In 1955, ten years into the experiment, researchers reported more bone defects, anemia and earlier female menstruation in children purposely dosed with sodium fluoride-laced drinking water (1956 Journal of the American Dental Association). This is the first, and only, fluoridation human health experiment which was carried out on the entire population in the city of Newburgh NY.
How did this happen?
n the early 1900’s, brown and yellow discolored, but decay resistant, teeth were prevalent in healthier, wealthier U.S. populations drinking and irrigating their crops with naturally calcium-fluoridated water.
Researchers discovered fluoride was the tooth discoloring culprit and mistakenly thought fluoride was also the cavity-fighting hero – unaware that calcium was required to grow sound dentition. And also unaware of Dentist Weston Price’s extensive research published in 1939 showing that without fluoride, healthier populations had healthier teeth because of good diets.
Public health officials, so sure sodium fluoride safely benefited children’s teeth, had no misgivings about carrying out this very unusual experiment without first doing animal studies, without informed consent and without thought or interest about how sodium fluoride could afflict adults.
Mistakenly assuming all fluorides are the same, in 1945, sodium fluoride, waste products from industries such as Alcoa Aluminum Company (not natural calcium-fluoride), was added to Newburgh NY’s water supply at about one milligram fluoride per liter of water. Kingston NY, the control city for comparison purposes, was left fluoride-free.
Kingston and Newburgh are thirty-five miles apart on the Hudson River in New York State and in 1940 had populations of 31,956 and 28,817, respectively. In Newburgh, 500 children were examined after ten years and 405 in Kingston. Adults were never tested.
Newburgh's children were given complete physicals and x-rays, over the course of the study, from birth to age nine in the first year and up to age eighteen in the final year.
“(R)outine laboratory studies were omitted in the control group during most of the study, they were included in the final examination,” according to Schlesinger and colleagues, in “Newburgh-Kingston caries-fluorine study XIII. Pediatric findings after ten years.”
The researchers report after ten years of fluoridation in Newburgh New York:
-- “The average age at the menarche was 12 years among the girls studied in Newburgh and 12 years 5 months among the girls in Kingston.”
--Hemoglobin (iron-containing part of a red blood cell): “a few more children in the range below 12.9 grams per hundred milliliters in Newburgh”
--Knee X-rays of Newburgh children reveals more cortical bone defects, and irregular mineralization of the thigh bone.
Only twenty-five Newburgh children had eye and ear exams. Two had hearing loss; eight had abnormal vision. Even though researchers discovered more adult cataracts in surveys conducted before 1944 in communities with naturally high water fluoride concentrations Newburgh and Kingston adults were never checked for this defect.