The Atomic Fig Leaf: How Military and Industrial Collusion Foisted Fluoride on our Population.
More than one reviewer has called this book almost a "who-done-it," with secret agendas, billions of dollars in profit, America's global military domination, the very industrial sinews of the United States' industrial power bound up irretrievably in the cheap and reckless use of an incredibly powerful and dangerous chemical: fluorine. With the stakes involved, it is easy to see that human lives, health, agriculture, livestock, the economies of countless towns and villages, to say nothing of families, would take a distant second place to interests far afield from the damage being caused.
As long ago as 1937, Danish scientist Kaj Eli Roholm published Fluorine Intoxication, an exhaustive exploration of the effects of fluorine exposure in industrial and community settings. He documented such effects as dental fluorosis (the mottling and weakening of teeth), brittle bones, emphysema, crippling spinal problems, pulmonary fibrosis and many other negative effects on human subjects.
The problem was mainly that the use of fluorine allowed for the cheap and easy extraction of aluminum, a metal just coming into its own around World War I. To stop using fluorine, or to protect the workers in aluminum factories would increase the cost and difficulty of metal production, and nobody wanted that, except possibly the suffering workers. The problem was severely compounded when the United States began refining fissile Uranium (U-235) for atomic weapons. Fluorine was essential for this process, and atom bombs were essential for the United States' global ambitions for unquestioned military dominance.
In the face of the aluminum and steel industries' need for fluorine, and the role it played in America's global power politics, the workers in the plants and their families, and the communities downwind of plants spewing HF (hydrofluoric acid) and other fluoride compounds by the thousands of tons stood no chance of avoiding immense, and often lethal health problems. Farmland went barren, livestock sickened and died, automobile and home windows, and auto paint were etched overnight by the corrosive chemicals spewed (cheaply) from the smokestacks at night, to hide the discharge from its victims. The human cost was incalculable to workers and their families.
The industries and the government did studies that confirmed the damage being done, then promptly buried the studies and developed public relations campaigns to deny the illnesses and damage was being caused by fluorine discharge. In this effort, Edward L. Bernays, Sigmund Freud's nephew, played an important role, helping to saddle us with yet another deadly poison.
Fluoridation of toothpaste and water was one of the most brilliant ploys of government and industry to defuse the thousands of class action lawsuits looming over the potential future profits of industry.
Once the government could be seen as approving this chemical to "protect" our children's dental health, it became impossible for attorneys to convince juries of the widespread and lethal toxicity of fluorine compounds. A tube of fluoridated toothpaste waved in front of a jury was the "fig leaf" for the industrial devastation on trial. Opposing scientists found their careers terminated, funds cut off, totally discredited by their colleagues. Devastated workers and their families were callously abandoned by their governments and employers.
As time progressed, further industrial uses were found for fluoride, including Teflon[R], CFC propellants, GoreTex[R] and other fabrics. Each required worker and community exposure to fluorine, thus causing more suffering in the name of profit. Bryson documents his statements with long-suppressed studies, interviews with scientists, executives, physicians, victims and others, letters, memos, publications. Fully one third of the book is endnotes.
This is a powerful indictment of the callous and deadly collusion between government and industry, in total disregard for the health and welfare of the surrounding population, workers, customers. It is well worth a read.
by Howard Straus, Editor
"In point of fact, fluorine causes more human cancer death, and causes it faster, than any other chemical."
--Dean Burk, PhD, former chief of cytochemistry at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.