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A Memorial Mass for Albert William Burgstahler, 85, Lawrence will be held 10:00 a.m. Friday, October 18, 2013 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.  He died Saturday, October 12, 2013 at his home.Albert Burgstahler - Photo

Albert was born July 10, 1928 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Albert Ernest and Constance (Foster) Burgstahler.

He received his BS in Chemistry in 1949 from the University of Notre Dame, his MA, cum laude in 1950 from Harvard University, and his PhD, cum laude in 1953 from Harvard University.  He studied at the University of London and University of Wisconsin.  In 2006 he received the Scientific Integrity Award for Fluoride Action Network which is awarded annually to scientists upholding the highest standards of scientific integrity in the effort to end fluoridation worldwide.

He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

He began his life-long career at the University of Kansas in 1956 as an Associate Professor in Chemistry.  He then became a full Professor of Chemistry in 1965.  He became Professor Emeritus of Chemistry in 1998.

At the University of Kansas his teaching and research were devoted mainly to general and organic chemistry and the synthesis and chemistry of natural products.  Other interests included toxic effects of environmental pollutants.  His true passion was helping to eliminate fluoridation of public water all over the world.  His interest in fluoride began in the early 1960’s and in a short time he became one of the world’s best known authors on the dangers of fluoridation.  He was the editor and chief of the quarterly scientific journal Fluoride, published since 1968 by the International Society for Fluoride Research.

Albert enjoyed his studies on the Shakespeare Authorship question which began in 1997 and he presented international lectures and research papers on the subject.

He married Patricia Lois Bokor August 12, 1957.  She preceded him in death April 17, 2010 after 53 years of marriage.

Survivors include three daughters, Maria Bokor, Tacoma, WA, Janet Anderson, Jennifer Burgstahler, both of Durango, CO; two sons, Albert, and wife, Marina Burgstahler, Annandale, VA, David, and wife, Leslie Burgstahler, New York, NY; ten grandchildren, Kimberly, and husband, Stewart Cooper, Lawrence, KS, Inga Burgstahler and Phillip Burgstahler, both of Annandale, VA, Tristram McDermott and Anna McDermott, both of Tacoma, WA, Nathaniel, and wife Cheryl Anderson of Houston, TX, Anthony Anderson of Durango, CO, David Burgstahler, Katherine Burgstahler and Elizabeth Burgstahler all of  New York, NY; five great grandchildren, Marguerite, Patricia and Kenneth Cooper all of Lawrence, KS, Jackson and Jace Anderson, both of Houston, TX; one sister, Bobbie, and husband, Ray Landis, East Lansing, MI.  He was also preceded in death by two sisters, Helen Boss in 2011, and Margaret Hiemstra.

Friends of Albert’s that are of notable mention; Bruce Spittle, lifelong friend and editor of the Fluoride Journal; Kok Thai, a former student of Albert’s and a great friend ever since; and everyone in the KU Chemistry Department.

A special thank you to Brenda Thompson, who was caregiver for both Albert & Patricia.

The family suggests memorials in his name to the International Society for Fluoride Research and may be sent in care of the mortuary.

Online condolences may be sent to


Albert Burgstahler - Photo



September 6, 2013

ALBERT W. BURGSTAHLER PhD: Thanks Sandra Camm for passing on Declan Waugh’s Facebook message in which he wrote:
I am deeply saddened to learn that Professor Albert Burgstahler one of the greatest fluoride fighters of the past century and a person of enormous scientific integrity is approaching his final hours. I have been asked to request that fluoride fighters worldwide send an email to thank him for his heroic contribution to fighting fluoridation over his entire professional life. He dared to shine a light into the darkness that is fluoridation of public water and raise critical questions against this poisonous practice. He is a true humanitarian, an example to us all. At least he should know how much he is admired by all those who have worked with him and for whom he served selflessly. Email address:

CO-AUTHOR of Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma [1], Professor Burgstahler made his mark in the fluoridation field in a variety of ways including as the editor of FLUORIDE [2], which is the quarterly journal of the International Society for Fluoride Research Inc.

Professor Burgstahler [3] re
ceived his BS degree in chemistry (Magna cum Laude) from the University of Notre Dame and his MA and PhD degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University. After post-doctoral studies at the University of London, a year as an instructor at Notre Dame, and further post-doctoral research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he joined the faculty at the University of Kansas in 1956, where he became a professor of chemistry. His interest in fluoride research began in the early 1960s with work on the synthesis and biological properties of fluorinated amino acids. He has authored and co-authored numerous scientific publications.

THE AFFIDAVIT [4] by Albert W. Burgstahler PhD was used by the Safe Water Association Inc. (plaintiff) versus Fond Du Lac Country (defendant) in the state of Wisconsin about 1993. This affidavit was one of 25 affidavits used by the plaintiff [5]. Judge Grimm found fluoridation harmful but did not have the power to “enjoin” (forbid) the practice [5].

