September 2nd, 1944, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Philadelphia had a clogged pipe in their facility.
Employees knew that whatever created the blockage was dangerous and caustic, but the details were classified. Nevertheless, three volunteers stepped up to fix it. Arnold Kronish, Peter and Bragg and Douglas Meeks, they were working to clear the pipe at one 20 p.m. when it exploded.
A mysterious gas spewed from the machinery, the workers coughed and gasping for breath, each inhalation searing their chests, their skin cracked and bled as the poison boiled them alive. Luckily, Private John Hoffman saw the men fighting for their lives and dashed into the room. He dragged Kronish, Bragg and Meeks to safety, but his bravery came too late for two of them. Bragg and Miggs died of severe burns.
Hours later, Kronish recovered. But it was a lengthy process. His wounds healed slowly. He was in constant pain. He even went temporarily blind. But his physical suffering couldn't rival the emotional toll of the disaster. Cranage later wrote, The memories of the tragic accident are the saddest and bitterest I know and will remain so for the rest of my life.
Later, during a private debriefing, Kramer realized his doctors could have treated his injuries if only they'd been told what he was exposed to.
Instead, Kramer, his superiors let him suffer, all because they didn't want anyone to know that Kranish and his colleagues were killed by a compound most Americans drink every day fluoride.
Welcome to Conspiracy Theories, Empire Cast Original every Monday and Wednesday, we dig into the complicated stories behind the world's most controversial events and search for the truth and corduroy.
And I'm Molly Brandenberg. And neither of us are conspiracy theorists, but we are open minded, skeptical and curious. Don't get us wrong. Sometimes the official version is the truth, but sometimes it's not.
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This is the first of two episodes on artificial water fluoridation today, about two thirds of Americans drink fluoridated tap water. Officially, fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents cavities. But some critics allege the additive is a threat.
This episode will explore the history of artificial water fluoridation and look at what the chemical compound does to the human body. We'll also examine some recent studies that suggest fluoride may be the root of major health concerns.
Next episode, we'll discuss potential reasons why so many organizations are willing to ignore fluorides potential risks, including one conspiracy theory that suggests government agencies fluoridate water to decrease people's IQ, making citizens easier to control. And that sounds unlikely. Maybe that's what they want you to believe. We have all that and more coming up. Stay with us. It was 19 on one, and Dr. Fredric McKay didn't know what to make of his new home. The Colorado Air smelled crisp and clean.
The green hand. He opened a private dental practice in a small mining town called Colorado Springs, and he was eager to meet his new patients. But in his first few exams, McKay found something startling. His client, a lifelong resident of Colorado Springs, opened his mouth to reveal teeth covered in brown stains. The discolored splotches left an off white stripe across the center of his smile.
McKay had never seen anything like it before.
Yet patient after patient displayed the same discoloration. It was so common the locals even had a word for it.
Colorado brown stain, but nobody knew what caused it.
After closer examination, McKay found that patients with Colorado Brownstein had incredibly healthy teeth. They had fewer dental caries, meaning tooth decay and cavities than his previous patients in big cities. The brown stains also strengthened the outer surface of the tooth, called the enamel.
McKay became determined to find the cause, but that was easier said than done. McKay still hadn't solved the mystery four years later, in 1995, when he moved to St. Louis, Missouri.
He was astonished to find that his new patients, 800 miles away had the same brown stain and fewer carries carries a word we'll use frequently throughout. This episode is a medical term for cavities and tooth decay.
Despite its moniker, the Colorado Brown Stain wasn't unique to Colorado. And if it was also common in Missouri, McKay reasoned that it probably existed elsewhere. He just needed to learn what the towns had in common.
He began a lengthy process of elimination. For six years.
He looked at countless environmental factors, calcium deficiencies, overconsumption of iron, even radioactive waste. But nothing held up to scrutiny. Then in 1923, McKay came across a community in Oakley, Idaho. They had an outbreak of Colorado BROUNSTEIN shortly after the community switched from private wells to a shared water system, which for the first time suggested the splotches came from something in the water.
