When does a scientist become a science fiction writer?
by George Glasser and Jane Jones
Picture the scenario, if you will. An establishment scientist is asked to “rebut” the conflicting work of another scientist. What does he do? He gathers together some other papers (by other scientists) which fit his own preconceived notions. Other scientists are then expected to take on board his paper on which to build even greater paper castles in the future. (It’s a common theme.). This seductive approach to scientific enquiry all too often leads to the establishment of a body of “hypothetical science” which remains unproven.
Let us take, for example, the 29-page “rebuttal”1 of two papers by Masters and Coplan, 2,3, by two EPA scientists Urbansky and Schock. The rebuttal is intended to shoot down the possibility that lead associates with fluoride or fluorosilicates in drinking water. The EPA article is, in essence, yet another verbose attempt to defend water fluoridation.
Employing a dazzling display of hypothetical equations and textual acrobatics, Urbansky and Schock proclaim: “We think it useful to frame the issues recently raised about adverse interactions between aqueous lead and fluoridation species, in a question and answer format, to help water managers, scientists and engineers understand and respond to them.” Unfortunately, rather than explaining the reality of reactions in water to the aforesaid members of the “lower orders”, the authors manage to spin themselves and their long-suffering readers into an incomprehensible analytical web which defies logic.
We, (Glasser and Jones), have no wish to enter into the defence or otherwise of the Masters and Coplan papers, but are struck by the series of admissions by Urbansky and Schock on the potential interactions of fluoride with other minerals and substances found in drinking water.
The reality of such interactions has long been recognised by international researchers which, until now, have been consistently publicly denied by all supporters of water fluoridation – including the EPA itself and other governments and government agencies. These bodies have always insisted that there is no fluoride interaction with any other substances in drinking water. They parrot the refrain that “a fluoride ion is a fluoride ion is a fluoride ion” – and that all fluoride ions are “free ions” in the water.
Masters and Coplan postulated that fluorosilicates used in drinking water enhance the transport of lead into the brain. Urbansky and Schock propose innumerable ways purporting to show that lead interaction with fluoride or fluorosilicates can not and does not occur. In their enthusiasm, they blow all officially-accepted, preconceived theories about artificial fluoridation out of the water.
For example, on page 7 (paragraph 1) of their article, long-awaited admissions are sandwiched between two large tables showing (a) Cumulative stability constants for fluoro-complexes and (b) Lead (II) equilibrium and constants:
“There are many metal cations competing for the fluoride; therefore, the free fluoride available to complex with the lead (II) ion is very small. In addition, most, if not all, of the competing metal cations are in greater abundance than the lead (II) by orders of magnitude . . . That drinking water contains a substantial fraction of fluoroaluminum complexes rather than free fluoride was highlighted by Pitter4  as a concern because free fluoride is more effective in protecting against tooth decay.”
On page 8, (para 2), they reinforce this heretical deviation from the ‘party line’:
“However, in real water, there are other metals competing for fluoride and other ligands competing for lead (II). The competition of the other metal cations for fluoride as a ligand substantially reduces the free fluoride concentration.”
The competition by aluminum for fluoride was starkly and repeatedly revealed in three studies by Varner, et al, showing that the action of fluoroaluminum in water results in presenile dementia and kidney damage in laboratory animals.
It was observed that the animals who drank the aluminum/fluoride-laced water developed sparse hair and abnormal, copper-colored underlying skin which is related to premature aging. Further autopsy results showed serious kidney abnormalities in animals that drank water containing both sodium fluoride and aluminum fluoride.
The Varner team said that, “Striking parallels were seen between aluminum-induced alterations” in cerebral blood vessels that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of presenile dementia. They concluded that the alterations of the blood vessels may be a primary event triggering neuro-degenerative diseases.
Describing themselves as “astounded,” the researchers wrote: “Not only did the rats in the lowest dose groups die more often during the experiment, they looked poorly well before their deaths. Even the rats in the lowest dose group that managed to survive the 45 weeks looked to be in poor health.”
The Varner studies caused such alarm that the US Environmental Protection Agency requested the US National Toxicological Program to commission new studies. (See “Dead rats don’t talk”, http://home.att.net/~gtigerclaw/dead_rats.html ). To date, the NTP has not undertaken any such studies.
