Posts Tagged ‘epa’
by stuartbramhall in Sustainability
More good news this month. All signs suggest that ordinary Americans are winning the battle against Big Coal (see * below). However you won’t read it in the New York Times. The mainstream media is never eager to report on the victories of grassroots movements. Thus the Times neglected to report, in January 2012, that the EPA had revoked the waste disposal permit the Bush administration granted Arch Coal for one of the largest mountaintop removal projects in the country. It was definitely newsworthy – it’s totally unprecedented for the EPA to revoke an existing permit granted by the Army Corps of Engineers. They only reported the story when a US district judge reversed the ruling.
Mountaintop removal is a controversial method of coal mining in which the company dynamites the top of a mountain to get at the coal seam underneath. The process fills and contaminates hundreds of miles of streams with explosion debris, endangering the health of downstream communities when they lose access to clean drinking water. The EPA ruling resulted in part from a 2011 study revealing that mountaintop removal is linked to an increased risk of birth defects.
Remind Obama that He Works for Us
The Obama administration has sixty days to appeal the court decision. Knowing our President, he will need a really strong nudge to do so. Readers can go to Earth Justice user action to remind him he’s running for re-election and that he works for us, not Wall Street.
The De Facto Ban on New Coal-Fired Power Plants
That being said, the court ruling is a minor setback when viewed against a string of grassroots victories against Big Coal over the last decade. This despite of their well-funded campaign to convince us that climate change is a liberal-funded conspiracy. The grassroots movement fight climate change is particularly strong on the left coast. In the city of Portland, according to Climate Solutions, carbon emissions have declined by 26% since 1990 (you ain’t going to read that in the New York Times, either).
In the US, approximately 42% of electricity is still produced by coal-fired plants. However this ratio is decreasing rapidly, as existing plants become obsolete and a combination of state law and federal regulation amounts to a de facto ban on the construction of new coal-fired plants. The state legislatures of Washington, Oregon and California have outlawed the construction of new coal-fired plants. Plus both Washington and Oregon have passed legislation requiring their two remaining coal-fired plants (they have one each) to be decommissioned in 2025 and 2020 respectively. Although California still has ten remaining coal-fired plants, they only account for 0.7% of their generating capacity. Thus a decision by Los Angeles (population 12.9 million) to end their reliance of coal-generated electricity by 2020 will have a massive impact.
The Insane Scheme to Export 150 Million Tons to China
In the last five years, more than 160 new coal-fired plants across the US have been cancelled or placed on hold. The rapid phase-out of coal-generated electricity has caused American demand for coal to plummet. Accordingly, Big Coal has come up with a cockamamie scheme to export 150 million tons of coal per year (at present the US only burns 8 million tons per year) to China from strip mines in Wyoming and Montana. The coal companies propose to transport the coal by rail from the strip mines to ports in Washington and Oregon. The speed with which rural conservatives and urban liberals in both states have closed ranks against this crazy project is nothing short of miraculous.
What we’re talking about here is eighty trains per day that are 1 ½ miles long, made up of 125 cars and pulled by four diesel locomotives. Can you imagine trying to get to your job or daycare center and getting stuck at a level crossing waiting for a 1 ½ mile train? Or worse still waiting for an ambulance or other emergency vehicle to get through? To say nothing of the health effects of constant exposure to mercury-laden coal dust or the particulate pollution from the four diesel locomotives.
Can you imagine the greenhouse effects of burning 100 million tons of coal per year? It makes no difference to planet Earth whether we burn the stuff in China or the US. According to Climate Solutions, the yearly CO2 emissions this would produce exceeds a lifetime of emissions produced by the controversial Keystone tar sands pipeline.
Northwest Residents Close Ranks
Thus far Northwest ports governed by elected port authorities (Seattle, Portland and Tacoma) have responded with a resounding “no.” As a fall-back position, Big Coal is seeking permits to build small private terminals in rural Washington – Cherry Point (near Bellingham), Longview and Grays Harbor, in rural Washington, and Coos Bay and St Helen’s in rural Oregon. Because these communities have no publicly elected port authority, they have been self-organizing to prevent environmental and use permits from being granted. More than half (246) doctors in Whatcom County have formed “Whatcom Docs” to fight the Cherry Point terminal. Church leaders, commercial fishermen, farmers, ranchers and elected officials have formed similar interest groups as part of the Power Past Coal Campaign. For more information and to sign a petition, go to http://www.powerpastcoal.org/
*Who is Big Coal? The two biggest US coal companies are Peabody and Arch Coal.
by stuartbramhall in Medical Censorship
How the EPA Violated Their Own Guidelines
(This is the second of two blogs about the human health hazards of oil spills.)
