(C) Peter Meiers, Saarbruecken, Germany

The History of Fluorine, Fluoride and Fluoridation


The discovery of fluoride and fluorine

Hearing of "fluorine" or "fluoride" most people now think instantly of dentistry, of dental caries or the different ways of fluoride application to prevent that disorder. But these terms are not inventions of dentistry, nor was the use of fluorides originally in any way related to that profession. ...-- [deutsch]


Fluoride Research in the 19th and early 20th century

In the 19th century, research on fluoride and its occurrence in teeth and bones was carried out by physicians and chemists in Europe while the dental profession was still not organized as we know it today. The analytical methods of the time were quite limited and the results rather controversial. Thus, the early recommendations to take fluoride pills to prevent dental caries were based on anything but sound science and -then already- subject to heated debates... more


The birth and rise of American dentistry

While some physicians dedicated considerable time to dental research, the medical profession as a whole apparently neglected the treatment of dental disorders which they regarded as rather superficial troubles of short duration and very rarely life-threatening. Therefore, dental treatments were also performed for a long time by so-called "craftsmen" . In 1859, the latter organized the American Dental Association. The new profession approached a certain scientific status due to research on mottled teeth ... more




 ("Mottled teeth")

Infolge Fluorid-Überdosierung während der Zahnentwicklung

(Source:  Babiuk)



Mottled teeth - the F. S. McKay era of dental research

When dentist Frederick Sumner McKay moved to Colorado Springs, in 1901, he noticed on the teeth of most of the natives strange discolorations, "Colorado Brown Stain" as the local people used to call it after the most prominent and disturbing feature of the affliction. Also from a hygienic point of view the teeth were in a deplorable condition, as opposed to certain anecdotes ... more


A new water supply for Oakley, Idaho

Not Colorado Springs but Oakley, Idaho, was the first community to change its water supply solely to get rid of a disfiguring dental problem. It´s some of the inhabitants and a caring Director of Public Health who deserve the highest respect for the responsible action taken. They did the right thing but the cause of the trouble was still unknown, despite some animal experimentation ... more


The Bauxite Story - A look at ALCOA

In 1931, H. V. Churchill, a chemist at the Research Laboratories of the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), New Kensington, announced the find of fluoride in the water of areas where people had mottled teeth. This discovery came as a surprise, for the Company became involved when some facts pointed to aluminium as a possible cause of the trouble. ... more


What they say about how fluoridation started

"... A strong uproar was heard when this was released and people wanted all fluorine out of their water. But later tests concluded that communities with high levels of fluorine in their drinking water suffered less dental cavities." ... more


The U. S. Public Health Service (USPHS) initiates dental research 

When Henry Trendley Dean, DDS, was transferred to the US Public Health Service Head Quarters in Washington, D.C., for a study of the distribution of mottled enamel and to find economic means for its prevention, he had already shown his research capabilities: in 1929 he presented before the American Dental Association's research commission his analysis of fifty cases of fractures of the mandible. He had also been part of a team that investigated, between 1929 and 1930, the health effects of radium dial painting (results published in 1933).  ... more


H. T. Dean´s special epidemiology of mottled teeth

The "very mild" category described by Dean in 1934 shows "no brown stain" while according to the 1935 and 1938 descriptions brown stain is "rarely observed" and "faint" (as it was in the "mild" category described in 1934); in 1942, "brown stain" appears only in the descriptions of the "moderate" and "severe" categories. ... more -----


Fluoride Safety Studies: Bartlett -Cameron vs. Newburgh-Kingston

Somehow it was to be expected that mottling and staining of the teeth would not be the only toxic effect of fluoride, though this was apparently the only one within the scope of dentistry. After the examination, in February 1932, of a group of children in Minonk, Illinois, Henry Trendley Dean wrote in his report to the Surgeon General: "Following the Minonk examination, a new phase of this question seems ripe for further study. Is mottled enamel merely an oral manifestation of a general toxicity, or something similar?" ... more


David B. Ast: The Newburgh-Kingston Caries Fluorine Study - 

Meeting Minutes of the Newburgh Fluoridation Study Committee (.pdf):

- Meeting of April 24, 1944   - Meeting of August 3, 1944   - Meeting of Feb. 28, 1946  

- Meeting of Feb. 17, 1947    - Meeting of Dec. 15, 1949    - Meeting of Nov. 20, 1950   