Some of the affected communities in Colorado, Idaho and Missouri happened to live downriver from aluminum factories. McKay theorized that aluminum had seeped into the local water supplies and caused the tooth staining. He just couldn't find any correlation. Instead, McKay inadvertently stumbled into a much larger political issue. Many private citizens had already objected to aluminum manufacturers.
They feared their byproducts were polluting their small villages in an effort to prove aluminum wasn't at fault.
H.V. Churchill, chief chemist for the Aluminum Company of America, tested the water in these areas.
Churchill might not have found aluminum seeping into the water supply, but he did find a trend. Colorado Brownstein was prevalent in communities with large amounts of fluoride in their water. Fluoride refers to any chemical compound that contains the element fluorine, fluorine is a highly unstable, poisonous gas and rarely occurs in a pure form in nature.
Fluorine atoms bond with other elements like sodium or calcium, creating more stable molecules.
Molecules with fluorine are all known as fluorides. So there's no such thing as pure fluoride.
There are natural fluoride in the soil, water, even the air we breathe. But when fluoride is artificially created in the manufacturing process, it can seep into the ground and water.
The mystery was solved, every community with the Colorado Brounstein did have fluoridated water naturally or from factory runoff, but McKay's discovery didn't seem worth celebrating.
Sure, most dentists would be glad to prevent tooth decay and keris, but the side effects didn't seem worth it.
And yet his findings inspired the head of the National Institute of Health Dental Hygiene Unit, Dr. H. Trembley Dean. Dean was intrigued by fluorides ability to protect teeth. He wondered if there was a way to reap its benefits without staining people smiles.
In 1942, after extensive research, Dr. Dean found the brown spots were only prevalent in areas with high concentrations of fluoride.
He theorized that very low doses could strengthen enamel without discoloration.
After a lot of trial and error, Dr. Dean identified the ideal concentration, one part per million, which means every liter of water could have one milligram of fluoride, one one thousandth the weight of a single paperclip without creating spots.
Except some people are highly sensitive to fluoride, even when it's as diluted as Dr. Dean suggested. Many people still report a defect or discoloration on the enamel. Today, it's referred to as dental fluorosis.
In a recent CDC survey, 23 percent of people in the United States reported this dental fluorosis. Most cases were mild, meaning the spots were light, small or difficult to see. But one percent developed severe discoloration, which can pit or divide a person's teeth.
Now, this was a survey, not a study, meaning they interviewed people and conducted exams, but they didn't manage any experiments or compare rates against control groups. It's possible the rate of fluorosis is much higher, especially milder cases which are hard to spot. There haven't been any clinical trials for dental fluorosis, so it's hard to say how widespread it really is.
But most dentists, including Dr. Dean, thought the risk was a fair trade off. The benefits, healthier teeth for the majority of people outweighed the costs.
Ugly Brown smiles for the minority.
Dr. Dean and other dentists just needed to prove that fluoride was safe and effective. So in 1945, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, tested the world's first artificial fluoridation program.
Citizens weren't happy about becoming human guinea pigs, but local officials countered with PR campaigns and press releases about fluorides benefits before the 15 year study even began.
But they never finished the experiment. After six years, officials declared the program a success carries rates dropped by 60 percent.
Despite not having all the data, numerous public agencies rushed to give fluoride a thumbs up. They endorsed fluoridation in 1950, well before the Grand Rapids experiment wrapped up. Inspired by Grand Rapids success, Muskegon, Michigan. Newburgh, New York and Evanston, Illinois, all adopted their own programs in the 1950s from their water fluoridation initiative spread throughout the country and the world. The UK explored fluoridation in 1964 and the Republic of Ireland followed suit that same year. In the mid 1980s, global tooth decay rates decreased, their research varies, but studies say Kerry is reduced by 24 to 40 percent among adults.
Today, there are 24 countries that add fluoride to their drinking water to fight tooth decay. It's reported that nearly 400 million people drink fluoridated water worldwide. About half of them are in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control says artificial fluoridation is amongst the top 10 most important public health advances of the 20th century.
That said, carries rates are also down in Canada, Cuba and Finland, countries that discontinued their fluoridation programs in the 1990s and 2000s due to public pressure.