In what most likely amounts to criminal conspiracy, the Obama administration pressured the EPA to violate their own guidelines and reopen the Gulf fisheries in April 2011, six months after the ruptured Horizon well was “killed” via capping and construction of a relief well. Instead of performing systematic sampling, as in prior spills in Oregon and California, the EPA issued (and followed) a brand new guideline: “absence of oil sheen on the water’s surface for one month.”
As Riki describes in her presentation in Emmett Michigan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNYseR-eZ54), many New Orleans fishermen are still seeing plumes of dissolved oil at deeper levels and refuse to jeopardize consumers’ health by selling them contaminated seafood. However now that the EPA has declared Gulf fisheries “safe,” seafood workers can no longer claim compensation from BP for loss of income.
Likewise, despite extensive peer-reviewed research documenting PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon)-related health problems, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) still refuses to recognize PAH-related chemical illness as a medical condition. Thus insurance companies refuse to reimburse New Orleans or Emmett doctors for treating it. Instead doctors are diagnosing and treating PAH-exposed patients for a range of conditions (heat stroke, flu, respiratory infections) they can get reimbursed for. Obviously patients with chemical illness don’t respond to treatment for other conditions. Some die (Riki shows a poignant vignette of a Gulf oil victim who subsequently died). Others become permanently disabled.
As a conventionally trained doctor, I was never trained to look for environmental (i.e. corporate) causes of cancer, autoimmune disease and other chronic disorders. I still find it quite hard to get my head around the extensive burden of illness caused by the hundred or so toxic chemicals every inhabitant on earth carries in their blood stream. I have always believed I have a duty under the Hippocratic Oath to do everything in my power to keep people healthy. I have great difficulty accepting that, as a society, we are virtually helpless to treat or prevent most chemical illness. Even the 1% who run society can do nothing to protect themselves, their children and their grandchildren from the hundreds of toxic chemicals corporations continue to pour into the ecosystem.
I alternate between blinding rage and mind-bending disbelief at the corporate CEOs and boards who are callously filling our air, water and food chain with toxic chemicals and the government leaders (like Obama) who collude with them in covering it up. The only glimmer of hope I see is People Against Chemical Trespass and similar community groups in California, Pennsylvania and Virginia. These local democracy groups are seeking to pass municipal ordinances that penalize corporations for chemical trespass. Chemical trespass is defined as the involuntary introduction of toxic chemicals into the human body. Halifax Virginia and three towns in Pennsylvania have already passed chemical trespass laws.
Ending Our Fossil Fuel Addiction
Yet, as Riki points out in her presentation, we will only end oil spills and their catastrophic environmental and health effects by ending our addiction to fossil fuels. Corporate lobbies and elected officials have a big role to play here, by allowing us to use our tax dollars to expand public transportation options and develop renewable fuel and energy sources (instead of wasting them on wars and massive subsidies for banks, the fossil fuel industry, agribusiness and Big Pharma). However each of us must acknowledge our own role in perpetuating western society’s fossil fuel addiction. We do so every time we fill the tank to take a two mile car trip, when we could easily walk, cycle or use public transportation.
by stuartbramhall in Attacks on the Working Class, Challenging the Corporate Media, Things That Aren't What They Seem
The following is a second excerpt from my submission to New Plymouth District Council on fluoridation. It describes a study the Bush EPA commissioned from the National Research Council that has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media.
The EPA Commissions the National Research Council Study
In 2003 the EPA commissioned the National Research Council (part of the National Academy of Sciences) to examine all the peer reviewed research to make a determination whether an upper limit of 8 mg of fluoride (eight glasses of water with a fluoride concentration of 4 mg/litre) was still within the margin of safety. The NRC came back with the recommendation that 8 mg (4 mg/litre) was definitely too high – as patients were experiencing clear symptoms of chronic fluoride poisoning at this dose. Based on the high probability that Americans drinking fluoridated water were suffering serious and irreversible health damage, they also urgently recommended that the EPA ban water fluoridation until the safe threshold (based on urine fluoride measurements) could be determined.