- Meeting of Nov. 6, 1952     - Meeting of Sept. 15, 1954    - Meeting of May 28, 1956


Unethical fluoride tests in Massachusetts

The "Sunday Cape Cod Times" of January 2, 1994, claims under the headline "Mentally retarded children given fluoride before legal" that, in the 1940´s, the Massachusetts public health department recommended to the legislature that fluoridation be studied at some state institutions, including schools for mentally retarded ..more


Fluoridation Chemicals

Sodium fluoride, sodium fluosilicate and (hydro)fluosilicic acid are not the only compounds used for water fluoridation. Late in the 1950´s, Franz J. Maier and Ervin Bellack, of the U.S.P.H.S., developed a "fluorspar dissolver" which yields a concoction very similar to Wayne White´s "Flural": fluoroaluminates... more


The history of sodium monofluorophosphate

Sodium monofluorophosphate was for the first time prepared in 1929 by Willy Lange, a Privatdozent at the Friedrich-Wilhelms- University of Berlin. His search for ways to prepare the free monofluorophosphoric acid led Lange to derivatives that soon would become known as nerve agents. Upon heating silver monofluorophosphate with methyl or ethyl iodide Lange and one of his Ph.D. students, Gerda von Krueger, prepared the corresponding dialkyl monofluorophosphates which exerted a strong action on the authors. Lange felt these compounds might be useful for pest control and offered them to I. G. Farben Industry for evaluation. But the company apparently had no interest at that time. Within two years I. G. Farben changed its mind and began its own developmental program - with Gerhard Schrader. ... more


Fluoride in dental fillings

After clinical observations and animal experimentation it became soon obvious "that silicate cements exert a harmful effect on the dental pulp. That this damage must be attributed to the irritating qualities of silicate cement and not to the operative procedures of cavity preparation is apparent." ...more


Weiterführende Literatur: books, booklets, special issues, collections

A list of books, booklets, special journal issues, and collections of papers compiled for those who want more info on the history of fluoride and fluoridation.

How about a thesis on "Fluoride and the history of dentistry in the United States, ca.1900 to 1950" written in 2013? ...more



How I became interested in fluoride

In a TV discussion on fluoride a dentist vehemently defended the application of fluoride tablets to babies for caries prevention, but as soon as the cameras went off he told me: "Mr. Meiers, in a few years us dentists will ask ´how could we have ever gotten involved in this fluoride matter´". ... [deutsch]


Lists of fluoride-related Patents


[-Access to patents-]

Historic ingestable dental fluoride preparations

Early medical fluoride preparations

Fluorides in fillings & sealants

Early fluoride dentifrices

Tin fluoride dentifrices

Monofluorophosphate - and its relation to Nerve Agents research

Fluorides for Water Softening


Fluoridation Chemicals

Rat Poison & Insecticides

Fluoride generated in phosphate processing

Fluoride for aluminum production

Fluoride for aluminum cleaning

Elemental Fluorine    [deutsch]

Hydrogen Fluoride

Fluorides for washing and Laundering

Freons ( CFC´s )

Teflon (PTFE)

Fluorides in the semiconductor Techn.


Who´s who in fluoride history


Karl Erhardt (pdf-file!)

Albert Deninger (pdf-file!)

Weston A. Price

Gerald J. Cox

Charles F. Kettering, the Freons, and "Dental Caries"

Borrow Dental Milk Fdt.

Willy Lange


Acute and Chronic Fluoride Toxicity


Fluoride tablets kill Jason Burton (2)

Fluoride tablets fatal to Daniel Huala

Lethal "routine" treatment for William Kennerly (3)

Dental Newsgroup Discussion of lethal intoxications


External History Links

Fluoridation and Cancer: How the York team evaluated a serious issue

Fluoride court decisions


Notes, News, and Comments


Dental Caries and Fluoride - second thoughts in view of recent evidence from Germany [pdf]

1927 - 1979

Salt fluoridation

Fluoride News

The Fluoride Deception

Fluoride Poisoning


More Fluoride Websites / Groups

Poison Fluoride

"Fluoride" - the Journal

Fluoride Issues

Fluoride in Occupational Medicine

Fluoride-free Fairbanks

Fluorid-Information des Hygeia-Verlags



- All files are continuously updated as more material is evaluated --

(C) Peter Meiers - http://www.fluoride-history.de - [imprint / contact] -- Stand: 7. März 2024


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