Fluoride Fighters Past

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A tribute to the gentlemen and scholars who risked their careers by telling the truth

Thanks to: http://www.fluoridation.com/tributes.htm#IN%20MEMORIAM%20–%20PHILIP%20RN%20SUTTON

FLUORIDE, 28:3, 1995 August, Guest Editorial by Mark Diesendorf PhD

Philip R N Sutton DDSc (Melbourne) FRACDS passed away in Melbourne on March 12, 1995, aged 80 years.

Dr Sutton was the leading Australian dental researcher to question the alleged scientific basis for fluoridation. In 1959, as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Oral Medicine and Surgery, University of Melbourne, Dr. Sutton published a landmark monograph, “Fluoridation: Errors and Omissions in Experimental Trials” (Melbourne University Press, Melbourne). This was a greatly expanded version of a paper published in 1958 by Dr Sutton and Sir Arthur Amies, then Dean of the Melbourne University Dental School. The monograph revealed in detail some of the serious deficiencies in the North American fluoridation ‘trials’ at Grand Rapids, Evanston, Brantford and Newburgh. In my view it is a substantial scientific analysis, carefully and rigorously done. It shows that the trials have major short-comings, including limitations of data used, inconsistencies and errors in sampling, inadequacy of control populations, inappropriate ‘weighting’ of results, alterations to original results and misleading presentations and discussions of results.

Soon after publication of the monograph, the pro-fluoridation Australian Dental Association (ADA) sent copies ‘to all of the men who are in charge of the experiment’, asking them for comments. Then three hostile reviews were published in the “Australian Dental Journal (February 1960) and on the “New Zealand Dental Journal” (January 1960). Although the reviews contained serious and inaccurate accusations, it appears that Dr Sutton was not given the opportunity to reply in the journals concerned.

So, Dr Sutton brought out a second edition of his monograph (Melbourne University Press, 1960) which included the hostile reviews in full, together with his responses. To do this, he first had to overcome the obstacle that the plates of the first edition had been destroyed, counter to normal practice and counter to his wishes.

Dr Sutton’s critique of the early fluoridation trials has stood the test of time. It is unfortunate that these inadequate trials are still cited in reports by pro-fluoridation health authorities and textbooks, without any citation of Dr Sutton’s critique.

In 1985, Dr Sutton and I convened a scientific symposium on fluoridation at the annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science (ANZAAS). This may well have been the first scientific symposium aiming to debate the issue of fluoridation in Australia. We invited two of the main proponents of fluoridation to participate: the ADA and the National Health and Medical Research Council. Both decline, and the ADA wrote to the organisers of the ANZAAS Conference questioning the motivations of the conveners of the symposium. Fortunately, this pressure was resisted and the symposium when ahead. As a result of the attempted suppression, the symposium gained very wide media coverage in Australia.

Although he was ostracised by many of his dental colleagues for his position on fluoridation, Dr Sutton stood firm, while remaining calm and polite to those who saw themselves as his opponents. He was a gentleman and scholar of high moral courage. He will be missed.

Editorial FLUORIDE, 28:3, August 1995

In 1935, on his twenty-first birthday, Philip Sutton graduated with honours from the University of Melbourne, having completed the five-year course for the degree of Bachelor of Dental Science. He established a private dental practice in Brighton, Victoria, which he conducted for twenty-five years.

On the outbreak of war in 1939 he enlisted in the Australian Army, and later served with a medical team in North Borneo. Observations he made at that time formed the basis of a thesis for the University of Melbourne’s higher research degree of Doctor of Dental Science.

After the war he also completed a university course in statistics, and later became chairman of the Biometric Society. He was a Foundation Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, and was elected to the Council of the Victorian branch of the Australian Dental Association.

In 1956 he was appointed a Senior Research Fellow of the University, and spent a year with his family on the island of Rarontonga, in the South Pacific, where he studied tooth abnormalities and related dietary factors.

