Fluoride increases the electrical conductivity of water.
In general, the higher the electrical conductivity of water, the
higher its ability to allow corrosion to occur to metals it contacts.

Your car, hot water system, house plumbing and mercury teeth
will all be subject to more rust and or corrosion in a
fluoride environment.

Aquarium fish, pet dogs, cats, birds, children
and some garden plants will also suffer damage …




  Oak Ridge World War 11 Secret City   A city born of war in 1942, existed for seven years as a truly “Secret City.”  Oak Ridge, Tennessee was not shown on any maps, did not allow any visitors other than by special approval, had guards posted at the entrances to the city and required all residents to wear badges at all times when outside their homes.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee was born as a direct result of the letter written by Albert Einstein to then President Roosevelt in 1939 citing the urgent need to develop the capability to sustain a chain reaction of uranium.  From this letter came the plan for our nation to create an atomic weapon that would be more powerful than any weapon in the history of the world.  The Manhattan Project, created to develop this amazing new atomic weapon, spent 60 cents of every dollar in Oak Ridge!
The “Secret City” grew to a population of 75,000, was the fifth largest city in Tennessee and was not even on the map.


The Nuclear Industries Research Demonstrates
That Fluorides Are Corrosive. ⇓ ⇓  ⇓


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…Silicon Fluoride Vaporization in Steelmaking…Mexico

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 Effect of Fluoride Corrosion on Stainless Steel

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Doc. ‘B’  Full text  ↓  ↓  ↓ 


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See also → HERE 

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Oak ridge NL f

Doc. E – Many more documents available → HERE  –

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Link to this site ↓ ↓ 

The staff of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (Board) visited

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on July 30, 2002, to review the

safety of sodium fluoride (NaF) traps stored in

Building 30l9A,a defense nuclear

facility at ORNL. 

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David Cunningham – Keller Engineers



Chlorine trifluoride is known to set fire to on contact:
glass, sand, asbestos, rust, concrete, people, pyrex, and cloth.

Dentists F. corrosion

The corrosive action of fluoride also releases asbestos from
the thousands of  kilometres of ‘fibro’ water mains in Australia.

FLUORIDES – Toxic profile  – U.S. Dept. of Health Services

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inver com.opening copy

“Sir Richard Doll was paid by chemical companies.
He denied the (proven) carcinogenic effects of Agent Orange.
Though some people may have been shocked, I was not surprised at all
Doll was one of the fervent promoters of fluoridation.”



Public health officials argued that putting fluoride in would bring huge reductions in the appalling tooth decay among a sweet-toothed nation. Catherine McColl, a Glasgow pensioner disagreed. She secured legal aid to fight Strathclyde Region and the case lasted three years. The epidemiologist Sir Richard Doll later described his time as an expert witness as the worst two weeks of his life. The issue remains controversial to this day.

Source: Lord Jauncey. Opinion of Lord Jauncey in causa Mrs Catherine McColl (A.P) against Strathclyde Regional Council. The Court of Session, Edinburgh, 1983.

“If fluoride is a medicine, evidence on its effects should be subject to the standards of proof expected of drugs, including evidence from randomised trials.” 

“There have been no randomised trials of water fluoridation.”


 Sir Richard Doll

Extract from Wikipedia:

After his death, controversy arose over some of his work because his papers, held at the Wellcome Library, showed that for many years he had received consultancy payments from chemical companies whose products he was to defend in court. These include US $1,500 per day consultancy fee from Monsanto Company for a relationship which began in 1976 and continued until 2002. He also received fees from the Chemical Manufacturers Association, Dow Chemicals, and ICI. Some donations, including a £50,000 gift from asbestos company Turner and Newall, were given in public ceremony to Green College Oxford where his wife was Warden [citation needed], but most fees and payments remained undisclosed to the public, Oxford University and colleagues until his death. His defenders point out that his connections to industry were widely known by those in the field, that he did his work before formal disclosure of commercial interests became commonplace and that on occasion, he came to conclusions that were unpalatable to the companies who consulted him. His own view, as reported by Richard Peto, was that it was necessary to co-operate with companies for access to data which could prove their products to be dangerous.


Extract from Nexus Magazine – May 2007

   In Global News last issue [vol. 14, no. 21] you published the fact that Sir Richard Doll was paid by chemical companies. He denied the (proven) carcinogenic effects of Agent Orange. Though some people may have been shocked, I was not surprised at all. Doll was one of the fervent promoters of fluoridation. When Dean Burk and John Yiamouyiannis (I allude to them from here as B&Y) in 1975 published their findings about the 10 per cent extra death rate from cancer in fluoridated cities, the whole fluoridation lobby hastened to disclaim their findings. Of course, Doll was among them. Here is part of what happened.

In order to refute B&Y’s findings, the group claimed that B&Y had not corrected their figures for age, race and sex and that, when these corrections were made, the increase in the cancer death rate disappeared. (I follow closely Yiamouyiannis’ book – Fluoride: The Aging Factor.) During the fall of 1977, two congressional hearings were held. The Hoover group opposed B&Y.

It was then discovered that Dr Hoover and other National Cancer Institute
officials had purposely withheld information from B&Y and,
moreover, clandestinely sent erroneous data to Dr Leo Kinlen
and Sir Richard Doll, professors at Oxford University,
who published the erroneous data as if it were their own.
Thus the illusion was wilfully created that independent research
by two eminent professors had confirmed the data of the
Hoover group, which was completely untrue.
Precise calculation later confirmed the findings of B&Y,
estimating in excess of 10,000 extra cancer deaths a year in the
USA caused by fluoridation.

My dear deceased friends Dean Burk and John Yiamouyiannis would
    have been pleased with your publication about Richard Doll.
Sincerely Yours
           Hans C. M., Haarlem, The Netherlands

Fluoride: Lies, Brown Envelopes, Subterfuge And More Lies 


‘Childsmile’ is a national programme designed
to improve the oral health of children in Scotland and
reduce inequalities in dental health and access to dental services.

See also ‘Scottish Dental’ → HERE

See our Rogue’s Gallery’

Editor’s note:

 There Is No Fluoridation In Northern Ireland,

Scotland, Wales or the Isle of Man.


When Gerry Adams And Ian Paisley Worked Together





Comments are closed.

“Professor Martin’s claim that, although there are nearly two thousand known places in the U.S.A. where water is naturally fluoridated, and that “some have 12 or 13 parts per million—with no adverse effects and with a markedly high standard of dental health,” is simply propaganda without any scientific proof…

Noel Martin f

The Architect of Fluoridation in Australia

     Professor Noel Martin was the champion of fluoride tablets here in Australia. Before a Royal Commission in Tasmania Martin claimed that tablets taken to the amount of 1.5 mg of fluoride per day in the last six months of pregnancy would improve the teeth of their children remarkably.

Some of Professor Martin’s positions from which he influenced the propagation of fluoridation in Australia were: Dean of Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sydney; member of the Dental Board, NSW; member, Australian Dental Advisory Council; Deputy Chairperson, Australian Dental Examining Committee; member of the NSW Health Commission’s Professional Services Advisory Committee: member of NHMRC’s Dental Health Committee; editor, Dental Journal Australia; dental consultant, World Health Organization; and member of  WHO’s Expert Committee on Dental Health.

“The damage done by this man is still perpetuated by the above listed,

and much quoted organisations…



    ↓ original ↓

  T H E   N E W   T I M E S  

Registered at the G.P.O., Melbourne,

for transmission by Post as a Newspaper

“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”

Vol. 25, No. 16  MELBOURNE, FRIDAY 14th August 1959

[Notice the date]

The New “Scientists”

     One of the most terrifying features of our Brave New World” is the manner in which so- called scientists are prepared to use blatantly false propaganda to assist Governmental bodies to extend their powers over the individual. A classic case has been brought to our attention in which a prominent Australian advocate of fluoridation, Professor Noel Martin of the Sydney University, answers questions for a West Australian paper.

The Weekend Mail, a Perth newspaper, of June 6, 1959, introduces Professor Martin “as a recognized authority on the control of dental caries by means of fluoridation of water” and invites him to answer a number of questions. In answer to the question, “Will all people on the system get the same dose strength?” Professor Martin said: “It has been conclusively established by the New York School of Engineering that, despite claims to the contrary, there is practically no variation in the distribution of fluoride in water supplies. This is a favorable argument among the ‘antis’ but it has no basis in fact.”

The truth is that the New York School of Engineering has never published any data whatever supporting Professor Martin’s claims. Professor Martin obviously is merely parroting a news release by Dr. Hilleboe, the New York State Health Officer, an active advocate of fluoridation who has been thwarted by the opposition of the water engineers of New York City, who have published data showing that it is impossible to overcome variations in the amount of fluorine in the water at each individual tap. Some of the strongest opposition to fluoridation has come from water engineers. Examination of the files of the Journal of the American Water Works Association reveals the basis of the opposition. In the August 1953, issue of the Journal a census revealed the mounting evidence of the corrosive damage to water equipment. And there were many complaints that “the chemical flow is too free to permit accurate control.”

Investigations in a number of American centres, some of them large, some of them small, have proved beyond all argument that there are tremendous variations in the dosage people would be obtaining from different taps. Graphs compiled by independent investigators have confirmed the water engineers’ views. Sampling tests in Hastings, New Zealand, and in Yass, N.S.W., have also demonstrated considerable variability.

In answer to a question concerning the famous American Medical-Dental Ad Hoc Committee opposing fluoridation, Professor Martin made the remarkable reply that “When these claims were being investigated by the World Health Organization, only two men appeared for these 1500 eminent people—and both were well-known cranks. There is just no documented proof of their claims of toxic elements in one part per million of fluoridated water, or of their other claims. I notice that they use as references for their claims many of the world’s fore- most scientists who are urging fluoridation.”


Professor Martin’s reply is “remarkable” because the claims of the Ad Hoc Committee have never even been investigated by the World Health Organization, still less refuted. No representatives of the Ad Hoc Committee have ever appeared before the World Health Organization. In fact, the eighteen members of the World Health Organization Executive Board conducted no hearings at all on fluoridation, but a committee of six declared supporters of fluoridation presented a report, which was then authorized for publication.

Commenting on Professor Martin’s complaint that opponents of fluoridation have used as references the work of known supporters of fluoridation, Dr. F. B. Exner, co- author with Dr. G. L. Waldbott of the book The American Fluoridation Experiment., writes in a letter: “As for using the writings of proponents in support of my claims, I do so consistently and deliberately. If I quote Dr. Clive McKay against Dean, the hearer can still choose which ‘authority’ to believe. But when Dean (a fluoridationist) contradicts himself, or misquotes his own data, or publishes data which condemns fluoridation, the proponents cannot very well challenge the source of my material.”

Professor Martin’s claim that, although there are nearly two thousand known places in the U.S.A. where water is naturally fluoridated, and that “some have 12 or 13 parts per million—with no adverse effects and with a markedly high standard of dental health,” is simply propaganda without any scientific proof.
Out of the total number of 1903 centres listed by the American Public Health Service as having natural fluoride in the water, only 282 of these, with a total population of 808,760, have fluoride within the range advocated by the fluoridators as the ideal for preventing tooth decay. There are only four communities listed with more than 8 pmm. of fluoride, with a total population of less than 1500.

These places all have badly fluorised teeth and data concerning teeth has been published for only one centre, Bruneau. And this was the result of an investigation in 1929. There has been no investigation at any time of the general health of the people in these communities. There has been only one study of general health in a high fluoride centre that of Bartlett as compared with Cameron, a low-fluoride centre. This study showed that the death rate in Bartlett was, if the people over 65 in both centres were ignored, six times as high as the corresponding rate in Cameron. Opponents of fluoridation like Dr. Exner do not claim that the difference in death rate was due to fluoride, but to say, “that a study in which a six to one difference is casually dismissed as ‘not significant’ with no investigation or reason, is not a scientific study at all, but merely window-dressing for a propaganda campaign.”

 Professor Martin, so far from speaking as a scientist, emerges as

a propagandist prepared to distort or ignore truth in

order to advance a totalitarian policy”



Fluoridation Queensland Logo




Industry and these government agencies have been largely
successful in obscuring the facts. This has been brought
about by authoritarian endorsement and opinion,
by making claims unsupported by valid
science, and by repetition…



How We Got Fluoridated

by Philip Heggen  …  April 1999

Throughout the world, and from the beginning, virtually all living creatures have been exposed to fluoride.
It’s nothing new. Fluoride is one of the most abundant elements in the earth’s crust [and Mars] – cumulative and toxic to all forms of life at remarkably low dosage.

Sixty years ago U.S. dental researchers had identified areas in sixteen states where disfiguring mottled enamel was a serious problem. Thirty years ago, the World Health Organization had noted that high concentrations of fluoride are found in areas of every continent and that dental fluorosis is a problem from Finland to South Africa and from England to Japan.

But fluoride affects more than just developing teeth. Even dinosaurs have ingested water and vegetation contaminated by fluoride from volcanic gases and ash – and suffered the consequence in terms of painful arthritic effects.

Industrial mining and manufacturing, like mini-volcanoes, bring up fluorides from the earth into the biosphere, with similar effects on human communities. In the past century or so, man has spawned these “mini-volcanoes” without fully understanding the consequences. Modern well-drilling equipment has provided much needed water from deep within the earth – and this, too, has resulted in fluoride poisoning. This has not been a conspiracy in the usual sense of the word … but rather, a colossal blunder.

“The problem is enormous, unbelievable,” says Andezhath Susheela of the Fluorosis Research and Rural Development Foundation in Delhi, India. She has been unraveling the national story for a decade during which time her estimate of the number of people leading “a painful and crippled life” from fluorosis has risen from one million to 25 million and now to 60 million – six million of them children – spread across tens of thousands of communities. “In some villages three-quarters of the population are seriously affected.”

This paper is a chronicle and overview spanning the history of modern industry. It shows the rise of fluoride pollution and how economic motives have overridden concerns for human health. We take you back to the early metal refinery pollution in Europe and show the record of lawsuits for fluoride damage. This reveals the basis for American industry’s fear of being shut down by lawsuits. We also document the steps taken by industry to divert public attention away from fluoride air pollution. This chronicle shows that the origin of water fluoridation is in these fluoride fears of industry – not in concern for children’s teeth.

During the 1940s, the development of the atom bomb required handling huge amounts of fluoride in the production of nuclear weapons. Documented here is a major safety study by the Atomic Energy Commission. As a result of this extensive study, the federal government became involved in the suppression of information about fluoride poisoning. Formerly restricted government documents now made available under the Freedom of Information Act have filled in some blank spaces in this chronology.

Thus, both big government and big industry, for different reasons, became involved in the cover-up. The succeeding collaboration of industry and government is documented in detail.

The difficulties in maintaining a deception over an extended time are significant. This is especially true with an ongoing issue like fluoridation. A compounding of dishonest statements and actions is required to maintain the original deception. At a certain point, the truth of the situation becomes obvious. These consequences are now coming to bear on the defenders of fluoridation. The Epilogue deals with this coming confrontation.


During the last half of the Nineteenth Century, ore refineries and chemical plants were introduced in Europe. In these early years of the industrial revolution came serious air pollution problems. Iron and copper refineries or smelters were the worst culprits. Fumes and fallout from their smokestacks caused obvious injury and sickness to people, livestock, crops, and other vegetation in the surrounding communities and countryside.

Unknown in the early years of the industrial revolution, the most deadly chemical killer in this effluent was hydrogen fluoride (HF), now known to be toxic in a concentration of parts per billion. The term fluorine, rather than fluoride was then commonly used in referring to the air pollutant. Hydrogen fluoride was itself first identified in industrial emissions after the turn of the century, but its effects had been clearly seen in the areas surrounding these industrial polluters.

Early European Chronology


Smelters in Freiburg, Germany first paid damages to neighbors injured by fluorine emissions.


The smelters in Freiburg paid out 880,000 marks in damages for fluorine contamination injuries and 644,000 marks for permanent relief.


The very existence of the smelting industry in Germany and Great Britain is threatened by successful lawsuits for fluorine damage and by burdensome laws and regulations.


A disease of cattle that had been endemic around Freiburg for some 20 years was identified as fluorine poisoning from the smelters.


Fluorine poisoning of cattle was reported near a superphosphate plant in Italy. During the 1890s there had been numerous complaints of damage to vegetation around superphosphate fertilizer plants.


The cattle around a Swiss aluminum plant became poisoned. Aluminum smelters, utilizing the fluxing agents flourite (49% fluorine), and cryolite (54% fluorine), were to become major sources of fluorine air pollution.

Part I   Overview

In America, the term fluoride replaced fluorine in referring to air pollution – as fluorine rarely occurs uncombined with other elements, due to its extremely high reactivity. This is the basis for its toxic effect on virtually all biological systems.

The many successful lawsuits for airborne fluoride damage in Europe were seen as a threat to American Industry. This feared risk produced a strong incentive which resulted in attempts to suppress the facts and sidetrack public concerns about hydrogen fluoride air pollution.

As American smelting industries expanded and smokestack emissions increased, the threat of legal action and regulatory controls worried these industries. Bringing about changes in people’s attitude about fluoride was seen as critically important . The original strategy was to get people to believe that water was the chief source of fluoride, and that other sources were unimportant.

In 1931, this camouflage began with the announcement by Alcoa’s chief chemist, H.V. Churchill, that the mottled teeth of children in the Pittsburgh area had been caused by fluoride in the water. Pittsburgh, of course, was the location of Alcoa’s aluminum smelters. This trick is documented in the Pittsburgh Press for May 31 under the headline, “Scientist Here Finds Secret Poison Which Blackens Teeth of Children”. Churchill’s announcement left the public with the idea that it was only fluoride in the water that caused “mottling”. Today the blame has shifted to toothpaste.

Alcoa’s deception had the effect of covering up major airborne fluoride damage in Pittsburgh. The success of this ploy resulted from the public’s acceptance of Churchill’s expert opinion as unbiased, when it was strongly biased. It does not take an expert to see the circumstances pointing to bias. The tendency of many people to quickly and uncritically accept expert opinion has been utilized as a propaganda device. In fact, it was to become the principal tool and stratagem of the fluoridation campaign. If one looks through profluoridation literature, it is found to be full of authoritarian endorsements (expert opinion), but no hard evidence.

Later, it would be claimed that people need fluoride, and that fluoride should be added to the water supply so everyone could get it. This strategy was to provide an enormous outlet for waste fluorides. Shaping people’s attitudes about fluoride had now begun and was to continue unabated for seven decades. Since the mid-1960s, television advertising has been intensively used to achieve this purpose, with $30 million spent on advertising Crest fluoridated toothpaste in just one year.

In 1931, it became widely known that mottled tooth enamel is caused by fluoride poisoning of the tooth buds while the enamel is being formed. Fluoride in the bloodstream reaches the tooth buds before the teeth erupt through the gums. Fluoride in the drinking water does not directly contact the tooth buds. For this reason dental fluorosis is clear evidence of systemic fluoride poisoning. Also, dental fluorosis is often caused by hydrogen fluoride in toxic air pollutants. It can likewise be caused by foods prepared from crops grown in fluoride contaminated soils and air.

Along with the shaping of public attitudes, industry influenced key government agencies. The US Public Health Service (USPHS), and later, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cooperated, to a surprising degree, in the economical disposal of industry’s toxic fluoride waste materials. As a result of agency appointments and hiring of industry-funded scientists, these government agencies became closely identified with the motivations of industry. In the process, they have had to ignore serious adverse effects on human health – from fluoride as well as a number of other toxic chemical compounds. In the easy choice of catering to industry, these Agencies incrementally abandoned their own basic charge of promoting human and environmental health.

This identification with industry was true regarding air pollution, and later epitomized in water fluoridation, with the USPHS eventually setting the goal of mandatory national fluoridation by the turn of the century. EPA later rationalized this goal by calling it an efficient way to recycle waste.

As a consequence of the realignment of the Public Health Service into a strong supporter of fluoridation, research in academic institutions also came under the control of big industry on this feared pollution issue. Control over research in academic institutions was brought about through the giving and withholding of government grants and research contracts. All government support of academic institutions was channeled through the industry biased Public Health Service. These pressures and incentives grew as industry grew. Applied relentlessly over the years and decades, the fluoride industry’s influence on academia has now spanned most of the 20th century.

By way of economic incentives the American Dental Association (ADA) also became a prominent and active promoter of fluoridation. This came about through the influence of a small clique pretending to speak for all dentists. While the public has tended to see ADA as an unbiased professional organization, it is, in fact, a trade group, with predictable motivations. The role of ADA in fluoridation has been that of an opportunist. It has received ongoing financial support from the USPHS, itself a virtual arm of big industry. ADA alleged an ethical role on the part of dentists based on their claim that fluoridation would reduce dentists’ income. But expensive cosmetic dentistry required to hide the effects of fluorosis actually increased the incomes of dentists. As a result, the dental trade association has become an ideal front for big industry in their scheme to dump fluoride waste products at a profit.

Influencing the US medical community was also of crucial importance to the success of the fluoridation scheme. Thousands of American Medical Association members came to be dependent on grants from the National Institutes of Health (a part of the USPHS) for most of their support. A majority of medical schools also came to recognize their increasing dependence on government grants via USPHS. One effect of this influence was minimizing the subject of fluorosis in medical texts. Consequently, the majority of dentists and physicians know very little about chronic fluoride poisoning.

Industry’s unstated motivation behind water fluoridation was to find an economical means for disposal of their accumulating fluoride waste products, and to avoid claims for compensation by workers harmed by airborne fluoride on the job. USPHS supports this industrial strategy while at the same time actively assisting industry in a cover-up of their fluoride air pollution problems. Today, through regional and county health offices, USPHS influences city councils to override previous ballot decisions against fluoridating public water, thereby subverting the basic principles of democratic government, as well as compromising public health.

With such pervasive influence of industry on government, academia, dentistry and medicine, it soon became political suicide for professionals to challenge or even question the fluoridation of drinking water. Individuals who had the boldness to do so soon found that their jobs were in jeopardy. Even outspoken dentists, the supposed experts, were ostracized from their trade organization (ADA) and saw their professional careers threatened. The ADA and their industrial backers were clearly out to destroy the opposition.

Of critical importance to industry was a complete knowledge about the chemical hazards associated with fluoride. Initially concerned with the fluoride-based refrigerant, freon, the Kettering Laboratory was founded in 1925 with gifts from Ethyl Corporation, General Electric, and DuPont and supported by other concerned industries. Kettering was to investigate chemical hazards in American industrial operations. It was Kettering policy to keep such research away from public view.

Since 1925, the great bulk of research in America having to do with fluoride poisoning has been financed by the concerned companies. It has been kept secret because it was done to protect the companies who funded Kettering. The Director of the Kettering Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Robert Kehoe, was also Medical Director of the Ethyl Corporation, and consultant to the Atomic Energy Commission – as well as the Division of Occupational Medicine of the USPHS. All three of these affiliations were with those having strong motives for suppressing the dangers associated with fluorides.

Fluoride research sponsored by industry was done by Kettering Laboratory so that it could be tightly controlled. Research supported by the federal government was channeled through the Public Health Service, which had become a virtual arm of big industry. With its strong bias, USPHS influenced the direction of fluoride investigations as well as what got published. It even censored reports after their publication. In this way, the concerned industries came to control nearly all of the fluoride research originating in the this country.

Research conducted in European countries and in Asia has not been subjected to such constraints. Their research has more starkly exposed the dangers of fluoride. This has led to the outlawing of fluoridation in 98% of Europe and clearly verifies the bias in American fluoride research. Since the classic work on Fluorine Intoxication published by Kaj Roholm in 1935 and 1937, the foreign medical literature has contained ongoing research reports on a wide variety of serious disorders stemming from fluoride poisoning. The same is true of the US veterinary literature. But our own medical literature suffers from the secrecy imposed on Kettering research and from the bias and censorship brought to bear by the Public Health Service.

Part I   Chronology – 1909 to 1938


Alcoa was now producing 16,500 tons of aluminum per year and releasing 132 tons of hydrogen fluoride air pollutants per year.


Pennsylvania law prohibits use of fluoride compounds in food – including water.


The National Research Council, a subgroup of the National Academy of Sciences, is organized as an independent, non-government group. It would provide a close liaison between the USPHS and American Industry, and came to represent industry through the affiliations of its membership. Government agencies came to pass on their chartered responsibilities by taking recommendations from NRC, instead of using their own professional staff. Decisions affecting industry came to be handled this way, to the great advantage of industry.


Aluminum cookware is introduced in the US. Aluminum production increases, along with production of the toxic waste product, sodium fluoride.


The Kettering Laboratory is set up by an industrial consortium to do contract research work on chemical hazards in industrial operations. The research findings are hid from public view.


Andrew Mellon becomes US Treasurer. The USPHS is under the direct jurisdiction of the Department of the Treasury. Andrew Mellon was a founder and major stockholder of Alcoa, the main producer of toxic fluoride waste materials. During the 1920s there was growing concern abroad, and in our own Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Mines over fluoride as a public hazard – but not in the Public Health Service. During this decade, no mention of fluoride can be found in the official USPHS publication, Public Health Reports. Also in 1925, the Mellon Institute was founded by Andrew and Richard Mellon, former owners of Alcoa.


The world’s first major hydrogen fluoride fog disaster occurred in the Meuse Valley, Belgium. Six thousand people became violently ill, and sixty died in this episode. Many cattle were also killed. The Danish scientist, Kaj Roholm studied the aftereffects of this episode and the subject of fluorine poisoning. His classic work, Fluorine Intoxication, published in London and Copenhagen, is unique to this day, as it examined in detail substantial numbers of human subjects poisoned by a well defined and dated episode.


A considerable portion of Kettering Laboratory’s facilities are dedicated to the study of fluorides, initially with investigations into Freon 12 gas. Under contract, the studies are not released to the public. Hydrogen fluoride air pollution from Alcoa’s Pittsburgh smelters were causing mottled teeth in the area’s children. Alcoa’s chief chemist ignores this known relationship and announces that fluoride in the drinking water is responsible. That successful camouflage was to be used later as a reason to fluoridate water supplies of cities with the worst fluoride air pollution, thereby diverting attention from air pollution


USPHS dentist, H. Trendley Dean, is dispatched by Alcoa founder, Andrew Mellon, to certain remote towns in the Western US where water wells have a naturally high concentration of calcium fluoride. Dean’s mission would be to find out how much calcium fluoride young children could tolerate before there was obvious visible damage to their teeth.


Dr. Lloyd DeEds, Senior Toxicologist with the Department of Agriculture published a sixty page review on chronic fluorine poisoning (Medicine 12:1-60 (Feb)1933): “Only recently, that is within the last ten years, has the serious nature of fluorine toxicity been realized, particularly with regard to chronic intoxication. It is from the viewpoint of chronic intoxication that fluorine is of importance to the public health.” He discussed poisoning of vegetation and livestock near aluminum plants; and pointed out that superphosphate plants were annually pouring 25,000 tons of fluorine into the air and adding 90,000 tons to the topsoil each year.


From now on, and in the face of growing fluoride air pollution, the USPHS described “mottling” as a “water-borne disease”, and began investigating the extent of the disorder in the US.


H. Trendley Dean and the USPHS conduct the “Galesburg-Quincy” study, one of the two studies upon which water fluoridation rests (the other is the “21 cities” study, done in 1939 and 1940). On these two studies rested the “fluorine-dental caries hypothesis” which was to be tested in the experiments at Grand Rapids, Michigan, Newburgh, New York, and Brantford, Ontario.Note: These studies were later examined by non-government expert statisticians and found to be statistically flawed, as well as having a significant number of other serious problems, making the studies worthless. (see Fluoride the Aging Factor by Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, p. 119-123. also: Fluoridation Errors and Omissions in Experimental Trials, by Philip R. N. Sutton, DDSc, LDS, Senior Research Fellow, Dept of Oral Medicine and Surgery, University of Melbourne, in collaboration with Sir Arthur B. P. Amies, Dean of the Dental School, University of Melbourne) It is interesting to note that Dean visited Galesburg earlier on a mottled enamel survey in 1934 and listed Galesburg as a city that “lacked the requisites for quantitative evaluation”.


A Federally Funded, National Strategy Supporting Big Industry

It was a quirk of fate that the early industrial secrecy surrounding fluoride in America was to be strongly reinforced by the federal government for reasons of national security. Fluoride was the key chemical compound in the production of the atomic bomb, and extensive government information on the serious health risks of fluoride was kept secret both during and after World War II. This helps explain how the fluoride industries were able to get virtually total cooperation from government agencies in covering up industry’s fluoride pollution.

When the concept of water fluoridation surfaced around 1939, it was quickly seized by big industry and turned into a relentless, no-holds-barred drive for universal fluoridation. This drive was soon to be implemented by the US Public Health Service as if it were a military mandate – a “mission”.