And they haven't seen an increase in dental care since. So it's hard to say for sure whether fluoride should get the credit it's given.
Maybe the powers that be aren't telling you the whole story. Up next, the science behind water fluoridation. History, politics, true crime, the new Spotify original from Park Cast has it all.
Hi, I'm Carter and I am thrilled to tell you about the new series, Very Presidential with Ashley Flowers.
It uncovers the most damning details surrounding history's most high profile leaders. Every Tuesday through the 2020 election, host Ashley Flower shines a light on the darker side of the American presidency. From torrid love affairs and contemptible corruption to shocking cover ups and even murder. She'll expose the personal and professional controversies you may never knew existed. You'll hear some wildly true stories about presidents such as JFK, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and more very presidential highlights the exploits you never learned in history class, but probably should have family drama, personal vices, dirty secrets.
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Now back to the story. In the early 20th century, Dr. Frederick McKay found that fluoride caused the brown stains on his patient's teeth. It also strengthened enamel and decreased calories.
In 1945, Dr. Trembley Dean built on Mackays research and championed the world's first water fluoridation program.
As we mentioned earlier, fluoride occurs naturally, and it's not unusual for the compound to seep into local water supplies. But to understand the controversy behind artificial water fluoridation, we need to take a deep dive into the science of fluoride.
When ingested fluoride bonds with mineral components in your teeth, resulting in the creation of a strong molecule called Floro hydroxy appetite, this mineral is highly resistant to acid and is theoretically why fluoridated teeth are less likely to develop caries. But that's not the only way fluoride strengthens your teeth. It can also bond with enamel when it's applied directly to the tooth surface. Every time you drink a glass of fluoridated water. The additive starts working before you swallow. It's the same basic principles as any topical fluoride treatment or fluoridated toothpaste.
A 1999 report from the CDC found that topical fluoride worked better than ingested fluoride. But if we benefit more from topical fluoride, why is it in our drinking water, especially since we now know the dangers associated with drinking the chemical compound?
The earliest artificial water fluoridation programs used sodium fluoride, which was considered safe in low dosages in the 1940s and 50s. But later evidence suggested its sodium fluoride was a carcinogen, meaning it could increase a person's risk of cancer.
After that discovery, most water fluoridation programs transitioned to Florida sulicich acid.
Instead, fluoro sulicich acid is derived from phosphorus rocks. When manufacturers heat the rocks, they produce two byproducts fluoride, gas and phosphorous. Gas, phosphorous. Gas is a key ingredient in the production of aluminum, steel and fertilizer. But the fluoride gas, which is produced in tandem, is pretty useless. Decades ago, the government required corporations to dispose of this excess fluoride gas, but it's an expensive and time consuming process.
Essentially fluoride gas was diluted in lime, then burned or stored while it broke down naturally and it required special equipment.
Why fluoride gas detonates when it comes into contact with oxygen.
Today, those companies conveniently sell this byproduct to municipal water agencies, but not as a gas, because the vapor is incredibly harmful to the environment. They make it inert using a filter called a wet scrubber, which uses a liquid generally water to pull contaminants from a gas. They then ship the slurry directly to water departments across the nation. And private businesses like chemical manufacturer Dupont profit from these fluoridation programs. Tax dollars pay for the fluoride that would otherwise get thrown away at the company's expense.
Instead, it's delivered through your tap. According to the World Health Organization, 70 to 90 percent of the fluoride we consume stays in our body.
The rest is filtered through our kidneys and excreted through urine, 99 percent of the fluoride we keep ends up deposited in our bones and stays there for decades.
The rest accumulates in other tissues and organs like the pineal gland.
That's a p shaped gland in our brain that regulates hormones like melatonin, a chemical that maintains our circadian rhythm. Research shows that the pineal gland may also control cardiovascular health, mental wellness and help fight tumors.
Researchers think that the pineal gland may accumulate fluoride at the same rate as your bones.
In 1997, dentist Dr. Jennifer Lu conducted a series of autopsies. She found that elderly people have an average of 9000 fluoride parts per million in their pineal gland, which accumulated after a lifetime of drinking fluoridated water.