NOTE: Aluminum sulphate is commonly used to clarify drinking water.
On page 14, Section 6, Urbansky and Schock concede just one paragraph on the fluoridation agent in which they display the standard establishment misconceptions about H2SiF6 used in artificial fluoridation schemes. While stating that Hydrogen Fluoride and Silicon Tetrafluoride are removed as gases, they fail to inform the reader that the above gases and other hazardous air pollutants are generated and captured in the same pollution scrubbing equipment as effluent. This pollution scrubber effluent is the artificial fluoridating agent. They specifically claim that “no evidence has been put forth” that hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) has become contaminated prior to use. However, the EPA itself wrote in 1983:
“In regard to the use of fluosilicic (fluorosilicic) acid as a source of fluoride for fluoridation, this agency regards such use as an ideal environmental solution to a long-standing problem. By recovering by-product fluosilicic acid from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air pollution are minimized, and water utilities have a low-cost source of fluoride available to the communities.” (Rebecca Hanmer, Deputy Administrator, Office of Water, USEPA in 1983 correspondence to Dr. Leslie Russell stating the USEPA position on water fluoridation). (See “It’s Pollution, Stupid!” and “Elixir” http://home.att.net/~gtigerclaw/Stupid.htm
Further evidence of contamination by other substances came directly from the National Sanitation Foundation International (the “certifying laboratory” for hexafluorosilicic acid). In a response to the Florida Department of Health, NSFI said that the results of tests indicate that the most common contaminant detected in the fluoridation product is Arsenic. They showed that the average Arsenic levels in the fluoridation agent were well above the proposed Maximum Allowable Level. They said that if the lower Arsenic Maximum Contaminant Level of 5 parts per billion is enacted, future tests of fluoridation chemicals may result in “increased product failures”. This is itself an admission that “product failures” already occur because of contamination by Arsenic alone!
(See “Arsenic in drinking water” http://home.att.net/~gtigerclaw/AWWA_PRESS.html )
Furthermore, because of the findings of Varner, et al5, there is no excuse for anyone in the scientific community to be unaware of the aluminum fluoride combination in drinking water. Attempts to uphold and support artificial water fluoridation are indefensible when any and all studies showing the slightest potential for neurotoxicological damage to people are ignored.
EPA information regarding the contaminants captured by the pollution scrubber equipment is readily available in the public domain. Urbansky and Schock’s claims of the improbability of product contamination are the result of either selectivity or haphazardness. Such glaring errors and omissions destroy the credibility of their entire article.
In the particular case of water fluoridation chemicals and their potential interactions with other constituents of water, all redundant hypothetical studies should be consigned to the recycling bin.
It is now incumbent on scientists to retire to a real laboratory to determine once and for all the real interactions (or otherwise) of fluoride with other substances and minerals in real drinking water, so that real people in the real world get a real answer to these very real questions.
1 Edward T. Urbansky and Michael R. Schock; Can Fluoridation Affect Water Lead(II) Levels and Lead(II) Neurotoxicity? United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Water Supply and Water Resources Division, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268 USA. Undated. 2000.
2 R.D. Masters and M. Coplan. “Brain Biochemistry and the Violence Epidemic: Toward a `Win- Win’ Strategy for Reducing Crime” Super-Optimizing Examples: Across Public Policy Problems, Stuart S. Nagel, ed., Nova Science Publishers, Inc, New York (1999).
3 R.D. Masters and M. Coplan. “Water Treatment with Silicofluorides and Lead Toxicity,” Intern. J. Environmental Studies 56, 435-449 (1999).
4 P. Pitter. “Forms of Occurrence of Fluorine in Drinking Water.” Water Res. 19(3) 281-284 (1985).
5 J A Varner, K F Jensen, W Horvath and R L Isaacson, Chronic administration of aluminum-fluoride or sodium-fluoride to rats in drinking water: Alterations in neuronal and cerebrovascular integrity. Brain Research 784 284-298 1998
(Abstract available at http://www.fluoride-journal.com/98-31-2/31291-95.htm ).
George Glasser is an American investigative environmental writer with a special interest in Fluorine Pollution.
Jane Jones is the Campaign Director of the National Pure Water Association Ltd (UK).