USPHS was ideal for this mission, being organized in a similar way to the US Armed Forces. Its officers are commissioned and expected to obey orders of the Surgeon General. The common public view of the Surgeon General as an impeccable and totally objective authority is often naive. In the real world the Surgeon General is expected to support and carry out current policy. If a particular policy, such as water fluoridation is supported successively by two or more Surgeons General, it would be naive to think this proves the policy is based on science.

USPHS has a Dental Corps which is closely associated with those in the American Dental Association (ADA) and holds interlocking memberships on its boards, committees, and councils. Significantly, officers of the USPHS also sit on the editorial boards of every important medical and dental journal in the United States.

The national strategy for universal fluoridation utilized state and regional health departments as ersatz field headquarters. Strongly biased literature was used, such as the Kettering abstracts published in 1963, and the key ADA propaganda piece, Fluoridation Facts, first published in 1960, and used to this day, although it is proved lacking in credibility by its own references. As this pamphlet was published more than three decades ago and is still uncorrected, one can only call it fraudulent. This promotional material was distributed to health departments and agencies throughout the country.

The disinformation campaign conducted by USPHS has been extended since the 1960s down to local health districts, sometimes employing state or field fluoridation coordinators. With a national communications network of state and regional health departments in place, community assessments can be made and those showing the least resistance are targeted first. The most successful tactics used in previously fluoridated communities are employed on prospective communities. The USPHS campaign has involved literally hundreds of such intrusions on communities, and has become a fine-tuned operation. District health department officials typically contact city councils with a strongly biased sales pitch and promises of federal funding. The attempt is often made to get city councils to vote and rule on the fluoridation issue without a public vote. In some cases, where it is legal, this may involve overriding previous public vote, even though it directly affects all the people in the community on a daily basis.

When a community is overrun by such tactics, the victory often gets wide publicity, as practiced in psychological warfare. Further, there is strong circumstantial evidence that the USPHS campaign includes overturning state laws that interfere with the USPHS “mission”. For example, in the State of Washington, the State Code prohibiting city councils from directly overriding previous public vote was successfully used in Spokane in 1984 to stop fluoridation in that city. The following year that State Code was overturned with no motivation from within Washington. When viewed in the larger context revealed in this chronicle, such circumstantial evidence is compelling.

It has been a priority of big industry to settle lawsuits out of court. This prevents legal precedents being set on fluoride damage, which could open the way for further litigation. A good example involved the Troutdale, Oregon aluminum plant east of Portland, which was operated by Alcoa during World War II. After the war some millions in damage suits were filed, and many hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid in settlements from the new renter of the plant, Reynolds Metals Co.

One such suit was for serious injuries to members of the Paul Martin family. It was considered so important by big industry that an armada of six corporations all joined in the suit as “friends of the court.” They were Alcoa, Kaiser, Harvey Aluminum, Olin-Mathieson, Victor Chemical, and Food Machinery and Chemical. When it appeared that the Martin family might win their case, an out of court settlement was arranged by purchasing the Martin ranch at an inflated price. Once again, a potentially important legal precedent did not get into the legal record.

PART II  – 1939 to 1959


The concept of fluoridation arises as an alternative method of disposing of industrial waste chemicals, where disposal expense is replaced by profit. This fact was confirmed with approval in a 1983 letter written by Rebecca Hanmer, Assistant Administrator, from EPA Office of Water.


The Hatch Act was passed after revelations that employees of the WPA, a New Deal agency, were pressured to make political contributions. The new Act protected against a politicized federal work force. It also prohibited any federally funded agency, whether county, state, or federal, from trying to influence public referenda. Since the beginning of the effort to fluoridate water in the 1940s, however, the Hatch Act has been repeatedly and flagrantly violated


On Sept 29, Mellon Institute scientist, Gerald J. Cox, begins his major role in the promotion of fluoridation by saying, “the present trend toward removal of fluorides from food and water may need reversal”.Note: Scientist Cox also had this to say in 1939: “Fluorides are among the most toxic of substances. Mottled enamel results from as little as 0.0001 percent of fluorine in the drinking water. Every use of water must be examined before fluoridation can begin”. (Journal of the American Water Works Assn. pp. 1926-1930, Nov 1939). Despite all of this, Alcoa sponsored biochemist, Gerald J. Cox, fluoridates rats in his lab and mysteriously concludes that “fluoride reduces cavities”. He makes a public proposal that the US should fluoridate its water supply. Cox begins to tour the US, stumping for fluoridation.


The American Water Works Association decided there was sufficient evidence about fluoride to classify it as a hazardous material, like lead and arsenic. It then suggested that drinking water should contain no more than 0.1 ppm fluoride.


Instead of forbidding the dumping of fluoride in water, the USPHS regulations set 1.0 ppm of fluoride as the maximum tolerance allowed in a public water supply. This allowed industries to continue to dump fluoride wastes into rivers.


In December, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. All anti-pollution regulations are suspended. Many parts of America now suffer hydrogen fluoride air pollution on an unprecedented scale. Major fluoride hazards develop in war materials production of WWII, consolidating government collusion with big industry on a coverup of fluoride hazards.


In England, a Lancet report showed that out of 589 London children, 28% had mottled teeth. According to Alcoa’s chief chemist and the USPHS, London’s drinking water should contain well over one ppm fluoride to account for this. Tests showed just 0.19 ppm. Clearly, hydrogen fluoride was the cause. In this case, it was surely related to the heavy use of coal for fuel, a known source of HF.


Hydrogen fluoride supplants sulfuric acid as a catalyst in the production of high test gasoline in Los Angeles. One such plant required 500-750 tons of HF yearly (Fluorine Industry Chem. and Met. Eng., 52:94-99 Mar. 1945).


Planning began on the Newburgh, NY, Fluoridation Demonstration Project. Atomic bomb program scientists played a prominent but unpublicized role in this first US fluoridation experiment. Fluoride was the key chemical in atomic bomb production. Millions of tons of fluoride were needed for the manufacture of bomb-grade uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons. Today, memos released under the Freedom of Information Act show that scientists from the atomic bomb program secretly shaped and guided the Newburgh fluoridation experiment. This reveals the US government conflict of interest and its motive to prove fluoride safe.


Oscar Ewing is put on the payroll of the Aluminum Company of America as an attorney, at an annual salary of $750,000.


Program “F” is implemented by the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). This is the most extensive US study of the health effects of fluoride – a key chemical component in atomic bomb production. One of the most toxic chemicals known to man, fluoride was found to have marked adverse effects to the central nervous system. But much of the information was classified “secret” in the name of national security because of fear that lawsuits would undermine full-scale production of atomic bombs.


With no new evidence of safety, and no stated reason, USPHS raised the maximum tolerance level of fluoride in public water supplies to 1.5 ppm.


Alcoa lawyer, Oscar Ewing, is appointed head of the Federal Security Agency, later HEW, a position that places him in charge of the USPHS. He is the second Alcoa executive (after Andrew Mellon) to direct the course of the Public Health Service, completing its mutation into a virtual pawn of big industry. Under Ewing, a national fluoridation campaign rapidly materializes, spearheaded by the USPHS. Over the next three years, eighty-seven cities were fluoridated. This included the control city of Muskegan in the original Michigan experiment, thus wiping out the most scientifically objective test of safety before the test was half over.Ewing’s public relations strategist was Edward L. Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, who pioneered Freudian theory toward advertising and government propaganda (see Bernays’ 1928 book, Propaganda). Because of Bernays, people would be induced to forget that fluorides were toxic poisons. Opponents to the fluoridation program were painted as deranged. In 1996 they would be painted as civil rights activists, crackpots, and right-wing loonies. As the newspapers were heavily influenced by industry advertisers, they became key dispensers of such propaganda.


The Donora Death Fog was the second major air pollution disaster in history. It was caused by the accumulation of stagnant hydrogen fluoride gas from steel and zinc smelters in a narrow industrialized valley. Six thousand of the 13,000 residents of this Pennsylvania town’s population became ill, and on the fourth day seventeen died. A leading forensic chemist, Philip Sadtler, investigated the tragedy and reported strong evidence of acute fluoride poisoning. His report appeared in Chemical and Engineering News under the headline, FLUORINE GASES IN ATMOSPHERE AS INDUSTRIAL WASTES BLAMED FOR DEATH AND CHRONIC POISONING OF DONORA AND WEBSTER. The USPHS whitewashed the incident in their report (see Public Health Bull. No. 306, Washington, D.C., 1949). Their conclusion was: No pollutant present could have caused the disaster. The following are excerpts from a critique of that report by Frederick B. Exner, MD:”A 173-page report tells us that there had been no unusual kind or amount of pollution, and that no pollution present could have caused the trouble. Sampling methods of doubtful reliability were applied at arbitrarily selected times and places, and the results averaged with no attempt at proper weighting. Calculations therefrom, replete with arithmetical errors and discrepancies, were combined with outright guesses to arrive at estimates of emission.They guess that 210 tons of coal burned in homes emit 30 lb. of fluorine but that 213 tons burned in the blooming-mill boilers emit only four lb. No possible reason for the difference is offered.On page 104, waste gas from the blast furnace contains 4.6 mg of fluorine per cubic meter. On page 108 it contains one-tenth as much.Calculations for open-hearth emission show a discrepancy of several thousand fold, with no way to know where the error lies.The biological studies and general air sampling are similarly inappropriate and meaningless. Air samples at twelve arbitrarily selected points between Feb. 16, and April 27, 1949, can tell us nothing about concentrations during the episode.”Test results of a study made of the Donora disaster by US Steel have been withheld from public view to this day. This is unmistakable evidence of an effort to cover up highly toxic HF emissions.


As a direct consequence of the Donora disaster, USPHS began quietly sampling fluorides in the air over 27 major cities across the country. This sampling turned up serious HF air pollution (up to 80 ppb) in the following twelve cities: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Buffalo, Denver, Oklahoma City, and Indianapolis (see Register of Air Pollution Analyses, US Department of Health, Education and Welfare. USPHS, Washington DC, 1949-1961).


The new hydrogen fluoride air pollution data collected by the USPHS presented a major problem. Data gathered showed HF contamination up to 80 ppb, more than ten times what had been proposed for standards.Strong circumstantial evidence suggests that the camouflage strategy adopted more than a decade earlier by Alcoa in Pittsburgh was to influence the strategy adopted by the USPHS: If the nation’s twelve cities with the most serious HF air pollution were fluoridated, this expensive-to-correct problem would be camouflaged. Dental fluorosis could then be attributed to the water, and authorities could describe mottled teeth as an “acceptable trade-off” for the claimed caries preventing properties of fluoridated water. To bring this about, the Great Fluoridation Experiment underway in Grand Rapids and three other cities was declared a success in June 1950, five years before the experiment would be complete. Before a single tooth had fully developed under the influence of the experimental fluoridated water, USPHS claimed a reduction in tooth decay of between 50 and 60 percent. (Dean, H. T. et al., Studies on Mass Control of Dental Caries through Fluoridation of the Public Water Supply, Public Health Report 65, 1950).This “success” then allowed USPHS to rush out to fluoridate the twelve cities with major HF air pollution and thereby camouflage the toxic air problems. All twelve cities were fluoridated in the following five years. The same camouflage was to be carried out two years later by Alcoa in Australia.


Two years after the disaster in Donora, when the USPHS found serious HF air pollution across the country, their analytical method was changed from measuring the level of HF to measuring the level of fluoride ions in the air. Deception clearly motivated this change. Fluoride ions, like fluorine gas, are relatively rare toxic air emissions. By pretending that fluoride ions, not the far more harmful HF, was the concern in contaminated air, the USPHS avoided exposure of incriminating HF data which it thereby managed, once again, to ignore.


From 1950 to 1951, Alcoa advertises sodium fluoride for addition to water supplies.


The Journal of the American Dental Association, (30:447, 1950), features an article by Dr. G. J. Cox, University of Pittsburgh, who says, “To solve the esthetic problem for victims of mottled enamel, porcelain facings, jacket crowns, or even dentures may be required”. Note: The public is expected to bear the cost of what is being done to them while the dental industry profits.


Early in 1951 Oscar Ewing allocated $2 million to “promote fluoridation nationwide”.


Oscar Ewing was sponsoring a bill which the conservative American Medical Association claimed would be the first step toward socialized medicine. The AMA appealed to its members for a “fighting fund” to defeat the Bill and $3 million was raised. But at the AMA convention in Los Angeles, Ewing notified the committee that the bill was to be withdrawn. That same committee, which had never before considered the subject, suddenly released a statement saying that the AMA totally endorsed the “safety of fluoridation”. At that time there was not one published paper providing evidence to support the AMA endorsement. But from then on, the AMA left fluoridation to dentists – and to those powerful forces which were manipulating the dental trade association (ADA).


The ADA Journal instructs its dentists not to discuss their personal opinions about fluoride. Here is blatant evidence of ADA political bias.


In London, the greatest toxic fog disaster in history occurred from December 5-9 in a temperature inversion. Hydrogen fluoride (HF) gas was the culprit, as in the two earlier major disasters. During those five days there were 2,000 excess deaths in London, and some 10,000 more people were wiped out in the surrounding Thames Valley. Similar episodes, both before and after this one, occurred in London. In 1945, a noxious fog brought death to 600; in 1956, to 500; and in 1957, to 400 (Air Pollution, published on behalf of the World Health Organization, Columbia University Press, N.Y., 1961, p. 175).Shocking as it is, the toll of lives does not tell the whole story. Neither the assessments of the toxic air disasters, nor tests establishing maximum contaminant levels, take into account the widespread effects on mental function brought about by HF poisoning. Human behavior is exquisitely sensitive to minute traces of hydrogen fluoride – in the parts per billion range. In London, it is likely that millions were so affected. This includes symptoms of confusion, fatigue, partial loss of memory, and mental dullness and apathy. The condition identified in 1982 as chronic fatigue syndrome is currently of undetermined origin, and is now increasingly widespread. The same symptoms are caused by HF air pollution. Research on hydrogen fluoride is lacking, and funding is not available.


USPHS officials, Drs. Dean, Arnold and McClure, concentrate their efforts to introduce fluoridation into Australia and New Zealand, providing more evidence for an underlying industrial motivation.


Alcoa starts construction of the first aluminum smelter in Australia, two miles from the small town of Beaconsfield, Tasmania. The following year, Beaconsfield became the first town in all of Australia to install water fluoridation. Dental fluorosis could then be attributed to the water as an “acceptable trade-off” for prevention of caries (unproven). Beyond coincidence, here is more evidence of the industrial strategy to camouflaging airborne HF poisoning by fluoridating the water supply.


The Kettering Laboratory in Cincinnati has become the largest organization of its kind in the world with a staff numbering about 120. Its specified purpose is to investigate chemical hazards that develop in American industrial operations (to prevent a replay of the litigation that plagued European industry and gave American industry a competitive edge).


On Jan 26, Procter & Gamble ran a full page ad in the New York Times, proclaiming Crest toothpaste “an important milestone in medicine”, comparing it to Dr. Fleming’s discovery of penicillin. P & G published no evidence supporting their extravagant claims. Harold Hillenbrand, secretary of ADA responded saying there was no evidence that any fluoride paste could prevent tooth decay. Initially there was an FDA warning label on Crest, but it disappeared in 1958, without explanation, and did not reappear until nearly forty years later.


Alcoa announces the direct sale of sodium fluoride to cities and towns – for fluoridation of drinking water. A decade later, when it was found that phosphate fertilizer companies could sell fluorides from their smokestack scrubbers for even less money, Alcoa was priced out of the fluoride dumping market.


The American Dental Association receives $6,453,816 in federal funds, from 1957-1973.


The World Health Organization (WHO) establishes an Expert Committee in Geneva to study fluoridation. At least five of the seven committee members had promoted fluoridation in their own countries. The American proponent, Professor H. C. Hodge, had some of his research financed by the Atomic Energy Commission, which was confronted with serious fluoride disposal problems from uranium processing. Professor Ericsson, the member from Sweden and a prominent advocate of fluoridation in Europe, was the recipient of a USPHS grant and received royalties from Sweden’s toothpaste industry. Such are the sources of the WHO endorsement of fluoridation.


Reynolds Metals Co. built an aluminum smelter on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, upwind of a Mohawk Indian Reservation. Fifteen-hundred Mohawk Indians farmed on their island Reservation. Forty-five farmers had forty cattle barns and 364 dairy cattle. Cattle became lame and many cows died. In 1977, there were just 177 left. The farmers themselves were found to have muscular and skeletal abnormalities. The Mohawk way of life became the victim of a preventable man-made plague caused by hydrogen fluoride.

PART II   Chronology – 1960 to 1999



In Canada, the Committee on Fluoridation meets in Toronto. Dr. G. E. Hall guides the deliberations. His daughter was employed by an aluminum corporation with fluoride pollution problems. He was himself serving as honorary advisory director for a leading fluoridation promoting organization, and his University (U. of Western Toronto) was the recipient of grants from the US Public Health Service (three conflicts of interest). Predictably, fluoridation of all public water supplies throughout Canada was advocated.


In August, the ADA suddenly endorses the “safety and effectiveness” of Crest fluoride toothpaste, with no scientific evidence available. P & G stock rose by $8 per share. Toothpaste manufacturers around the world, including Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever and Beechams, jumped aboard the fluoride bandwagon.


USPHS again raises the maximum tolerance level for fluoride in water supplies, this time to 2.4 ppm, in spite of the fact that one USPHS investigator said that at 1.5 ppm, the safety factor was zero.


At the bequest of its industrial sponsors, The Kettering Laboratory collected US research articles on fluoride and “sanitized” them by rewriting their findings in published abstracts in a book titled, The Role of Fluoride in Public Health. Sponsors included Alcoa, American Petroleum Institute, Columbia-Geneva Steel Company, The Du Pont Company, Harshaw Chemical Company, Kaiser Aluminum and Chemicals Corporation, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company, Reynolds Metals Company, and the Universal Oil Products Company – all concerned about regulations bearing on fluoride air pollution and worker health problems.This book of 158 sanitized abstracts was then distributed to all health agencies throughout the US, thus becoming the standard reference work for state and county health departments. Busy health professionals relied on these convenient and readily available abstracts, rather than searching the literature for the original (unsanitized) research. In this way, many key professionals throughout the country were duped on the issue of fluoride poisoning.


On October 15, the Pittsburgh Press reported that 98% of Pittsburgh school children 13-15 years of age had crooked teeth. It was not mentioned that chronic fluoride toxicity from childhood induces such malocclusion. Hydrogen fluoride poisoning from Alcoa aluminum smelters in the Pittsburgh area had not been monitored. Significantly, the Pittsburgh water supplies were fluoridated fifteen years earlier, in 1952.


EPA chemist Ervin Bellack noted that recovered phosphate fertilizer acid waste contains about 19% fluorine. He reported that this concentrated scrubber liquor, which is 23% fluorosilicic acid, could be used as a water fluoridating agent – instead of sodium fluoride. Further, this waste product was available in enormous quantities – enough to fluoridate the entire nation’s water supply. The EPA and USPHS approved and promoted this source of fluoride waste for public water supplies, without conducting any tests for safety.Note: Legal disposal of the scrubber liquor as a waste product would cost about $1.40 per gallon due its highly toxic contents. Instead, it could now be sold to municipal water departments for upwards of sixty cents per gallon. Its toxic contents are called out in detail in the supplier’s specification sheet.The amount of this scrubber liquor sold annually for water fluoridation has been above one hundred thousand tons for many years. The scale of this business is in the millions of dollars annually. In this perspective, it is easy to appreciate the lengths to which big industry will go to try to rationalize and legitimatize the scheme. Sad to say, it now permanently compromises the health of more than one hundred million Americans.The only answer ever given to the above charge is that “toxicity is a function of concentration”, and that at one ppm in water, fluoride is not harmful. This glib statement ignores the most important fact concerning fluoride poisoning: it accumulates in the body. Half the daily dosage will produce the same poisoning effects in twice the time period. Chronic fluoride poisoning is a time bomb that the majority of Americans now face in their senior years. It can both cause and aggravate arthritis, a condition which affects virtually all who reach the age of retirement.


Over 90% of toothpaste now contains fluoride. This is the result of an intensive advertising campaign backed by a profit oriented dental trade association which is mistakenly perceived as an unbiased authority. This advertising has tended to establish the image of fluoride as a beneficial, even essential element, while, in fact, it is officially rated more toxic than either lead or cadmium. Have Americans been brainwashed? You decide.


Germany bans water fluoridation.


Birmingham, Alabama, the steel capitol of the South, experienced a calamitous air pollution disaster. Thousands suffered smarting eyes and scratchy throats. Eight deaths were reported. Mayor George Seibels said the disaster was caused by stack gasses from steel works in the area. The emissions hung over the city for three days in a temperature inversion. Unfortunately, the city had no standards for hydrogen fluoride (HF) and never monitored the air for these gases. Newspapers throughout the country blamed the disaster on “high particulates,” but had no information on the particulates.GASP, a local environmental group turned to EPA for help, but no federal standards had been set, and even though human deaths occurred no one could be cited. Two months later the independent National Research Council hastily contrived a report for EPA stating, “Airborne fluoride currently presents no direct hazard to man.” This could be technically correct, if they were referring to ionic fluoride, which is rare in industrial emissions. The culprit in this disaster, however, was hydrogen fluoride, which NRC must have known. Furthermore, no committee can make a scientific judgement about safety when there are no standards and no data. Clearly, federal air pollution policies protect polluters and poison people.


The February issue of the ADA’s own Journal reports that dental incomes and dental costs per person are higher in fluoridated communities. Dentists don’t mention that fluorides embrittle rather than toughen tooth enamel. Resultant cracks and chipping make tooth repair more difficult – and more expensive. Also, fluoride makes enamel porous, thereby increasing the wear rate of the tooth surface. These facts alone warrant ruling out fluoride treatment for teeth.


Sweden bans fluoridation of public water.


The Netherlands constitution bans water fluoridation.


The CBS News almanac showed there were 76.7 dentists per 100,000 population in fluoridated cities, and only 59.2 in non-fluoridated cities. This was based on a study of thirty representative cities. The real surprise came in looking at the three US cities that have been fluoridated the longest: Grand Rapids, Michigan, Newburgh, NY, and Evanston, Illinois. These cities averaged 121 dentists per 100,000 population, which was more than double the national average – after 25 years on fluoridated water. It is easy to see why ADA promotes fluoridation so aggressively.


From March 1980 to December 1980, the Houston Health Systems Agency allocated $1,399,822 federal tax dollars to promote fluoridation in Texas. The Texas Department of Health gave instructions to the Health Systems Agency on how to promote fluoridation. It stated: “A low profile of government pressure will be maintained. Convince citizens that they will receive personal health benefits without local tax money expenditures.” Here is evidence of the USPHS campaign.More than $94,000 was spent on media promotion of fluoridation in Portland, Oregon, and $5000 for the poll on why fluoridation failed to pass.Of a $90,000 federal grant for fluoridation, that city officials in Phoenix, Arizona had never requested, $38,000 was earmarked for media promotion. Here is more evidence of the USPHS campaign.


The Water Chemicals Codex is published from Washington DC showing all fluoride products used in public water supplies are lead contaminated. Further, it is widely known that fluorides are extremely corrosive and leach lead from pipe joints. When water stands in pipes, the lead contamination in the water can easily double or triple. It is also widely known that fluoride has a synergistic action on lead in the water, increasing lead’s absorption in the human body.


USPHS conducts its first group of studies on animal cancer and fluorides, mandated by the Congressional Hearings in 1977. The study lasts until 1984, and is then scrapped because of flaws in design and progress.


USPHS contracts a second set of studies on animal cancer and fluoride, mandated by the 1977 Congressional Hearings, eight years earlier. USPHS again contracts Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio, which conducts a study lasting until 1987. The results are released in 1988.


The cost of dental services in the US rapidly increases – from $13.6 billion in 1979 to $27.1 billion in 1985 – in parallel with the increasing environmental saturation of fluoride from many sources. This is almost exactly a doubling of dental costs in six years. Inflation cannot account for changes on such a scale.


EPA raises the maximum contaminant level for fluoride in drinking water to 4 ppm (4mg per liter). It was raised by USPHS in 1961 to 2.4 ppm. Both of these official increases were made without any scientific evidence or rationale. The EPA professionals union thereupon initiated legal action to stop this political decision by EPA management.


Production of lead free gasoline in the US is growing rapidly. The process involves the use of HF to achieve high octane ratings without using lead. HF is now present in automotive exhaust gases instead of lead, even though it is more toxic than lead (see Townsend N. and Campbell D., Deadly Risks of Lead-free Petrol. New Statesman, 20 Ocober 1988).


A series of hydrogen fluoride accidents in Texas City, Texas, Torrance California, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, demonstrate that industrial hydrogen fluoride sites are a major public safety threat. Small amounts of HF liquid will release a dense ground hugging gas cloud, lethal for several miles. The first symptoms of exposure to trace amounts of HF are psychological, including confusion, fatigue, partial memory loss, and mental dullness.


Battelle Memorial Institute releases its studies on fluoride and animal cancer, for the USPHS, reporting highly specific fluoride-related cancers. The data is turned over by USPHS to the National Toxicology Program (NTP), who gives the data to the Experimental Pathology Labs, who reclassify and delete items damaging to the pro-fluoridation faction. The altered data is then submitted to the “pathology working group” on Dec 6, 1989, after a year of reworking – all this with the full knowledge of EPA. USPHS had data from the National Cancer Institute, as well as Procter and Gamble, indicating that fluoride causes bone cancer, but chose, likewise, to cover up those studies. By these inordinate delays spanning more than a decade, USPHS was able to make a travesty of the 1977 Congressional mandate.


Procter and Gamble spends $30 million advertising Crest on US television. On March 5th the ADA News published a photo of ADA President Mike Overbey accepting a check for $100,000 from Procter and Gamble: “to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ADA’s recognition of Crest.”


Dr. William Marcus, a senior scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency, was fired for exposing a coverup in a government study showing clear evidence that fluoride causes cancer.


Dr. Robert J. Carton, Vice President of the Union representing twelve hundred scientists, engineers, and lawyers at EPA headquarters, presented the Drinking Water Subcommittee of the Science Advisory Board of EPA with evidence of scientific fraud in the preparation of EPA’s fluoride in drinking water standard. No follow up by the Science Advisory Board was ever made.


Over 143,000 tons of toxic fluorides were dumped into US public drinking water this year. Most of it was fluorosilicic acid from the fertilizer industry, still untested by the federal government.


In December, Dr. William Marcus was vindicated when Administrative Law Judge, David A. Clark, Jr., ordered EPA to give him back his job, with back pay, legal expenses, and $50,000 in damages. EPA appealed, but the appeal was turned down in 1994, by Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, who accused EPA of firing Dr. Marcus in retaliation for speaking his mind in public. Reich found, among other things, that EPA had shredded important evidence that would have supported Dr. Marcus in court. The original trial proceedings also show that EPA employees who wanted to testify on behalf of Dr. Marcus were threatened by their own management. EPA officials also forged some of his time cards, and then accused him of misusing his office time.


The Union of professionals at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., voted unanimously to co-sponsor a safe drinking water initiative that would reverse California’s 1995 mandatory fluoridation law. Local 2050 of the National Federation of Federal Employees has charged EPA management with “fraudulent alterations of data and negligent omission of facts to arrive at predetermined Agency positions regarding fluoride”. The above major news item on EPA went largely unreported across the country, clear evidence of the effective blackout on factual news concerning fluoride.


Administrative “mandates” for fluoridation have been rejected at the polls in Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Washington States and in several other communities within the last year. This indicates growing public concern and a new emergence of public awareness.


It was determined that over the past 50 years industries have released more than 25,000,000 tons of fluoride gases and particulates into the atmosphere. Arthritis, one of the most common physical symptoms of HF, is now found in the bulk of the senior population in the US. Why is this striking synchronism not being investigated? The answer is simple: Industry does not support it.


The financial motivation of dental trade organizations are high. In California, in September of this year, Delta Dental Plan of California pledged $100,000, and the California Dental Association pledged $30,000, to help fund-raising efforts for fluoridating the State of California.


Jan 21 Newswire/ — Y2KNEWSWIRE.COM today urged cities and municipalities to disconnect water fluoridation equipment during the Y2K rollover to prevent possible fluoride fatalities. Over the last 25 years fatalities have occurred when fluoride saturation levels ran too high; somedue to faulty flow control systems. In 1994, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study of a fatal fluoride overdose incident in Alaska, and dozens of verified fluoride “overfeeds” have occurred in cities and schools across the country. The risk of a fatal fluoride overdose is highest in schools, where the low body weight of children increases the risk. Saturation devices based on embedded systems or computer controls should be considered “unsafe” until proven otherwise.