On returning to Melbourne in 1957 he was requested by Sir Arthur Amies, Dean of the University’s Dental Science Faculty, to check the published data and methods of the original North American fluoridation trials. This task led to the publication in 1959 of his famous monograph, “Fluoridation: Errors and Omissions in Experimental Trials.” It was aggressively attacked by fluoridationists at the time. But in 1991, over 30 years later, Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council admitted: “…the quality of the early intervention trials was generally poor.” Numerous research papers were published by Philip Sutton, not all on the subject of fluoridation. His research interests were wide- ranging, and included studies on the relationship between mental stress and dental disease, the first appearing in “Nature” in 1962.

In 1964 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Dental Science at the University, a position from which he resigned eleven years later to have more time for his Pacific Island and other research interests. In 1979 he published another book, “Fluoridation 1979: Scientific Criticisms and Fluoride Dangers, and later, at Edinburgh, gave evidence before the inquiry into fluoridation in the High Court.

Philip was affectionately known around Australia, and was always available for discussions and advice. We convey our condolences to his daughters Katrina and Sari and son St John, and to his grandchildren of whom he spoke with great affection and pride. We are indebted to Philip’s friend Glen S R Walker, of Brighton, Victoria, who supplied the above information.

Philip Sutton was a scholar of great integrity. He will be missed, not only in Australia, but in lands throughout the world. His work will not be forgotten

IN MEMORIAM — DEAN BURK (1904-1988), FLUORIDE, 22:3, 1989 July
by H.L. McKinney, University of Kansas; Lawrence, Kansas

Both science and the humanities have lost a major intellect with the recent death of Dean Burk, October 6, 1988, at the age of 84, Burk was born March 21, 1904, in Oakland, California, the son of Frederic Burk, who was President of what is now San Francisco State University. He entered the University of California Farm School at Davis at the age of 15 and studied agriculture. A year later, he transferred to the University of California at Berkeley, where he received his B.S. in Entomology in 1923. Four years later at the age of 23, he earned a Ph.D., in Plant Nutrition and Chemistry (1).

He continued his advanced studies as a fellow, National Research Council/International Education Board (1927-1929), successively at University College, University of London (with A.V. Hill, a Nobel laureate), the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology in Berlin, and Harvard University. In Germany he had investigated nitrogen fixation with Otto Meyerhof and also befriended Otto Warburg, both Nobel Prize winners, and their students.

He maintained a forty-year friendship with Warburg, “my greatest mentor,” and perhaps the world’s greatest biochemist, who worked with him in Bethesda, Maryland, on photosynthesis in 1949. From 1950 up until 1969, the year before Warburg’s death, Burk spent most summers in Berlin and translated many of Warburg’s “most important contributions on cancer and photosynthesis….” (2). In 1953, he became a Foreign Member of Warburg’s Institute.

In 1935 Burk also had the opportunity to study in the U.S.S.R. at the Academy of Sciences (Biochemistry Institute) as a Guest Research Worker, and he returned to study in the summer of 1937 under the famous biochemists A.N. Bach and V.I. Englehardt. During the period of his government service, he spent parts of many years in England, Germany and the U.S.S.R. He also travelled throughout the world ranging from Europe to Africa and Australia, where he toured extensively in 1977. He attended countless international meetings. Linguistically, he was proficient in German and French and knew some Russian.

Burk’s professional career began in 1929 as an Associate Physical Chemist, at the Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory, Bureau of Chemistry and Soils, Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. (3). In 1939 he left that job to join the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of health, with which he was associated until 1974, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. His government career, therefore, spanned 45 years. With the NCI, he was Senior Chemist (1939-1948), Principal Chemist (1948-1951), Head Chemist (1951-1958) and Chief Chemist (1958-1974). He was also simultaneously a faculty member, Associate Professor of Biochemistry, at the Cornell University Medical College during 1939-1941. From 1947 until his death he held the honorary post of Research Master, Graduate Faculty, George Washington University, and during 1974-1976, he was Guest Scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Institute.