Remember the one one thousandth of a paperclip we mentioned earlier on? Nine thousand parts per million is like dropping to heavier than average dyce into a liter of water. And all of that is accumulated in a gland the size of a pea.
But there's still plenty that scientists don't understand about the pineal gland, meaning it's hard to say exactly how fluoride changes it. Some preliminary studies suggest fluoride leads to early onset puberty in girls. Others say it disrupts sleep cycles, but nobody can say for sure the bones in pineal gland aren't the only place fluoride accumulates.
We noted earlier that 10 to 30 percent of the fluoride you drink passes through your kidneys and leaves your body via urine. But the kidneys absorb fluoride as they filter it.
Dr Paul Connett warned in his book The Case Against Fluoride, that the kidney accumulates more fluoride than all other soft tissues in the body.
Long term fluoride accumulation has been linked to kidney damage, and this creates a dangerous cycle. Has malfunctioning kidneys are less efficient at filtering fluoride from the body? Thus, people with chronic kidney disease can be more at risk of conditions like fluorosis, even quote unquote safe fluorides.
Like Floro, salicylic acid can cause problems in healthy people. Dental fluorosis creates hardened, dark colored spots on a patient's teeth. But in skeletal fluorosis, those spots appear on your bones. Skeletal fluorosis can be painful and make your joints stiff. And in severe cases it can bend the spine so badly the patient can no longer walk.
It's hard to estimate how widespread skeletal fluorosis is, since the symptoms are similar to osteoporosis. A 2002 study by the International Conference on Water Resources Management in Arid Regions estimated that tens of millions of people have skeletal fluorosis. Anti fluoride activists suggest the number may be even higher due to rampant misdiagnoses.
Skeletal fluorosis is most common in countries like India, China and South Africa.
Those nations have dangerously high natural concentrations of fluoride in their soil three to five times more than the recommended one part per million.
Many of those countries don't have the resources to filter fluoride from their wells, and they may be consuming fruits and vegetables which absorb fluoride through the soil. In their case, the danger isn't artificial fluoridation. It's unregulated natural fluoride.
Though less intentional natural fluoride cases highlight another problem with artificial water fluoridation, it's virtually impossible to regulate. If a doctor gives you a prescription, they'll specify a dose based on your age, sex and weight. A 200 pound male bodybuilder needs a stronger dosage than a 100 pound 14 year old girl.
But everyone who uses a community water system gets the same concentration of fluoride. Adults drink the same water as children. Consumption is unrelated to height, weight, sex or age. The only way to control dosage is to limit our tap water intake. But what happens to those who need more water than others? Athletes, bottle fed babies and diabetics drink more water than the average person, which means they're more likely to develop a fluoride overdose otherwise called fluoride toxicity.
This is a serious but rare medical condition marked by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Dental and skeletal fluorosis can also be warning signs of fluoride toxicity.
But the fluoride in water is so diluted it would be almost impossible to get a toxic dose from the tap. In fact, Melanie Amato of the Ohio Department of Health noted, you would have to drink bathtubs and bathtubs of water before getting too much fluoridation. In fact, you would die of water toxicity or drowning before you would overdose on fluoride.
Sure, nobody drinks an entire bathtub of water in one sitting, but if you drink the recommended eight glasses a day, you'll consume roughly 80 gallons in about five and a half months. That's a little more than two bathtubs of water a year. So if you drink fluoridated water your entire life, you'll easily consume Amato's bathtubs in bathtubs of water before you're old enough to vote.
But there's a big difference between slow exposure and a massive dose at once. A 2006 report from the World Health Organization explained that there's very little value in discussing lifetime exposure. It's the concentration, not the accumulation that triggers fluoride related illness, but that runs counter to some key facts about fluoridation.
For example, the fluoride in human bones has a half life of 20 years.
That means if I have a gram of fluoride in my bones right now, it'll take 20 years for my body to break it down to half a gram. But if I keep drinking fluoridated water, the compound is accumulated faster than I can get rid of it.
Even so, most government agencies, including the World Health Organization, the CDC and the American Dental Association, agree that fluoridated water is generally safe, assuming you want to take them at their word.