13 February l999

U.S. Department of JusticeEnvironmental Crimes Division601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW 6th FloorWashington, DC 20004

Subject: Safe Drinking Water ActMaximum Contaminant Levelfor fluoride in drinking water

When EPA set the maximum contaminant level for fluoride in drinking water at four milligrams per liter, they based their calculation on incorrect dosage figures, which they described as 20 mg/day for 20 or more years. The calculation should have been based on a minimum of 10 mg/day for 10 or more years. This figure represents the total daily fluoride dosage according to the National Research Council which might cause crippling skeletal fluorosis.EPA also erred in failing to consider individual tolerances and lifetime exposures. Twenty years does not a lifetime make.EPA further violated the essence of the Safe Drinking Water Act in failing to consider arthritis (phase 1 and 2 skeletal fluorosis) as an “adverse” health effect … and in classifying disfiguring dental fluorosis as not an adverse health effect but merely “cosmetic.”EPA has set the MCL at a level too high to provide the legally required margin of safety. In addition to the errors mentioned above, EPA also neglected to consider background levels of fluoride which, unlike the situation fifty years ago, can be several times the dosage delivered in drinking water. In short, EPA has relied on outdated and inaccurate information.EPA must re-calculate the MCL according to law. Their minimum dosage figures 20 mg/day for 20 years for crippling skeletal fluorosis, were the result of an error in arithmetic, miscalculated by Harold C. Hodge, Ph.D., in 1953 and corrected by Dr. Hodge in 1979.

NAS/NRC corrected their figures in 1993. The minimum is currently estimated to be 10 mg/day for 10 years, or far less, on a daily basis, when ingested over a lifetime, or by individuals who are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of soluble fluorides. EPA management, however, has steadfastly ignored these facts.I am writing to you today to ask your assistance in forcing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to obey the law.References:

  • The Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f, et seq.

  • National Primary Drinking Water Regulations; Fluoride, Federal Register, 50(220): 47142-47171, Nov 14, 1985.

  • National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council, HEALTH EFFECTS OF INGESTED FLUORIDE, 1993, p 59.

  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, REVIEW OF FLUORIDE BENEFITS AND RISKS, 1991, page 46.

  • See images of the USDHHS symptoms & NAS/NRC dosage figures at:


Philip Heggen

Thank you Philip





EPILOGUE  – The Approaching Confrontation

Alcoa responded to the human health issue in Pittsburgh with the initial plan to change public perceptions in order to protect industry. Andrew Mellon and Oscar Ewing, from Alcoa, the largest fluoride polluter, were both appointed to positions in control of the US Public Health Service. These appointments spanned the better part of two decades and had the effect of redirecting an agency established to protect people’s health into an agency to protect industry. EPA took on a similar role since its inception in 1971, led by William Ruckelshaus. At that time there existed a longstanding need for national standards on hydrogen fluoride emissions. During the first EPA press conference in January 1971, Mr. Ruckelshaus solemnly pledged to do so before the National Press Club. Neither he nor his successor, Russell Train, ever did.

Industry and these government agencies have been largely successful in obscuring the facts. This has been brought about by authoritarian endorsement and opinion, by making claims unsupported by valid science, and by repetition – the devices used by advertisers and propagandists. At the same time, opposition and even open discussion on the subject of fluoride pollution has been widely suppressed in the media. All of this has resulted in an erroneous public mindset. The best antidote is an investigation of the facts, and making this material widely available. Radio talk shows, television programming, and informative internet websites are now beginning to erode the deceptive mask constructed over decades by industry and their propagandists.

This historical review poses a challenge to the citizens of this country. Is this the Brave New World of Aldous Huxley? Has democracy become a total fiction? Tens of millions of people in this country now have mottled teeth, all caused by fluoride. The severity of dental fluorosis is increasing, as are the number affected. Are we actually being conditioned to accept this as normal and a mere “cosmetic effect”?

Recent studies have implicated fluoride in many chronic diseases, and also in more subtle impairments of the central nervous system. But current law is concerned with only one health effect: crippling skeletal fluorosis. To stop fluoridation we must first focus on enforcing existing law.

EPA is responsible for enforcing the Safe Drinking Water Act. That this Law is being subverted is incontestable. If EPA were forced to comply with the law, fluoridation of public water would clearly be illegal in America. A Congressional Investigation of the details of EPA’s violation of this Law could bury fluoridation nationally.


  1. Caldwell, Gladys and Philip Zanfagna, Fluoridation and Truth Decay, Top-Ecol Press, 1974

  2. Exner, F. B., Economic Motives Behind Fluoridation, Aqua Pura, Jan 1966

  3. Griffiths, Joel and Chris Bryson, Fluoride, Teeth, and The Atomic Bomb, 1997

  4. Ronsivalli, L. J., Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies, Mermakk Pub, 1998

  5. Smith, E. G., The Secret War and The Fluoride Conspiracy, Epeius Pub, Australia, 1997

  6. Valerian, V., Analytical Chronology of Fluoridation,Leading Edge International Research Group, 1997  ← HUGE RESOURCE HERE

  7. Government document summaries on fluoride, hydrogen fluoride, sodium fluoride, and fluorosilicic acid, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.




Letters 1963 + Dr. Robin Warwick 2016


We all need clean water!




The most powerful court in America is not
the United States Supreme Court but,
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.




Vit.c strip


Judge John P. Flaherty, [ on right ]

Now a Supreme Court Judge presided over the trial in the case of

Paul Aitkenhead v. Borough of West View, No. GD-4585-78.

The city was sued over fluoridation. On 16 November 1978,

Judge Flaherty handed down his decree. The critical

parts of his opinion read as follows:

❝ Over the course of five months, the court held periodic hearings, which consisted of extensive expert testimony from as far away as England. At issue was the most recent time-trend study of Dr. Burk and Dr. Yiamouyiannis, which compared cancer mortality in ten cities which fluoridated their water systems with ten cities which did not fluoridate over a period of twenty-eight years from 1940 to 1968.

The study concluded that there was a significant increase
in cancer mortality 
in the fluoridated cities.❞

Contrary to what has been said by promoters of artificial fluoridation of public water supplies, Judge Flaherty’s jurisdiction to make and enter his findings on November 16, 1978 was expressly sustained and upheld as appears in Aitkenhead v. West View, 397 Atl. 2d 878 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1979). Nor were his findings ever disturbed on appeal.

In 1988, Justice Flaherty re-affirmed his convictions

that fluoridation is a very dangerous practice.

In a letter dated January 26, 1988 to Ms. Evelyn Hannan, he stated,

❝  It has been years now since the case involving fluoridation was before me as a trial judge, but since that time nothing I have seen changes my view of the serious hazards occasioned by public fluoridation. To the contrary, what I have read convinces me all the more that in-depth, serious, scientific effort should be undertaken before further expanding a questionable practice. Those who belittle critics of fluoridation do the public a mis-service, yet it seems in the face of strong, uncontradicted prima facie evidence, that is the tactic most often employed.

Whether government has the right to force what it perceives as a benefit to the public was not directly before me in the case, but that also is to be pondered.

My hope is that groups such as yours will spur the scientific community into an objective posture on this issue.

I enclose an essay which was sent to me a few years ago focusing on the issue presented by analyzing epidemiological law data. Perhaps resolution of this narrow question will provide the answer. ❞

More recently, some people have pointed out that Judge Flaherty’s decision was overturned on appeal and they assumed that therefore fluoridation wasn’t really proved to be harmful. Now a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Justice Flaherty clarified that his decision to end fluoridation was overturned only on the grounds that his court did not have jurisdiction to decide the issue.


John P. Flaherty, Jr. (Born 19 November 1931)

was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
from 1978 to 2001 and Chief Justice of the Court from 1996 to 2001.
He retired at the end of 2001.

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In November 1994 the Victorian Parliament passed an amendment to the Fluoridation Act by changing the Constitution to stop the Supreme Court from hearing cases against Artificial Fluoridation. If you are poisoned by fluoride in Victoria tough luck, there is no protection under law.


The Tasmanian Government in 1995 passed a Bill through the Lower House to prohibit the holding of meetings on the subject of Flouridation anywhere at all in Tasmania. Called the Consequential Amendments Bill it was later withdrawn but is being re-worded. Outside of Tasmania, no outcry, no boycotts, why?


A draconian law was enacted in NSW in 1989. Because of this law, a Council cannot cease Fluoridation of its own water supply, after requests by public demand, unless it gets permission from the Health Department. And there is little chance of that.

Australia is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). This U.N. law states that ‘no one shall be subjected without his consent to medical or scientific experimentation.’ The Health Dept. cannot produce one double blind scientific study which proves absolutely the safety and efficacy of fluoridation. It seems we are all experimental subjects.

If fluoridation is so safe or effective, why this repressive legislation ?

Why don’t we hear about it in the media?

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Vit.c strip




Fluoride air pollution can have a devastating effect on the total environment.
Over the past 50 years, a variety of industries have released into
the atmosphere more than 25,000,000 tons
of fluoride gases and particulates.

 The major industries with fluoride pollution problems include:

coal-burning power stations, petro-chemical refineries, aluminium,

zinc, copper, beryllium and magnesium producing factories, steel mills,

fertilizer works, plastics manufacturers, glass factories, cement works, 

pottery and tile makers, brick works, chemical factories and nuclear

processing plants. The most common and dangerous air pollutant

produced by these industries and many others, is —

National Emissions Inventry logo Hydrogen Fluoride


Workers in the following occupations may be exposed to

Hydrogen Fluoride in the workplace air:

Aircraft workers,
 – Alkylation plant workers, – 
Alloy steel cleaners, – 
Alloy steel makers, – 
Aluminium fluoride makers, – 
Aluminium makers, – 
Beryllium workers, 
- Bleachers, – 
Brass cleaners, 
- Brewers, -
 Brick cleaners, – 
Brick makers, -
 Casting cleaners, – 
Cement workers, – 
Ceramic workers, -
 Chemists, – Copper cleaners, 
-  Cryolite makers, – 
Crystal glass polishers, – 
Dye makers, – 
Electric arc welders, – 
Enamel etchers, – 
Fermentation workers, – 
Fertilizer makers, – Filter paper makers, 
- Fluoborate makers, 
Fluoride compound makers, – 
Fluorine makers, –  
Fluorocarbon makers, – 
Fluorochemical makers, 
-Fluosilicate makers, – Freon makers, – 
Genetron makers, 
- Glass etchers, 
- Graphite purifiers, – 
Hydrogen fluoride makers, – 
Isotron makers, 
- Laundry workers, – 
Metal cleaners, 
- Metal polishers, 
- Neon sign makers, 
- Oil well acidifiers, –  
Ore dissolvers, – 
Petrol refinery workers, 
- Phosphate rock workers, 
- Plastic makers, 
- Polish makers, 
- Pottery workers, 
- Power station workers, 
-  Quartz crystal makers, 
- Rocket fuel handlers, 
- Rocket fuel makers, 
- Silicon chip makers, – 
Stainless steel cleaners, – 
Stainless steel makers, 
-Steel casting picklers, 
- Steel millworkers, – Stone cleaners, – 
Tile makers, 
- Uranium refiners, 
- Yeast makers, and
 Zinc workers.

Fluoride air pollution can have a devastating effect on the total environment.

Angus Lazores is a Mohawk Indian. For centuries before the white-man reached Canada and the United States, the Mohawks hunted, fished, trapped, and farmed the islands of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, now known as the St. Regis Akwesasne Indian Reserve.

Angus Lazores, along with 1,500 other Mohawks, lives on Cornwall Island, a part of the reserve straddling the borders of Quebec, Ontario, and Upper New York State. The St. Regis Mohawk Band settled Cornwall Island just over a hundred years ago; they soon became known as an efficient and self-sufficient agricultural community. In 1959, there were 45 farmers, forty cattle barns and 364 dairy cattle on the Island.


Twenty years later, only eight farmers and eight cattle barns were left.

During the twenty years the cattle population was decimated;

all the bees on the Island had disappeared; crop yields had fallen;

partridges, after which the Akwesasne Reserve is named, had declined drastically;

and the white pine trees on the Island were dying.

In 1959, Reynolds Metals Company had built an aluminium smelter on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River near Massena, New York State. Cornwall Island is downwind of the smelter at least 60 per cent of the time.

Angus Lazores dates his problems on the Island to 1962, just three years after the smelter became operational.

In that year, cattle became lame and developed swellings on their legs, eventually the lameness became so severe that the animals could no longer graze normally. They laid down to eat on pasture and then crawled to the next place to eat. With increasing age the cows had difficulty drinking cold water, and chewing was obviously painful. The animals would grab hay but let it go after unsuccessful attempts at mastication.

The first pregnancy and calving were usually uneventful, but the cows had small udders and too little milk for the calf. At the third pregnancy and delivery, the native cows had usually deteriorated, being unable to drink or chew properly. Cows died during delivery and neonatal calf mortality was high. If cows survived the third pregnancy they were sold for slaughter.

By 1971, the majority of farmers had switched from dairy to beef cattle and by November 1977, there were only 177 cattle on the Island compared with 364 in 1959.

The cause of the cattle disease was admitted only after many years. In 1969, officials of the Canadian Ministry of the Environment had expressed concern to Reynolds Metals about fluoride emissions impacting on the Island. Four years later, the St. Regis Local Council authorised an investigation into pollutants emitted by the smelter. In July 1973, the Council were advised that damage to the pine trees on the Island was due to fluoride gases.

Two years later, urine samples from Cornwall Island cattle showed abnormal levels of fluoride.

In November 1975, Angus Lazore’s cattle were examined by a veterinarian called Abbey, sent by Reynolds Metals. He claimed that internal and external parasites were responsible for the condition of the cattle – fluoride wasn’t even mentioned.

The Mohawk elders were disturbed by Abbey’s diagnosis and approached Professor Lennart Krook, an eminent veterinary scientist at Cornell University.

Krook ran extensive diagnostic and pathological tests on the St. Regis cattle, then announced his findings:

“Owing to extensive and serious chronic fluoride poisoning no cattle born on Cornwall Island were going to live for more than five years.”

During 1977 and 1978, the situation which had developed on the Island was investigated by a team of scientists from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University. Leaders of the team were Professor Krook and Dr George Maylin. In the introduction to their published report, they point out:

“Of all pollutants that affect farm animals, fluorine has caused the most severe and widespread damage. The object of the present study is to record yet another man-made fluorine pollution disaster and to interpret the pathogenesis of the osseous changes in view of recent advances in the understanding of bone metabolism.”

While Krook and Maylin focused on the cattle, Dr Clancy Gordon of the University of Montana, examined 2,600 plant samples from Cornwall Island and found very high levels of fluoride in all the vegetation tested.

University of Illinois scientists were then recruited to see if the Islanders themselves were suffering health problems resulting from excessive exposure to fluoride. Doctors Bertram Carnow and Shirley Conibear reported:

“Significant numbers of people with abnormalities of the muscular, skeletal, nervous and blood systems.”

In addition, Cornwall Island physicians had noted high rates of anaemia, rashes, irritability, diabetes, high blood pressure and thyroid disease.

Carnow and Conibear concluded that there had been;

“Unquestionably heavy exposure to fluorine compounds that has affected all the life studied.”

They recommended an immediate reduction in smelter fluoride emissions. Chief Francis of the Mohawk Indian Band put it more dramatically, he advised anyone living in areas where smelters might be built, to:

“Block the project. Block them with everything you have. If you fail then move. Move as quickly as you can because there’s no money that can buy your health back.”

Reynolds Metals spent its first ten years of operation spewing over 130 kilos of fluoride emissions an hour, directly downstream to Cornwall Island. Even after New York State regulations forced the company to reduce its emissions to 30 kilos an hour by 1975, Reynolds’ “gift” to the Mohawks had been an appalling –



The Mohawk way of life became a victim of a preventable man-made plague. And you don’t have to go to Canada to find fluoride pollution problems. For more than a century, the Hunter Valley Region of New South Wales has produced some of Australia’s finest wines.

On Tuesday July 8 1980, the Tyrrell’s and the Tulloch’s, Reg Drayton and Dr Max Lake together with Chris Barnes, who, as President of the Hunter Valley Vineyard Association represented virtually all the other wine-makers, held a press conference at the Hilton Hotel, Sydney.

Their message was simple – they could foresee the day when the Hunter Valley was finished as a wine-growing area. And the reason? For the past ten years the ALCAN aluminium smelter at Kurri-Kurri had rained 600 to 700 tonnes of fluoride pollutants onto the surrounding landscape annually. The wine-makers said they had known nothing about these fluoride emissions until 10 months previously, yet fluoride pollutants have, in the past, reduced grape yield and decimated vineyards in Spain, Greece, Bulgaria and the Rhone Valley.

Ever since the beginning of the industrial revolution but particularly in the second half of this century, wholesale pollution of air and of the countryside with fluoride fumes and fall-out has taken place; and the most common and most dangerous fluoride air pollutant is HYDROGEN FLUORIDE.

As mentioned previously, Dr Jag Cook, from Britain’s National Chemical Emergency Group – which is responsible for mopping up any major toxic spills in the UK – has said: “Hydrogen fluoride is about the only chemical that really scares me.”

Hardly surprising since amongst other things, hydrogen fluoride (HF) eats up glass and dissolves most metals.

Alright, you say, its dangerous, but I don’t live near a factory that releases HF into the atmosphere, nor do I work in an environment where HF is present. But consider this. Demand for lead-free petrol is growing quickly and the processes for making it involve the use of HF to achieve high octane ratings without using lead. In fact, between 1.26 and 3.14 kilos of HF are used in the production of every six barrels of alkylate.

As a result HF is present in the exhaust gases from vehicles using lead-free petrol. The levels of HF, three inches from the exhaust outlet measure 30 parts per billion, and remember at that concentration, HF can impair reflex activity in rats by acting as a CNS depressant – in other words, a mind-dulling drug.

HYDROGEN FLUORIDE, aka:, is used by an increasing number of industries, and it is also produced as a pollutant by an increasing number of industries.

A series of accidents in the United States have recently demonstrated that industrial HF sites are a major threat to public safety.

For instance, an HF leak on 30 October 1987 at the Marathon refinery in Texas City left 700 people in need of urgent medical treatment. Dr Fred Millar, of the Environmental Policy Institute, said that only luck had prevented the accident from becoming the major industrial catastrophe of the year. He pointed out:

“The release was from the vapour space of a storage tank. If the same release had been of HF liquid thousands would likely have died in the ensuing gas cloud. It would have been our Bhopal.”

A few months later, another HF leak occurred at Mobil’s refinery in Torrance, California. This caused a raging 41-hour fire and millions of dollars worth of damage. An official report of the accident suggested:

“The consequences may have been so great as to warrant regulations to direct industry to phase out its use or substitute processes with less environmental hazards.”

In March 1988, there was another HF leak, this time in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There, an accident at the Sun refinery produced a three-mile-long cloud which engulfed the town Only a prompt evacuation limited the casualties to 36 persons (none fatal).

A recent test by the US Government showed that relatively small amounts of HF liquid will release a dense, ground-hugging gas cloud which remains lethal for five kilometres.

In Britain, the location of HF manufacturing plants are, according to the Health and Safety Executive, officially secret – to prevent them becoming targets for terrorists.

Many people, particularly those working in the pot-rooms of aluminium smelters, are exposed to relatively high concentrations of hydrogen fluoride. What can it do to them? Well, lets see.

In the spring of 1986, one of the most modern aluminium smelters in the world went into production in Portland, Victoria. The smelter had been built by the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), who also owned a much older smelter at Point Henry, Geelong.

Two years later, on December 2 1988, the Melbourne Age reported:

 “Twelve workers from the 35 per cent State-owned Portland aluminium smelter have issued common-law claims against the joint-venture seeking damages for occupational asthma. 

The chairman of the Aluminium Development Council, Mr. Bruce Heister, said the incidence of occupational asthma varied from smelter to smelter but the reasons for this were not clear. 

Damages for a case of occupational asthma were claimed against another big aluminium producer, Comalco, at its Queensland smelter a few months ago. 

The cause of pot room asthma is suspected to be an agent, or agents, in emissions from smelter pot lines. 

Since production started in Portland in October 1986, 65 workers have been diagnosed as having occupational asthma.”

In other words, after just 25 months in operation, 65 workers at one of the most modern aluminium smelters in the world had been affected by mysterious agents in the pot room.

Worse was to follow. On 27 April 1989, the Melbourne Herald reported:


“A senior Victorian union official claims workers at Geelong’s ALCOA smelter are suffering respiratory ailments potentially as deadly as those found in the asbestos industry. 

Mr. Royre Bird, slate secretary of the Federated Iron-workers Association, has called for a national inquiry into respiratory disease in aluminium smelter workers after a report by New South Wales researchers found evidence of long-term irreversible lung damage.
The report, by a team from Newcastle University medical school, found workers at Alcan Aluminium’s Kurri-Kurri smelter suffered reduced lung function equivalent to smoking a packet of cigarettes a day. 

Mr. Bird, who has worked in the industry for 18 years, claimed the findings had serious implications for the aluminium industry world-wide and for workers at Geelong. He said he believed that apart from respiratory diseases, aluminium workers were at risk of contracting cancer. 

He claimed to have observed a “slow but gradually developing history of cancers” at the Point Henry Plant in Geelong.

He also claimed workers at the Portland smelter, partly owned by the State Government, were suffering higher rates of pot room asthma than at Point Henry. 

Union solicitors had confirmed 176 cases of pot room asthma at Point Henry since 1964, compared with 76 at Portland. At least 20 more cases were being processed by other solicitors, he said.”

A few days later, a cancer specialist supported Mr Bird’s claim when the Melbourne Sun published the following article on May 1 1989:

“Workers at aluminium smelters are at risk of developing cancer as well as chronic asthma, according to a leading cancer specialist. At least 39 smelter workers across Australia are believed to have already died from work-related cancer.
Dr Cyril Minty, a specialist at the Peter McCallum cancer hospital, said fumes emitted from the smelters’ pot rooms could contain cancer-causing chemicals as well as irritants that produced the respiratory condition known as ‘pot room asthma’
Dr Minty said more than six sufferers of industrial asthma from Portland and ALCOA’s Geelong smelter had been referred to him during the past year.”

Now, there is no mystery at all. The major pollutants in the pot room are gaseous and particulate fluorides; and HYDROGEN FLUORIDE is the most common fluoride gas.





But, industrialists live in fear of conclusive evidence linking a pollutant to ‘new’ occupational or Neighbourhood diseases. The reason is obvious. Employers and their insurers will face claims for compensation.

(Note: a “Neighbourhood disease” is one affecting people living in the vicinity of a pollutant producing factory.)

Industries with major fluoride pollution problems are amongst the most powerful interest groups in society. Fluoride emissions are amongst the most difficult of all pollutants to control effectively, and in a highly competitive economic system, many companies will fight for their very lives to avoid spending large amounts of money to control pollution since this will, almost inevitably, increase the price of the end-product.

Certain sections of industry will go to great lengths to suppress stories about fluoride pollution. Such reports might encourage people to sue for damages or, result in pressures for tougher anti-pollution laws.

The first symptoms of exposure to trace amounts of hydrogen fluoride are NOT physiological but psychological, and include such symptoms as confusion, fatigue, partial loss of memory and mental dullness. To put it another way, behaviour is exquisitely sensitive to minute traces of hydrogen fluoride (and other pollutants) in the environment.

Unfortunately, the tests to which chemical substances are usually subjected in efforts to determine their so-called “maximum permissible doses or concentration” do not take into account possible changes in mental function, and also would often fail to pick up long-term or chronic effects on the organism.

Minute concentrations of hydrogen fluoride inhaled over lengthy periods of time CAN DAMAGE VITAL COMPONENTS OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM – this leaves the individual vulnerable to opportunistic diseases.

Last century, canaries were taken down coal mines because of the presence of trace amounts of deadly gases in the mines. The gases were undetectable by smell but if the canary died, the miners got out – quickly!

Some scientists suspect that FROGS have become analogous to the coal-mine canaries. All over the world frogs are disappearing and no-one knows why. The best guess so far is that pollution of the environment is responsible. I’d like to tell you about an experiment I recently completed.

In the adult human the immune system weighs about two pounds and consists of around a trillion lymphocytes and about 100 million trillion molecules called antibodies that are produced and secreted by the lymphocytes.

In a mouse, the immune system consists of about 300 million lymphocytes and around a trillion antibodies.

The smallest known immune system, that of a tadpole, is estimated to have a million lymphocytes and an antibody repertoire of about 10 million. Smaller immune systems do not exist presumably because such systems would recognize antigen so infrequently that they would provide little, if any, protective advantage.

I exposed tadpoles to a number of increasingly common environmental pollutants, including mercury, cadmium and hydrofluoric acid – which is hydrogen fluoride in water, and both gas and acid have the same formula, HF.

Incredibly low concentrations of these chemicals proved lethal to the tadpoles.

But technically speaking, the tadpoles didn’t die of “mercury poisoning” or “cadmium poisoning,” or “hydrofluoric acid” poisoning. They died because the chemicals ‘wrecked’ their immune systems leaving the tadpoles vulnerable to all the germs and parasites in their environment.

The significance of this is that scientists still evaluate the toxicity of a chemical by determining what amount of the chemical causes obvious damage or death.

For instance, lets look at a common chemical – sodium fluoride.

It would take at least 3 grams of sodium fluoride to kill a healthy adult. That’s the amount in 3,000 litres of fluoridated water.

If you ingested about 8 milligrams of sodium fluoride daily for ten years or more, you would develop a well-defined disease called skeletal fluorosis, which affects bones, tendons and secondarily, the nervous system. If an infant ingested 2 milligrams of fluoride daily, they would develop dental fluorosis or ‘mottled’ teeth.

Apparently therefore, the only problems that low doses of sodium fluoride can cause are either dental fluorosis or skeletal fluorosis. The CLINICAL symptoms of these conditions are easily detected – ‘mottled’ teeth and ‘bony outgrowths’ and the calcification of tendons in skeletal fluorosis.



Experiments have shown water containing 1 to 4 parts per million can have an effect on the Central Nervous System – a mind-dulling effect! Experiments have also demonstrated that fluoride at a concentration of just 0.6 parts per million can disturb antibody production, and thus interfere with the functioning of the immune system.

And many experiments have shown that concentrations of fluoride of about 4 parts per million can damage DNA – the vital core of every living cell.

In other words, at very low concentrations, fluoride can cause subtle changes in enzyme activities, nerve action potentials, altered behavioural reaction, and the immune system…


About Dr. Smith

Dr Geoffrey Ernest Smith, L.D.S., R.C.S. (Eng.)
Dental Surgeon, (retired)

Curriculum Vitae

  • Born: 1 November 1932, Married, 5 children, 4 grandchildren.

  • Educated: Lawrence House School, St. Annes on Sea, Lancashire. Rossall School, Fleetwood, Lancashire. University of Manchester, Turner Dental School.

  • 1956: Qualified L.D.S., R.C.S. Royal College of Surgeons. (England).

  • 1957-59 Post-Graduate Studies. Queens University, Belfast.

  • 1959-60 Travelling Fellowship, UK Medical Research Council; WHO Regional Office, Brazzaville. 

    Based University of Ibaden W. Nigeria. Field work: Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Liberia.

  • 1961-68 General Dental Practice, London and Dublin.

  • 1965-66 Consultant, Aspro-Nicholas, Ireland, Ltd., Dublin.

  • 1969-71 Consultant, Glaxo Group Ltd., London.

  • 1972-74 Consultant, PIA Ltd., Lopex Group, London, New York.

  • 1974-76 Consultant, Nicholas International, Slough & Melbourne.

  • 1976-79 General Dental Practice and School Dentistry, Melbourne.

  • 1979-80 Hospital Dentist, Proserpine, North Queensland.

  • 1987-88 Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Melbourne.

  • 1980 – Consultant, Environmental and Public Health.

Some relevant papers in the scientific literature:

  • NZ Med.J. 1983;96, 1067-1068.

  • Persp. Biol.Med. 1986 29, 560-

  • New Scientist 1983;5 May 286-287

  • Trends.Pharm.Sci.1986, 7, 10

  • Fluoride, 1983, Editorial, Autumn.

  • Sci.Tot.Environ. 1987, 63, 1-11.

  • Aust.Dent.J. 1984, 29, 199-200.

  • Endeavour, 1987, 11, 16-

  • J.R.Coll Gen.Pract.1984, 34, 350-351.

  • Sci.Prog.(Oxf.), 1987, 71, 23

  • Xenobiotica, 1985, 15, 177-186.

  • The Scientist, 1987, 1, 24.

  • Sci.Prog.(Oxf.), 1985, 69, 429-442.

  • Sci.Tot.Env., 1988, 68, 79-86.

  • Sci.Tot.Env. 1985, 43, 41-61.