His impressive list of memberships and honors is too numerous to cite completely here (4). A few examples of some of these are: Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (and organizer of cancer research conferences, 1942-1945); American Association of Cancer Research; Foreign Scientific Member, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Munich, Germany and also the Institute for Cell Physiology, Berlin; Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine; Honorary President, German Society of Medical Tumorotherapy; and the Royal Society of Medicine, London. He was a member of the prestigious Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. and the Commonwealth Club of California.

Aside from his major contribution to scientific literature of more than 250 articles, Dr. Burk was also recognized as a leading American authority on photosynthesis by receiving the American Chemical Society Hillebrand Prize in 1953 “For the experimental discovery of a photosynthetic energy cycle of high quantum efficiency, with demonstration of the applicability of the Einstein law of photochemical equivalence and studies of related biochemical energy transformations in cancer metabolism” (5). According to the American Chemical Society (which he joined in 1931), the stimulus for “Burk, and the principal reason for his receiving the award,” was “his discovery with Otto Warburg of one quantum reaction in photosynthesis at 90% utilization efficiency of incident light” (6). Dr. Burk achieved singular honor for his distinguished cancer research in 1965 with the Gerhard Domagk Prize “for the development of procedures for distinguishing the differences between a normal cell and one damaged by cancer” (7) normally reserved for native-born German, Swiss or Austrian citizens (8).

Burk will probably be best remembered to biochemists as the co-author, with Hans Lineweaver, of the most frequently cited paper in biochemistry, “The Determination of Enzyme Dissociation Constants,” in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, published in 1934 (9). With 20-20 vision of hindsight, we now view the lack of enthusiasm by the six referees of this classic article with amusement — they recommended rejection of the article, but editor Arthur B. Lamb overruled them! — because we see that “the double reciprocal plot usually provides, automatically and conveniently, a considerably improved weighting for linear graphics of most enzyme velocity data as a function of concentration” (10). The consequences, as one recent review of biochemistry stated: “One can hardly find any enzymological publication in which kinetic data are presented in a way other than the double reciprocal plot according to Lineweaver and Burk. The results here confirm the opinion of Dowd and Riggs (1965) [J.E. Dowd and D.E. Riggs, J. Biol. Chem., 240:863, 1965] that the popularity of the Lineweaver-Burk method is based upon the ability to provide what seems to be a good fit even wen the experimental data are poor….” (11). But, as Burk himself commented, “It is much more importantly used to test the general qualitative correctness of an assigned mechanism formulation before ascertaining the numerical values of the parameter constants involved” (12).

Burk himself has summarized his other major laboratory projects in an interview: “thermodynamics of nitrogen fixation, biochemistry, and cancer; photosynthesis with and without green plants; biology and biochemistry of nitrogen fixation by bacteria; … trace mineral elements; B vitamins (co-discoverer of biotin); optical activities of various biochemical racemates; cancer metabolism in all kinds of cancers and leukemia in animals and humans’ poloragraphic analysis of cancer and normal blood; antibiotics; cobalt models of hemoglobin-oxygen systems; cell-tissue cultures; mitochondrial control of metabolism; iron-binding compounds in blood; chromatographic separations; manometric techniques for measurement of gases; efficiency of photosynthesis in green plants; origin of cancer cells; conventional anticancer agents’ mode of action; cytotoxic actions of human sera; insulin; correlation between cancer growth rate and magnitude of metabolism (Domagk Prize, 1965); purification of tobacco smoke; effects of amygdalin (Vitamin B-17, Laetrile) on cancer cells” (13). The period from 1975-1988 was sharply focused on fluoridation and cancer.