The U.S. government has a long history of covering up fluorides dangers.
For decades, fluoride toxicity was treated as a matter of national security, all thanks to fluorides role in one of America's largest and most expensive covert operations.
The initiative responsible for designing and deploying the world's first atomic bomb, the Manhattan Project. Up next, we'll unpack fluorides role in nuclear warfare. Now back to the story.
In the mid 1950s, American municipalities began adding fluoride to their drinking water, fluoride is a general term for all compounds that include fluorine, and they can range from harmlessly inert to incredibly toxic. In 2015, Dr. Tom Locke of the Washington Dental Service Foundation board described fluoridated water as vital to public health. Besides the United States, dozens of countries have artificial fluoridation programs today.
In total, about five percent of the world's population still drinks fluoridated water.
And all of that fluoride has to come from somewhere. As we mentioned before, the chemical compound is a byproduct in the manufacture of aluminum, fertilizer and other products. But in 1945, most of those industries weren't selling massive quantities of Florescu lisick acid or sodium fluoride, yet they were dumping it.
One of the earliest fluoride manufacturing operations was located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where uranium was refined for the Manhattan Project.
The Manhattan Project was a top secret wartime operation, employing over 130000 people across dozens of laboratories and military bases, the United States initially allocated 500 million dollars to the program, the equivalent of over seven billion dollars today.
But within three years, the Manhattan Project spent four times that original budget.
Their goal was to manufacture the world's first atomic bomb, and the clock was ticking. Nazi Germany had their own nuclear initiative and had successfully split an atom in a process called vision. It was the first step to building a nuclear weapon. In other words, the United States was behind.
American scientists were under immense pressure to solve the atom secrets before it was too late. One of their earliest challenges lay in uranium refinement.
One particular uranium isotope called you 235 is highly unstable, meaning it contains a lot of explosive energy, which makes uranium ideal for creating nuclear weaponry. But you 235 never naturally occurs alone in nature. Instead, it binds with another uranium isotope called you 238, which is very stable and not useful for generating nuclear energy.
Manhattan Project scientists needed to find a way to separate you two thirty five from you 238. They tried to heat them or use magnets, but both methods were inefficient.
A researcher named Phil Abelson discovered a solution he could get you to 35 isotopes to bond with fluoride instead of you to 38.
The resulting compound was called uranium hexafluoride fluorides. Role in uranium refinement was a closely guarded secret, according to investigative reporter Christopher Bryson. Researchers didn't even write the word fluoride on their official reports. They were too afraid that Abramson's breakthrough would lead to Soviet or Accies spies. They refer to it in code as the gas or fresh air.
But if the corrosive gas were to seep from a pipe, it could explode or burn every employee on site.
And at the time, many of them had no idea what they were working with.
Uranium hexafluoride was so caustic that it wore down Manhattan Project machinery. In response, a team at Columbia University developed another fluoride called fluorocarbon just to protect the equipment. Fluorocarbons made of fluoride and carbon are atomically dance.
Think of them like a wall made of liquid. If scientists coated a pipe in the protective compound, oxygen, hydrogen or uranium hexafluoride molecules wouldn't be able to inflict damage.
Which meant scientists also had to classify their research on fluorocarbons. On official paperwork.
They were referred to as Joe's stuff. Many workers assigned to the Manhattan Project didn't know they were developing the atomic bomb, let alone handling fluoride.
Nor did they know its risks, which meant nobody knew how to keep themselves safe in case of an accident.
According to the Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson and industrial disaster struck a top secret Cleveland, Ohio facility on October 9th, 1945, a factory worker named Gloria Porter watched in horror as a tank of caustic fluoride burst open. She scrambled to safety while toxic gas engulfed her co-workers. Their bodies dissolved before her eyes. She noted that one colleague looked like a walking skeleton after the assets stripped away his flesh. But these accidents weren't limited to government facilities.
In 1946, a farmer named Paul Martin opened a ranch in Oregon. The idyllic pasturelands shared a border with a Reynold's metal aluminum plant, which used hydrofluoric acid otherwise known as hydrogen fluoride, in their production processes for nearly a decade.