  • NZ Med.J. 1985, 90, 556-557.

  • NZ Med.J. 1985, 98, 454-455.

  • Pers.Biol.Med. 1988, 31, 440-45

  • NZ Med.J. 1988, 100, 669-670.

  • Sci.Tot.Env., 1988, 76, 167-

  • New Scientist, 1985, 1467-, 50-51.

  • NZ Med.J. 1988, 101, 802.

  • NZ Med.l. 1985, 30, 232-233.

  • Med.Hypoth., 1986, 19, 139-

  • Med.J.Aust., 1985, 143, 283-286.

  • Mutat.Res., 1990, 241, 339-

  • Med.J.Aust., 1986, 144, 152.

  • Fusso Kenkyo, 1990, 11, 38-48

  • Lawyer, 1986, 4(3), 6. (Japanese)

  • Fluoride, 1986, 19, 105-107.

  • Probe, 1989, 31, 1-2.

  • Nature 1986; 323, 198.

  • Aust. Dent.J., 1985, 30, 232-233


The Secret War was originally prepared as a personal submission to the

Brisbane City Council’s Task Force on Fluoridation, in March 1997.

Paper: Original Paper 
Citation : Caries Res 2001;35:125-128
 Title : Fluoride Deposition in the Aged Human Pineal Gland Author(s): J. Luke
Info : Figures: 2; Tables: 0; References: 32

 Keywords : Calcium; Distribution; Fluoride; Human pineal gland; Hydroxyapatite; Pineal concretions
Abstract : The purpose was to discover whether fluoride (F) accumulates in the aged human pineal gland. The aims were to determine (a) F-concentrations of the pineal gland (wet), corresponding muscle (wet) and bone (ash); (b) calcium-concentration of the pineal.

Pineal, muscle and bone were dissected from 11 aged cadavers and assayed for F using the HMDS-facilitated diffusion, F-ion-specific electrode method. Pineal calcium was determined using atomic absorption spectroscopy.

Pineal and muscle contained 297+/-257 and 0.5+/-0.4 mg F/kg wet weight, respectively; bone contained 2,037+/-1,095 mg F/kg ash weight. The pineal contained 16,000+/-11,070 mg Ca/kg wet weight.

There was a positive correlation between pineal F and pineal Ca (r = 0.73, p<0.02)

but no correlation between pineal F and bone F.

By old age (50-70), the  pineal gland  has readily accumulated F

and its F/Ca ratio is higher than bone.





For the phosphate fertilizer industry, water fluoridation is
an efficient, cost-effective solution for dumping pollution.

An Outbreak of Industrial Fluorosis in Cattle



Polonium 210





Artie Johnson is a young African American woman, the mother of three children.
She worked for Occidental in the superphosphoric acid evaporation plant at the Swift Creek Chemical Complex for almost nine-years. She is a plaintiff in the toxic tort lawsuit, but she is unable to speak for herself because of chemical induced neurotoxic damage form working at Occidental Chemical Corporation. Artie and her three children live with her mother, Eartha Coffee, who works, raises the children and tends to Artie’s needs.

Artie is an enigma. Gary Pittman who was her supervisor speaks highly of her as an intelligent young woman, good person and excellent employee. As Pittman puts it, “Artie was like one of the boys, and a better employee than many. She worked hard and seldom complained. I was impressed with her from the first day she came to work.” Gary speaks of Artie in the past tense, because she is not the same bright, charming person he once knew.

One can only imagine the poignancy of her story, because she suffers with Alzheimer’s disease-like memory loss and confusion among other health problems. Today, Artie Johnson basically exists in a void while most women are watching their children grow-up, or have some sort of life. It would seem that even a life of hardship would be better than that of utter confusion and not remembering who you are at times.

It is most commendable that the plaintiffs in the toxic tort lawsuit chose to include Artie Johnson and become a collective voice for someone who can no longer speak for herself as with the two deceased plaintiffs, Bobby Hobby and Roy Mathis.

Gary Pittman, Clinton Vann, Jesse Nash, Billy Baldwin, Bobby Brown, their wives and families have stepped forth to speak for those who are afraid, and those who can no longer speak for themselves: Artie Johnson represents those people in the toxic tort lawsuit against Occidental Chemical Corporation.

Section 15(a) of the complaint filed against Occidental Chemical Corporation best sums-up the attitude of elite Occidental management toward employees at the chemical complexes: “The Defendants knew that toxic substances were present in virtually every area of the plant, except for the area which was occupied by management personnel, which was seven miles from the areas and complexes where workers such where Plaintiffs would work.”


George Glasser

In beginning this story, I thought about the format. Having read many journalistic endeavors on various subjects, I always found it difficult to maintain interest because of the dry objective style. Reviewing the accounts of the workers, wives and families, I felt that each individual had a story. I was communicating with the experts, the people who had been through good times and bad times. The technical aspects were well covered by the workers; I was an outsider looking in. It would have been presumptuous and arrogant to play the role of the objective journalist. Consequently, I thought it best to compile and edit the individual accounts. They are living the stories and I am not.

The accounts I read were home spun and rough edged, but they came from the heart. Work histories and depositions were intensely professional, and the workers insisted that technical details be correct down to whether a pipe diameter was 18 or 24 inches. The wives of the men exhibited courage and compassion. Wives of the men who are still alive oddly spoke of their husbands in the past tense.

Artie Johnson’s mother even speaks of her daughter in the past tense. Everyone who worked with Artie spoke kindly about the young mother of three children. Artie suffers with toxic brain syndrome and cannot speak for herself.

When Gary Pittman called, I thought he was another person wanting advice. However, Gary was different; he was gritty and down to earth. We shared a few chemical accident stories and got down to business. I liked Gary right off the bat. Gary didn’t want advice. Gary called to thank me for writing an article about the phosphate industry. Gary and his friends were suffering from chemical poisoning. They had worked for Occidental Chemical Corporation in Hamilton County, Florida. Now they were disabled, out of work and looking for answers. Two people in the group had died of cancers and the rest were suffering from debilitating health conditions.

Living on the edge of the Bone Valley phosphate region of West Central Florida, I knew much of what Gary was talking about, but I had never heard the real story from an inside source. I had always depended on bits and pieces of information extracted from studies, books and articles about the phosphate fertilizer industry. People who worked in the industry were reluctant to offer information about the inner workings. Phosphate fertilizer corporations rule the roost in Florida. Most employees are loyal to the companies because they offer good wages in primarily rural, agricultural communities where the only other options are picking tomatoes or working at the convenience store.

Florida phosphate mines produce 30% of the world supply and 75% of the U.S. supply of phosphate fertilizers, upwards of 20-30 million tons per year. Much of the nation’s supply of fluorosilicic acid used as a water fluoridation agent is also produced in Florida from pollution scrubbing operations. Phosphate fertilizer suppliers have more than $10 billion invested in production facilities and mining operations in Florida alone. In Florida, phosphate fertilizer production accounts for $300 million in wages, directly employs about 8,000 people and supporting industries employ an estimated 50,000 people.

In spite of this impressive resume, for many of us living in the phosphate producing regions of Florida, Saddam Hussein would be regarded as a better neighbor than the phosphate fertilizer industry.

Phosphate fertilizer is made from phosphoric acid. The chemical complexes produce phosphoric acid by mixing sulfuric acid with finely ground phosphate ore slurry. The process releases primarily, highly toxic silicon tetra fluoride vapors laced with heavy metals, radionuclides, sulfur dioxide, etc. The complexes also produce the sulfuric acid creating highly toxic sulfur dioxide gas.

All the public relations firms they hire and all the politicians they buy do not change the dirty reality of the business. Much of the phosphate producing regions of Florida are toxic waste dumps for phosphate fertilizer manufacturers. In West Central Florida, the sixty by thirty mile strip ends at Tampa Bay is called “the hot zone” by people who are environmentally aware.

For people living in these “hot zones,” the incidence of osteoblastic leukemia and lung cancer is twice the state average. As a state, Florida has a higher per-capita incidence of cancer than most states.

For every 1400 tons of phosphoric acid, 7,000 tons of waste gypsum is produced leaving barren, radioactive mountains of acidic phosphogyspum wastes. These gypsum stacks are contaminated with toxic fluorides, radionuclides, heavy metals, and sulphates. The stacks will stand for millennia as toxic monuments to the phosphate fertilizer industry.

A sinkhole, 100 feet in diameter and three or four hundred feet deep dumped millions of tons of radioactive, phosphogyspum wastes into the Central Florida aquifer.

One spill in 1997 from a settling pond atop a gypsum stack killed most of the fish in the Alifia River, outside of Tampa, Florida.

Toxic wastewater evaporates in the searing Florida sun. Hydrogen fluoride is released with other contaminants. According to an article in the Florida Scientist, 1987, by Dr. Howard Moore (deceased), a series of reactions takes place between suspended solids and hydrogen fluoride in the presence of moisture. The reactions create pollutants that can be carried far from the ponds on air currents (possibly hundreds of miles from the site). A company in Manatee County, Florida had so contaminated the air, they had to buy the air rights around the facility.

Abandoned strip mines filled with murky, lime green radioactive water dots the phosphate producing regions of Florida.

Lifeless evaporation ponds holding up to 500 million gallons of toxic, radioactive waste water surround production facilities. In one year, more than one billion gallons of the toxic wastewater spilled into Florida water ways.

Developers build homes on reclaimed mines, or the land is pasture for cattle to graze. Ambient radon levels are very high.

The radioactive phosphogyspum waste has been used to make road beds.

Runoffs from the operations contaminate the waterways and the bays of Florida.

Dusts consisting of radionuclides, sulphates and fluorides contaminate the air surrounding the phosphate fertilizer chemical complexes.

Radium wastes from the filtration systems are among the most radioactive types of NORM wastes (naturally occurring radioactive material). The radium wastes are so concentrated, they cannot be disposed of at the one landfill in the United States licensed to accept NORM wastes. The federal government has no rules for its disposal: The manufacturers bury the radioactive wastes in the gypsum stacks.

All of the above poses significant sources of potentially carcinogenic radioactive and fluorine pollution. Yet, Florida has neglected to establish laws governing the pollution generated from these sources except requiring liners for new gypsum stacks. The USEPA is reluctant to act, and nothing is being done to protect people or the environment from the pollution.

The phosphate fertilizer is basically exempt from federal regulations.
In 1980, the U.S. Congress passed Solid Wastes Disposal Act Amendments (commonly called the Bevill Amendment) to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The Bevill Amendment exempted certain wastes, byproduct phosphogyspum and waste water from the wet process phosphoric acid production.

Basically, all the companies have to do with the toxic, acidic waste water is adjust the pH to 7.0 and they can dump the toxic water into the rivers and bays.

Before 1970, pollution from phosphate fertilizer manufacture was a major environmental problem in West Central Florida: May 14, 1970, Death of A Bay, St. Petersburg Independent: “BRADENTON– The specialists agreed yesterday – Bishop Harbor’s illness is terminal . . . The fluorides are the final executioners for harbor life. For once the plant life is gone, with it goes the breeding grounds for new generations of marine life. And Bishop Harbor was a nursery for marine life, a mother for Tampa Bay’s fish.”

During the late 1960’s, fluorine emissions were damaging crops, killing tropical fish, destroying the environment and causing crippling skeletal fluorosis in livestock. USEPA became concerned and enforced regulations requiring manufacturers to install pollution scrubbers. At that time, the facilities were dumping the concentrated, acidic pollution directly into waterways leading into the waterways and stacks were belching highly acidic, slightly radioactive pollution into the atmosphere.

While reading this, a person may think that the problem is regional and does not pertain to anyone living outside the phosphate producing regions of Florida. However, that is not the case. In the late 1960’s, Ervin Bellack, USEPA chemist and a manufacturing representative put their heads together and worked out the ideal solution to a monumental pollution problem. The recovered phosphate fertilizer manufacturing pollution contained about 19% fluorine. The concentrated pollution “scrubber liquor” was perfect to use as a water fluoridation agent. It was a liquid and easily soluble in water unlike sodium fluoride (the waste product from aluminum manufacturers). It was also inexpensive, and there was a glut of the concentrated toxic waste.

Fate also intervened. The aluminum industry who previously supplied sodium fluoride for water fluoridation was facing a shortage of fluorspar used in smelting aluminum. They began to recover fluorine and make synthetic fluorspar.
Consequently, there was a shortage of sodium fluoride to fluoridate drinking water. Ervin Bellack and the industry seized the opportunity to fill the gap in the market and dump the new source of recovered pollution into America’s drinking water.

For the phosphate fertilizer industry, the shortage of sodium fluoride was the key to turning red ink into black and an environmental liability into a perceived asset. The concentrated pollution could be dispersed into drinking water throughout the United States, one drop at a time. With the help of the USEPA and Ervin Bellack, fluorosilicic acid was not regarded as concentrated toxic waste anymore, a liability. It became “FLUORIDE, the proven cavity fighter.”

USEPA and U.S. Public Health Service waived all testing procedures and expedited the disposal of the radioactive concentrate into America’s drinking water as “New and Improved FLUORIDE.”

Immediately, without any oversight, clinical or safety studies, the U.S. Public Health Service and American Dental Association encouraged cities to use the pollution concentrate for drinking water fluoridation.

1976, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) opened the door for USEPA to work with industry and actively find markets for recovered pollutants such as fluorosilicic acid.

By 1983 the official USEPA policy was: “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 lowcost source of fluoride available to the communities.” (Rebecca Hanmer, Deputy Administrator, Office of Water, USEPA, 1983 correspondence to Dr. Leslie Russell stated USEPA position on water fluoridation).

In promoting the use of the pollution concentrate as a fluoridation agent, the ADA, Federal agencies and manufacturers failed to mention that it was hot, radioactive. Uranium and all of its decay rate products are found in the raw phosphate rock, fluorosilicic acid and in the phosphate fertilizer. Before 1991, upwards to 75% of the U.S. supply of uranium oxide to fuel the nuclear industry was produced in Central Florida. However, today, uranium is not extracted because of economic reasons.

During the wet process manufacturing trace amounts of uranium and its decay rate products are released and captured in the pollution scrubber. As long as the amount of contaminants added to the drinking water (including radionuclides in fluorosilicic acid) do not exceed the limits set forth in the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA has no regulatory problem with the use of any contaminated products for drinking water treatment.

While uranium and radium found in fluorosilicic acid are known carcinogens, two decay rate products of uranium are even more dangerous and carcinogenic: Radon-222 and Polonium-210.

During the acidulation process that creates phosphoric acid, radon (a gas) contained in the phosphate pebble can be released in greater proportions than other decay rate products (radionuclides) and carried over into the fluorosilicic acid. Polonium may also be captured in greater quantities during scrubbing operations because like radon it is easily soluble in acid and can readily combine with fluoride.

USEPA is responsible for regulating radionuclide levels in the air and drinking water; consequently, they are aware that Radon-222 decays into Lead-210 in 3.86 days. The lead isotope does not give off harmful alpha radiation for twenty years until it turns into Polonium-210 (beta radiation is also harmful). Unless someone knew to look for specific isotopes, no one would know that a transmutation to the extremely radioactive Polonium-210 occurs.

Polonium-210 may be the most insidious and most significant health threat in the pollution concentrate. Polonium gives off intense alpha radiation for 138 days until it turns into regular lead and becomes stable. During the 138-day period, a very small amount can be very dangerous.

The lead-210 isotope behaves like calcium in the body. It may lay stored in the bone or body tissues for up to twenty years before it explodes like a carcinogenic, time released nuclear devices as polonium-210.

The fluoridated water someone drinks today, may be the cause of cancer twenty years down the road. No one knows what the consequences of using the pollution concentrate because there has never been any clinical research done with the product.

One particle of polonium-210 gives off 5,000 times more alpha radiation than the same amount of radium. Damage occurs in the body from complete tissue absorption of the energy of the alpha particle. Scientists say that polonium-210 can be carcinogenic to people if exposed to more than 0.03 microcuries (6.8 trillionths of a gram).

Scientists write 6.8 trillionths of a gram as 6.8 x10-12g because it would appear as 0.0000000000068 grams. Figures like that are hard to grasp to the average person, but they show that polonium is harmful to humans in very minute amounts.

Use of the pollution concentrate to fluoridate drinking water places one at risk continuously. Drinking water fluoridated with fluorosilicic acid contains radon at every sequence of its decay to polonium. Also, the fresher the batch of pollution concentrate, the more polonium it will contain. The more water fluoridated with the pollution concentrate someone consumes, the better the chances of developing cancer. It all boils down to the luck of the draw. It all depends on how much is stored in the body and in what tissue.

Not only does the fluorosilicic acid contain the contaminants inherent to the phosphate rock/pebble, but additives used during production. The pollution scrubbers are not selective with regards to washing the fumes. The quality of the product also depends on whether recycled evaporation pond water is used. Sludge from sulfuric and phosphoric acid production are dumped into the evaporation ponds atop the gypsum stacks. The radioactive scale is buried there. If a thirsty bird or raccoon ventures to the evaporation pond out of thirst, it is their last drink.

There are many factors involved in the creation of the fluorosilicic acid that are very alarming. It contains many other chemicals, organic and inorganic. During the concentration process, these chemicals are boiled off the acid in a partial vacuum at very high temperatures, equal to about 500 degrees F. The chemicals used are oil-based defoamers (possibly containing dioxins), polymers, petroleum products, naphthalene, chlorides, sulfides and various reagents. The vapors from all these chemicals are washed and captured in the pollution scrubbers along with the fluorine and fluorosilicate gases. Although it is more convenient for scientists to believe the pollution scrubbing is discriminate, it is not. One scrubber catches all, including pollution from tank farms and other processes.

About 6.8 milligrams of 23% fluorosilicic acid is added to the drinking water to achieve fluoridation at one part per million. The fluorosilicic acid is only the primary ingredient in a complex, highly toxic product. Because of the nature of creating the product, complex interactions have to occur during manufacture, e.g., heat, negative atmospheric pressure, catalyzing effects due to contact with metal vessels and additives. Of the 6.8 milligrams of product, 5.8 milligrams is contaminant laden water.

Today, 50% of all communities (about 100,000,000 people) in the United States fluoridating drinking water are exposed to the same toxic pollution that has cause so many health and environmental problems in Florida. After reading the following series of stories about the workers and their wives, one has to wonder about the sanity of using captured pollution to fluoridate drinking water.



George Glasser

In the early predawn hours when the air is still and moist, phosphate fertilizer factories are often shrouded in an acidic haze. Temperature inversions form airy bubbles of noxious, acidic fumes. Lights from the factories seem to blaze through the hellish mist, and the lemony taste of sulfuric and hydrofluoric acid leaves the lips tingling with a slight burning sensation. Then the delicate tissues in the nostrils begin to tingle with a stinging sensation. Floating and sparkling in the still morning air, microscopic, acid droplets splash against the thin film of fluid protecting the eyes and subsequent burning and watering blur one’s vision. And finally, the full impact of inhaling the noxious smog causes choking and coughing. Sometimes, the misting hydrofluoric, fluorosilicic, phosphoric and sulfuric acids are so concentrated, they actually etch the windshields and eat the paint of cars passing through the acidic fog.

For those employed at the phosphoric acid factories, this is the work world they enter every day. Day-in and day-out, they eat, breath, and drink toxic pollution until they become too sick to work, or die.

Gary Owen Pittman was one of those people. While Gary and his coworkers worked midst the toxic, corrosive fumes, the corporate elite at Occidental Chemical Corporation sat safely in well-ventilated, air-conditioned offices some seven miles from the factory.

The emissions were so acidic at the plant, visiting secretaries complained of their panty hose being dissolved while on their legs. Reassuringly, management said they had come into contact with some chemicals, but there was nothing to worry about.

Gary’s first and last job was working for the Occidental Chemical Corporation phosphoric acid factories in Hamilton County, Florida. Gary Pittman was eighteen years-old and in excellent health when he started to work as a sample man in the analytical laboratory of the Occidental Chemical Corporation, Suwannee River Plant. He rose from a $4,000 sample man in the laboratory to supervising one third of Occidental’s Swift Creek plant, earning about $50,000 a year.

Today, Gary is unable to work and suffers from auto immune disorders, toxic myopathy, chronic obstructive lung diseases with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, blood disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, liver dysfunctions, polyarthritis, swelling of feet and lower legs, muscle weakness, cardiac arrhythmia, reactive depression, and memory loss. He walks with waddling gate and suffers dizziness: the diagnosis is toxic brain syndrome.

Gary is afraid to take his children to Disney World. He becomes too fatigued, his lower legs and feet begin to swell from walking, and may suffer an episode of cardiac arrhythmia. Emergency room records show repeated visits for irregular heart beat problems.

Gary Pittman does little these days except surf the Internet to learn more about the toxic effects of chemicals to which he and his coworkers were exposed. The list reads like the top forty toxic chemicals on Superfund Priority List of hazardous substances that pose the most significant threat to human health. The chemical exposures left him unable to work at the age of 39, and five years later, Gary Pittman finds difficulty in enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

The adverse environmental and health effects from phosphoric acid production are well documented in newspaper articles from the 1970’s, 80’s and into the 1990’s. But to the author’s knowledge, the USEPA and Centers for Disease Control (USCDC) have never commissioned any substantive studies.

USEPA New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) state: “The standard sets forth limits for total fluorides, the primary pollutant of concern, 40 C.FR., pgs. 60.200-60.204.” This issue is discussed in Phosphoric Acid Waste Dialogue, Report on Phosphoric Wastes Dialogue Committee, Activities and Recommendations, September 1995; Southeast Negotiation Network.

The insidious problem with airborne fluorides are that they can be very reactive when they come in contact with moisture. When inhaled, many fluoride salts react with water (moist lung tissue) and break down into hydrofluoric acid and the component. The hydrofluoric acid with the moist lung surface, burns a tiny hole in the tissue, and the toxic component is left at the site of damage. It is like rubbing dirt into a wound or injecting a poison. The airborne fluoride salt can act to enhance the effect of the toxicant component.

Dr. Phyllis Mullenix, pioneer researchers on the neurotoxic effects of fluorides, said when toxic fluoride compounds are inhaled, it is like giving them (fluoride compounds) “running shoes.” They enter the system uninhibited and can do more damage.

People living near phosphate fertilizer plants are twice as likely to develop lung cancer and osteoblastic leukemia. While high cancer rates for people living near phosphoric acid plants are noted in magazine and newspaper articles, little is ever said about workers and their families. If health problems are evident in people living near the phosphate plants, it is only logical that employees would be at a higher risk. The people who work at phosphoric acid plants are at ground zero. Workers have to go into acid reaction chambers filled with toxic fumes and scour scale from filters and walls.

The scale is so radioactive, up to 100,000 picocuries of radium per gram, that the only landfill in the country that accepts naturally occurring radioactive wastes will not accept the scale from phosphate fertilizer production. The radioactive wastes are either buried in the gypsum stacks or dumped into holding ponds.

Crystallized, radioactive silica tetra fluoride has to be chipped from pollution scrubbers. The residual is so hard that jack hammers must be used to remove the buildup. Workers are required to go into these hell holes and perform these dirty tasks, often without adequate safety equipment. Workers are not only exposed to the naturally occurring toxic substances, but also manmade chemicals used as reagents, defoamers (possibly containing dioxins) and flocculants to more efficiently produce phosphoric acid.

The fluorosilicic acid produced in pollution scrubbers is sold as a water fluoridation agent. More than 50% of U.S. cities which fluoridate drinking water use some form of the highly toxic pollution. Neither the USEPA nor U.S. Public Health Service can produce one safety or clinical study using the highly toxic pollution.

Sulfuric acid is also essential to phosphoric acid production. The plants produce their own sulfuric acid. The acid is mixed with finally ground phosphate rock producing noxious vapors containing heavy metals, sulfates, fluorosilicates, hydrogen fluoride and other contaminants. Uncontrolled releases of highly toxic hydrogen sulfide gas are commonplace, especially during unloading in the molten state.

Sulfur dioxide and trioxide are highly toxic. Flocks of birds flying into the clouds of sulfur dioxide emissions died in mid flight and fell to the earth over the Occidental’s sulfuric acid plants, according to accounts of interviewed workers. Current books on industrial toxicology link sulfur oxides as possible carcinogens or cocarcinogens. They cause respiratory problems, heart problems, etc.

Only recently has the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) required companies to place vinyl liners under phosphor-gypsum stacks. Because of airborne fluorine pollution, manufactures were forced by USEPA to install pollution scrubbers in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. But, in Florida, it is common knowledge that the phosphate companies set the environmental ground rules, and the USEPA and FDEP tends to turn a blind eye regarding the violation of environmental regulations.

There is speculation that preferred treatment for phosphate fertilizer manufacturers started when the first atomic bombs were being developed. It was discovered that uranium-238 could be extracted from phosphate rock. During the post WW-II and Cold War eras, 75% of the uranium oxide used to produce nuclear weapons and fuel for the nuclear power industry came from several Florida phosphate fertilizer plants. Today, the laxity on the part of EPA in enforcing federal regulations is probably a leftover attitude from the days when phosphate fertilizer plants were a national security asset.

Although Occidental had to be aware of risks to employees, even in the mid-1960’s chemicals and contaminants associated with phosphoric and sulfuric acid production, the corporation chose to ignore the risks. During the 1980’s, OSHA and environmental laws were much stricter; however, Occidental became a contractor to supply the Soviet Union with phosphoric acid as part of the Armand Hammer trade agreement. It appears, that in order for Occidental to meet production requirements, federal regulatory agencies may have been lax in enforcing safety and environmental regulations.

Gary Pittman’s deposition for a lawsuit reads like a twenty-year sentence to hell. “When I first started working for Occidental, safety considerations were basically nonexistent. The only things we were required to wear were safety glasses. Gloves, respirators and dust masks were not furnished.

“I remember one incident when I was assigned the task of cleaning the filter hood and the pollution scrubber. Powdery fluorosilicate dust was everywhere. As we were cleaning, the fluorosilicate dust covered us, and it was very hot; we were sweating profusely. When the fluorosilicate dust mixed with the perspiration, it would form fluorosilicic acid on the skin and blister us if we did not wash it off.

“I remember going home after one episode in the pollution scrubber. I started coughing and choking. My eyes started to burn. I realized that my clothes were fuming. I rolled the window down in my truck so I could see to drive home. Reaching home, I removed my clothes and gave them to my wife to wash. Well, the only things that came out of the washing machine intact were the zipper and a couple of buttons.”

“It was common to develop acid sores, rashes and blisters after those jobs. It was also common to cough up blood after breathing the fluorosilicates and other fumes.”

Silicon tetra fluoride is a highly toxic fluoride compound. The autopsy on a man who died of several minutes exposure to concentrated fumes at a phosphate fertilizer plant revealed a coating of silica on the lungs. The cause of death, however, was determined to be fluorine poisoning. The fluorosilicates found in the pollution scrubbers contain heavy metals, radionuclides (including radium-226, radon-222 and uranium-238).

Gary also suffers with emphysema and has described classic symptoms of silicosis. In the phosphate industry, the older workers refer to the condition as “chemical pneumonia.”

Where employees are exposed to toxic substances, most manufacturers require employees to take urine tests for levels of chemical exposure. This is basic risk management procedure to protect the company against future lawsuits. In the twenty years working for Occidental, Gary had never taken a urine test, even when he became ill.

In 1987, according to Gary, Occidental management decided to shut down a pollution scrubber stating that it was not needed. For almost three years, in spite of violating state regulations and in felony violation of the Clean Air Act, Occidental operated the facility with the pollution scrubber shut down to save money. The entire population of Hamilton County, Florida was exposed to toxic emissions from the plant, possible many times what is considered safe levels. However, workers were exposed to higher levels than the average citizen.

In another incident, Occidental was fined for releasing ten times the safe levels of fluorides into the atmosphere. Over the years Gary worked for Occidental, he said that the company had been cited numerous times for OSHA and environmental violations.

By 1993, after almost twenty-one years of exposure to workplace toxicants, Gary was totally incapacitated. Suffering from degenerative muscle disease (toxic myopathy), heart arrhythmias, and emphysema, he was unable to walk up a flight of stairs and was replaced by Occidental management. He was never allowed the opportunity to try and return to work or offered another less taxing position.

None of the doctors treating Gary ever considered chemical exposure which included: Carbon tetrachloride, barium chlorides, hydrogen fluoride, fluorosilicates, sulfates, potassium cyanide, chemical solvents and many other damaging and carcinogenic chemicals. Early diagnoses included degenerative muscle disease, possible AIDS, Lyme disease, and non specific myopathy (meaning they did not know what was causing his problems).

Gary’s work history is littered with health problems and misdiagnoses by doctors who knew nothing about industrial exposure to toxic chemicals. With his numerous emergency room visits, the personnel should have put two and two together and called for toxicological testing. However, the tests were not done, not even a simple urine test. Gary’s medical profile is such that he should have been referred to an industrial toxicologist by competent emergency room personnel and doctors.