On November 18, 1974, after his retirement, Burk founded the Dean Burk Foundation “devoted to research on health, nutrition, and chronic and degenerative diseases including cancer.” Two major reports (called “Briefs”) were published. One focused on vitamin B-17 and also alluded briefly to vitamin B-15 and vitamin B-13 (14). Burk carefully analyzed the federal food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (as amended August 1972), Title 21 USC, Chapter 11 (Definitions), Sec. 201 (321) (f), and demonstrated conclusively that amygdalin (vitamin B-17/Laetrile) is by definition, and long-standing scientific knowledge — to which he had personally contributed — “scientifically to be regarded as a food, a vitamin….” (15). Unfortunately, he caustically added, irresponsible human nature appeared certain to reject such an axiom in the same way the flat earth advocates reject the view of a round earth. What was true about vitamin B-17 was equally true of vitamin B-15 and vitamin B-13. (16)

The other major focus during his retirement years was on the link between fluoridation and cancer. As a result of Dr. Burk’s expert views on conventional as well as nonconventional cancer therapies, he became a sought-after speaker before nonmainstream health groups during the late 1960s and an embarrassment to his superiors at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), who advocated only the traditional medical cancer therapies of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. The NCI therefore attempted to muzzle Burk when he was invited to speak to many groups on nonorthodox treatments he was acquainted with that had shown promise. Clinton R. Miller, legislative advocate in Washington, D.C. for the National Health Federation (NHF), knew that Burk was being harassed by the NCI — the notoriety of the maverick head of Cytochemistry was very well known — and lobbied the NCI through Congress to release Burk to speak to health groups. The NCI refused to approve Burk’s talks, but they did not **positively** disapprove his appearances, a distinction bureaucrats might be expected to make. On Sunday, July 16, 1969, during his weekend, for example, Burk delivered a talk on “Healthier Cigarettes and Cancer Prevention,” to the International Association of Cancer Victims and Friends, Inc. in Los Angeles. The NCI frowned with disapproval; the IACVF groups clamored for more (17)!

In January 1975, shortly after retiring from the NCI, Burk spoke to the National Health Federation about Laetrile. At that time he first met John Yiamouyiannis, a Ph.D. in biochemistry who had joined the NHF as Science Director and who was a formidable combatant in the fight against fluoridation. Burk couldn’t understand why Yiamouyiannis was “first wasting his time: pursuing such a dead-end subject (18).

Burk’s familiarity with fluoride reached back to the very beginning of his career. As he observed in 1976, “I did my first experiments with fluoride in 1929, and was present in Meyerhof’s laboratory in Berlin when Fritz Lipmann was doing his fluoride experiments in 1929” (19). Burk’s friendly, but sharp, advice to Yiamouyiannis therefore had deep roots, although Yiamouyiannis doggedly continued to pursue the topic.

In about May 1975, Yiamouyiannis finished an expanded version of his fluoridation efforts comparing cancer mortality rates in some major fluoridated cities without fluoridation. The paper was sent to Clinton R. Miller, who took it to the National Cancer Institute; the reception was negative, and Miller then asked Dean Burk, whom he knew from Burk’s Laetrile talks to read the paper,. Burk, again, was typically caustic, and repeated his carefully considered opinion that Yiamouyiannis was wasting his time on a “worthless” enterprise — if there were a connection it would have been found already. Nevertheless, he agreed as a favor to Miller to read the paper and criticize it. After spending “all night” and several more days minutely analyzing the data, Burk conceded the arguments were sound, convincing, in fact, despite his strong preconceptions, probably correct (20). He then began to view the fluoridation/cancer link in an entirely new light. Miller took Yiamouyiannis to Burk’s house, and an important, lengthy collaboration began.

Burk’s preliminary statement on the subject was a publication of his Foundation (“Brief” No. 2) discussing the probable link between fluoridation and cancer and the Delany Amendment to federal law, which prohibits the addition of *any* carcinogen to food or water (21). If the fluoridation/cancer link is correct, then by law fluoridation must be discontinued immediately. The NCI, however, repeatedly disclaimed any connection.