Martin dealt with inexplicable disasters on his land.
His cows drop dead without any identifiable illnesses or injuries. Strange etchings and divots appeared on his farmhouse windows as if the air had burned the glass. Worst of all, Martin and his family got sick frequently, they felt winded or too exhausted to perform daily chores. Burns appeared on their skin, their joints cracked with each movement.
They saw multiple doctors before they were diagnosed with subacute fluorosis, a mild form of fluorite poisoning.
After that, they moved far away from the factory and its toxic fumes and their health improved significantly.
In 1955, the Martins filed a lawsuit against Reynolds Metals alleging the company had poisoned them with gashes, hydrofluoric acid emissions. The jury awarded the Martins forty eight thousand dollars, the equivalent of nearly 460000 dollars today.
Sadly, their case was common in the fluorite deception. Christopher Bryson summarized from June 1945 to October 1946, there were 392 chemical injuries from uranium hexafluoride, 58 injuries from flouride, 21 from hydrogen fluoride and six injuries from fluorocarbons. To be clear, most of these disasters involved uranium, hydrogen and carbon compounds, none of which are used in artificial water fluoridation programs.
But each of those substances can be combined with fluorine.
When elements form new compounds, their qualities change. For example, pure sodium can explode without warning. Pure chlorine can irritate your lungs and make it difficult to breathe.
But when you combine the two, you get a safe compound sodium, chlorine or table salt.
Likewise, fluoride compounds can be safe, even though they contain elements that are dangerous in other forms. But those arguments didn't stop an anti water fluoridation movement from forming before Grand Rapids began its first artificial fluoridation program in 1945, activists suggested that fluoridation was a communist plot.
They warn that Marxists were poisoning American water to weaken U.S. citizens.
Other critics complained it was unethical to experiment on individuals who hadn't consented. If someone doesn't want to drink fluoridated tap water. The only alternative is to buy bottled water, which is expensive and may not be viable for low income households, especially considering that some bottled water companies either use tap water or fluoridate their product anyway.
In recent studies, scientists have found new and alarming dangers and fluoride that were previously overlooked. We should note, however, that the research is recent enough that conclusions are still being drawn.
In 1990, researchers with the U.S. National Toxicology Program, a subdivision of the National Institute of Environmental Health Services, found a correlation between fluoride exposure and a bone cancer called osteosarcoma.
That study tracked fluoride consumption and osteosarcoma in vermin. Mail rats drinking heavily fluoridated water were more likely to develop bone cancer, yet female rats seemed unaffected. In 2006, the Harvard School of Public Health also found a link between fluoridation and osteosarcoma in male rodents. But the results vary too much from the first study to give the theory any credence.
Since this study, analysts have compared cancer rates in cities that fluoridate their water and those that don't, but they found no concrete evidence suggesting fluoride exposure causes cancer in humans. Furthermore, the rodent studies have been criticized as unscientific. The rats drank water with fluoride concentrations up to 800 parts per million, well above the standard one part per million that most cities use.
Nevertheless, the American Cancer Society isn't ready to dismiss the link on their website. They say osteosarcoma is a rare cancer. Only about 400 cases are diagnosed in children and teens each year in the United States. If fluoride increased the risk only slightly, it might not be picked up by these types of studies. In other words, the studies may conflict because fluoride only increases your cancer risk by a marginal amount. But it's something.
Cancer isn't the only modern health concern associated with fluoride in 1991.
A research team led by Flynn of Qinghong Institute conducted an IQ study on Chinese children. They wanted to see if iodine deficiencies corresponded with lower intelligence. Instead, they stumbled on a different discovery. Children who drank fluoridated water had lower IQ than those with an fluoridated water. In 1992, a team compared children between the ages of seven and 16 in Mongolia. Those who grew up with fluoridated water again had lower IQ use. A 1994 review of China's Shandong district replicated Lin's same results.
It was fluoride, not iodine, that caused the IQ deficiency.
In 2012, a joint team of Chinese and American researchers reviewed all the previous results and identified overall trends. They found that childhood exposure to highly fluoridated water can decrease a person's IQ, but by less than one half of one point.