As documented in his medical and work records, with each episode of illness, Gary would take off from work and his health would improve, but after returning to work, the symptoms would return. That scenario is a text book example and typical of someone suffering from poisoning due to exposure to work place toxicants, especially fluorine poisoning.

Over the years, and despite numerous visits to doctors, Gary was never tested for industrial toxicants until he visited the Environmental Health Center in Dallas, Texas. Previously, his condition was attributed to non specific myopathy by doctors. However, Dr. Rea, the attending physician at the Dallas Environmental Health Center diagnosed Gary as having toxic brain syndrome from his previous medical records. Dr. Hickey, at the Dallas facility ran a brain spectrograph and discovered neurological damage from exposure to neurotoxins and heavy metals confirming the “toxic brain syndrome” diagnosis. Dr. Rea recommended several sessions of chelation therapy. For most people it would only take one session, but because of Gary’s poor health, normal therapy would have proven lethal, and he was unable to undergo treatment.

Numerous employees of Occidental suffer from similar medical problems including two other plaintiffs named in the lawsuit. According to Gary, employees who worked in the processing plants at Occidental “seemed to stay sick all the time. It was like they had a cold or the flu all the time. They were always taking over-the-counter medications so they could keep working.” He names numerous people with heart arrhythmias and symptoms of toxic brain syndrome. Gary also mentioned cases of Occidental employees who developed stomach cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, brain cancers, benign brain tumors and bone cancer. Several of the people with brain cancers have died.

Aside from exposure to air pollutants, the employees were also exposed to contaminants in the drinking water at the facility. Gary felt that toxic wastewater from the ponds was leaching into the aquifer. Fluoride levels in the water were between 15-17 parts per million. These levels are four times the maximum allowable contaminant level for drinking water established by USEPA. Phosphoric acid levels in the water were also very high. The drinking water was so laden with corrosive chemicals, it caused the metal pipes to crumble and be eaten away, Gary related.

Shortly before Gary was disabled, the water had become so contaminated that employees complained that it was undrinkable. A reverse osmosis system was installed. Due to the amount of contaminants, there were problems with clogging and the system was rendered ineffective. Gary requested that the company buy bottled water for the employees, but his request was denied. Rather than drink the foul tasting, toxic well water, many of the employees brought their own water to work or drank soft drinks.

In the complaint written by Gary Pittman’s attorneys, they allege that Occidental failed to provide and/or destroyed product data safety sheets and warning labels on toxic chemicals to avoid the expense of purchasing adequate safety equipment.

In documents and tapes provided by Pittman, he states that ventilation in the work areas was also poor and the equipment often failed. At one time the air-conditioning in laboratories recirculated the toxic air. During analytical procedures, toxic gases were recirculated in the rooms. “We poured all sorts of chemicals down an open drain in the floor. Sometimes they would start boiling and fuming. All those noxious fumes were recirculated by the air-conditioning system. We were continuously breathing that stuff, back then. We didn’t know any better.”

The complaint submitted by Jacksonville law firms, Coker, Myres, Schickel, Sorenson and Higgenbottom and Boyer, Tanzler and Boyer state, “Not only did the Defendants fail to provide adequate and operational ventilation, but also, to further reduce costs, the Defendants, even on occasion when the toxic fume stacks were fully operational, simply turned them off to further reduce costs.”

In fact, according to the U.S. Public Health Service/Centers for Disease Control publication, Occupational Diseases: A Guide to their Recognition, 1977, pgs. 319-321, and Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, National Safety Council, 1988, Occidental ignored the most fundamental recommendations for worker safety with regards to exposure to toxic chemicals and especially fluorine exposure. “Attention should be given promptly to any burns from fluorine compounds due to absorption of the fluorine at the burn site and the possibility of absorption from burn sites. Gary and his coworkers were never given any medical attention much less provided with adequate protective clothing and equipment.

Of the eight original plaintiffs who were directly exposed to the chemicals, only six remain, but others are coming forward. Two have died: One plaintiff, a non smoker, died of lung and liver cancer, and the other from bone cancer. Gary said the wife and daughter of one man suffering with similar health problems and the neurotoxic damage has developed similar symptoms. He went on to say that many people have died of what he now believes was exposure to toxic chemicals at the Occidental phosphoric acid and fertilizer plants.

“I read in the paper that studies were done in Hamilton County, and they showed that Hamilton County has the highest cancer rate in Florida. Columbia and Suwannee Counties also have very high cancer rates compared to other counties in Florida. Those counties are right next to Hamilton. For me, the article rang a bell because I wondered, why here? Hamilton County is basically a rural, farming county. You would think the air is less contaminated. The overall environment is cleaner. You would think the people would be healthier than in the big cities. The only thing here that is not in some of the other counties is Occidental Chemical Company.

“I wonder whether the water we are drinking is contaminated with chemicals from the leaking gypsum stacks. I worry about the air quality because it’s a fact these chemicals travel great distances and other times, under different weather conditions, they settle over the community. All these things concern me. Now that I know how dangerous some of those chemicals are, I’m concerned for the whole county and the general public. I feel like more studies need to be done by scientists who are not paid by the phosphate fertilizer industry or those government agencies who have done little or nothing over the years.”

After working almost twenty-one years in the phosphate fertilizer industry, Gary Pittman states: “If the facts were brought out in this case, the cat would be out of the bag. They (Occidental) know that I know where all the skeletons are buried. If we can get this information to the public, we could get some things done about the pollution, not only for us, but for the general public. These phosphate fertilizer companies would have to clean up their act. I know the general public is at risk due to sulfur dioxide, radionuclides, fluorosilicates and other harmful fumes being emitted from the plants, holding ponds and gypsum stacks. People are being made sick from that pollution.

” All these things concern and worry me. I thought about reporting the illegal emissions to Florida Department of Environmental Protection, OSHA and the EPA. But I wonder, because you don’t want to report things to the people who already know what is going on. They know people are sick and dying because of Occidental. If they were really concerned and cared about the public, they would have done something about Occidental a long time ago.”

Gary Owen Pittman is also concerned about the lawsuit because he knows that he is going up against a mammoth organization with much to lose. The parent company of Occidental Chemical Corporation, Hooker Chemical Corporation, is no stranger to litigation. Hooker Chemical was responsible for Love Canal (both companies are owned by Occidental Petroleum Corp.). Not only is he going up against Occidental, Pittman and the surviving plaintiffs in the lawsuit are taking on the entire phosphate fertilizer industry.

“It’s hard for us to trust anyone after what we’ve been through. I know Occidental has the power to buy and intimidate people. They could even cause my lawyers problems. They give money to political candidates, and I imagine they help the judges, who think their way, to get elected. All of us know that we’re alone and can’t depend on anyone, except one another.”


Gary Pittman

I started work at the Occidental Chemical Corporation on January 24, 1972 in the Analytical Laboratory at the Suwannee River Complex. I was eighteen-years old and in excellent health.

My first position was that of a Junior Technician, also referred to as a sample preparation technician. I would drive to the mines, wastewater canals or wherever samples need to be taken and prepared for chemical analysis.

The preparation of samples required many different steps. Wet samples of phosphate rock, feed, phosphoric acid and tailings were mixed by hand. Wet samples of rock from the floatation plant contained reagents, fatty acids, amines and ammonia, used to float the phosphate from the sand. We placed them in pans where the samples were baked dry in a conventional drying oven. We never used gloves, and the oven was vented inside the room.

Once the wet samples were dry, we would take them into a grinding room that was very small and unventilated. The grinders were electric and pulverized the rock into a fine powder. We were never provided dust masks or respirators. By the time we finished, we would be covered in dust and had to blow it off with compressed air.

We also secured samples of sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, Polyphos (an animal feed supplement) and gypsum cake slurry. Entering the sulfuric acid plants, we were exposed to sulfur dioxide. In the phosphoric acid plants we were primarily exposed to silica tetra fluoride gas and toxic vapors from production.

Because I was in an entry level position, I was also the cook when we had to work overtime. Generally, I would cook TV dinners in the microwave oven for the overtime personnel. However, if there were too many people working overtime, I would cook the dinners in the large, conventional drying oven along with the rock samples.

I was promoted to a laboratory technician and analyzed the samples. During that period, I did analyses for fluorine in animal feed supplement and wastewater, analyzed phosphoric acid for metal content using an Atomic Absorption Unit, and general product analyses.

We would start with a sample and add nitric acid or hydrofluoric acid to digest the product. We then placed the sampled on a hot plate under a ventilation hood and boiled them. We poured samples down an open drain in the floor. The reactions would often cause fuming, the release of chemical gases. Chemical fumes in that area were terrible because the exhaust system was not designed to handle the volume of work we did in the laboratory. The fans were belt driven, so when it rained, the belts slipped, and the exhaust fans didn’t work. Sometimes, the fumes were so thick, they took my breath away. The air-conditioning system was a recirculation type and recirculated the fumes.

Occidental provided no safety education or equipment, at that time. The only safety requirement was safety glasses. Respirators, dust masks or gloves were not required or readily provided.

We used to trap fish in the spillway to the retention ponds, clean cook and eat them for lunch or dinner at work. We promptly stopped that practice after seeing a large fish kill from a sulfuric acid spill.

In late 1974, I transferred to the phosphoric acid plants. At that time, I felt as if I was in good health. However, I did have problems with dizziness, difficulty with breathing, some diarrhea, frequent headaches, and chronic colds with congestion.

My first job was as to control the levels in the raw feed tanks transferring phosphate rock from the draglines to the plants. I also pumped the raw matrix into floatation tanks where chemicals were added to separate the silica from the phosphate. The phosphate rock would then be pumped into storage bins to be ground for onsite phosphoric acid production or sold to other manufacturers. The sand (general trailings) was pumped onto a waste stack: these general trailings are radioactive.

In that area, we were exposed to amines, ammonia and phosphate rock dust containing fluorides, silica, heavy metals including uranium and its decay rate products on a daily basis. We were constantly working with the phosphate rock, raw and floated. We breathed the dust, fumes and mists from sprays while taking samples and turning valves. Everyone seemed to be sick with colds, head aches and breathing problems.

Late 1974, I transferred to stores. There, I was an issue clerk at the storeroom. I had to issue tools, parts and general products needed to run and maintain the operation. The stores department was located next to the ball mill where the phosphate rock was ground to a fine powder for the Dorr-Oliver feed supplement plant. Dust from the ball mill was very bad. Walking to and from the parking lot was a source of exposure to hydrogen fluoride, silica tetra fluoride, nitric oxide, sulfur dioxide and general pollution from the plant. At that time, I had frequent cold, congestion and headaches.

I transferred from stores to the Dorr-Oliver phosphoric acid complex as an Evaporator Operator. My job was to bring the phosphoric to 28%, 40% and 50% concentrations. The Dorr-Oliver Complex was the first plant Occidental built at White Springs, Florida in the later 1960’s. I was required to help with other plant duties such as cleaning reactors, holding tanks, gypsum hoppers, the rock room, pipes, fume ducts, and pollution scrubbers. I also had to watch the reaction side of the complex while the operator was busy with other duties. There I set up the pumps, lines, valves and caught samples.

The work environment was very bad at the Dorr-Oliver complex. OSHA had not been formed when the facility was built. We worked in thick acidic fumes and vapors: Silica tetra fluoride, hydrogen fluoride, sulfur dioxide, fumes from defoamers, and gypsum and phosphate rock dusts on a daily bases. Occidental’s safety program was basically nonexistent at that time. Wearing of safety glasses was not enforced, respirators were available on a limited basis and self contained breathing apparatus was not available. I would frequently cough up blood when the fumed were bad. I began to miss work frequently because of terrible chest colds. Some of the old-timers said I had “chemical pneumonia.” Radionuclides were also present as Uranium-328, radium-226, Radon-222, Polonium-210, etc.

In making phosphoric acid, phosphate rock is dumped into a 93% solution of sulfuric acid. The reaction produces silica tetra fluoride gas. When the gas comes in contact with water, it creates fluorosilicic acid. If you breath the silica tetra fluoride gas, when it comes in contact with the moisture in your lungs, hydrofluoric acid is formed leaving a crystalline silica particle. Hydrofluoric acid is the most corrosive acid known. Other fluorine fumes we breathed were uranium hexafluoride, radon hexafluoride and many other types of fluoride fumes created during the acid reaction process. We were also exposed to the gases, vapors and fumes while cleaning tanks, pipes, etc. Solid fluorosilicates and fluoride gases saturated the work areas.

We also had a small laboratory in the control room for analyses. We tested the sulfated for reactor control. The ventilation was very poor. We had to keep barium chloride heated to 198 degrees for hourly testing. The air-conditioning unit was self contained, so it recirculated the stagnant, fume filled air. The heating system was the same, recirculating the air in the room. We had no lunch room, so we sat around and ate lunch while the chemicals were cooking on the hotplate.

At that point in my career, I was unaware that most of these chemicals would cause harm to myself and my coworkers. We were exposed not only to the fumes and vapors from the acid reaction, but also defoamers. The defoamers were used because the sulfuric acid would boil when the phosphate rock was introduced. This would cause the mixture to violently foam and overflow from the reaction chamber. I remember one defoaming agent in particular, AZ-23, an oil-based product. If you happened to get some on your clothes or skin, it wouldn’t come off.

On repair days, we had to clean tanks, reactors, fume ducts and the pollution scrubber, etc. This was nasty work that required entering confined spaces for long periods of time to clean out solidified fluorosilicates and gypsum scale. We had to use air chisels to chip out way into the vessels while tossing chunks out by hand. The sludges had to be shoveled out by hand. All of these toxic materials were dumped into the evaporation ponds atop the gypsum stacks.

Clean up was a dirty, nasty job. There was no ventilation and no tests were done to see if the oxygen content would support life. When my wife washed my clothes after clean up days, they would fall apart because of the fluorosilicate dust I picked up.

The Dorr-Oliver complex was shut down due to a sagging sales, and I was laid off for six weeks. My health was about the same: Chronic colds, congestion and headaches with some dizziness and trouble breathing.

I went back to work as a solvent extraction operator in 1977. As noted, I had already held many positions at Occidental and proved to be a competent worker. Occidental was expanding the product line and building new complexes to accommodate production of the products. We were experimenting with new processes, facilities and ideas.

The Solvent Extraction was an experimental facility built to extract iron, aluminum magnesium and mainly aluminum out of phosphoric acid. Occidental planned to produce superphosphoric acid and ship it around the world. There was only one major problem. The metals cause the superphosphoric acid to crystallize. The Solvent Extraction (called SX) plant was designed to remove most of the metal contaminants.

I was the “A” operator in this experimental SX facility. We mixed several chemical reagents with the phosphoric acid which were supposed to extract the metals. I was exposed to these chemicals daily. A supervisor told me that mixtures of these chemicals with phosphoric acid were hazardous, but I was never issued any personal protection equipment. I later discovered that the chemicals were flammable as well as toxic.

The chemical was Di-Nonyl-Naphalene-sulfonic acid. It was mixed with kerosene and then added to the phosphoric acid. Sulfuric acid was added in the process. The solvent had a muddy color and a peculiar smell.

The process worked, but Occidental was having difficulty in disposing of the toxic wastes and abandoned the project. Later, the same result was achieved using a drum-filter process. At that time I began suffering with severe dizzy spells with frequent colds, breathing problems and headaches.

I was transferred to the Prayon complex built at White Springs, Florida as an evaporation operator. There, I operated five low pressure evaporators that would bring the acid to various concentrations. I was required to help change filter cloths and cleaned filtrate tank lines, fume ducts and pollution scrubbers. I also took and analyzed samples for superphosphoric acidic concentration, sulfate levels and other contaminants.

The Prayon complex was much larger then the Dorr-Oliver plant. In spite of the fact that it was a new facility, the working conditions were about the same. We were exposed to the same toxic chemicals possible at a greater concentration because the plant was larger.

Occidental’s safety program was still very poor, but OSHA was beginning to make visits and inspections. Respirators were available on a limited basis, but we had no self contained breathing apparatus. The only required protection gear at that time was a hard hat and safety glasses.

Repair days brought exposure from breathing and contact with the acids and chemicals. No tests were done for oxygen levels. The vessels were normally hot, there was no ventilation and workers would often pass out due to the heat and fumes. I have seen this happen, many times. I would often cough up blood after cleaning days.

Next, I went to the Hemihydrate phosphoric acid plant as an “A” operator for a new process. My job was to control the reaction and filtration processes. The process was complex and consisted of a rock slurry tank, dissolver reactor, crystallizer reactor and filter feed.

Phosphate rock, water and sulfuric acid were mixed together to form phosphoric acid slurry. This concoction was pumped to a tank where the gypsum solids were filtered out. The fumes were the worst I had ever experienced at Occidental. They were so thick, and acidic, my skin would start burning.

The excessive fuming was due to the nature of the Hemihydrate process. With the other processes, the phosphoric acid is about a 28% concentration at 165-180 degrees Fahrenheit. With the Hemihydrate process produces a 40% concentration at about 205 degrees. The process generated excessive fuming and release of silica-tetra fluoride and hydrogen fluoride gases.

Since the Hemihydrate process was new, we were basically flying by the seat of our pants and learning something new every day. At first, we had bad foaming problems in the dissolver reactor. We had to use very large amounts of defoamers to keep foaming over at a minimum, but it was still a problem in the early days of operation. We were always sloshing around in acid. I was buying a new pair of shoes every two months. The acid would literally eat the shoes off our feet.

We would develop acid sores and rashes on our arms, hands and feet. I remember one day when I was assigned the task of cleaning a filter hood along with another employee. White, powdery fluorosilicate dust was everywhere. As we were cleaning, the powdery dust would fill the air and cover us. The weather was hot, we pulled a six-hour stint and we were sweating profusely. When the fluorosilicates hit the sweat on our bodies, they formed fluorosilicic acid. If we didn’t wash it off in time, blisters would form.

Going home that evening, my clothes began to fume so bad I couldn’t see. My eyes were also burning. I had to roll the window down in order to see the road.

Later, I was promoted to supervisor of shift workers at the Prayon and Hemihydrate plants. At times, the position was worse than being a shift worker. Aside from all the clerical and supervisory duties, I found myself in the middle of spills, and foamings or helping patch leaking pipes or pumps.

In 1978, I returned to the Dorr-Oliver complex as a supervisor for a restart with a new computerized control room. OSHA was citing Occidental on a regular basis for safety violations. Occidental was attempting to improve the company safety program. The Florida Department of Environmental Regulation was also investigating Occidental for emission violations. They were emitting fluorides at almost ten times the level allowed by law. The hydrogen fluoride emissions were eating the paint off cars and etching the glass on our vehicles in the parking lots. The Dorr-Oliver sulfuric acid plants were also emitting large quantities of sulfur dioxide. At that time the only safety gear required was a hard hat and safety glasses.

Occidental was building a new chemical complex at what is now called Swift Creek. In late 1979, I was transferred to the Swift Creek complex to help with the start up. I left Occidental in 1980 to manage our small, family farm until small profit margins drove us out of business in 1985. I returned to Occidental in 1985 as a shipping supervisor. I was responsible for unloading raw materials and loading sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid and super phosphoric acid into railroad cars.

The worst chemical exposures in this area were to sulfur dioxide and sulfur trioxide from burning sulfur. We melted the solid sulfur in railroad cars by attaching steam lines to coils inside the cars. The super heated steam melted the sulfur to a red hot, molten state. At that point we could unload the cars into launders below the cars. The sulfur is used to make sulfuric acid.

Sometimes the railroad cars would catch on fire and the only way to extinguish it was to climb atop the car and shut the dome lid. This would cut off the oxygen.

When popping the dome lids, we would always get a whiff of hydrogen sulfide, a deadly gas.

In 1985, I found myself back as a supervisor at evaporation purification. There, I oversaw the last purification steps of superphosphoric acid before it went to the customer. The acid was concentrated to a 70% solution.

We received our low grade phosphoric acid from the Hemihydrate plant where it goes through several processes. We treated the acid with Synspar (synthetic fluorspar) to remove iron, aluminum and magnesium among other steps in the evaporation and purification process.

We made the Synspar by adding lime dust to evaporation pond water containing about 15,000 parts per million of fluorine (hydrofluoric and fluorosilicic acid) in a reaction vessel. The reaction drives of carbon dioxide leaving calcium fluoride and sodium silicofluoride. Calcium fluoride is the Synspar which is separated and dewatered in a centrifuge. We were exposed to fluorides, defoamers, and acid fumes and vapors for 8-12 hours a day.

September of 1986, a rash began to cover my arms, hands and back. It was a round circular rash that would start out small and grow leaving my skin white and scaly. The rash was eating me alive. My neighbor was a doctor and I asked him about it. He said that he had never seen anything like it before, but it might have been caused by a reaction or be mycotic. He prescribed some medicine and the rash went away. I missed work several days on that occasion.

Several years later, my right hand became swollen. I went to the doctor, and he said that I had a hairline fracture above the pinky finger. I had not hurt myself. It healed in several weeks.

As I continued to work in evaporation and purification, I experienced frequent colds, neck pain, dizziness, chronic fatigue and breathing problems.

About that time Occidental shut down “A” pollution scrubber. We had two pollution scrubbers, “A” and “B.” The explanation from management as to why the scrubber was shut down was, “they are not needed.” That surprised me because I knew the permits from the state required that both scrubbers be in well maintained and tested by the state inspectors on a yearly basis.

“A” scrubber removed some of the more toxic fumes and it was evident when it was not running. I was afraid to report what Occidental had done because I would have lost my job. The “A” scrubber was down for three years until the manager retired and a new person came. When our new boss took over, the scrubber was put back on line.

Even the cooling stack tests for fluorine emissions done by the Florida DEP and OSHA were “fixed”, for the most part. The DEP and OSHA had to notify Occidental before inspecting the complexes. All the pollution scrubbers were cleaned, and we used fresh water instead of evaporation pond water. The next step was to have defluorinated animal feed supplement dumped into the reaction vessels and raw phosphate slurry following that so if the inspectors took a sample the fluorine content would be right. The cooling stack tests would be complete with a clean bill of health before the raw slurry was dumped into the reactors. This was standard operating procedure when Occidental was to undergo emissions testing.

In 1991, I woke up feeling dizzy and nearly passed out. I felt as if my heart was skipping beats. Frightened, I went to the emergency room at Lakeshore Hospital in Lake City, Florida. They checked me out, did an EKG and drew some blood. The doctor came back and said that he thought I had Lyme’s disease, but the tests came out negative. I was out of work for several weeks and lost twenty pounds.

I was promoted to an assistant superintendent in 1991 and seemed to be doing better health-wise. My new job was very challenging. I made most of the decisions regarding problems around the plant.

With the fall of the Soviet Union we had lost a large contract supplying them with superphosphoric acid. The entire industry was depressed, and we were trying to find new ways to make phosphoric acid at less cost. The company was downsizing and we were doing more work with fewer people.

In late 1992 and early 1993, I began working with different types of scale inhibitors and slurry flocculants. These were known carcinogens. Warnings were on the labels. I don’t remember the names, but I requested material data safety sheets for our files.

In may of 1993, my feet became swollen and I could barely walk. I was also having dizzy spells, suffered with episodes of confusion, dizzy spells, heart palpitation and chest pains. I went to a doctor in Valdosta, Georgia. They drew blood and did an EKG. The doctor said that I had a heart attack, but not recently.

My last working day at Occidental was 21 May 1993. That is when I went on short term disability for two years. I returned to the doctor to learn that I had some type of muscle destructive process happening. My CPK enzyme levels were over 5,000 which is very abnormal. The doctor told me that there was nothing he could do except recommend a specialist.

I went to see the specialist. They did a muscle biopsy, reviewed my blood tests, medical files and said that I had a muscle disease and would never be the same. He called the disease polymyositis and said that I had major muscle damage. The prognosis was if my CPK levels stayed down, I would regain some strength. After being out of work for six months, I had to go on long-term disability.

After about one year, my condition improved some, but not to the degree the doctor thought. I saw another specialist in Tifton, Georgia. After reviewing my medical records and running tests, he said that I had some form of myopathy, but could not label the type. Later I went to the Environmental Health Center in Dallas Texas and was diagnosed with toxic brain syndrome (toxic myopathy).

Today, I suffer with many disorders including obstructive pulmonary disease with emphysema, toxic brain syndrome, irregular heart beats, arthragias, hypertension, loss of memory, loss of balance, abnormal liver and sores on my hands, legs and behind my ears.

Like so many people, I was naive and always thought that Occidental had my best interest at heart. However, in view of my experiences during the twenty years I worked for Occidental Chemical Corporation, I learned the hard way: Standard operating procedure for Occidental management was based on falsehoods, deceit and with the attitude that they can do no wrong.


Clinton Vann

I started work at the Occidental Chemical Corporation as a Junior Laboratory Technician in 1966 at the Suwannee River Complex. I was 18 years old, earned two dollars an hour and did the usual sample worked described in Gary Pittman’s account.

When I first started at the Suwannee River Complex, the lab wasn’t finished. We had to dry samples on hot plates in the lab with only two windows for ventilation. In 1967, Occidental bought a large drying oven, but the fumes were still vented into the lab where we were doing analyses. The only safety equipment we had back then was [were] safety glasses. Gloves, respirators and dust masks were not supplied to us. We were constantly exposed to reagents used for analyses, vapors from acidic reagents reacting with samples, fumes from boiling reagents and dusts from grinding phosphate samples.

It was sort of ironic that we cooked our meals along with the samples drying in the sample oven. At that time, the practice was out of necessity. We didn’t have a designated eating area, and many times, we had to eat while were doing analyses. It wasn’t unusual to be eating a sandwich and working at the same time. The samples contained ammonia, amines, fatty acids, fuel oil, kerosene, sulfuric acid, fluorine gases, etc. Vapors and gases from these chemicals were given off during testing procedures.

In the early years, we used glass jugs to store bulk reagents. I remember one time, a five-gallon, glass container of a nitric/hydrochloric acid mixture broke. The contents spilled over a lab-tech’s legs and feet. It immediately dissolved his socks and shoes. The fellow almost passed from the acid fumes. Another time a glass container of ammonium hydroxide hit the floor and busted. We had to evacuate the whole lab.

I worked as a sample tech for about three years before I was promoted to a lab technician and began doing wet analyses. We used nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, ammonium hydroxide, acetone, xylene, triethanolamine, potassium cyanide, sodium fluoride, trichlorethylene, etc. We used the cyanide in a manner which I now know was very dangerous. We added acid to a cyanide solution that fumed cyanide gas. There was no adequate ventilation so we would turn our nose away because the fumes were so strong. We were making the same cyanide gas used to execute prisoners.

The ventilation in the lab was very poor, even under the fume hood. We also did many analyses not using the fume hood. One such test was the distillation method for determining fluorine levels in the phosphate rock. If the conditions were not right, fluorine gases would be created. We also used hydrofluoric acid in this procedure.

Located outside the fume hood, we had a high temperature oven we called a “mini pilot plant.” We used this device to simulate the Polyphos (animal feed supplement) process where fluorine is driven off the phosphate rock by heating it to a molten state. The Polyphos complex could not run unless we did these test first to determine how long the rock had to be cooked to bring the fluorine levels down to where they were acceptable by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Most analyses were done by dissolving samples in nitric, hydrochloric or perchloric acid on hot plates under fume hoods. The exhaust systems did not perform properly. Cooking samples in perchloric acid under the same fume hood was dangerous. Perchloric acid fumes form an explosive compound on the inside of the fume hood. Fortunately, we never had an explosion, but I knew someone who did experience an explosion. His name was Charles Thornton. He owned Thornton Labs in Lakeland, Florida; he was severely burned when the hood in his lab exploded.

The air-conditioning in the lab was a closed loop system. All it did was recirculate contaminated air. We were sure of this because we would clean the glass on interior doors at night before we left. Come morning, the glass would be coated with sticky dust again. We used to comment about the lab conditions saying we had a good clean job in the laboratory. Little did we know that we were exposed to dangerous chemicals and the consequences of that exposure. As far as I know, they are still using the air-conditioning system.

We were exposed to chemicals both inside and outside the lab. Like most everyone else who worked at the complex, I have had my car painted twice because acid fumes etched the paint on my car. Occidental still says that the pollution will not hurt you.

1973, I was promoted to Shift Supervisor at the Suwanee River Complex Analytical Laboratory. Most of my time was spent in the lab area troubleshooting problems and training seven lab assistants in new procedures. I was also responsible for performing maintenance and calibrating lab instruments.

By 1979, I was promoted to Lead Analyst of a Special Services Group and transferred to the Jacksonville, Florida port terminal. There, I did analyses on bulk shipments of phosphoric and superphosphoric acid. I was first trained in the use of respirators at that time.