Burk’s preliminary statement was followed by a detailed collaborative effort between himself and Yiamouyiannis — Burk’s “second most important paper” (22). The authors showed that crude cancer death rates in the 10 largest fluoridated cities in the U.S.A. “were higher and had risen faster than those in the 10 largest nonfluoridated U.S. cities that had essentially the same crude cancer rates during the decade before fluoridation.” They found that his increase occurred in persons 45-65 and 65 and over and that corrections for age, race, and sex did not eliminate the difference as suggested by the NCI (23). The bottom line was a 5-15% higher death rate (unweighted) in the fluoridated over the unfluoridated communities compared in the study (24).

Criticism from fluoridation proponents was swift and hostile: the authors had failed to correct for age, sex, race, and cancer site distribution, it was claimed. When proper “adjustments” (i.e., manipulations) were made — a constant proponent theme — all was well with fluoridation (25). Another author emphasized that population gains (demography) explained the apparent problems away (26). The battle still continues with great vehemence a decade later.

Burk’s final statement on the subject, and indeed his last scientific paper, reiterates his strong scientific conviction that demographic changes of the two groups of central cities do *not* explain away the apparent causal relationship between fluoride and cancer death rate. “It is concluded that artificial fluoridation appears to cause or induce about 20-30 excess cancer deaths for every 100,000 persons exposed per year after about 15-20 years.” Burk and his co-authors therefore pleaded: “In light of this conclusion, we urge the governments of civilized countries of the world to bring about a prompt end to artificial fluoridation of public water supplies” (27). Tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths — at one time he estimated about 40,000 in the U.S.A. alone — would thereby be averted (28). Saving lives was a primary concern of Burk, and he though his work on fluoridation was the most important he had done during his life (29). There is no doubt that one of his most personally fulfilling moments was experienced when he received the news that he was largely responsible for the termination of fluoridation in the Netherlands (3), despite erroneous claims to the contrary (31), and his impact in Australia was widely reported in the press there (32).

Dr. Dean Burk musician, artist, scientist, sage — lived a rich and valuable life. he published more than 250 scientific articles. He probed abstruse mysteries; he proposed profound answers. he devoted his life to science and mankind. he made an indelible mark where he has passe. The world is infinitely richer having known such a gentle, brave man of genius, industry, and altruism.

[References can be scanned and are available on request]


IN MEMORIAM — JOHN R. MARIER (1925 1992), FLUORIDE, 25:4 (1992),
by Jeff Marier, Ottawa, Canada

On March 4 1992 John Marier died suddenly, at home in his sleep, of massive cardiac and pulmonary failure. This is rather ironic, as he had achieved some degree of notoriety for many publications dealing with the importance of dietary magnesium as a cardio-protectant. In fact, daily magnesium supplements, which he started after cardiac problems in 1974, probably prolonged and enhanced his life. It is difficult to condense his long and diversified career into a few short paragraphs, so I will try to concentrate on those highlights of which he was proudest.

In August 1943 he joined the staff of the Applied Biology Division of the national Research Council of Canada (NRCC) as a “laboratory helper”. Over the next quarter century, he was promoted “Laboratory Technician” and worked on a variety of projects in food and dairy chemistry. The culmination of his work was in 1967, when the NRCC Food Chemistry Group was awarded the American Chemical Society’s Borden Award “for the outstanding decade of research on the chemistry of milk”. During this same period he developed several methods for the quantitative analysis of elements or compounds in biological tissues. In 1967 he was awarded the Canada Centennial Medal “for outstanding research on trace elements”. The 1958 Marier and Boulet method for citric acid analysis (“Journal of Dairy Science” 41 1683-92 1958) was identified as one of the most cited articles in its field and was designated a “Citation Classic” in 1983. (“Current Contents” 14 (46) 21-2 1983).