Dental Fluorosis in 41% of American Teenagers
The most obvious evidence of low level fluoride poisoning is a condition known as dental fluorosis, an irreversible condition causing demineralization of the teeth, characterized by staining, pitting and flaking. Dental fluorosis is present in 41% of American children drinking fluoridated water (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db53.htm).
Studies of the biochemical processes that cause fluorosis demonstrate quite clearly that it’s an irreversible demineralization of the tooth enamel. Despite claims to the contrary, this is not merely a “cosmetic” problem. As the European Union Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Research reports in their 2010-2011 review, there are peer reviewed studies linking it with Stage II skeletal fluorosis – a demineralization of the bones causing a weakening of the bone matrix.
The Bush EPA Declines to Act
Under the extremely anti-scientific administration of George W. Bush, the EPA totally ceased to perform any regulatory function in maintaining clear air or water standards. Their failure to act on the NRC’s urgent recommendations resulted in highly publicized protest action by eleven EPA unions representing over 7000 environmental and public health professionals
The following is from their 2005 press release:
“Studies in animals and human populations suggest that fluoride exposure, at levels that are experienced by a significant proportion of the population whose drinking water is fluoridated, may have adverse impacts on the developing brain. Though no final conclusions may be reached from available data, the findings are provocative and of significant public health concern. Perhaps most surprising is the relative sparseness of data addressing the central question of whether or not this chemical, which is intentionally added to drinking water, may interfere with normal brain development and function. Focused research should address this important matter urgently.” (http://www.nteu280.org/Issues/Fluoride/Press%20Release.%20Fluoride.htm)
Below are perspectives of NRC panel members on their three year review:
“The difference between the levels of fluoride causing toxic effects and the levels added to water to prevent tooth decay is vanishingly small and deeply troubling.” Dr. J. William Hirzy, Vice President, Environmental Protection Agency’s Headquarters Union, Washington DC.
“l personally feel that the NRC report is relevant to many aspects of the water fluoridation debate… [T]he report discusses the wide range of drinking water intake among members of the population, which means that groups with different fluoride concentrations in their drinking water may still have overlapping distributions of individual fluoride exposure. In other words, the range of individual fluoride exposures at 1 mg/L will overlap the range of individual exposures at 2 mg/L or even 4 mg/L. Thus, even without consideration of differences in individual susceptibility to various effects, the margin of safety between 1 and 4 mg/L is very low.” Dr. Kathleen Thiessen, NRC Panel Member.
“In my opinion, the evidence that fluoridation is more harmful than beneficial is now overwhelming and policy makers who avoid thoroughly reviewing recent data before introducing new fluoridation schemes do so at risk of future litigation.” Dr. Hardy Limeback, NRC Panel Member.
NRC Findings Regarding Hypothyroidism, Brain Damage, Bone Cancer and Skeletal Fluorosis
The NRC Review also found a very strong link between water fluoridation and hypothyroidism, bone cancer in boys, brain damage (manifesting as low IQ, learning disability, memory problems and hyperactivity) and mild to moderate skeletal fluorosis (manifesting as arthritis, osteoporosis and increased fracture rates).
Only seven (mainly English speaking) countries continue to fluoridate water. At present Fluoride-free Taranaki is seeking to end water fluoridation here in New Plymouth. You can follow our progress on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/207748655919333/ . The site is updated every time a local citizens group pressures their city or town to end fluoridation. Ninety-eight percent of Europe and 60 US cities have banned water fluoridation. If you’re still drinking fluoridated tap water, contact the Fluoride Action Network at http://www.fluoridealert.org/
My full submission is eighteen pages long with twenty-one appendices. People can message me if they want a copy of the full document.
by stuartbramhall in Medical Censorship
Owing to stranglehold powerful corporate lobbies have on Congress and federal regulatory agencies (such as the EPA and FDA), the US has the worst record in the industrialized world for regulating toxic chemicals. The sad thing is that the majority of Americans are totally clueless about the poisons they expose themselves to (and their children and pets) on a daily basis. The spin the mainstream media puts on it is that it costs too much to worry about the environment during a recession. The problem is that many of the common chemicals in household cleaners are even more dangerous to the people who use them than to the environment. Some examples:
AIR FRESHENERS – usually contain methoxychlor, a pesticide that accumulates in fat cells, as well as formaldehyde, a highly toxic, known carcinogen, and phenol, a common culprit in contact allergies.
CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY SHAMPOO – commonly contain perchlorethylene, a known carcinogen, and ammonium hydroxide, a corrosive, extremely irritable to eyes, skin and respiratory passages.