In 1982, the Special Services Group was eliminated because of downsizing, and I went back to the position of a shift analyst at the Swift Creek complex.

In June 1983, I went for a routine physical at the Riverside Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Test results showed that I had liver abnormalities. They continued testing me through 1985, and the liver function abnormalities persisted. Dr. Weitzner and Dr. Merrel of the Riverside staff recommended that I no longer work in areas where I would be exposed to hepatotoxins. On June 26, 1986, I was assigned to work outside the lab after my superintendent and Safety Superintendent discussed my situation. This was done during the time interval required for the company doctor to review my records.

On July 15, 1985, Dr. Zavon, Occidental’s corporate medical consultant, sent the slides from my liver biopsy to a Dr. Cushner at Stoney Brook University in Long Island to review. Dr. Cushner was the dean of the college and a medical pathologist. Dr. Cushner said that he didn’t see much in the slides. The doctors in Jacksonville, had already noted that I had changes in my muscle enzymes levels. Consequently, on September, 10, 1985, Dr. Zavon telephoned the doctors in Jacksonville and persuaded them to “ease off” what he considered an “over diagnosis.” I was back in the laboratory in November, 22, 1989 doing routine work. However, there was one limitation, I was not to perform analyses using organic solvents like methanol, ethanol, acetone, etc.

In 1990, my health problems began to worsen, and I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. This diagnosis was basically confirmed by three doctors in spite of previous medical records stating that I had suffered with idiosyncratic chemical hepatitis. My condition continued to deteriorate until I was totally disabled in 1993.

In 1991, when I was diagnosed with a degenerative muscle disease, I asked my superintendent about the possibility of being transferred to a less stressful and demanding position. He spoke with the Technical Services Manager. Both my superintendent and the Technical Services manager said there were no positions available. Several years later I discovered that the Technical Services Manager filed a suit with the EEOC because he did not get a job he wanted. Occidental wound up placing him in the position he requested.

My last day working for Occidental was February 28, 1993. I was never offered another position at Occidental in spite of my twenty-seven years there.

In a report, Dr. Weitzner (Riverside Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida) said that the test data was consistent with the toxic effects of drug use. But I had never used drugs. I told him it had to have been the chemicals. I then asked him if he would relate the solvents to my liver damage. Dr. Weitzner said that he would not say that my liver damage was caused by chemical exposure in the workplace.

The only reason I could determine for Dr. Weitzner’s reluctance to state that chemical exposure could have caused my liver problems was that Riverside was contracted by Occidental to supply medical services to company personnel. The lawyer representing my workman’s compensation case had to force Riverside Clinic to release my medical records with a court order.

In 1994, doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville said that I might have passed “something” on to my daughter and son. They said that my family history suggested that, but they were unsure. During my infancy I had a mild case of polio, but that disease is not hereditary. Tests proved that my family (granddaughter) has no hereditary health problems. I did a family tree going back over one-hundred years including more than one-hundred people, and there were no health problems resembling mine. The doctors said that I had also these problems since I was in high school, but how could I have worked for twenty-seven years on the verge of total disability?

In 1997, I went to the Dallas Environmental Health Center for toxicological testing and a spectrographic brain scan. The results showed neurotoxic damage. Occidental sent the findings to a Dr. William George of Tulane University in Louisiana and Dr. Ronald Gots, Bethesda Maryland. They concluded that none of the chemicals I worked with could cause muscular dystrophy or the health problems that many people who worked for Occidental now suffer with. However, there are other people who worked for Occidental who have the same symptoms. I, Jesse Nash and Gary Pittman have all been diagnosed with toxic brain syndrome at the Dallas Environmental Health Center.

Gary Pittman was first diagnosed as having Lyme’s disease, then non specific muscular disease and finally with toxic brain syndrome. They said that Jesse Nash had Lupus and then palindrome arthritis. Many others who worked for Occidental are similarly ill, and I wonder how many of them have been misdiagnosed by doctors working for clinics contracted by Occidental.

In 1998, I retained a Miami-Ocala, Florida-based lawyer, Henry Ferro. One day before he believed the statute of limitations ran out, Ferro filed a toxic tort lawsuit on my behalf. The lawsuit was sent to Federal court. I believe that Ferro was threatened by Occidental, because without my consent, he filed a motion to dismiss himself as my attorney. I had to petition the judge to dismiss my case without aid from an attorney.

Along with Gary Pittman, I have done extensive research into the long-term toxic effects of the chemicals and substances that were prevalent at the Occidental chemical complexes. Many of the toxic effects of those chemicals have been known for some time. Occidental management had to have known that they were systematically poisoning workers by not providing proper safety equipment and education regarding the handling of those chemicals and substances. However, Occidental has the money and where-with-all to hire attorneys, experts and doctors who will say that breathing cyanide gas will not hurt anyone except murderers in a gas chamber.


(Billy Baldwin’s Story)

George Glasser

“Billy is the type of person who gets up early in the morning and goes to bed about 11:00 p.m., but in September 1993 he would come home from work and go to bed. Living with Billy for more than thirty years, I knew something was wrong. Billy was tired all the time. He had headaches, nausea and looked like a ghost.

“Finally, I asked him to go to the doctor, but Billy said he would lose his job if he took off from work.”

Billy Baldwin came home from work on the afternoon of November 13, 1993 and said he couldn’t take it any more. Charlotte took Billy to the emergency room al Lake Shore Hospital in Lake City Florida. He was admitted for severe anemia and remained hospitalized for three days. A blood test and bone biopsy were performed, but the hospital doctors said they could find nothing unusual.

Billy was given a prescription for very large daily doses of vitamin B12 with frolic acid tablets for one year. When Charlotte went to the druggist, he asked who had written the prescription. “I asked what was wrong, and the druggist said that athletes didn’t take that much B12. He then said that he would have to verify the prescription with the doctor.”

After two weeks, Billy’s condition didn’t improve, and he still was very anemic. He was then referred to Dr. Vernon Montoya in Gainesville where again they drew blood and took a bone biopsy. When the results came back, the doctor asked Billy how he managed to walk into the office.

A few days later, when the results from the bone marrow tests came back from the laboratory, Dr. Montoya called Charlotte. “I took the phone and asked what was wrong. Dr. Montoya said that we would discuss it in the morning, and I questioned him further. Finally, he gave in and told me that Billy had leukemia, the worst type. It broke my heart.”

Charlotte Baldwin’s account is only one of many from the wives of men who have worked at the Occidental Chemical Complexes in Hamilton County, Florida. Billy is a stable person, the father of two daughters, and he has only had two jobs during his adult life with time out to go to Vietnam in 1968. He started with Occidental in 1979 as a laborer on the float crew at the mines. Later, became a “whencher” who lays and repairs pipes that transport the phosphate slurry to the phosphoric plants and tailings to the phosphogypsum stacks.

It was usual for Billy to wade waste deep in radioactive sludges and toxic slime from the production and mining wastes. “When they mine the phosphate rock, it is dumped into a well pit and broke up with high pressure hoses. From there the slurry was transported through pipes to a washer where the phosphate was separated from the sand and clay. Sometimes the pipes ran three or four miles to the washer. Many times, We had to lay those pipe lines across toxic slime ditches. The pressure from the pumps was so great that it wasn’t unusual for the 18 inch steel pipes to blow out. We had to work waste-deep in the mud and slime.”

If the washer was nearby a phosphoric acid plant, the toxic, radioactive waste water was used. In the pipes, there are flow meters that adjust the flow rate of waste water being delivered to the pond and detect levels of radioactivity. When the men were working on the lines, the flowmeters were supposed to be shut down, but many times they were not. Not only was there slime containing uranium and its decay rate products, but there were all the solvents, fluorides, flocculants and acids associated with the production of phosphoric and sulfuric acid.

Occidental float crews were given no special protective gear, clothes, dust masks or respirators. “Close to the chemical plant or washer, the plant water would be mixed in with all the phosphate, mud and water we were working in. Sometimes, we would be up to our waists in the slime and mud for the whole shift. It smelled of chemicals and stagnant water, a stinking blue-grey slime with an oily slick floating on top of it.”

As the phosphate rock is broken down with water and floated, slimy clay sediment remains, referred to as a mud ball. This is sucked up through a 24-inch steel pipe and shot into a settling pond. The mud ball sits there for a few days until it becomes firm enough to extend more pipe across. Often equipment used would become mired down and float crews were required to wade out in the radioactive sludge and free the equipment. This task was completed by the crew no matter if it took one-hour or twenty-four hours of being waist deep in the sludge.

Evaporation from the contaminated slimes, water and mud carry with them the toxic substances contained in the waste. Radon, a gas and decay rate products of uranium, also drifts off in the evaporation process. Alpha emitting radionuclides do not pose a significant threat outside the body. But when ingested or inhaled and metabolized, they pose a significant threat. Radon is only one of many decay rate sequences of uranium-238. In 2.86 days it decays to lead-210 which acts like calcium in the body and is a bone seeker. Lead has a half-life of twenty years before it decays to polonium-210. Polonium-210 emits five-thousand times the alpha radiation as the same amount of radium. The half-life of polonium-210 is 138 days. Beta radiation emitting radionuclides like lead-210 which has a half life of twenty years (accumulates in the bone) are also dangerous when ingested and metabolized in the body.

Also, it is likely that radium and uranium, alpha emitters, were converted to gaseous fluorides as the hydrogen fluoride was evaporated from the pond water. Breathing the radioactive, gaseous fluorides would possibly act to potentiate the effects of the radionuclides. As with fluorosilicates, a reaction would occur when the fluorides came in contact with moist bronchial or lung tissues. Separation would occur forming hydrofluoric acid and the radionuclide. The hydrofluoric acid would dissolve the lung tissue leaving the radionuclide to be carried into the blood stream and delivered to target organs.

Leukemia is associated with exposure to radiation. Leukemia is also a disease that is associated with young people. Billy was in his late forties. Interestingly, people living near phosphate mining operations and processing are twice as likely to develop leukemia and lung cancer.

Billy also spent time at the Suwannee River Phosphoric Acid Complex and related: “They had a reduction in the work force. Instead of laying me off, they sent me to work in phosphoric acid production. At that time, they had shut down the reactor, and we had to clean it out with chipping hammers the scale was so hard. It was so hot and the fumes were so thick in the reactors that we could only work in thirty minute intervals. We were never provided with respirators. We couldn’t wear the rain suits provided to us because it was so hot. We would have passed out from heat exhaustion; we were working Twelve-hour shifts.

“We also had to clean the pollution scrubbers. There was white, powdery fluorosilicate and phosphate dust all over. We sprayed the walls with a high pressure hose. We had to use the acid resistant rain gear in there, but we had no respirators. The acid water would splash all over us and get inside the suit, We had to take showers all the time. And the fumes were very bad.”

Fluorosilicate and phosphate dust were so thick in the production areas, the men would have to sweep the toxic dust into wheel barrels which were dumped onto a conveyer belt. The dust was so thick in the air, the men would “spit and cough it up.” Billy stated that his skin turned ashen during his assignment at the phosphoric acid complex.

For a time, I worked at the ball mill where they grind phosphate pebble to be processed among other jobs. On the survey crew, we mostly surveyed raw phosphate fertilizer at the Suwannee River granulation complex. They were all dirty and dusty jobs.

The environment was even less important than the employees to Occidental management as documented by Billy Baldwin: “I worked on a survey crew twice at Occidental. We cut a line through the woods around washers at the Swift Creek and Suwannee Complexes. The washer pits were filled with steel drums, paint cans, break fluid, spray cans and chemical soaked wood from the acid complexes.

They covered the pits with a certain amount of tailings sand, then they would dump a measured amount of mud ball waste. This stuff was contaminated with everything used at the complexes. We would have to survey to make sure each level of sand and mud was about two feet thick. After we were finished, they planted pine trees over both dump sites. There were a lot of different chemicals covered up at both dump sites. We worked on those dump sites for a long time.”

Billy also states that it was common to see dead fish and birds around the incoming pumps at the washing pits. “Going into the Swift Creek complex, I used to see catfish with blisters on their backs and back. We hardly ever saw any birds around the ponds, but if one would land and take a drink, they would start flopping around and die. Nothing much lived around those ponds. The trees and plants were all burnt and dead from the acid fumes.”

The contaminated mud and sand tailings were also used to reclaim the strip-mined land. “After the operation was finished, pine trees were planted over the reclaimed land,” said Billy. “The tailings and meat ball they used to reclaim the pits had a little bit of everything in them.”

Accounts from other Occidental employees cite birds falling out of the air when passing over the complexes because of sulfur dioxide emissions. “Birds would fly into the reddish haze from the sulfuric acid complex and just drop out of the sky like rocks.”

In poor, rural counties, employees were a renewable resource. In spite of the ultimate price, most people are grateful to have good paying jobs and say nothing about the working conditions. At the Occidental Chemical Complexes in Hamilton County, Florida, exposure to chemicals, radionuclides and acids were all part of the job description for their workers. The resulting adverse health effects could be debated with Florida Judges, Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Health who are all sympathetic to the positions and well being of the phosphate fertilizer industry in Florida.

In essence, if workers wanted to keep their jobs, they do what they were told and don’t make waves. The employee’s safety and health were not even a minor consideration when it came to profitability by Occidental Chemical Corporation bean counters.

In Florida almost everyone cooperates with phosphate fertilizer manufactures. The blood sample and bone marrow biopsy was taken from Billy Baldwin at the Lake City hospital: Charlotte Baldwin said when she requested the results, the staff said they had lost them. The extremely low white blood cell level would indicate to any competent doctor that Billy had a serious problem and further tests should have been done. The physician prescribed massive doses of vitamin B12 for a period of a year.

No tests were done for toxic substances in the bone marrow or blood when everyone knew that Billy worked at the Occidental chemical complexes and was exposed to toxic substances. Thus far, all the workers interviewed have stated that when they went to local hospitals for emergency treatments or to doctors, no one ever did any testing for toxic substances in their blood, hair or urine. It was common knowledge that they worked for Occidental and were exposed to toxicants on a daily basis. No questions were ever asked.

When Billy Baldwin visited Dr. Montoya in Gainesville, he was on the verge of death from leukemia. The physician at the Lakeshore Hospital in Lake City had prescribed vitamin B12 and folic acid which was correct for a normal case of anemia, but Billy had leukemia and death was knocking at the door.

In reading the accounts and speaking with other employees, one comes to realize that misdiagnosis was the norm. Jesse Nash was diagnosed with Lupus, and Gary Pittman with nonspecific myopathy when both were suffering with toxic brain syndrome. This leaves one wondering how many other workers were misdiagnosed, prescribed painkillers or vitamins and died. How many death certificates suggest some generic cause of death such as heart failure or stroke?


Jesse Nash

Jesse Nash’s account touched me because we had much in common. Jesse, is one of those guys who has been around. He went over to Tel Aviv, Israel and volunteered as a fire fighter/emergency medical technician during the Gulf War and received commendations. He is a certified cave diver, open water diver, amateur archeologist and outdoors man. Jesse has done a little of everything including a stint as a Highway Patrolman, but today he cannot mow the lawn on a riding lawnmower without suffering from swollen joints and disabling pain for weeks. Jesse is disabled and suffers with toxic brain syndrome, palindrome arthritis and has high levels of radionuclides in his system.


My first experience with chemicals and chemical exposure was when I began working for Occidental Chemical Corporation’s Suwannee River Chemical Complex in 1979. Hired as a temporary laborer, I was scheduled to work a minimum of twelve hours a day for twenty-one days during a sulfuric acid turnaround. We replaced or repaired all of the damaged or worn equipment. (A turnaround is a major overhaul of the facility that is done every two years at most sulfuric acid plants)

As temporary laborers, we had to remove spent vanadium pentoxide catalyst (a toxic metal) from the plant converter. A converter is a four-story sealed tank (called masses). Each floor is covered with about two feet of vanadium pentoxide. Extremely hot sulphur dioxide is passed through the beds and is converted to sulphur trioxide that later is made into sulfuric acid.

Back then, the work wasn’t easy. We had to crawl through 24 inch hatches. There was no ventilation, and safety was not a priority at that time. Sweating and breathing fumes, we had to remove the spent catalyst in five gallon buckets, lug them to one of the hatches and dump the buckets into a hopper. All we were issued were hard-hats, safety glasses and dust masks. The masks clogged quickly because of the sweat, moisture in our breath and thick dust present at all times. Sulfuric acid was formed when the sweat came in contact with the dust caked around the edges of my mask and burned my face.

From the third day of turnaround until the converter was refilled with vanadium pentoxide, I stopped by the clinic each morning so the nurse could dress the burns. All I could wear was a hard-hat with a face shield because the bandages were so bulky. Now, I wonder what those dust and fumes were doing to my lungs.

I guess I did all right, because a supervisor, Joe Crosby, called me aside and said that he recommended me for a permanent job. In 1979 he died at about forty-years old, I heard that his lungs were shot. There was another fellow, Buck White, who was hired from the same temporary crew as a weighmaster developed cancer and blew his brains out. Now that I look back, I should have figured out that something was wrong around there, it seemed like people were dying or sick all the time and then there were all the deaths over the years.

One week later, I was hired as a permanent employee at Occidental as a Bulk Handler in the shipping department at the Suwannee River Complex. My first job consisted of loading 93% pure sulfuric acid into rail-cars and trucks and then in the sulphur area. Several months later, I was promoted to supervisor.

Sulphur is shipped to the plant in solid form contained in steam jacketed rail-cars. My job was opening the rail-cars and hooking up the steam pipes to melt the sulphur. Forty-eight hours later, the sulphur was melted, and the molten sulphur was dumped into launders and then pumped into heated storage tanks. I had never heard of hydrogen sulfide and no respirators were ever given to us.

One time, I opened a dome lid and was overcome with the noxious fumes. Afraid that I would pass-out and fall onto the tracks, I laid down, rolled over and clung to the hand holds. When I finally caught my breath, I climbed down off the car. I thought it was a gas leak from one of the four sulfuric acid plants in the area. When I got home, I took off my jacket, and noticed that it was full of tiny holes.

Sulphur fires were as common as the sunrise. They usually start because sulphur fibers hanging on the open dome lids of the rail-cars produce static electricity if a slight breeze is blowing. During unloading operations, sulphur spills onto the ground. The ground around the yard is a dirty yellow. Locomotives pulling rail cars pass and ignite the sulphur on the tracks. People used to drop cigarette butts and that would set off a sulphur fire too.

The worst part about sulphur fires is that you can’t see the flame. The fires are spotted by a plume of bluish smoke, if we saw them. Otherwise, the sudden reaction of coughing, gagging and burning eyes sent everyone running for the water buckets. We didn’t have any running water so we had to grab five gallon buckets and get water from a nearby ditch.

I got tired of the sulphur fires and noxious fumes. I applied for a transfer to work as an oiler at the Swift Creek mine. I got the position on #5 dragline. Draglines are mammoth earth moving machines with forty-five yard buckets that strip-mine phosphate rock. I was happy to get away from the fumes of the sulphur plants and train yards. On dry days, the air was thick with dust at the mines, but I was so happy to be away from the fumes and acid burns, I never thought about there being any health risk at the mines. Later, I read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on all the contaminants contained in phosphate rock: cadmium, chromium, lead, uranium, silica, fluorine, mercury, etc. On pages 6 of 8 of the MSDS, I saw where cadmium and chromium cause cancer in the State of California. Guess I’m lucky to be living in Florida! According to the Florida Department of Health, those substances don’t cause cancer in our state. It must be something about the weather.

On August 16, 1979, I was promoted to shift supervisor in the Material Handling Department at the Swift Creek Complex, which was still under construction. The Swift Creek Complex was built specifically for production of phosphoric acid to meet the terms of Armand Hammer’s twenty-year trade agreement with Russia. I spent the rest of my career at the Swift Creek Complex.

To understand the nature of my exposure to toxic substances from phosphoric and sulfuric acid production, you have to appreciate the volumes we produced. Five-thousand tons of 93% pure sulfuric acid was produced each day that was used in the acidulation of phosphate rock.

The sulfuric acid is mixed with ground phosphate rock slurry where a reaction takes place producing toxic fumes, waste gypsum and about 34% phosphoric acid. The SPA (70% phosphoric acid) was so thick, so condensed that it must be kept at over 110 degrees circulate and pump. We produced 1,400 tons of phosphoric acid a day and 7,000 tons of radioactive gypsum waste. There are mountains, gyp stacks, made with the waste gypsum.

The Swift Creek Complex went on line in late 1979, and the start-up was not without problems and chemical exposures. To charge the evaporators that concentrate phosphoric acid, my department was required to unload rail-cars of phosphoric acid into an open rail-car wash sump (an open tank with a steel grate over the top). We then transferred it back to the evaporators. Fumes from the phosphoric acid were overpowering.

I was supervising a crew of day laborers who had never been in a chemical plant. Fibercast lines in overhead bridges would often blowout and spew out thousands of gallons of hot acid splashing onto the ground. Choking on the fumes and with only knee boots for protection, we waded into the hot acid. I remember dumping countless fifty pound bags of lime to neutralize the acid.

The sulfuric acid storage tanks are huge, more than thirty feet high. It is the supervisor’s task to enter the tank first and sample the air for oxygen and explosive gases. We had to enter the tanks numerous times to do spark tests, check the rubber lining and clean sulphate sludge buildups.

Sulfuric acid storage tanks would accumulate about 6 inches of sulphates on the bottoms. Again, we would company laborers to do the cleaning. It was like cleaning up after a muddy flood. We used squeegees, pushing the sludge into five gallon buckets and filled 55 gallon drums. The drums were dumped into the one-hundred acre cooling/evaporation pond.

Cleaning the tanks is a messy job. We sloshed around, ankle deep, in the acidic sulphates filling five gallon buckets. The sludge splashed all over the ground. The stuff will eat the soles off your shoes, so I had the men dump lime on the spill area and place a piece of plywood over the mess. Pretty soon the reaction of the lime with the sulfuric acid sludge started the plywood smoldering. The laborers were hopping around like chickens on a hot plate. The reaction also caused fuming and gave off sulphur dioxide that wasn’t any too pleasant.

In the sulfuric acid storage area, there was a large, brick-lined sump for transferring the acid. So much acid had been spilled in that area over the years that the ground was totally saturated. When the acid would hit the aquifer, a reaction would take place that actually pushed the earth up. We called it ‘heaving.’ ‘Heaving’ was so bad in that area that it pushed huge pumps and the sump right out of the ground. Eventually, we dug out the sump and relocated it to another area.

Occidental had us dig out the old area, but we never reached uncontaminated earth. Consequently we dumped tons of lime in the hole and covered it up. Every time it rained, pH meters in the freshwater ditches would go off, triggering red flashing lights. All the water in those ditches eventually flows into the Suwannee River. These incidents happened all over the complex.

At the south loading area, a few steps away from the office, ‘heaving’ is the worst I have ever seen at the complex. It was so bad that railroad tracks were often snapped, twisted and bent. We had rail-car accidents because heaving twisted or bent the rails. Overhead, ten-inch I-beams are bent and twisted. When the ground heaved the wrong way, acid drained away from the sump area, spilled over, ate through the walls and spilled onto the ground.

They called in contractors to clean up the contaminated soil. They dug down six feet in the ground, and syrupy, black acid still oozed from the earth.

I mentioned the rail-car wash, early on. This area was a constant source of exposure to toxic pollution: Sulfur dioxide/trioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and fluorosilicate/fluorine gases. There were two acid-brick lined ditches below the tracks to reclaim the wash. The pond water was kept hot and recycled through a high-pressure pump to wash acid and solids from the tank cars. On cold, still nights the fumes were particularly thick; they would take my breath away. Sometimes the fumes were so thick, they were blinding.

We took the heaters out and used the sump for different purposes. Sulfuric or phosphoric acid overloads, well, we would dump the excess into the sump. With the sulfuric acid, we would turn on all the safety showers and water hoses, because a violent chemical reaction was in the making.

The first safety tip ever given me was in 1979 when a fellow said, ‘Don’t step in puddles because they might not be water. After two months and two pairs of shoes, I determined that he was dead serious.

We also used to open sulphur car dome lids in the rail-car wash area. I was looking at a copy of a memo I wrote in June of 1985. I requested, in the interest of safety and productivity, that the rail-car wash be moved to a more remote location on the complex. My manager, at the time, was less than impressed and became angry after I wrote a rebuttal to his response. I saw the reality of the situation, and he did not. I think a comment I made in my rebuttal best indicates the situation: “In all candor, usually the fumes are so bad that the offices have to be evacuated anyway when the tops are being opened.” A year later when new management came to the complex, the new superintendent asked me to resubmit the plan. I did, and it was implemented. All I ever wanted was a safer and more productive workplace.

Starting with the first day we unloaded sulfur at the Swift Creek Chemical Complex, steam coils in the launders overheated. As we unloaded the molten sulfur, it ignited and set the whole place on fire. Back then we didn’t have running water and fire departments from surrounding communities responded. There were no safety showers or places to change our clothes.

Sulfur dioxide and sweat produce sulfuric acid. After I would go home and take my clothes off, I had rashes around my arm pits, knees and thighs.

Leaks from sulfuric acid plants engulfed us in clouds of sulfur dioxide. On days when the sulfuric acid plants were being maintained and repaired, they vented the sulfur dioxide directly into the air. We cautioned our people to stay inside and out of the smoke as much as possible.

In 1983, I took a shift supervisor position in the phosphoric acid evaporation and purification area. All I can say is that was the worst assignment of my working career. I had only two days training before starting work. Personally, I would not call it training. It was a supervisor harping about how screwed up the department was and how happy he was to be leaving. I came away from those sessions knowing absolutely nothing about phosphoric acid production.

Like many others in the evaporation/purification area, I seemed to stay sick all the time. We lived in acidic fumes pouring off the hot acids. So many of us developed respiratory infections, many of the workers thought it was some virus in the air. They went around the plant armed with cans of disinfectant spraying telephones, walls and air-conditioning ducts. During that year I developed some serious ear infections, a near constant upper respiratory tract infection and sebaceous cysts that had to be removed from my hand.

One of the workers told me that the pollution scrubber was shut down on the west side of the filter building. During the year I worked at the phosphoric acid plant, I never saw anyone attempt to put the pollution scrubber into operation.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection notifies the management prior to visiting the facility to do stack tests for pollution emissions. They had a crew of mechanics remove spray bars and drag them out onto the street. We had to beat the pipes with nine pound sledge hammers to break the solids lose. It was also common practice to pull the scrubber pad on the street and have trucks run over them to break the solidified fluorosilicates lose. All the nozzles were plugged and had to be cleaned or replaced. Nothing could have passed through them. We managed to get the pollution scrubber operational by the time inspectors showed up.

We also made Synspar, synthetic cryolite. Pond water containing about 12,000-15,000 parts per million of fluorine is mixed with hydrated lime and a polymer (flocculent). The water is spun off in a gigantic centrifuge. The Synspar paste was placed in aging tanks. Synspar attaches itself to impurities in the phosphoric acid and is strained out through large membranes covering tanks. It was common for lime reactors to overflow and flood the streets.

Walking through the area I was responsible for was a sickening experience. On the filter decks, six Volkswagen size drum filters churn, suck and spew hot acid. Stepping in front of one of the filters to see if it is binding over, I was often sprayed with a hot acid mist. Passing the hot wells venting fluorine gases, sulfur dioxide and God know what else, kept me coughing and congested all the time. Everything in the evaporation/purification area emits toxic acidic vapors. That was the worst year of my life.

As a first line supervisor, I was required to be a member of the fire fighting brigade. 1983, I became a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician for Occidental. The program was very popular at Occidental because, it was rumored, the insurance company reduced rates. I was dropped from the program in 1994 for diminished lung capacity and high blood pressure.

The problems started in 1985 when an oil line ruptured and began spraying into a turbine blower. For several weeks after the fire, my lungs burned and my throat was raw from coughing. An electrician who was called into repair damage said that wiring had burned off an automatic valve causing it to remain open and saturate the atmosphere with sulfur dioxide.

We were instructed to use sulfur dioxide canisters attached to full face respirators when fighting fires on the sulfur pad. However, the canisters were clearly marked not for fighting fires.

For a number of years, I also used to ride ‘the stack once every working shift with my process water operator. The gypsum stacks on the east end of the property have the appearance of a mountain range. There must be hundreds of millions of tons radioactive gyp-wastes there. When they did a hair analysis on me for radium exposure, I was pretty hot according to the test results.

There are many other toxic materials in those gyp-stacks like lead, arsenic, aluminum, fluorides and by-products from sulfuric acid production. We used to toss most anything we wanted to get rid of in the evaporation ponds atop those gyp-stacks.