In 1970 he became a member of the Environmental Secretariat where he authored or co-authored five reports on various environmental topics, including “Environmental Fluoride” (1971, 1977). He also assisted in the development of a computerized database of pollution-relevant bibliographic references (PIP) in 1971. By 1979 he had been promoted to the “Professional” [see note] staff, as far as I know the only member of NRCC to achieve this feat without a university degree. Also in that year, he was appointed to the panel charged with supervision of the health studies relating to pollution of Cornwall Island, on behalf of Canada’s Minister of Health.

He retired from NRCC in March 1985, but continued to actively pursue his scientific interest. That same year he was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the American Society for Magnesium Research for the “Furtherance of knowledge on the frontiers of magnesium research”; and elected a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He was a Consulting Editor for that College’s Journal from 1986-1991; a member of the Editorial Board of “Magnesium and Trace Elements,” 1982-1991; and a member of the editorial Board of “magnesium Research” from 1988 until his death. In February 1988, he was awarded the distinguished title of Researcher Emeritus by NRCC “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the advancement of research”. This was his most cherished award. In 1963 he co-authored both “Accumulation of skeletal fluoride and its implications” (“Archives of Environmental Health” 6 664-71) and “Hard waters and heart disease” (“British Medical Journal” Sept 14 686-687). His last publication was “Intakes of magnesium and fluoride and some systemic effects” (“Proceedings of the Finnish Dental Society” 87 581-94 1991).

In between, he investigated dietary intakes of both magnesium and fluoride, separately and in combination; fluoride in connection with osteoporosis and renal osteodystrophy; halogenated anesthetics; magnesium in connection with hard water and the human heart; and various magnesium interrelations with fluoride, calcium, sodium, potassium, selenium, cobalt and aluminum. He was an invited keynote speaker on both fluoride and magnesium at many international symposia.

In addition to his scientific achievements, John Marier was an award-winning music composer and dedicated family man. Many people will miss him.

by Dyson Rose, Alcove, Quebec, Canada

In the early 1950’s resignation of a more senior staff member in the Division of Applied Biology (later the Division of Biosciences) of the National Research Council of Canada led the Director to ask me to assume the leadership of a small group known as the Food Chemistry Section. The staff of that section included a young Technician* named John R. Marier, and affectionally called Johnny. At the time Johnny made no particular impression on me, but I like to include technical staff in the selection and planning of research projects, and as the years passed I became more and more aware of his ability to contribute meaningfully to our discussions. Over the 20 or so years of our Section Head/Technician relationship, I learned that John had a most remarkable ability to read scientific papers, to retain details of what he had read, to mull them over in his mind seeking the inter-relations of items from different authors and to formulate there from a suggestion for further research or even a new scientific hypothesis.

Probably the earliest tangible evidence of his outstanding ability is a paper published by Marier, Rose and Boulet in the May 1963 issues of the “Archives of Environmental health” (Vol. 6, pages 664f-671). In the months leading up to this article, the Food Chemistry Section had become interested in the stability of the casein and calcium phosphate components of milk, and Johnny had been asked to search the literature for information on factors affecting the solubility of calcium phosphates. Fluoride is one of the known factors affecting calcium phosphate solubility, and that led Johnny into literature on skeletal phosphate. To quote a later article by John Lear, Science Editor for “Saturday Review,” a New York Magazine (Jan. 4, 1964 issue) Johnny “read with eager appetite, on his own time, before and after work, during lunch hours and over weekends”. One result of this intense effort was the above mentioned paper, which was entitled “Accumulation of Skeletal Fluoride and Its Implications”.

As implied above, this paper caught the attention of John Lear of “Saturday Review”. Mr Lear came to Ottawa to interview Johnny and myself, and used our paper as a major information source in an article calling for caution in the drive to fluoridated city water supplies. In 1967, Canada’s Centennial year, he approached us with a request that we write an article on Canadian scientific efforts. We obliged with “Is a Great Tradition Eroding”, which appeared in the Sept. 2, 1967 edition of “Saturday Review”.