DISHWASHER DETERGENTS (number one cause of household poisoning) – commonly contain highly concentrated dry form of chlorine, which leaves a residue on dishes that accumulates with each washing and is absorbed into hot food.
FURNITURE POLISH – contain petroleum distillates, which can cause skin and lung cancer and nitrobenzene, linked with low sperm counts, anemia and liver, kidney, lung and eye damage.
LAUNDRY detergents contain the following chemicals (which remain as residue in clothes, as well as being released into waterways)
- Linear alkyl sodium sulfonates (LAS or anionic surfactants) – release carginogenic and reproductive toxins into environment during production.
- Petroleum distillates (aka napthas) - linked to cancer, lung damage and inflammation (can cause asthma) and damage to mucous membranes.
- Phenols – linked with damage to nervous system, heart, blood vessels, lungs (can cause asthma) and kidneys.
- Nonyl phenol ethoxylate – endocrine disruptor banded in Europe, owing to link to breast cancer, premature puberty and low sperm counts.
- Optical brighteners (convert UV light wavelengths into visible light, making clothes appear whiter without making them cleaner) – toxic to fish and can cause allergic reactions when exposed skin is later exposed to sunlight.
- Phosphates (banned in many states) – contribute to water “dead zones” by stimulating algae growth that depletes oxygen needed for fish and other animal life.
- Sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) – highly toxic chemical which reacts with organic materials in the environment to form carcinogenic and toxic compounds that can cause reproductive, endocrine and immune system disorders.
- EDTA (ethylene-diamino-tetra-acetate) – chelating agent that biodegrades poorly and can re-dissolve toxic heavy metals in the environment, allowing them to enter the food chain.
OVEN CLEANERS – contain highly toxic and corrosive lye and ammonia with fumes that can damage the respiratory system (especially of small children and pets) and which leave residue that is vaporized when the oven is turned on.
TOILET BOWL CLEANERS - contain hydrochloric acid, a highly corrosive irritant which can damage skin, eyes, kidneys and liver; and hypochlorite bleach, a corrosive irritant that can damage eyes, skin and respiratory tract.
The best database for finding safe, natural cleaning products is http://www.mamashealth.com/doc/cleanprod.asp
However they do tend to be quite pricey. I’ve posted some excellent recipes (ones our grandmothers used) for homemade alternatives people can make in two minutes with a food processor at http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2010/12/08/going-non-corporate/
They will save a family of four about $4,000 a year and surprisingly work far better than the commercial alternatives.
by stuartbramhall in Medical Censorship
The US has the worst record in the industrialized world for regulating toxic chemicals – thanks to the stranglehold powerful corporate lobbies have on Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a doctor, I am understandably concerned that millions of Americans may be systematically poisoning themselves with common household products, toiletries and cosmetics. In this article, I list some of the more dangerous products, as well as providing links to databases that suggest. I even include some simple recipes at the end for homemade alternatives. It is also essential for all American consumers to support the 2010 Safe Cosmetics Act presently in Congress – which would greatly strengthen FDA oversight for a virtually unregulated industry (see http://www.safecosmetics.org/section.php?id=74).
At present, I believe Americans are at highest risk from endocrine disruptors found in most commercial cleaning and beauty products. These are chemicals that mimic estrogen and other hormones in their effect on the human body. Many epidemiologists believe they are linked to the current epidemic of breast cancer, premature puberty, and both male and female infertility. However I also worry about evidence linking other synthetic chemical to the big increase in cancer prevalence that occurred with the “better living through chemistry” revolution that occurred after World War II. What many people forget is that cancer was an extremely rare condition prior to the industrial revolution. I also find the current epidemic of asthma epidemic in children – and its apparent link to the use of commercial household cleaners during pregnancy – extremely alarming.
Why is There a Frog Disruptor in My Toothpaste?
(from www.tree.hugger.com/files/2009/1/why-is-there-a-frog-disrupter-toothpaste.php). The phthalates and bisphenol-A found in plastic water bottles, pacifiers, and baby toys has been pretty well publicized. Many Americans consumers seem well aware that these compounds function as synthetic estrogens and that they cause feminization of frogs and fish, and possibly breast cancer, premature puberty, and low sperm counts in men.
There is much less public awareness that nearly all commercial shampoos, hand and body lotions, deodorants, toothpaste, and sunscreen contain preservatives that function as estrogen-like endocrine disruptors. The US bans only eight of these compounds. In contrast the EU bans more than 1,000.