To be clear, IQ or intelligence quotient is not a measure of how smart someone is. It gauges how well someone can reason and problem solve. A person with a high IQ may have an easier time in school, but it says nothing about their emotional intelligence, their ability to focus or their creative abilities.
People with an IQ between 85 and 115 are considered average, but that's a 30 point range. It's hard to imagine half an IQ point would make a difference in a person's day to day life. But who knows? Fluoride might have other impacts on intelligence that we haven't discovered. There's a lot that scientists still don't understand about fluoride exposure, it might increase your cancer risk, it might lower your I.Q., it might change how your pineal gland works.
All these allegations need more evidence before we can say for sure. But it appears no one's looking into fluorides. Safety, almost like pro fluoride. Activists don't want us to know the truth.
For decades, we've been told that fluoride strengthens our teeth, but even the dental benefits are questionable. Chemist and anti fluoride activist Dr. Paul Connett noted that there has never been a single randomized clinical trial to demonstrate fluoridation, effectiveness or safety. Generally speaking, double-blind randomized trials occur in controlled settings where researchers can eliminate other factors that might influence results. Why haven't these trials taken place?
It may be because a lot has changed since fluoridation programs began. The first toothbrushes with synthetic bristles were gaining popularity in the 1940s. Fluoridated toothpaste came a decade later. Semi-Annual checkups became the norm in the 50s. Prior to that, seeing a dentist was the equivalent of going to the emergency room.
It was because you had to, meaning artificial water fluoridation programs coincided with an overall uptick in preventative dental care.
And without clinical trials, there's no way to tell if fluoride programs actually decreased caries, especially with so many other factors at play.
But we do know that over the last 50 years, cavity and caries rates have gone down. A 1991 study found that 12 year olds in the United States had half as many cavities as 12 year olds from the 1970s.
But correlation doesn't equal causation, especially since many countries that don't artificially fluoridate have seen similar decreases.
Some data suggest that fluoride exposure can actually damage teeth as dental fluorosis can make them brittle. It's baffling that authorities are willing to ignore the evidence about fluoride possible harms, especially when it doesn't offer the benefits they claim.
There's a lot of conflicting evidence about the additive, but groups like the publicly funded Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association remain adamantly pro fluoride. Next time we'll explore why that may be the case. Perhaps it's because of conspiracy theory. No one. Communist sympathizers infiltrated the U.S. government in the 1950s.
They introduced dangerous fluoridation programs to intentionally sicken American citizens, and those programs never stopped. Conspiracy theory number to the U.S. government turns a blind eye to fluorides dangers because they're in the pocket of big manufacturers. Companies like Colgate, Procter& Gamble and Johnson and Johnson make a profit on fluoridated products, and they bribe researchers to lie and say it's healthy. And conspiracy theory number three.
The United States government intentionally poisons citizens with fluoride to lower public IQ and make Americans easier to control. This Wednesday will try to determine whether fluoride is a health supplement, a dangerous toxin or something else entirely. In the meantime, sit tight and keep an eye on your drinking water. Thanks for tuning into conspiracy theories, we'll be back Wednesday with a new episode you can find all episodes of conspiracy theories and all other cast originals for free on Spotify.
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Until then, remember, the truth isn't always the best story, and the official story isn't always the truth.
Conspiracy theories was created by Max Cutler and is a parkade studio's original executive producers include Max and Ron Cutler, Sound Design by Trent Williamson with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Travis Clark. This episode of Conspiracy Theories was written by Angela Jorgensen with writing assistants by Allie Wicker and stars Molly Brandenberg and Carter Roy.
It's the most powerful position in American politics and arguably the world, but behind the oath to preserve, protect and defend lie dark secrets posed to leave some legacies in disgrace.
Don't forget to check out the new Spotify original from podcast Very Presidential with Ashley Flowers. Every Tuesday through the 2020 election, host Ashley Flowers shines a light on the darker side of the American presidency, exposing wildly true stories about history's most high profile leaders.
To hear more follow very presidential with Ashley flowers free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.