During 1967-68, the Food Chemistry Section was phased out and Johnny moved to a newly formed group mandated to review the potential environmental hazard of various chemicals, and was promoted to the Professional level. To the best of my knowledge, Johnny was the only member of NRC’s staff to achieve Professional ranking without any University training.

That terminated our Technician/Section Head relationship, but not our friendship nor our co-operation on projects. In 1971 fluoride was one of the chemicals the environmental group chose to review, and, to my delight, Johnny approached me with a request that I co-author a paper entitled “Environmental Fluoride”. This last joint effort appeared as NRC Publication No. 12,226 in December 1971.

I retired in 1977, but Johnny continued working, and it was during this period that he developed his interest in magnesium and its function during muscle contraction. He also earned a further honour: appointment to an “Emeritus” position. he retained that position and continued and active interest in magnesium until his recent death at age 66.

He is sorely missed.

[Note] *”Technician” was a ranking used to designate employees who lacked scientific training: “Professional” was the ranking for employees having at least one University degree, and preferably a doctorate in a scientific field.

IN MEMORIAM — G.L. WALDBOTT (January 14, 1898 – July 17, 1982), FLUORIDE, 1982, 15:4

The officers, and members of the of the Editorial and Advisory Boards of the International Society for Fluoride Research wish to express their deep and heartfelt sorrow at the sudden demise of the society’s founder and the editor of its official journal FLUORIDE since its inception in 1968, George L. Waldbott, M.D., 84, following open heart surgery. A new aortic valve was successfully implanted, he was regaining his strength when postoperative complications developed.

Dr. Waldbott was residing in Leonard, Michigan. He was a practicing physician in the State of Michigan since November 23, 1923. A specialist in allergic diseases, he was a graduate of The University of Heidelberg, Germany, Medical School in 1921 and then interned at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, 1923 to 1924. He was a member of the American Medical Association, Michigan State and Wayne County Medical Societies, a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine since July 1, 1937; a diplomate of the specialty of allergy since April 19, 1941; co-founder and former president of the Michigan Allergy Society (1936); Fellow of the American College of Physicians; Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians; Fellow of the Academy of Allergy; Fellow of the American College of Allergists; honorary member of the French and Spanish Allergy Societies.

He was founder and chief of allergy clinics in four Detroit hospitals: Grace, Harper and Children’s Hospitals of Michigan, and the North End Clinic (now Sinai Hospital); Emeritus Physician in Allergy at Harper Hospital and Honorary Physician at Hutzel Hospital, Detroit; former President of the Michigan Branch of the American College of Chest Physicians; former Chairman of the Air Pollution Committee of the American College of Chest Physicians, and of the American Academy of Allergy.

Dr. Waldbott was a pioneer in the specialty of allergy. his extensive clinical research has appeared in more than 200 publications, many in American Medical Association journals. Early in his career, his original research on human anaphylaxis, published in a series of articles, has been responsible for saving numerous lives.

He was first to report many new observations in his specialty. For example [more to come]:

He was first to investigate the effect of tonsillectomy in allergic respiratory disease. He was the first to report allergy (asthma) due to local anesthesia. He was first to call attention to the relationship of the thymus gland and lymphoid tissue to allergy. He was first to describe allergic pneumonitis. In 1927, he carried out the first pollen survey in Michigan and, in 1937, the first comprehensive annual fungus survey ever published. He presented the first fatality of human anaphylaxis due to penicillin. He made the first clinical observations on the effect of smoking (other than cancer) on the respiratory tract. He introduced bronchoscopic lavage as an emergency treatment in status asthmaticus, which has saved numerous lives.

His experience with intolerance to drugs in his patients led him to the study of the effect of fluoride and other environmental pollutants on the human body. His book “Health Effects of Environmental Pollutants”, second edition, March 1978 — one of the first on the subject — is being used as a textbook in universities here and abroad.

