protect the interests of the government.

After the war, experimentation and the dissemination of misinformation continued. Most notably, the authors state, bomb program scientists embarked on a campaign to calm the social panic about fluoride in the early 1950s, through lectures on fluoride toxicology and by promoting its usefulness in preventing tooth decay. Bomb program scientists played a leading role in the design and implementation of a fluoride study conducted in Newburgh, New York, from 1945 to 1956 in which fluoride was secretly added to public drinking water. In a classified follow-up operation referred to as “Program F,” blood and tissue samples were covertly collected from Newburgh citizens with the assistance of the State Health Department. The government eagerly studied the effects of fluoride in Newburgh, as a community-level fluoride exposure experiment.

The formerly top-secret papers—including letters, memos, and health reports—raise important questions about the U.S. government’s possible conflict of interest regarding fluoride use and promotion. If lower dose ranges were found hazardous by the Manhattan Project studies, these findings “might have opened the bomb program and its con-tractors up to lawsuits for injury to human health, as well as public outcry,” say the authors. The documents also state that “clinical evidence suggests that uranium hexafluoride may have a rather marked central nervous system effect…. It seems most likely that the F [code for fluoride] component rather than the T [code for the uranium] is the causative factor.”

It is feared that the Manhattan Project agenda directed researchers away from objectively evaluating the effects of fluoride well into the Cold War. “Information was buried,” concludes Dr. Phyllis Mullenix, the former head of toxicology at Forsyth Dental Center in Boston who was interviewed by Griffiths and Bryson. “There is so much fluoride exposure now, and we simply do not know what it is doing.”

UPDATE BY AUTHORS JOEL GRIFFITHS AND CHRIS BRYSON: “It’s an old story, fluoride. The early U.S. industrial polluters and their victims knew it best. It was just another day for them when the government announced fluoride would reduce children’s cavities. They would have been much better at enlightening the public about fluoride than the dentists of today, but they’re gone now.

“The fluoride story is a hangover from the Cold War, when the U.S. media would not abrogate `national security.’ They publicized the official line about fluoride, and that was that. The critical role of fluoride in the production of the atomic bomb and in many of the new industrial processes (rocket propellants, fluorocarbons, plastics, etc.) that made America the world’s leader after World War II was never mentioned. The nationwide damage wreaked by industrial fluoride pollution, and the role and motives of the bomb program and U.S. industry in establishing fluoride’s safety, was not mentioned either.

“At least a dozen mainstream media outlets here and in the U.K. expressed strong interest in our story, but all later declined. The facts were never in question. The 155 pages of supporting documentation are available for the cost of mailing from Waste Not, Tel: (315) 3799200. For further information, contact Dr. William Hirzy, Senior vice-president, National Treasury Employees Union, EPA Headquarters chapter, Tel: (202) 260-4683; or e-mail: hirzy.john@epa. gov. Also Mike Ewall, Pennsylvania Environmental Network, Tel: (215) 7434884; or e-mail: pen@envirolink.org.”

  • lymph nodes October 12, 2010

    Hey thanks for this good post will be following this blog

  • S August 29, 2012

    The deception never ends.

  • S August 29, 2012

    The deception never ends.

  • Finalruner May 28, 2013

    This is rather interesting ever since my childhood I always though fluoride was bad for you huh

  • Joe Hill June 26, 2013

    Critical thinking means we shouldn’t trust anyone on any side of any debate or discourse implicitly. As someone with science training I try to be open minded about everything from any source. This article ends with the statement that I can go to the authors and a few others for extensive documentation. That isn’t the way it should work. It’s no big deal to put in end notes, foot notes and bibliography, which is a sine qua non in research. Failure to provide specific documentation with the article delegitimizes this work (irregardless of its validity or falsity). There are a few red flags in this article, however, that I would call attention to: 1) Everyone whose taken high school chemistry knows that HF is the most powerful acid, can etch glass, burn through bone like nothing and so on. And also that the Fluoride ion is highly reactive–thus potentially dangerous to organic molecules. There is no secret or controversy on that score. However, the evidence that Fluoride reduces the incidence of dental caries is also not a matter of dispute in terms of the research literature. The question is only at what level Fluoride is toxic to human, especially to children; and at what level it causes mottling of teeth, and weakening of bone. I do not have the knowledge base (and therefore no opinion) on that score. To suggest that the Manhattan Project was involved in “detoxifying” public concerns about Fluoride may or may not be accurate, but it makes almost no logical sense that a top secret project to create a weapon of mass destruction that could destroy the planet and cause generations of disease and mutations to millions would decide to risk its own to secrecy to get involved in that way. Moreover, as most people know, the Manhattan Project’s majority of high level physicists were progressives who signed a petition to the US government to stop building the bomb and to preemptively negotiate with Russia for a wordwide ban on its development once Germany had surrendered. This was hardly a group of men who had the mind set to deceive the public. Of course that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some scientists in the bomb project who would go along to get along. But, the important point is that people like Einstein and many others were men of great conscience who would have blown the whistle on any attempt to create a fraudulent cover in the way described if they knew about it and believed it was fraudulent. The US government has been involved in thousands of heinous acts and coverups up from aggressive wars to torture and so on, so obviously they may have done what is alleged in the case of Fluoride, but the way this is linked to the Manhattan project is typical guilt by association type of argumentation. The bomb project did not need to legitimate Fluoride because, by its top secret status, it could do whatever it needed to do.

    Had there been good documentation along with this article I would have followed it and evaluated it. Given the way the case is presented I think that people who opt to accept this way of arguing in the modern world are too gullible and not applying critical thinking skills, which we all must use or human civilization will collapse under the weight of the irrationality of money’s power and domination.

  • Agnes Uhls February 2, 2014

    This story is a “metaphor” for the extent that past US secret policy from the Manhattan Project has been detrimental to human health, avoided legislation to redress, and discounted all public input with an ongoing classified subversion of medical and scientific publications and practice – for dentistry, all branches of medicine, best practices for medical care and patient recommendations from practitioners, and all health studies based on exposure.

  • F YOU February 8, 2014

    Why are they trying to give everyone fluride ,whats the connection with nucular medicine?
    Why put glitter in childrens toothpaste colour it pink and put 1000 ppm in it when the original “safe dose ” was said to be 1 ppm and that was a lie as the original sientist who was commitioned to investigate its safety was discredited after saying it was a really bad idea F in water.they got some doctor who was also doing plutonium experiments on children to say it was safe.Why is the dentist guide lines to increase F for high risk people ie black minoritys poor people spesial needs people ect why are they saying dont rinse your mouth use a pea size amount its ?
    In France in 2011 I remember being offered a flouride injection for my little downs baby,I just remembered this again and wondered if I imagined it,well i said straight theres no way your doing that even though id been pretty traumatized with a whole lot of crazy life karmic events.
    The report All french children should be introduced to F from birth ,I havent read it as you have to pay but well next they will probelly try say its a vitamin.

  • nico napo September 21, 2014

    The Government is at it again. Organized Stalking. Use of fluoride as a weapon to torture innocent citizens 2014. As a weapon it’s odorless, tasteless, cumulative and can not be detected even in post mortem.

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