Albert’s “footprint” can be found throughout Dr Bruce Spittle’s book Fluoride Fatigue: is fluoride in your drinking water – and from other sources – making you sick? [6] which can be downloaded free of cost.
Albert’s wife Patricia (Pat) predeceased him in 2010 [7].

Fare thee well, Albert. You have been a true champion for a great cause.

Ailsa Boyden
1. Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma : Waldbott George L. MD, Albert W. Burgstahler, H. Lewis McKenney PhD :
3. About the professionals/scientists who wrote letters addressing Calgary Regional Health Authority’s 09/97 ‘Position Statement on Fluoridation’ :
4. Affidavit by Albert W. Burgstahler PhD :
5. Collation of 25 Affidavits plus press release : Safe Water Association Incorporated (plaintiff) vs Fond Du Lac County (defendant) :
6. Fluoride Fatigue: is fluoride from drinking water – and from other sources – making you sick? : Bruce Spittle :
7. Patricia (Pat) Burgstahler :


October 17, 2013



Dear James Robert:

By now you have probably heard the sad news that one of the rocks of the fluoridation opposition movement for over 40 years has passed away. On Saturday October 12 Albert W. Burgstahler died at the age of 85 (see obituary).

I first met Albert in person in 1998 at the International Society for Fluoride Research (ISFR) conference in Bellingham, Washington and many times since at other ISFR and FAN conferences and other fluoridation opposition events.

I remember when I was 12 years old my Latin teacher telling us what an educated person was. He said he or she was “someone who could entertain his or herself; entertain a friend and entertain a new idea.” That must make Albert one of the most educated people I have ever met.

I was amazed at how youthful he was. I remember traveling with him in New Zealand about 10 years ago in a one -week tour on the South Island, organized by his close friend and colleague Bruce Spittle. As we went around he filled every moment with questions – about everything, history, geography, plants, buildings, people (and of course, fluoride and Shakespeare!). He had the wide-eyed wonder and innocence of a child. And just a few months ago when we were campaigning together against the effort to fluoridate Wichita, Kansas I witnessed the same thing again: a non-stop pursuit of knowledge and truth.

He fought fluoridation like a tiger but only with the truth. He took no short cuts. For me he was the model of scientific integrity. That is why in 2006 FAN instituted the Albert Burgstahler Scientific Integrity Award to honor scientists who had demonstrated scientific integrity in their research and in their efforts to end this foolish practice. Albert was the first winner. Since then many others have won this prestigious award made in his name, including Bill Hirzy, Bob Carton, Phyllis Mullenix, Jennifer Luke, Kathy Thiessen, Hardy Limeback, Bill Osmunson, Bruce Spittle, Andrew Harms and Daniel Stockin.

In 2010 I was very pleased when Albert agreed to write the foreword to The Case Against Fluoride, which I co-authored with James Beck and Spedding Micklem. I was honored that he would link his life’s work with our own. His work on fluoride started with Dr. George Waldbott in the 1960s and resulted in the 1978 book Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma.

The saddest thing about Albert’s passing is that he did not live to see the end of fluoridation. However, I am sure that with so many recent victories (including Wichita) he sensed that the days of this practice are numbered. When the end does come to this most sorrowful chapter in misguided public health practices, his name will have a very proud place in the team that made it happen.

Thank you Albert.

A few weeks ago when we heard that his end was near we asked his friends and colleagues to write to him and let him know how special he was. Some have shared their thoughts with us. We have printed these below and we urge others who have their own memories to share them with us as well so we can add them to a special page on our website. Please send your memories or reflections to me at


Paul Connett

FAN Director

“Dear Albert,

We love you and will miss you deeply Albert. Your youthful enthusiasm in all things lifted our spirits.”

-Ellen Connett, Binghamton, NY

“Dear Albert

I have been involved with fluoridation opposition since 1974 and I know that right from the start, I knew you were a respected scientist and leader in this difficult fight.  I can still clearly see in my mind the photo of the young Albert B. in the wonderful National Fluoridation News.  I still have copies of all of the issues in my home.  Your articles were excellent in that fine little publication and you somehow had the perseverance and fortitude to stay with this fight for all of this time.  Of course, taking over the Fluoride Journal was probably your most important contribution to the fight and we are all grateful to you for the hard work and countless hours that you gave to keep this important journal going since the passing of Dr. Waldbott.

My warmest good wishes and thanks to you, Albert.  You are a man of courage, integrity and dedication to the truth.”

-Naomi Flack, West Palm Beach, Florida

“Dear Albert,

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done to help the nation of Israel get rid of fluoridation. Thank you for giving me such wise counsel over many years from your wealth of knowledge.

I am sure that you would be happy to know that your work was honored in the 3/5/2013 Jerusalem Post article by your long term friend and colleague from the Netherlands, Dr. Hans Moolenburgh.”

Your work Fluoridation: the Great Dilemma was shared with the new Minister of Healthrecently and this and your enormous contribution to the journal Fluoride was no doubt part of the breakthrough to save the nation of Israel from Fluoridation’s health hazards (The Minister announced that mandatory fluoridation will end in 2014, PC). 