For the past 25 years, since 1955, he has been carrying out basic clinical research on how fluoride affects the human organism. His data have been presented in more than 80 reports in some of the most important medical journals in the U.S.A. and abroad. These publications include two monographs, one entitled “Fluoride in Clinical Medicine”, the other “Acute Fluoride Intoxication”, an article entitled “Fluoride in Food”, and another article the “Physiologic and Hygienic Aspects of the Absorption of Inorganic Fluorides, Comments on the Symposium”, the last-mentioned of which appeared in an American Medical Association publication. A chapter on the “Health Impact of Fluoride in Air and Water — International Clinical Data” in the Health Handbook edited by G.K. Chacko appeared in 1979 by the North Holland Publishing company, Amsterdam.

His most recent book “Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma”, 1978, in collaboration with professors A.W. Burgstahler and H.L. McKinney is the most encompassing presentation available on this subject.

His studies on fluoride include the administration of test doses of fluoride to allergic and non-allergic individuals and to those suspected of being intolerant to fluoridated water. During the course of those studies he had urinary analyses made for fluoride on more than 300 individuals. He determined levels in blood of various biochemical agents, especially calcium and phosphorus, before and after test doses with fluoride. He had analyses done for fluoride in food, eye cataracts, bones and other organs. he compared the fluoride content of normal-appearing aortas with that of calcified aortas, of normal skin with that of diseased skin, of normal lung tissue with that of diseased lung tissue.

He studied cases of fluorosis in Tampa, Florida (air pollution from fertilizer factories); Lubbock, Texas (natural fluoride water – 4.4 ppm); Saginaw, Michigan (fluoridated water); Palermo, Italy (natural fluoride water – 3 to 6 ppm); Port Maitland, Ontario, and Walcott, Iowa (air pollution due to a fertilizer factory); Wabash, Indiana (pollution from secondary aluminum smelters); Moehlin, Switzerland (pollution from an aluminum factory); Barcelona, Spain (fluoride-contaminated wine); Bolzano, Italy (aluminum and Magnesium manufacturing); Kitimat, British Columbia (aluminum factory); Clarington, Ohio (near an aluminum plant). In Hanover, Germany he observed fluorosed cattle; in Stockholm, Sweden, fluorosed calves and horses; in Brussels, Belgium, fluorosed sheep. Just prior to his death he was engaged in the study of the health effects of environmental pollutants in Urbana, Ohio and in Hemlock, Michigan.

As founder of the International Society for Fluoride Research, a multi-disciplinary organization, the purpose of which is to investigate the biological effects of fluoride, and editor of FLUORIDE, its official publication, he has made an invaluable contribution toward understanding how fluoride in water, air, food and pharmaceuticals affects humans, vegetation and animals, both wild and domestic.

Among awards, he received first prize for his exhibit on Occupational Allergy at the Congress of the European Academy of Allergy, The Hague, Holland (May 11, 1958); another first prize from the journal “Cutis” in collaboration with Dr. V.A. Cecilioni, in March 1972 (page 331), for his manuscript on Chizzola Maculae, the description of a skin lesion which is a diagnostic tool in chronic fluoride poisoning. He was presented with a distinguished “Award of Merit” by the Board of Regents of the American College of Allergists, March 30, 1977 “in recognition of professional achievements, contributions to the medical literature, teaching on allergy and immunology and for more than 25 years service to patients and the profession of medicine, particularly in his field (of allergy).”

A comprehensive article in the Southern Medical Journal, March 1980, which includes case histories on the preskeletal phase of fluoride intoxication; presentation to his colleagues in October 1980 of a poster exhibit on “The Role of Fluoride in Clinical Medicine” — a condensation of his vast research on fluoride — at the Michigan Chapter of the College of Physicians at Sugar Loaf Mountain in Northern Michigan, and in the following January in Atlanta at the 1981 Winter Session of the American Medical Association — represent fitting highlights in his long and distinguished career in medicine in service to mankind. He will be missed not only in this country but in countries throughout the world.

See also “in memoriam”, Annals of Allergy, Vol 49, December, 1982, p 336


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