The problem with widespread use of these products is that the harm they cause they cause to individuals who use them for years on end (and their children and pets) is compounded when they are flushed down the drain and accumulate in our waterways. Studies of indigenous populations in both the third world and the Arctic reveal they have a hundred or so of these toxic chemicals in their blood stream and breast milk– even though most of them have never even heard of Right Guard or Colgate toothpaste.
One of the worst offenders is the paraben class of compounds (mostly found as methyparaben or PABA), which is used as a preservative in nearly all commercial toiletries. The second most common is triclosan, found in numerous so-called antibacterial products, including the following:
- Neutrogena Deep Clean Body Scrub Bar
- Lever 2000 Special Moisture Response Bar Soap, Antibacterial
- CVS Antibacterial Hand Soap
- Dial Liquid Soap, Antibacterial Bar Soap
- Softsoap Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap
- Cetaphil Gentle Antibacterial Cleansing Bar
- Clearasil Daily Face Wash
- Clean & Clear Oil Free Foaming Facial Cleanser
- Dawn Complete Antibacterial Dish Liquid
- Ajax Antibacterial Dish Liquid
- Colgate Total Toothpaste
- Right Guard Sport Deodorant
- Old Spice Red Zone, High Endurance and Classic Deodorants
- Vaseline Intensive Care Antibacterial Hand Lotion
To be continued with a list of dangerous chemicals found in household cleaners.
by stuartbramhall in Inspiring Moments in Resistance
For me the section on Prague spring and the student/intellectual uprising in Czechoslovakia is one of the most valuable sections of Mark Kurlansky’s 1968: the Year that Rocked the World. With the distressing level of FBI and police repression occurring in the US, I find it heartening to learn that organized resistance occurred even in the brutal totalitarian regimes of cold war Eastern Europe. Moreover I feel it’s important to understand the circumstances in which resistance developed – a well as it’s significance in the ultimate collapse of the Soviet bloc.
It’s quite common for the US power elite to attribute the collapse of the Soviet Union to the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, which ultimately bankrupted their economy. In, fact some of them take credit it: Zbigniew Brzezinski brags that the US ingeniously “lured” them into Afghanistan. Hopefully American intellectuals are too sophisticated to be taken in by this simplistic and jingoistic view of world history.
Prague Spring and the Collapse of the Soviet Empire
1968 author Mark Kurlansky believes the Soviet’s 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia marks the beginning of the end of the Soviet empire. The student/intellectual protest movement that brought Alexander Dubcek to power in January 1968 became less public but didn’t disappear in the government repression that followed the Soviet invasion in August. It also served to strengthen reform movements in other Soviet Bloc countries – especially Romania and Poland – where government leaders were under pressure to condemn the invasion. In Kurlansky’s view the appearance of Soviet tanks on Czech streets killed the dream of eastern block reformers that socialism could be made more democratic. Without that dream, they had no choice but to turn to capitalism when they ultimately took power in the late eighties (which many deeply regret at this point).
I was especially fascinated by Kurlansky’s description of the background and personality of Alexander Dubceck, the father of “Prague Spring.” Dubcek was clearly no wild-eyed radical seeking to overthrow communism. In every respect Dubcek was the ultimate communist bureaucrat: blindly loyal, dutiful, honest, and somewhat bumbling. Dubcek, who had always believed in democratic reform, never spoke openly about it because he was also very pro-Soviet. In fact, he never imagined the Soviets would invade. Dubcek and his subordinates considered the Soviets their friends and protectors. In this respect, Czechoslovakia was unique among eastern bloc countries in voting in a communist government at the end of World War II (rather than having it forced on them).
Parallels Between Dubcek and Nixon
Dubcek was clearly more moderate than the students and intellectuals in the street. As Kurlansky describes it, he was actually somewhat dismayed at being suddenly thrust into power in January 1968 – owing to his predecessor’s inability to contain the student protest movement and the Slovak nationalist movement that exploded simultaneously in late 1967. At the same time Dubcek was deeply principled, unlike many Communist Party officials, and viewed violent suppression of the protests as unthinkable. Aside from his refusal to invoke military force against the students, his situation parallels that of Richard Nixon’s in some ways. Nixon was also forced to enact a number of progressive initiatives (The Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Social Security Supplemental Income) in response to a large and vocal protest movement. There are some interesting essays in the Nixon Library regarding the political pressures that led Nixon to embrace to these reforms: http://www.nixonera.com/library/domestic.asp
In fact Dubcek had no real platform until April 1968, when he issued an Action Program with three planks: 1) commitment to Czechoslovakia’s socialist political/economic system, 2) ending secret police repression of personal and political beliefs, and 3) ending the monopoly of power by the Communist Party.