When I worked with Gary Pittman, he used to take a chicken leg from his lunch and set it in the pond water. The water was so acidic, the next day, Gary would pull out a bleached bone.

I recall two separate occasions when my Jeep and other vehicles were heavily damaged by fluorine emissions from the phosphoric acid plant. Being naive and unaware of the serious ramifications of the first incident, I casually stated at a meeting that my Jeep had white spots all over it and the windshield looked like frosted glass. My supervisor hushed me up and hurried me out of the room, saying, there had been a scrubber failure. He said that people who had damage to their vehicles should contact security and fill out a damage claim. I was told not to discuss the incident with anyone, but someone did a poor job of keeping the secret. Rumor had it that over $40,000 was paid out.

Occidental got a little smarter after the next scrubber failure. They had the insurance adjuster come out and offer everyone $200 on the spot to have their vehicle buffed. I had two estimates, both body men said that buffing wouldn’t work because the damage was too deep.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and even more especially since Occidental sold the complex to Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS), the focus of shipping has dramatically changed. They load more single rail-cars than unit trains. We loaded 750 tons on a unit train whereas we only load 98 tons on a single car. The margin of error is greater, more overfills, more dumping of phosphoric acid into sumps and more exposure to toxic fumes.

Standing in the shipping office looking south, there is a mountain of wet phosphate a few hundred yards away. I don’t know the whole procedure, but phosphate is floated out of the dirt with fatty acids, sulfuric acid and ammonia. The phosphate is moved to the evaporation plant via overhead conveyor belts. It was always dripping whitish liquid. These droppings would ruin the paint job on a car and etch the windshield glass which was often replaced.

During my career at Occidental, I was always safety conscious and received many commendations from management. I was requested to write the manual and direct a safety video on unloading sulphur cars. However, I really didn’t understand the nature of other substances to which we were being exposed every day and the mixed exposures. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control put out a National Occupational Research Agenda bulletin in 1998 titled Mixed Exposures. It said, Research has shown that physiologic interactions from some mixed chemicals can lead to an increase in the severity of the harmful effect. For example, exposure to noise and the solvent toluene results in two to three-times-higher risk of hearing loss than either component alone . . . to evaluate possible synergistic effects, laboratory studies of physiologic interactions at the target organs are needed, as are improved animal models for extrapolation to humans.

In my case, I was exposed primarily to sulphates and sulfites, but there were also numerous contaminants in the air like fluorosilicates, fluorine gases, phosphates and the other chemicals related to phosphoric acid production. In addition to many physical problems I have developed, my immune system does not work properly, and it hasn’t for some time.

The emergency medical teams at the complex were required to take hepatitis B immunization. A test was done on me to see if the immunization was taking. The test indicated that I had no immunity after taking the series of shots. The company nurse gave me two more shots, and tests still showed no immunity. At that time she refused to give me any more shots without written orders from my physician.

Staring into the computer screen, writing this, I know that people can only see who I was. In this room, my room, the walls and display cases drip with American Indian artifacts. I ‘ve walked, dived and dug for them. I have open water and cave diving certification. One wall is filled with framed maps and money from Australia, Belize, Norway, Turkey, Israel, Mexico, Guatemala, and Egypt. On another wall is rattlesnake hides. I used to catch them and drown them in water so there would be no holes marring the skins.

My most prized possessions are on my Israel wall: A Jewish flag given to me by an eight-year-old girl, the shoulder patch and rank insignia of a Patriot Missile soldier, Sergeant Randy Rankin, cut from his sleeve the night the war ended. Mike Norris and I joined the volunteers for Israel during the Gulf War. We paid our own way over and used one month vacation time.

Along with a Jewish fireman, Lt. Dan Felton, from Miramar Beach, we made history being the only Volunteers for Israel ever (at our insistence) to be assigned to a war zone. Mike and I were also the only Gentiles there. We spent three weeks with the Tel Aviv fire department. I have a home there. This was affirmed when we went back to Israel to be honored for our service. Commendations signed by General Davidi and Aaron Eshel (the fire chief) also hang on my Israel wall. I ate at Eshel’s house and visited his community bomb shelter.

Now, I know those days are over. I know that if I go out and mow the lawn, I am going to suffer for it. Diving is out of the question. I’m just not the person I used to be, and it’s kind of hard to adjust to that.


The primary pollutants Jesse Nash was exposed to were sulphur products, byproducts, fluorosilicates and radionuclides. In Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, Vol. 2. 1993, sulfur oxides are noted as having a major impact on the quality of life. Nash was routinely exposed to levels of sulfur dioxide as high as 1280 parts per million (ppm) and possibly even higher (these are considered lethal doses). 400 to 500 ppm exposure are rated as an immediate danger to life. According to government standards 100 ppm can only be tolerated for about one hour before injury occurs, and 20ppm can cause chronic respiratory symptoms.

Page 810, Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, Sulfur dioxide may also act as a cancer promoter. The mortality of arsenic smelter workers exposed to 1ppm or more was higher when they had also been exposed to sulfur dioxide (ref. 93). Additionally, rats exposed to 3.5-10 ppm of sulfur dioxide developed squamous cell carcinomas from inhalation of benzol [a]pryene, but neither compound alone produced carcinomas under the condition of this experiment (ref. 94). Jesse had a basil cell carcinoma removed from his face in 1996.

Hydrogen sulfide is extremely toxic to humans. Several case studies noted neuropsychological dysfunctions that were characterized by impairment of memory, psychomotor, and perceptual abilities in individuals exposed to hydrogen sulfide. Also, heart and respiratory problems have been detected.

Jesse Nash suffers with nearly every adverse health effect associated with exposure to sulfur oxides and hydrogen sulfide. He was exposed to numerous toxic chemicals and toxic metals. Occidental Chemical Corporation and the law firm of Holland and Knight claim that none of the toxic substances could have caused Jesse Nash’s condition. However, Nash’s medical records read like textbook cases of chemical poisoning.

All the accounts by the men in this compilation clearly show that they were exposed to toxic chemicals during their careers at Occidental. Each also exhibits classic symptoms of chemical poisoning.


Joann Nash

Dear George,

My name is Jo Ann. I have been married to Jesse Nash for almost 34 years. We have been through a lot during those years, mostly good and of course some bad.

Jesse is a very special person, and I am so grateful that we have each other. We are so very different, and yet, we know each other’s thoughts. Back in June of 1996, after we finally found that Jesse’s health problems were caused by chemical poisoning, and he had used all his vacation time. Jesse called Occidental/PCS. He told them what we had discovered. They told him to go out to the plant for a meeting with the human resources people. The meeting was held in a conference room where the group had been eating watermelon. They never bothered cleaning the mess from the conference room table where they sat and discussed Jesse’s problem. I couldn’t believe it. Jesse was so sure that the company was going to take care of him and help him get the proper treatment. All the offered him was unpaid medical leave.

Jesse worked for Occidental/PCS for almost eighteen years when he had to take medical leave; that was 22 months ago. He had taken out a disability insurance when he was promoted to supervisor. He wanted to make sure that his family was taken care of in case of an accident or illness. We are still waiting for our first check.

I used to own and operate the Nash Quail Farm. I started raising Bobwhite Quail back in 1984. I found that I had developed an allergy to the birds’ dust, feathers and feed. I was taking allergy shots every four days. In June of 1997, I had to give up my business. Since then, I haven’t had any luck in finding steady employment. I am fifty-four years old and work part-time as an independent contractor demonstrating goods in grocery stores, 2-3 days a month.

Jesse had always worked and supported his family. Now that he is unable to work, he has been under unbelievable stress because of our financial situation, and he feels useless and inadequate. If he had not been the “macho type,” maybe things would be easier; I don’t really know.

If he does any activity, Jesse pays the price. His joints swell. Every morning when he wakes up, his right eye is so swollen, its shut. Jesse can only see a little out of his left eye. Sometimes, his face is swollen all day, and other days, he is normal after a few hours. He suffers with headaches and chronic fatigue all the time. We used to be so grateful that Occidental/PCS provided him with a good paying job. Now, I wish he had never gone to work there.

Our two children are grown, but our daughter moved back in with us in the summer of 1996. She had become ill with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. He immune system is very poor. She and her husband were divorced because he could not deal with her illness; he has never had a headache.

I am not sure what caused Jessica’s illness, but sometimes I wonder. I wonder about the residue Jesse brought home on his ski and clothes. Jessica was always wearing one of his work jackets when she was a teenager. After she was married, she would wear his jacket when visiting us during cold weather. The sad part is that Jesse and Jessica were to caring and fun loving people. They were energetic and intelligent people. They’re not like that anymore. All three of us suffer from short term memory loss.

These days, I do most of the driving because it is unnerving for Jesse. He gets embarrassed because his memory is getting worse, and he worries about what is going to happen next.

We looked forward to his retiring at 65 and planned on traveling. Now, I worry about the mortgage payment, buying groceries and paying the bills.

Thank God. Jesse was approved for his Social Security disability, last year. When the first check arrived, we were so happy. It gave us hope, and we knew that ITT-Hartford would come through with disability insurance, but we are still waiting.

Presently, we are in trouble with our credit cards because we had to live off them for a while. I kept borrowing money every month to pay the credit card bills, and finally, I realized that had to stop.

We went to workman’s compensation mediation in September of 1998, but it was continued until December. I want to pay the credit cards off, but I can’t do that until Jesse is paid his disability insurance or workman’s compensation.

I know we shouldn’t complain, there are people who have more problems, but some days I wonder if I can keep enduring the feeling of shame and bewilderment.

We are still waiting for resolution, and Jesse has received no medical treatment for his health problems.

Our daughter and son live on our property. Jessica has married to young man she met at a support group meeting.

Thank God for family.

Jo Ann Nash

Charlotte Baldwin

In May of 1993, Billy was laid off from Occidental Chemical Corporation. In August, he was called back to work, and in September, the first symptoms of leukemia appeared.

Billy has always been the type of person who is up early in the morning and goes to bed around eleven. But in September, during a plant overhaul, Billy was working ten hour shifts. He would come home and go right to bed. This went on for several weeks until I finally became worried and asked him if everything was all right. Billy said that he felt tired all the time.

Being tired all the time was strange for Billy. He was sick at his stomach, had headaches and was white as a ghost. I tried to talk him into going to a doctor, but he told me that if he took time off from work he would lose his job.

When I came home from work, Saturday, November 13, Billy said that he couldn’t take it anymore, he needed to see a doctor. I rushed him to the emergency room where he was immediately admitted for severe anemia and stayed there for three days. The doctors at Lakeshore Hospital in Lake City, Florida ran a blood test and bone marrow biopsy. They said they could not find anything wrong with Billy.

Billy’s doctor prescribed of vitamin B12 and folic acid once a day for a year. When I went to have the prescription for B12 filled, the pharmacist immediately asked who wrote the prescription. Then I asked what was wrong, and the pharmacist said that athletes didn’t take that much vitamin B12, and he would have to verify the prescription with the doctor.

After two weeks on B12, Billy was not getting any better. His white blood cell count was rising. We were told to see Dr. Vernon Montoya in Gainesville, Florida. The doctor examined him and had blood drawn. After waiting several hours, Dr. Montoya called us in and he asked Billy how he managed to walk into the office with such a low red blood cell count.

Dr. Montoya told me to take Billy to North Florida Hospital and be admitted. They gave him a transfusion of three units of blood, and they did a bone marrow biopsy. Dr. Montoya told us the results would take a few days, but he never told us what he suspected. A few days later, the phone rang and I answered it. The nurse asked to speak with Mr. Baldwin, so I handed Billy the telephone.

Dr. Montoya told him to come to his office at nine the next morning because they needed to talk. Upon hearing Billy make the appointment, I took the telephone and asked what was wrong. Dr. Montoya said we would discuss the situation in the morning. I was worried and persuaded the doctor to tell me what was wrong with Billy. Reluctantly, Dr. Montoya told me that he had the leukemia, the worst type, AML. It broke my heart, but I never told Billy. I waited for the doctor to tell Billy because I could not bear to tell him such bad news.

Somehow, I didn’t want to believe this was happening to us, but when we went to Dr. Montoya’s office, he said that if Billy didn’t get help soon, it would be too late. I don’t think that anyone can imagine what those words did to us. Billy had always been healthy and robust. He liked to work around the house, raise chickens, fish, hunt and do things with our children. With those words knew those days were over, maybe forever.

We discussed treatments and Dr. Montoya said Billy could get better, but he needed to go to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida where they specialized in treating cancers. Dr. Montoya proceeded to call Shands where Billy was admitted for chemotherapy on December 27, 1993.

For two years after that day, our lives became a living hell. I was also working for a nursing home in the dietary department. I had to clock-in at five in the morning and work till one in the afternoon. Then I went home, tossed a load of laundry in the machine, fed the chickens and dog, took a shower, and drove about forty-five miles to Shands. I would stay until eight or nine at night, go home, finish the laundry, get a few hours sleep, get up at three-thirty in the morning and do it all over again the next day. On weekends, I would stay at Shands with Billy, we would walk from one end of the hospital to the other pushing his I.V. It was like that, off and on again, for almost three years.

Billy improved, so they let him come home on January 25, 1994 for a few weeks. When we went to the doctor for a checkup, his white blood cell count was very high. This meant the first round of chemotherapy didn’t work. Billy had to go back to Shands for a second round of chemotherapy. The nurses called it the “kick ass” treatment. Believe me that is exactly what it was. The treatment made Billy so sick, it was unreal. His fevers were so high that they had to pack Billy in ice. This is when I became a nurse without a license. I had to learn how to change the dressings, draw blood from the I.V. line, give injections, and everything else that went along with home health care. After the first few months, I knew more about blood cells than most doctors. I caught on quick, but that was only the beginning.

Many times, I remember leaving the hospital at night and cried all the way from Gainesville to Lake City, because there was nothing I could do to help Billy. I felt totally helpless.

After thirty-three days, Billy came home from Shands, and for once, I thought things were going to get better. But when Billy was going through the second round of chemotherapy, the doctors began talking about the possibility of a bone marrow transplant. At first, Billy didn’t want to have a bone marrow transplant done. Then he asked me what I thought, and I said that it was his decision.

Billy had befriended a young fellow named Jimmy at Shands. He had six children. Jimmy had leukemia, too and had been through the routine like Billy. He decided against having a bone marrow transplant. Jimmy’s leukemia remission didn’t last, and he never left the hospital. That is what changed Billy’s mind.

On May of 1994, he went back to Shands for more chemotherapy. He came home for awhile because the leukemia was in remission. He began preparing for a transplant in June. Billy’s older brother’s bone marrow matched, which was very lucky. At that point the doctors began testing him for any problem imaginable to make sure he could undergo the transplant.

They even gave Billy psychological testing. About half way through, he said, “These damned psychological tests are not going to save my life, my brother is.” He never finished the psychological tests.

On June 21, he went into Shands for the transplant, and it was pure hell. His hair fell out again. His mouth turned inside-out. He couldn’t talk because a chunk of flesh was hanging out of his mouth. All Billy could do was point to what he wanted. Aside from being depressing, I think I was more frustrated because there was nothing I could do to make things easier for Billy.

Billy was at Shands for eight long weeks. He had to wash out of a pan with sterile water. His only exercise was riding a stationary bicycle and there was no space to move about in his room.

I walked into the room one morning and he was covered from head to toe with a rash. I became worried and asked the doctor what was wrong. The doctor said that it was “graft versus host disease,” which meant his body was rejecting the other bone marrow transplant. I thought, “what’s going to happen next?”

The doctors began give Billy high doses of steroids. His mouth was still swollen, so he couldn’t eat, so they had fed him intravenously. They called it his meat and potatoes. He also had a bag of white stuff that looked like shortening to supplement his fats.

One day, he began complaining of headaches. Later in the evening, the headaches became so bad that I stayed with him later than usual. I left the hospital about ten that evening. About two in the morning, the telephone rang. Upon waking, I knew it was about Billy and thought. It was his doctor. He said that Billy had a seizure and his brain was swelling. Getting dressed, I could only wonder if things could be any worse.

By the time I arrived at the hospital, he had lost his eyesight. They said it was temporary and caused by the seizure. But nurses were staying with Billy around the clock. All I remember was being totally exhausted. The next thing I remembered was waking up in the chair beside his bed.

After a few days, the swelling began to subside. Everything seemed to be slowing down. We had a few good days, and the doctors said Billy would be able to go home soon. His red blood cell count was rising, and we thought everything was going to be all right. Then he contracted a CMV virus. The virus had to be treated or it would have killed Billy. Again we were devastated. It seemed we were back to square one and starting all over again.

Again the doctors started Billy on I.V. medications. His blood count went up and down like a roller coaster for the next few days, and the fevers would come and go. I often wondered if we were going to make it through the ordeal. Every day brought something new, different and most often disturbing.

Finally, Billy was going to come home, but it was only out of the hospital to transplant housing facility. We had to be within five minutes of the hospital in case something went wrong. I had to draw blood every morning and take it to the hospital. They ran tests to see if Billy needed red blood platelets. The Home Health people taught me how to hook up I.V.’s and flush the lines. Billy had to learn how to walk and hold a spoon without shaking. He had to hold onto the wall to take a shower while I bathed him.

Billy came home at the end of November. Our youngest daughter, Stacy, was about to be married in January of 1995. Billy was supposed to walk her down the isle. Fortunately we got a break. He didn’t have to be hooked up to I.V.’s on the weekend, and Stacy was going to be married on Saturday. Billy was going to have to wear a mask with his tuxedo, but Stacy didn’t mind as long as her father was at her side. He never got to walk Stacy down the isle. He was back in the hospital with pneumonia, another two weeks at Shands. It seemed like we were permanent fixtures at Shands. I knew the layout better than I knew my own house.

Billy came back home again to home health care. He began to lose weight. The graft versus host disease (GVH) has spread to his digestive tract. He told the doctors, but they dismissed his complaints. Billy was so malnourished and skinny; I could count his ribs. I became fed up and took him back to Shands. The doctors finally listened to us, did some tests and found that the GVH had spread to Billy’s digestive system. They put a feeding tube through his nostril, down the back of Billy’s throat and into his stomach. Again I was learning something new to do with my spare time.

After that ordeal, it seemed like everything was smoothing out. Billy was still on drugs, but life seemed to normalize somewhat. By 1996, Billy finally came off the drugs: what a great day! No more I.V.’s, lines to flush, dressings to change and no more pills. Today, Billy is in remission. Although we have had some minor problems, my Billy is all right for now. I hope he stays that way for a long time.

Note: Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, the corporation that bought out Occidental is presently building another chemical complex not a quarter-mile from Charlotte and Billy Baldwin’s home.

Reba Vann

Dear George,

I am going to tell you my story about how Clinton and I feel about this whole thing.

We were married in 1966 and have two children. Our life was normal. We were always going places and doing something. Sometimes, twice a year, we traveled to the mountains. We dreamed about buying a small place there when the children were grown. Our son graduated from high school in 1984, and we thought that would be our chance.

In 1983, Clinton went to the doctor and was told his liver enzyme levels were out of range. That news halted everything; our world was put on hold. When the people at Occidental Chemical saw the report, they put Clinton in another department away from the chemicals.

In 1984, he had to have a liver biopsy that revealed toxic problems. At that time, he was still in another department. Becoming worried, Occidental sent the test results to their doctor in Niagra Falls, New York for review. He said there was nothing to be alarmed about and something else had caused Clinton’s problems. They sent him back to the laboratory. The doctor then wrote the supervisors to hush up the incident (we have hand written letters confirming the incident).

While Clinton was still under doctors’ care in 1984, we took a trip to the mountains. We met a man who had some property to sell. It was almost straight up the side of a mountain, and Clinton walked up without any problems. By 1988, he began to be tired all the time. He had trouble getting up in the morning. Clinton would have to set the alarm clock for four-thirty in the morning to be at work by seven. It took him at least an hour-and-a-half to get out of bed. It wasn’t laziness; he didn’t have any energy. He began to fall about this time; he could be standing still and fall.

Our son married in 1988 and our granddaughter was born in 1992. Clinton has never played with her, or cuddled her when she was crying, because he can’t. This is heartbreaking for Clinton, and our granddaughter wonders why her grand daddy can’t romp around on the floor with her.

In 1989, I became ill and finally had a heart attack, and now, I am also disabled.

In 1990, Clinton went to my doctor in Gainesville who diagnosed him with muscular dystrophy. We believed the diagnosis until we discovered that Gary Pittman was diagnosed with the same symptoms including muscle weakness, no energy and irregular heart beat. All the symptoms were identical.

We began to think about the similarity of symptoms in 1993 when both Clinton and Gary were out of work. I went to our small library and picked up a book about toxic chemicals. All the chemicals and symptoms Clinton and Gary had were cited in the book. Occidental had to have known that they were poisoning those people, the information was common knowledge to people in that business.

Later, we went to a lawyer who seemed very interested and took our cases. Other lawyers in the area advised him not to take our cases, so he backed off. After we hired a workman’s compensation lawyer in Ocala, he wanted back into the picture and filed our case on February 27, 1997, before he thought our four-year statute of limitation ran out. Our case went to Federal court and was not denied; the judge must have thought the suite had merit. When the case went to Federal court, the lawyer dropped us like hot potatoes. We were left out of the Coker/Boyer toxic tort law suit. They said we couldn’t join until the case was released from Federal court and when it was cleared up, we could join in the law suit.

Here we are, two years later, and they have told us three different stories as to why we can’t join in the law suit. At the time, we were upset and depressed, but it doesn’t matter now, because I think, in the end, all involved will have to answer for what they have done to others (including Boyer/Coker and Ferro).

People I have talked with act caring, but unless something like this happens in your family or friends, it’s impossible to know the heartache and worry. The worst part is that family and friends we thought cared never call to see how things are going.

As for myself and Clinton, we take things one day at a time. Most days are spent sitting around the house. Clinton is too tired, hurts all over, or has bad headaches to do anything. Sometimes, he can’t remember what he did or where he put something five minutes ago. Occidental/PCS owe the people they made ill. The worst part is that many of those people who worked for Occidental have no idea what made them sick, or their families don’t know what killed their loved ones. I know their lives are as bad or worse than ours.

At times, it is very depressing to see someone I loved and cared about for thirty-four years sickly. The most depressing part is that there is nothing I can do to make Clinton’s life any better. I hope this letter will help you (and us), and we greatly appreciate all that you have done.

Hope to meet you soon.

Good Bless you,

Reba Van

Gloria Pittman

Sometimes, it is very difficult living with Gary. He has mood swings and lapses into depression because of his health problems. He also has memory loss because of being poisoned by chemicals at Occidental Chemical Corporation. He will lay something down and forget where it is. Then he will accuse me of misplacing his things. He has fallen and hurt himself many times. He stumbles and bruises himself. On Christmas morning, one year, he fell and knocked one of his front teeth out. I contend with all the problems hour by hour because I love Gary. I know that it is not his fault.

When I first met Gary Pittman, he was so full of life. He had many friends, and people loved to be around him. I loved being around Gary. Whenever he called, I always made the time to see him. We fell in love. We had dreams and bright hopes for the future. Two years later we were married and started a family.

After we were married, we moved onto a piece of land on his father’s farm. It was nothing more than a plowed field. Gary would work at the chemical plant all day, come home and work around the house. Even on his days off, Gary was always working in the yard, planting trees, grass and leveling the land. He always had a fine vegetable garden, tilled and tended with hand tools. He was always on the go. Gary was healthy, felt good and the hardest working person I ever met.

Before long we had a beautiful home and our first born, a daughter, Scarlett. We were a family. It seemed like we always did fun things together: listened to music, barbecued food and lounged around in the hot tub that Gary installed. About that time, his oldest daughter, Nicole, from a previous marriage came to live with us. We enjoyed each other and enjoyed life. Gary was a good husband, father and provided good life for his family.

It wasn’t long before strange things began happening to Gary. In 1986, he developed a nasty rash. Large, round, red circles covered his back, arms and hands. The rash seemed to crawl from his back onto his stomach. The itching was intolerable, and he would ask me to rub lotion on him. Finally, the rash became so bad that I thought Gary was going to be scarred. I told him that he needed to see a doctor. Fortunately, there was a doctor living down the road from us, and Gary called him.

Upon checking the rash, the doctor said that he didn’t know the cause, but it looked like an allergic reaction or mycotic infection. He prescribed some lotion and medication which helped. The rash cleared up.

Shortly after that episode, Gary’s right hand became swollen and very painful. Again, he went to the doctor. They did X-rays of his hand and said it was a hairline fracture. This was strange because Gary didn’t remember doing anything to hurt his hand. We both brushed the incident off and forgot about it.

About 1989, we bought a house on the golf course. The price was right, and the home was perfect for a growing family. Brittany, our second daughter, was born shortly after we were settled in our new home. We lived on the number three fairway and times were good for us. Gary always got good performance evaluations at Occidental which meant pay raises and promotions.

We had wonderful times together as a family, but they didn’t last. In 1991, Gary became very weak and fatigued; he lost about twenty pounds and looked drained. We didn’t know what was wrong. He finally went to the doctor, he ran tests, but couldn’t find anything. The doctor thought the problem might be Lyme’s disease, but tests were negative. Being at a loss, he prescribed antibiotics.

After two weeks off from work, he began to feel better. We went out and bought new pants for work because he had lost so much weight. Still not felling well, Gary went back to work because he was afraid he would lose his job at Occidental. After returning to work, his health seemed to improve, Gary never seemed the same after that. He was always tired. Worried about his health, I would tell him not to push, but he never listened to me.

I would wake up around five in the morning and make his lunch, giving Gary an extra twenty minutes to sleep. Every morning, he would say, “I would give a hundred dollars for some more rest.” He seemed so tired, but Gary kept on working. He was loyal to Occidental and dutifully went to work every day.

February 9, 1993, Gary came home from work early. He was sick, vomiting for about half hour and had an unbearable headache. Later that night, he was coughing up blood. He thought it was a virus, but no one else in the family any symptoms.

The next morning, I went into labor with our third child. Still, sick, poor Gary had to take me to the hospital. While I was giving birth to James, Gary was trying to survive in the waiting room. When he came in to see me and James, he looked like death. He didn’t want to go home, but I told him I would be all right. I was worried that he wouldn’t be able to make it to the house.

He took vacation time because of the birth of our James and his sickness. After several weeks off from work, he felt better and went back to work. Three months later, Gary came straight home from work and went to bed, and that is where the nightmare began for me. He said his lower legs and feet were killing him. The next morning, he called the foot doctor. The doctor referred him to a regular medical doctor because something else was causing the foot problems. The medical doctor did blood tests and an E.K.G. He told Gary that he had a heart attack but it was some time ago because the scar was old. That news almost killed me. I was afraid and apprehensive for our family. We had four children, and I didn’t know if they would have a daddy, or I would have a husband much longer.

Two days later, his legs were still hurting, and he was also having chest pains. I wasted no time in taking him to the emergency room. There, they monitored his heart and did more blood tests. After several hours, the doctor came out and told me that Gary’s C.P.K., isoenzyme levels were off the scale. The level was over 5,000 and normal was between 100-200. Gary was given a medication for the pain. Then we were told to see our regular doctor as soon as possible.

Our doctor said that Gary had a muscle destructive process and there was nothing he could do except refer him to a specialist. We went to the specialist with medical records in hand. After reviewing Gary’s blood test results, the specialist said that a muscle biopsy had to be done the same day. He said we couldn’t wait because Gary was on the verge of death. The results indicated that Gary had autoimmune disease, polymytosites (simultaneous inflammation of many muscles), and that the blood tests proved the diagnosis. The doctor said that if he could get the C.P.K. down, he could get the muscle disease under control. The only problem was that Gary would never be the same.

We were both in a state of shock from that news. Gary was so; he could barely sit up for his medications. Afterwards, he would lay back down on the sofa. Fortunately, the girls were at school during the day. It was James, Gary and me at home. At times, the pain became so intolerable, he could not stand the slightest aggravation. I would have to take James into a bedroom and watch television and play. This was a very sad and lonely time for me and the children.

At first, we went to the doctors about every six weeks. Every time we talked with the doctor, he told us something else was wrong with Gary. One doctor said that Gary had emphysema, but not to worry. If he couldn’t get the muscle disease under control, Gary wouldn’t live long enough for the emphysema to kill him. After visits like that, I felt like we had gone to hell. The ride home was quiet and seemed like an eternity, but somehow, we always felt like things would get better. The doctor said Gary was suffering with nonspecific myopathy, polyarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, irregular heart beat, and high blood pressure, and he was only thirty-nine years old.

In 1995, we decided to ask for a second opinion and I took Gary to Tifton, Georgia and consulted with another specialist. All the doctor told us was that Gary had myopathy (muscle disease) and suggested we go to Duke University if possible. If we could not afford to go to Duke, the doctor suggested that Gary keep seeing the same doctor. Having proper tests done at Duke University was too expensive, and we had the children to worry about.