-Miriam Westerman, Israel

“Dear Albert,

Though we have not met in person, I have admired you and fed on your work to end fluoridation wherever it is in effect. We are allies in an honorable struggle. It is a struggle that we are slowly winning, in no small part due to your efforts in the face of unprincipled and often nasty opposition.

I am saddened to hear from Paul that your part in the battle is coming to an end. I can only wish that the end is as good as it can be. It should comfort you to know that you have had the rare experience of lengthening and improving the lives of many, perhaps millions.

-Jim Beck, Calgary, Canada

“Dear Albert

You are missed already but your footprint will echo down the years by way of your huge contribution to the opposition to fluoridation movement.

I salute you for your integrity, tenacity and devotion.

Lovingly and sincerely.”

-Ailsa Boyden, Australia

“Dear Albert,

I first met you at the Kyoto ISFR  conference in 1993, together with the late Dr. John Colquhorn . Since then for me you have been the most reliable leader in the movement against fluoridation.

Your two arms have reached across the oceans to our islands. First, as the co-author of the book Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma, which provided us with a basic handbook on the science of the issue and then as the editor of Fluoride which provided us with ALL the science on fluoride, not the self-serving selective science as practiced by the agencies promoting fluoridation.

Thank you for your devotion to the truth.”

-Kenji Akiniwa, Tokyo, Japan

“Dear Albert,

I just want to write and thank you for your untiring work against the pernicious practice of water fluoridation. It has been a long series of battles, but I think it is clear that, thanks to you in concert with other distinguished researchers, not only have many battles been won, but the war itself seems close to victory.

Your 15 years of work as editor-in-chief of the journal “Fluoride” have been much appreciated by the many contributors and readers. Editing a journal is a significant amount of work, and often thankless, as I know from my own experience with a different journal, but such a contribution is both essential and productive.

Thank you again for all you have done.


Warm regards.”

-David Hill, Canada

“Dear Albert,


I want to take this opportunity to let you know  – as if you didn’t already – how proud we all are of your incredible service to this the utmost of frustrating battles.

It was not lightly that we at FAN instituted the Albert W. Burgstahler scientific integrity award. It was our little way of memorializing the contribution you have made to integrity in science. It can only be hoped that in future years integrity will be returned to public health science and if it is it will be partly due to your Herculean effort on the fluoridation front.

Many facing such odds would have given up years ago – but year after year you have kept yourself going and in the process have inspired many others to keep going as well.

Thank you Albert.”

-Paul Connett, Binghamton, NY

“Dear Albert,

I am so glad I got to know you. You will always live on in my heart. Ten years ago at the first FAN conference you were wonderfully gracious, generous in sharing your knowledge, patient and supportive to me, a newcomer stumbling through the science on fluoridation for the first time. Ever since, I have continued to learn more from you, and because of you. I think you are the reason that I continue to commit my life to helping fluoride-poisoned people recover, and work to end fluoridation world-wide.

Thank you for everything you’ve done to give us the strong ethical and scientific foundation to do that.

Like you I was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan 1952 – one of the guinea pig children.”


-Aliss Terpstra, Toronto, Canada

“Dear Professor Burgstahler,


Thank you, beyond words, for your contributions to well-being and

clarity — for me, other humans, and the biosphere.


It’s a great privilege and pleasure for me to have visited with you

(during the 1998 Bellingham conference and the Mt. Baker trip).


Building upon the foundation you’ve helped so much to provide,

sooner or later humanity will grow past having to explore toxicities

over and over again on non-volunteers (of whatever species).


Whenever we get there, a lot of the gift will be from your work.


I don’t know what you believe about stages of journey beyond the

physical body. For my part Iʼve every reason to think we graduate to

further learnings in the lovely universe[ity]. I’ll continue deeply glad

to be in the same universe[ity] with you.

I send you, for all your further journey and learning, all love and respect,

-Olemara Peters, Redmond, WA


  1. Richard Sauerheber

    I was privileged and honored to work with Dr. Burgstahler the last several years. He asked me to write an editorial on fluoride exposure in racehorses and I appreciate that honor very much. Burgstahler has been an exceptional scientist in being able to distinguish between detailed prospective well-controlled studies versus anecdotal correlations. I was scheduled to meet him in person but bad weather delayed our meeting. He will be sorely missed here but will rejoice in Heaven. I only learned recently he was born in Grand Rapids, MI, the first city to be exposed to industrial fluoride infusions in public water supplies. His work together with Dr. Waldbott on exposing this false practice is stellar and needs to one day be heeded by officials in charge of public water supplies. We all have Dr. Burgstahler to thank for the truth.

    Richard Sauerheber, Ph.D.

  2. Gregory Mouser

    I just read where our dear friend and colleague has passed away.. I had the honor to meet Albert at the 2006 2nd Fluoride Action Network Conference ….My thoughts & prayers are with his Family at their time of loss

    Gregory Mouser

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