The immediate result was liberalization of foreign travel, increased access to foreign periodicals in Czechoslovakia, as well as an increase in media exposes about Czech and Soviet corruption and Stalin’s notorious purges. Freedom of artistic expression also increased, and everywhere Czech students wore blue jeans and long hair, listened to rock and jazz, displayed psychedelic posters and even held an international film festival.
Soviets Forced to Keep Dubcek in Power
Brezhnev, the Soviet prime minister, had been one of Stalin’s henchmen in several purges. For obvious reasons, he put extreme pressure on Dubcek to crack down on these “excesses.” Dubcek, however, was also profoundly antiwar. Even as Russian tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia, he explicitly ordered a robust, well-trained and armed Czech military not to fire on them. As in Tienanmen Square in China, the main opposition to the tanks was tens of thousands of unarmed civilians, making it clear the Soviet invasion was extremely unpopular and placing them in an extremely awkward position.
Kurlansky writes at length about an unsung hero of this period named General Ludvik Svoboda, who the Soviets attempted to install in a puppet government after imprisoning Dubcek and three members of his cabinet. Though forced to agree to Soviet demands to gradually reinstate censorship and foreign travel restrictions, Dubcek was released and remained in power until April 1969, when he was forced to resign following the Czech Hockey Riots. In 1970 he was expelled from the Communist Party, which cost him his seat in the Slovak Parliament and Federal Assembly.
by stuartbramhall in Medical Censorship
As I have blogged previously, the whole notion of fluoride being safe and good for teeth is based on decades of corporations paying researchers to produce the scientific results they want – and burying research and firing and blacklisting scientists whose studies show otherwise.
A Systematic Corporate Cover-Up
As Christopher Bryson points out in his 2004 book the Fluoride Deception, it was actually mass fluoride poisoning that kick-started the environmental movement, following an air pollution disaster in 1948 that killed 20 people and sickened hundreds more. A temperature inversion and air pollution from a US Steel factory is blamed for the Donora (Pennsylvania) Death Fog. However owing to extreme pressure from the steel and aluminum industry, public health authorities colluded in a systematic cover-up of the autopsy results – which revealed the victims had toxic fluoride levels in their blood (see http://www.fluoridation.com/donora.htm).
GM researcher Charles Kettering, one of the corporate pioneers of water fluoridation, also suppressed the results of his own lab’s 1962 studies demonstrating that fluoride produced lung damage in beagles.
This sordid history also includes deliberate smear campaigns against extremely reputable doctors and scientists who published research and clinical findings showing that water fluoridation has adverse health effects:
- Dr. George Waldbott a world famous doctor who first identified penicillin allergy and the link between smoking and emphysema. Waldbott published numerous double blind studies in the fifties showing that fluoride is harmful to human health. The result was a massive corporate smear campaign that destroyed his reputation by marginalizing and demonizing him.
- Dr William Marcus – a senior EPA toxicologist in the Office of Water, fired in 1992 for attempting to publicize studies revealing that fluoride causes bone and liver cancer (see http://www.gaia-health.com/articles251/000293-epa-scientists-oppose-fluoridation.shtml). In 1994 Marcus won lawsuit against the federal government and was reinstated. While the EPA still refuses to ban water fluoridation, the unions representing EPA scientists have called for a moratorium (see http://www.nteu280.org/Issues/Fluoride/Press%20Release.%20Fluoride.htm).
- Dr Phyllis Mullinix – research toxicologist hired by Forsyth Dental Institute to study the effect of fluoride on the brain. Mullinex was first fired and then blacklisted in the mid-nineties when she published research showing fluoride produces memory and behavior problems in children.
Where Does Fluoride Comes From?