Later, the doctor in Gainesville told Gary that he had reached the “maximum medical improvement” and suggested he talk to the company about going back to work. However, the doctor did not give him a medical release to go back to work. Gary went and spoke with the human resources director about returning to work in some capacity. He was told flatly that he could not return to work in his condition and taking the medications that had been prescribed.

Gary’s doctor in Valdosta, Georgia did chest X-rays and pulmonary breathing tests. The X-rays showed blisters on his lungs with some fibrotic changes. The lung doctor told him that his lungs were very bad for a thirty-nine old man. He then asked Gary where he worked and what they made. Gary told the doctor about the fumes and chemicals he worked around. The doctor said that Gary’s condition had to be work related and put it in the report. Gary asked him not to enter the information on the medical report because he intended to go back to work. The doctor told us that he had to include Gary’s condition in the report because it was true.

Then Gary went back to the cardiologist and told him what the respiratory doctor said, but he avoided talking about his lung problems. The most interesting aspect of our visits to the doctors was that when we brought up the possibility of chemical poisoning, none of them wanted to discuss the subject. One doctor even told us, “You don’t want to go there.” He would become very nervous every time we mentioned the potential of chemical poisoning.

Another doctor even told Gary that he would be blackballed from the industry, and he would never get a job anywhere. Gary was unable to work anyway, so it didn’t matter.

Finally, we filed a toxic tort lawsuit against Occidental. Gary was very depressed at that time. He didn’t want to sue Occidental. He was deeply hurt to realize that the company he loved and put the better of twenty years had poisoned him. He would tell me over and over that we had to do something to help the others. Gary wanted to help those people who didn’t know what was happening to them.

Gary became so depressed, he started to see a psychiatrist. He thought it might help to talk to someone who could help, a professional. The psychiatrist diagnosed him with “reactive depression and prescribed antidepressants. Gary often became so depressed, he told me he wanted to die because he had so many problems. I always told him that he couldn’t die because I needed a husband and the children needed a daddy.

Of course, there were money problems. Gary was drawing 60% of his wages from a long-term disability insurance policy. We had to sell our home on the golf course, move back on the farm and start all over again.

There were times when his feet and lower legs would swell so bad, Gary would be bedridden for weeks at a time. The pain was intolerable. I remember hearing him talk to himself late at night and the early morning. The only way he could go to the bathroom was to drag himself across the floor. When he was that bad off, I would load the wheelchair into the car. I would get Gary’s seventy-three year old father, and we would carry him to the car. We would drive to Gainesville where I would help him into the wheelchair, push him into the doctor’s office. They would give Gary steroids and pain killers. By the time we arrived at the doctor’s office, Gary would tell me that his feet were so swollen, he couldn’t feel the pain anymore. Sometimes, it looked like his feet were about to rot off.

By 1996, we had done extensive research on the chemicals used at Occidental and what they did to the body. We learned that Gary’s symptoms and health problems were identical to those stated in the books, but we needed proof. We found a doctor in Dallas, Texas that specialized in industrial toxicology. Wasting no time, we contacted a coworker who had the same health problems as Gary and with his wife we drove to Dallas.

The doctor reviewed all Gary’s medical records then took blood and hair samples for testing. Next, he underwent a brain spectroanalysis to determine if there was any brain damage. When the results of blood and hair analyses came back, they showed toxic chemicals present. The brain spectroanalysis showed neurotoxic exposure with some brain damage. The diagnosis was “toxic brain syndrome.”

No sooner than we got back from Dallas, Gary had to have cysts removed from his buttocks, twice. Later, he had to have a cyst removed from behind his ear. The doctor said he had blood poisoning.. All of the episodes were very painful.

Gary would have attacks of irregular heartbeat. Every time, it was a trip to the emergency room. We finally requested copies of the readouts so there would be proof. Sometime, the attacks were so bad that he would almost pass out.

We never knew what was going to happen next. I remember one time when Gary’s feet were swelling again. I took James to my mother’s house. When I arrived at my mother’s house, my father told me to hurry home. Gary had fallen and broke one of his toes. Arriving home, I loaded his wheelchair into the car, and got his father to help me carry Gary out. It was another day sitting in the emergency room, and then off to Gainesville for steroids and pain killers.

Gary’s memory was steadily getting worse. He seemed to be doing all right and decided to drive into Live Oak. He wanted to get out and buy some smoked sausage for supper. He was gone much longer than usual. When he got home, he looked a little strange. Gary told me that he got lost and didn’t recognize the surroundings. The incident scared me and Gary because it was just up the road. Another time, he became upset when we were driving to Lake City. He insisted that I pull off the road and wait until he could get his bearings. These episodes last anywhere between five and twenty minutes.

These days, he doesn’t go anywhere alone. I drive Gary everywhere because he feels like the car is still and the road is coming up on him. It gives him an eerie feeling.

We eventually went to another doctor in Tampa for a second opinion. He said that toxic myopathy could not be ruled out because of Gary’s workplace exposure to toxic substances. I believe his whole body has been poisoned and he is lucky to be alive. Both mentally and physically, he was a very strong man. He had to be. Otherwise, Gary would not have survived everything that has happened to him.

These days, we don’t go anywhere except to the doctors’ and lawyers’ offices. I do the errands because Gary is always in pain.

We come from good stock and were raised to do what we think is right regardless of what people think. Most of the people in Hamilton County either work at the phosphate mines or have family working there. It used to be that people would visit us all the time, but since we filed the lawsuit, they don’t come around any more. Sometimes, it seems that people go out of their way to avoid us. This hurts Gary and me because we have known most of those people all our lives. It’s hard on the children, but they support us; they love their daddy.

It took courage to stand up to Occidental, it is a huge corporation. The management at Occidental knew exactly what they were doing to the workers; they were poisoning them. They told the workers that they were breathing “harmless vapors.” I intend to fight them with my body and soul for what they did to my husband and our family. We all intend to see that the next person who goes to work at the mines trying to earn an honest living isn’t poisoned to death.

Karen and Bobby Hobby

Both Karen and Bobby Hobby worked at the Hamilton County, Florida, Occidental Chemical Complexes. On January 23, 1998, Bobby Hobby died of Multiple Myeloma, a bone cancer. About 13,500 people per year develop the cancer and African Americans are 2.5 times as likely to contract the disease than other ethnic groups and males are 1.5 times as likely to develop Myeloma that females. Generally, the cancer affects the older population; however, the recent trend indicated that the younger population is being affected. Professor Brian Durie, said in Myeloma Today, December 1993, “The recent trend toward younger patients in some populations implies that environmental factors are more important in the 1990’s.” Myeloma is a terminal disease.

Karen Hobby

I began working at the occidental Swift Creek Complex in 1987. I met Bobby there, we began to date and were married on February 11, 1989. We had three children, Kevin, Amanda and Nicholas.

I worked at Occidental until 1992 when I was laid-off. I was a helper at the Swift Creek Purification complex doing everything from cleaning to changing filters. Most of the time, the fumes were so bad, the pores on my face felt like they were on fire. We seldom had proper equipment to work with.

We had to change the filters, once a day, handling the acid saturated filters with leather gloves instead of acid resistant rubber gloves. Sometimes, I would ask Bobby to get me rubber gloves because when I asked my supervisor, he would say they were not in the budget.

When I first went to work at Occidental, my hair was a sandy-brown, but before long the acidic fumes caused it to change color. It was a splotched orange to begin with, and I dyed it to match and then it turned green. For a few months I was running around with orange and green hair. I finally wore a hat until my hair went back went back to normal. It was the acid in the air reacting with the hair rinses and coloring that caused the change in colors.

Bobby’s last job at Occidental was doing maintenance at the Suwannee River Complex. He had to maintain and fix equipment in every department. He was a very dedicated employee and never refused overtime. He was called in for emergency repairs at all hours and even on holidays, almost never turned his supervisor down. I remember the last Christmas he worked (1995), he was supposed to have the day off, but they called him and Bobby headed out the door. I said that he needed to be home with me and the children on Christmas. Especially, for the children while they were young.

April 1996, we had an automobile accident. Two weeks later, Bobby’s back began to hurt him. There were times he couldn’t get up, but somehow he continued to work. When Bobby finally went to his primary care doctor, he only found a few slipped disks. Eventually, he went to see a neurologist who found a broken vertebrate. Because of the accident, the neurologist ordered an MRI scan. Still believing the injury was from the accident, he told us to prepare for the worst possible case scenario; it was possible that the vertebrate was broken and needed alignment.

Two weeks later, we went back to the Neurologist. We were not prepared for what he had to say. They had discovered a tumor inside the bone and that is what caused the break. The doctor referred us to a specialist. After the consultation, Bobby was admitted into the hospital for a bone biopsy (this was also the first day of school for the children). They did a battery of tests including a bone biopsy; the diagnosis was Multiple Myeloma. The survival rate was about 2-3 years, and there was no cure.

On September 9, 1996, Bobby underwent surgery to replace the broken vertebrate in his back. There was no guarantee that Bobby would ever walk again because the tumor was directly on his spinal cord. The surgery was supposed to take twelve hours, but it only lasted six. Bobby was in the hospital for one-and-a-half weeks. When he came home, Bobby needed twenty-four hour care. He was in an upper body brace and a wheel chair. He would try to walk some, but it was difficult and very painful for him. I had to bath and take care of him all the time. One time he passed out in the bathroom. That lasted for about six months.

He began radiation treatments before the surgery. Afterwards, they started Bobby on chemotherapy. At first, the treatments were once a month. He was admitted into the hospital for about a week, and after a week at home, Bobby was back in the hospital sick again. The situation was like that until the bone marrow transplant.

Bobby’s transplant donor could only be a brother or sister or self, no anonymous donors. It turned out that his brother and sister were not matches, so the only choice was a self stem cell transplantation. He was given medication to boost his stem cell count, then Bobby spent three days hooked up to a machine to collect his stem cells.

For eight days, he went through heavy chemotherapy, and on the tenth day, they did the transplant. The procedure was new at Shands, and Bobby was the first person undergo the treatment. He stayed at Shands for another week or so. Since we did not live far from the hospital; they let Bobby go home. I took him in for laboratory tests and to receive transfusions, every day.

He continued to see the oncologist once a month for therapy which was supposed to straighten his bones. But on December 27, 1997, Bobby was admitted back into Shands with pneumonia because of heavy chemotherapy after the operation. Two weeks later, he broke his left leg because the cancer had weakened the bone.

Bobby’s bone marrow transplant was not successful, it seemed that the cancer was even more active than before. On January 23, 1998, Bobby lost his battle with cancer. He left behind three children: Kevin, 12, Amanda, 8, and Nicholas, 3, and nine months later we are still trying to pick up the pieces of our lives. Both Kevin and I are in counseling. I hope Amanda will join us soon, and Nicholas, he doesn’t understand why his dad had to leave. Nicholas wakes up crying at night asking for Bobby; he wonders where his dad went.

The holidays will soon be here: Our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without Bobby.

Bobby Hobby

October 24, 1949-January 23, 1998

The following are edited excerpts from Bobby Hobby’s deposition while in the hospital several months before he died. Being on medications and in pain, the attorneys often had to ask questions several times. I have omitted repetitious questions and answers and reworded the dialogue to make it more readable while maintaining the integrity or the deposition.

In the following segment, Hobby

is being questioned about a sulfur dioxide release

and Occidental’s subsequent measures to conceal the accident.

Page 82-96

Attorney: At any point in time while were you were employed with Occidental, were you

aware of any gas leaks.

B. Hobby: Yeah.

Attorney: Approximately when was this?

B. Hobby: (No response.)

Attorney: About ten years ago, fifteen years ago, five years ago?

B. Hobby: (No response.)

Attorney: Was it in the eighties?

B. Hobby: It had to have been in the eighties, but I don’t–

Attorney: Now, were you working days or nights?

B. Hobby: –I don’t remember–

Attorney: I’m sorry, go ahead. You don’t remember?

B. Hobby: –remember the exact an exact time–no.

Attorney: Were you working nights when the gas leak occurred?

B. Hobby: Yeah.

Attorney: How did you know there was a leak of some sort? What led you to believe that

there was a problem at the plant?

B. Hobby: Well that’s when — the next day , some of the vegetation around the — it started

turning — well it started dying, in other words, turning yellow.

Attorney: How did it smell, the plant?

B. Hobby: It stunk.

Attorney: Was it a normal smell that you you’d been used to smelling every single day

you’ve been working?

B. Hobby: No. It smelled like rotten eggs.

Attorney: Was this something that occurred every day?

B. Hobby: This was sudden.

Attorney: After you smelled the smell, how long did it take for the vegetation to start


B. Hobby: Like, I say — the next day, we could see around in back of the plant was turning


Attorney: How much are we talking about, several acres, several miles?

B. Hobby: A couple of acres.

Attorney: What did you see Occidental do in response to the vegetation dying?

B. Hobby: That’s when they had the laborers come out with a big truck and sprayed the

whole area to kill the grass.

Attorney: What was it sprayed with — you mean like weed killer?

B. Hobby: Oh, some kind of weed killer. I talked with the laborers. I don’t remember the

names, but it’s the same chemicals. The next day, I got some to spray around the

shop to kill the weeds.

Attorney: Did it kill the weeds?

B. Hobby: It killed the weeds.

Attorney: How did they usually get rid of the weeds?

B. Hobby: For that area — they usually mowed it or had the laborers chop them down with


Attorney: Any other time that you are aware of when they used weed killer in that area — in

mass quantity, such as to cover an acre or more?

B. Hobby: Not to cover the whole back area.

Attorney: Was that the only time?

B. Hobby: Yeah.

Attorney: Anything else get sick back there that you are aware of, Mr. Hobby?

B. Hobby: Animals. Well, the pond in back and the pond in front — all the fish died.

Attorney: Can you describe — please — on the record what the fish looked like?

B. Hobby: Well, the big ones that were still alive — they were blown up; they were gasping

for air. And the ones laying on top dead, they had little sores on them.

Attorney: What did the sores look like?

B. Hobby: Just infested little sores. Little gnashes — you know — opened up wounds.

Attorney: How many fish were there?

B. Hobby: Several hundred.

Attorney: Anything else?

B. Hobby: At that time, no, but a few weeks later they got a bunch of us together on a truck,

and we loaded up some cows.

Attorney: Who told you to load the cows up?

B. Hobby: I suppose it came down from the front office, I don’t know.

Attorney: Did you decide on your own to remove these cows, or was it something you would have been instructed to do?

B. Hobby: I was instructed to do it.

Attorney: What did the cows look like, Mr. Hobby, that you were told to remove?

B. Hobby: They were real skinny and had sores on them.

Attorneys: How many cows are we talking about?

B. Hobby: I know of twenty that were loaded on our truck.

Attorney: Were you raised on a farm?

B. Hobby: Yeah.

Attorney: Do you know what a healthy cow looks like?

B. Hobby: Yeah, definitely. These cows were skinny, poor, and had sores all over them.

Attorney: Mr. Hobby, was this done in broad daylight or was this done the middle of the night?

B. Hobby: The night.

Attorney: Was there ever any discussion with regard to reporting this to third parties or talking about it to anybody else, or not talking about it to anybody else?

B. Hobby: We were just told to load them up, and that was it. The next day was as usual.

Attorney: Did anyone at Occidental ever advise you that it never happened?

B. Hobby; Yeah, but I don’t remember who.

Attorney: My question to you was — well, I’m not saying did they deny that it ever happened, my question to you is did they tell you —

B. Hobby: It didn’t happen. If it ever came up about any cows or anything, no, I knew nothing about it.

Attorney: What kind of salary were you making when you left?

B. Hobby: Good.

Attorney: Were you aware of any other employers in your county or surrounding counties, that paid equal to what Occidental paid for salaries?

B. Hobby: No.

Attorney: What was the drinking water like at Occidental?

B. Hobby: It’s got a bitter taste to it, and it stinks.

Attorney: How would you describe the stink?

B. Hobby: It’s got a bad — bad odor to it.

Attorney: What color was it?

B. Hobby: Sometimes it was brown, real brown.

Attorney: Did you drink it?

B. Hobby: Overall, I drank some of it, but basically, I brought my own water. I couldn’t stand the taste of it.

 … … …

In the following segment, Bobby Hobby describes how Occidental went about

cheating on pollution emissions tests and plant inspections.

Page 111-125

Attorney: Were you ever present when OSHA came to do a stack test?

B. Hobby: Yes. Well they would do a stack test, but it actually wouldn’t be a stack test, because most of the time they would do the stack test, the pond water would be cut off, and it would be only fresh water going into the stack.

Attorney: Would Occidental know in advance, to your knowledge, when OSHA would come — Would they have advance notice?

B. Hobby: Yes. They’d have —

Attorney: What is the significance of shutting down the pond water and using fresh water instead for a stack test?

B. Hobby: Well, I know that fresh water is good and drinkable, pond water has got acid in it, and you can’t drink it, it burns if you get it on you. They use it to clean out tanks, railroad cars, and scrubbers because of the acid in it — it works good as a cleaner.

(Evaporation pond water is laden with phosphoric acid, and numerous

contaminants, including high concentrations of fluorine. Using pond water in the pollution scrubbers is like attempting to wash clothes in dirty water because the water has close to the limit of dissolved solids that it can hold.)

Attorney: What’s in the pond water to your knowledge?

B. Hobby: Acid.

Attorney: How did the acid get in the ponds?

B. Hobby: It goes through the scrubbers.

Attorney: The pond water would go through the scrubbers?

B. Hobby: Yeah.

Attorney: When OSHA wasn’t coming — did the plant use pond water?

B. Hobby: They normally used pond water.

Attorney: Did OSHA test, to your knowledge, the tanks when they would come to do — investigations?

B. Hobby: Well with the stack tests, they usually tested the whole plant, all the areas, some tanks. All the areas are tied into the stacks, but some tanks are blanked off. All of the fumes were blocked from going through the scrubber, and they just tested the stacks from the scrubbers, mostly.

Attorney: Do you have knowledge that anyone from Occidental volunteered to OSHA that the lines were shut down?

B. Hobby: No.

Attorney: Who shut the lines off? Did you ever shut the lines off?

B. Hobby: Yes. My crew. I blanked the lines sometimes.

Attorney: Who told you to shut the lines off?

B. Hobby: My supervisor. We’d be told that — at that time, those tanks needed to be blanked off, but common sense would tell you that they were talking about a stack test.

Attorney: Did you ever have to shut down the lines when OSHA wasn’t coming?

B. Hobby: When we had to go in and work on the tanks, but not when they were full. The only thing we would be doing when OSHA came in was blanking the lines. We would not be working on them.

Attorney: How many times did this happen, Mr. Hobby? Did you shut the lines down or instruct someone to do it?

B. Hobby: Every time they came in to do a stack test, however long — however often they would do the stack tests.

Attorney: You worked for Occidental for twenty plus years, what do you think would have happened to you, if you would have volunteered to OSHA that the lines were shut down of fresh water had been substituted for pond water?

B. Hobby: I wouldn’t be working there very long.

Attorney: Do you know anything else, or changes that occurred in the scrubbers before OSHA came for their inspections?

B. Hobby: Well, we’d have to pull out the main scrubber pads, and have them cleaned — cleaned real good, and make sure all of the pads were replaced, and fresh water was going to the scrubber.

Attorney: How often were the pads cleaned normally?

B. Hobby: When the exhaust fan would quit working.

Attorney: What would happen right before OSHA was coming for an inspection?

B. Hobby: They would be cleaned and the filter pads would be in place.

Attorney: Were they always in when OSHA wasn’t coming?

B. Hobby: No — like at the phosphoric acid plant, half the time, the pads would be pulled out because the fan couldn’t blow through them.

Attorney: How many times did you see OSHA come to Occidental where you or someone else at your instruction put fresh filter pads in, turn off the pond water and switch to fresh water, and/or shut down the lines? More than five? More than ten? More than fifteen?

B. Hobby: I would be guessing if I went any higher.

 … … …

The following segment concludes his deposition by his attorney.

The cross examination is redundant and offers no substantive insights.

Pages 141-143

Attorney: Are you through with your chemo at Shands?

B. Hobby: No. I go in the day after tomorrow for five days.

Attorney: Is your health insurance paying for it?

B. Hobby: Right now they are.

Attorney: What do you mean, right now, have you been told the insurance was going to be cut off?

B. Hobby: Well, I’ve been out of work for two years, it will automatically be cut off.

Attorney: What physical problems are you having now?

B. Hobby: My back, my side, my head, my feet.

Attorney: Feeling tired?

B. Hobby: All the time. I can’t do anything with my kids like I used to.

Attorney: How are you doing emotionally?

B. Hobby: I’m not.

Attorney: I think I know what you mean, but can you explain it for us on the record?

B. Hobby: I’m trying to hold up because of my kids, but it’s hard, because I can’t do anything with them like I used to.

Attorney: At that point in time, did you know unequivocally that working at Occidental and being exposed to this or that chemical caused what you currently have?

B. Hobby: When I was working out there, no, I thought it was the greatest place in the world to work.

Bobby Hobby worked in the maintenance department at Occidental for twenty-three years. The first eight years he had worked there; he did not know what a respirator was. Hobby and his coworkers were sent into tanks to weld with little or no ventilation and many were filled with fumes from phosphoric acid production. The dusts, fumes and vapors contained high levels of fluorine, radionuclides and sulfur dioxide. OSHA inspections were basically a joke in light of the fact that they have to give advanced notice of an inspection. Florida Department of Environmental Regulation does little or nothing to enforce any regulations regarding the phosphate fertilizer industry, and allows the industry to be self policing.

For Bobby Hobby and his coworkers, it is like the state and federal governments conspired against them. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control was aware of the high incidence of cancers among the population surrounding the Occidental Complexes, but the government-funded study suggested that poverty was the cause of the cancers. It also seems like the doctors and hospitals conspired against them. They were aware of the high rates of chronic illnesses among the workers, but it was almost always attributed to everything else except exposure to chemicals.

No one knows how many people have died or how many people are ill in Hamilton and the surrounding North Florida Counties because of Occidental’s wholesale pollution and chemical poisoning of the workers in order to turn a profit.

Not many people care, because they think: “It’s not in my back yard.” However, thousands of gallons of the very same pollution is being dumped into water supplies in the U.S. and Canada daily. It may take a little longer to catch up with the unconcerned, and the doctors will not have a clue as to what the cause of that odd malady is. The consequences of consuming the pollution, may have already affected you or someone close to you. No one knows the consequences of using the pollution as a fluoridation agent, because there has not been one clinical study with the toxic waste.

For the phosphate fertilizer industry, water fluoridation is an efficient, cost-effective solution for dumping pollution because for every pound of the fluoride ion, the industry also gets rid of another 5.8 pounds of pollution in the drinking water. The USEPA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that there is nothing in the fluoridation agent that will hurt anyone: the very same statement that Occidental Chemical Corporation told the employees about the same pollutants. The American Dental Association unequivocally states that adding the pollution to drinking is the most significant preventive public health measure of our time.




❝ If this stuff  [Fluoride] gets out into the air, it’s a pollutant;

If it gets into the river, it’s a pollutant;

If it gets into the lake, it’s a pollutant;

But if it goes right straight into your drinking water system,

it’s not a pollutant. That’s amazing! ❞

Dr. Hirzy 2000 Senior Vice-President of  EPA Headquarters Union.



 See more info on phosphate fertiliser

 ↓ ↓ ↓

See also → Fluoride Emissions From Mt. Etna






‘The Townsville Report’ was used as part of
‘The Evidence’ 
to justify the fluoridation of
Queensland’s public water supply.

Factors Often Overlooked In Fluoridation Research

Map of queensland

We are told by the Queensland Government that no adverse
effects have been seen in Townsville from fluoridation,
however Queensland 
Health has never provided
any health studies to justify this claim.

The original 


( Fluoridated on 2nd August 1965 )


A Survey by W. Vidoroni, G.S. Sternberg and G.N. Davies 
Division of Dental Services, Department of Health,
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and Dental School,
University of Queensland, Turbot St, Brisbane, Australia.

 Our criticisms:


❝ …Another feature of Townsville is the mobility of the population.
This is reflected by the fact that although 900 children were examined
only 317 or 35 per cent could be classified as lifetime residents.
Data on the remaining non-lifetime residents will be reported in a separate paper. ❞ 

 So Where Is It ?

This additional data was promised in the report,
but despite numerous telephone requests to one
of the authors of this report at the time –
W. Videroni, none was ever provided.

 More criticisms:


❝ …In addition to assessing the dental caries experience

        of the children data were collected on the following:

fluorosis, idiopathic enamel opacities, enamel hypoplasia, tetracycline staining, traumatic injuries to teeth, oral mucosal disease, pathology of bone, dentofacial anomalies, periodontal status (soft deposits, calculus, intense gingivitis), need for periodontal treatment, prosthetic status, denture requirements, conditions needing immediate attention and fillings and extractions required for individual teeth. These data will be reported in a subsequent publication. ❞.

So Where Is It ?

This additional data was promised in the report, but despite
numerous telephone requests to one of the authors of this report
at the time – W. Videroni – none was ever provided.

More Comments:

•  Lost in this long list fluoridation negative outcomes,
 is one of major concern, Dental Fluorosis:

•  Dental fluorosis is not reversible and in more severe cases,
causes disfigurement, pitting, staining and positional defects.

•  Dental fluorosis is also associated with skeletal fluorosis.

•  Dental fluorosis is now the most common dental problem in Australia.

Qld. Health – Demographics 

As can been seen from the newspaper cutting below,
Fluoridation of Townsville’s water supply
has not had the expected results:

Townsville Kicked in the teeth

CHILDREN will no longer receive free dental care at school. The Queensland Government has stopped offering treatment in its school dental vans because there is not enough staff to man them. A letter sent out through schools this week says the vans would only examine students and provide a report to parents on the state of their teeth. They will then have to seek treatment at private dental practices or take their chances with long public dental waiting lists. “Due to expected demand for treatment you may have to wait for a while for an appointment for non-urgent treatment,” the letter said. Queensland Parents and Citizens Association Northern Region president Mick Cutler said parents wanted to see the dental van visits saved. “We would be disappointed but we also understand the reality of change,” Mr Cutler said. “We’d hope they have the capacity to recruit more staff. “When Queensland children have the highest rate of tooth decay in Australia of course we would like to see the dental vans continue. “We also need to continue the education of our children on better eating habits that don’t contribute to (poor dental health).” In the past all Queensland children from four years old to year 10 at school have been eligible for public sector oral health services. The non-emergency dental treatment is provided at schools through dental clinics and dental vans on a rotational basis. Parents sign a consent form allowing the dentists to check for cavities and put in fillings, if necessary. In February 2006 the Townsville Bulletin reported annual free dental check-ups for students across the twin cities would be stretched out to every two years. At the time a health spokeswoman blamed the wait on the twin cities’ population surge. Leading dental researcher Dr Kerrod Hallett said he had been shocked by the sorry state of  Townsville tots’ teeth on his last visit to the city. Dr Hallett is trialling a new mouth guard, designed to stop tooth decay, at Vincent State School. The paediatric dentist hopes the trial will stop young children from suffering the pain of tooth aches and rotting teeth. “I examined 16 children on the first day,” he said. “Out of those one had a healthy mouth. “I was quite shocked myself.” Caption: BRUSHED . . . children such as Annabella Schmid, 4, will no longer receive treatment through school dental vans.

Illus: Photo Library Heading: Health General State Government Health Local Section: NEWS

… © Copyright …

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—  UPDATE  NOVEMBER  2010  —
Townsville has been fluoridated for 40 + years
by the Townsville Council.

… Earlier this year [2012] we asked Townsville Council if they knew of any general health studies that had been done in Townsville for water fluoridation  the then Mayor and Director’s representative replied:

  Townsville Council ….. not aware of any specific studies (fluoridation health studies) not commissioned any – not aware of any …. contact Qld.  Health to see if they have done any …❞

We are told by the Queensland Government that no adverse effects have been seen in Townsville from fluoridation, but Queensland Health has never provided any health studies to justify this claim – the reason why – they have never looked at anything but teeth. Fluoride, when ingested travels throughout the body in the blood plasma, but supposedly it only  beneficially affects teeth? If you don’t look – you don’t find — Just keep on parroting fluoridation is safe



Queenslanders For Safe Water, Air and Food Inc.

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Full 91 page original text→ HERE 


   Full 91 page original text→ HERE

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flag-s-africa map-s-africa

 → RandWater-SouthAfrica 

“In September 2000 the Department of Health
legislated regulations in respect of fluoridation of
potable water in South Africa. Fluoridating potable water is
considered by some as being unconstitutional in that the
use of fluoridated water is forced on consumers
who have no choice in the matter…”