Although fluoride is added to municipal water supplies as a “drug” – that allegedly improves dental health – it has never been approved by the FDA. In fact most communities source their fluoride from the phosphate fertilizer industry, as hydrofluorosilicic acid. This is an extremely toxic, hazardous waste, and the EPA requires phosphate manufacturers to capture it via “wet scrubbers” in their chimneys (to prevent toxic fluoride gas from being released into the air). The resulting liquid is then loaded, unpurified, into tanker trucks and sold to cities to be added to their public water supply. In addition to fluoride, it also contains a number of heavy metals and radionucleotides (radioactive elements – mainly uranium-238, uranium-234, thorium-230, radium-226, radon-222, lead-210, and polonium-210).
Why Have 98% of European Communities Banned Water Fluoridation
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden all forbid water fluoridation – for five main reasons:
1. The preponderance of independent research reveals (as I blogged on Nov 30th) that fluoridation (at levels of 7 parts per million) increases the risk of hip fracture, liver and bone cancer and lowered IQ in children – as well as being strongly implicated in an American epidemic of hypothyroidism, arthritis and infertility.
2. It ‘s an absolute violation of medical ethics for a doctor to prescribe a drug, in unlimited doses (people who eat processed foods or drink large amounts of fruit juice, soft drinks and tea get much higher doses), to someone they have never met, without informed consent or ongoing monitoring of their response.
3. The World Health Organization has compared communities with and without water fluoridation and found the rate of cavities is no higher in communities who don’t fluoridate their water (and doesn’t increase when they remove it). In fact communities who don’t fluoridate seem to have somewhat better dental health. Individuals who accumulate toxic levels of fluoride (known as dental fluorisis) actually have weaker tooth enamel. (Americans have the highest rate of dental fluorosis in the world – 33% – higher (41%) in teenagers between 12-15). Research has consistently shown that fluoride only reduces tooth decay when it’s applied directly to the teeth – drinking fluoride appears to weaken the enamel.
4. All medical and dental authorities worldwide agree that infants are at risk of fluoride toxicity if their formula is made up with fluoridated water (see http://www.fluoridealert.org/infant-warning.pdf). This poses a real health hazard to low income families, who can’t afford the luxury of distilled water. And fourth and most importantly, the vast majority of Europeans don’t want fluoride in their water.
5. The vast majority of Europeans don’t want fluoride in their water when the risks are explained to them. (The administration of any drug requires informed consent – and they don’t consent.)
by stuartbramhall in Medical Censorship
As Christopher Bryson outlines in his 2004 book Fluoride Deception, the decision to deliberately dose US municipal water supplies with a potent industrial toxin was basically a corporate scam dreamed up by Alcoa, GM and Dupont in the thirties and forties – to stem a tide of lawsuits related to death and injuries from toxic fluoride pollution (by convincing the public that fluoride is good for you). Alcoa was involved because fluoride is an extremely toxic pollutant produced by aluminum smelting. GM and Dupont were involved because GM held the patent on fluoride-based Freon (Dupont manufactured it), a common refrigerant which has since been banned. Unsurprisingly the same corporate researchers who “proved” that fluoride was safe also tried to convince the American public that lead, asbestos, smoking and plutonium were safe.
According to Bryson, the FDA first raised the alarm about fluoride toxicity in the early thirties, resulting in scores of lawsuits for aluminum workers crippled and killed from fluoride poisoning and farmers near aluminum plants, whose livestock were killed due to fluoride poisoning.
Public Relations: Cheaper than Pollution Controls
Rather than encouraging Alcoa to institute pollution controls, an Alcoa researcher named Francis Frary decided a better solution was to alter public perception of fluoride – by convincing Americans it improved dental health. He approached Mellon Institute researcher Gerald Cox, who performed a single study in rats (who don’t suffer much tooth decay to begin with) in 1937 and “proved” fluoride strengthened teeth. Even though this was the same Gerald Cox who “proved” that mesothelioma (a rare lung cancer that killed Steve McQueen) wasn’t caused by asbestos.
Back then the concept of peer reviewed research was unknown, and the American Medical Association declared that the “case for fluoride” was proved. It’s clear that corporate largesse (from GM) was instrumental in getting the American Dental Association on board with water fluoridation. Whether the AMA also benefited from corporate generosity remains unclear.
Kettering Bribes the American Dental Association
Frary and Cox were soon joined in their little scam by Charles Kettering’s GM’s research director and Freon magnate, who approached the American Dental Association, began funding many of their activities, and got appointed to their three member Advisory Committee on Research in Dental Caries. Meanwhile GM and Dupont hired scientist Robert Kehoe to perform safety studies on both fluoride and tetra ethyl lead, a gasoline additive co-manufactured by the two companies. And for obvious reasons, Kehoe declared them both lead and fluoride safe at “low levels.”
Enter the Atomic Energy Commission and the Father of Public Relations
In the 1940s these corporate researchers were joined in their scheme to promote water fluoridation by Dr Harold Hodge the chief toxicologist of the Manhattan Project (the secret US project to build and atomic bomb). Hodge became involved in “Project F” because large amounts of fluoride are used in the construction of the atomic bomb, and the Atomic Energy Commission was concerned about heading off a flood of lawsuits from Manhattan Project scientists exposed to toxic levels of fluoride. This was the same Harold Hodge who, in his role as chief Manhattan Project toxicologist, experimented on unsuspecting patients at Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital, by injecting them with plutonium.
The most prominent villain in this sordid history of lies and secrecy was the infamous father of the public relations industry (i.e. the sophisticated use of propaganda to sway public opinion) Edward Bernays. There was massive public opposition to water fluoridation from the very beginning – led mainly by doctors who were well aware of fluoride’s toxicity. Bernays’ answer was to enlist even more prominent doctors to declare it safe, starting with famous baby doctor Benjamin Spock.
Bernays’ 1928 Book
To be continued, with a discussion of how current fluoride research is suppressed and why 98% of European communities have banned it.
by stuartbramhall in Medical Censorship
It took decades to “prove” that even low-level lead exposure caused mental retardation and behavioral problems in children. In 1973 when I graduated from medical school, there was a mountain of compelling evidence of the terrible things lead in paint and auto exhaust was doing to kids. However under pressure from corporate interests (the companies who put lead in gasoline and paint) the medical establishment officially proclaimed that at “subclinical levels,” lead was totally safe.
Fortunately Nixon’s newly created Environmental Protection Agency stood up to the corporate elite in 1973, taking the emphatic position that even low-level lead exposure was posing a direct threat to the public. Which forced the US auto industry to install catalytic converters in cars, enabling them to run on unleaded fuel, in 1975. The use of lead-based paint in homes was banned in 1978.
Fluoride: the New Lead
The bad news is that by the time there was overwhelming research evidence that fluoride has the same effect (reducing IQ and causing hyperactivity) in lab animals and children, the EPA had ceased to perform its regulatory function – namely to protect the environment from corporate-caused pollution. Which is most unfortunate, given that many US municipalities still put fluoride in the public drinking water (which can’t be removed by simple filtration and is found in many brands of bottled water).
It boggles the mind that communities across the US continue to mass medicate their residents – with a substance that has never been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (it’s actually unpurified toxic waste from the aluminum and agricultural phosphate industry – which means it’s full of heavy metals, as well as fluoride) – without their consent. Not only does it constitute a major civil rights issues, but it poses far more potential harm to human health than TSA full body scanners.
Established Link to Hip Fractures, Bone Cancer and Liver Cancer
And by the point, the evidence is pretty overwhelming. In 2006, after three years of study, doctors, chemists, toxicologists and other researchers appointed by the National Research Council concluded the preponderance of evidence showed fluoride in public water systems was causing an increase in hip fractures and bone and liver cancer, in addition to its neurotoxic effects in children (see http://www.fluoridealert.org/nrc-review.htm). They also found strong evidence it was contributing to an epidemic of hypothyroidism, infertility and arthritis in Americans (1/3 of Americans suffer from arthritis), but felt more research was needed in these areas. At the same time they felt the established health risks were so serious, they strongly recommended all water fluoridation be stopped while additional studies were completed. There is an excellent 98 minute interview with some of these scientists at http://blip.tv/file/2223981/.
One area they didn’t explore, which BBC investigative journalist Christopher Bryson covers in his 2004 book Fluoride Deception, is the systematic way that corporate interests have “doctored” fluoride research. One common practice was to selectively publish research favorable to fluoride, while simultaneously firing and blacklisting scientists whose studies showed otherwise. Scientists who research medical problems related to genetically modified foods face the same problem – their work is suppressed, while they themselves are fired and blacklisted.
Thanks to Bryson others, who obtained dozens of secret documents regarding water fluoridation via the Freedom of Information Act, the full extent of this massive fraud is finally in the public domain. There is a thirty minute interview with Bryson regarding his book at http://www.fluoridealert.org/bryson.htm.
To be continued with a review of fluoridation’s sordid history (including its link to the Manhattan Project) and why 98 percent of European communities have stopped fluoridating water)