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Culture Change

Brain control of the masses via pollutants

by Jan Lundberg with reporting by Moth

At first it seems like a possible health crisis: everyone exposed to carbon monoxide, fluoride and other chemicals that are proven extremely toxic to humans  But it so happens that those two chemicals, of the hundreds that affect us in unexpected ways as consequences of corporate abuse and corrupt government, affect the mind and behavior.

Carbon monoxide (CO) exposure, endured by more than half the U.S. population, is due largely to automobile use.  CO impairs mental performance and causes depression and irritability.  Road rage is only one logical consequence.  People impaired by frequent CO exposure can continue to drive, work, procreate — and above all, consume.  But they are hardly in a condition to start creatively improving their lives and opposing injustice.  Prozac (which contains fluoride) and more television are instead the normal course.  Meanwhile, one of the original causes of the overall malaise, CO, is unquestioned and considered only dangerous in massive, lethal quantities.

As this report will also suggest, low-level, chronic carbon monoxide poisoning has placed an unknown, but substantial portion of the population in prison, and an almost equally high number of children have been given drugs to modify behavior for "disorders."  Additionally, we maintain that many other disease-inducing pollutants that do not affect the brain directly per se serve to add to the public's passivity, apathy, and malaise.

In addition to epidemics of cancer and heart disease, the U.S. population suffers from other ills serving to limit creative, spontaneous brain use:  Being poor and hungry and/or homeless can numb the mind, which sounds like a good policy for the exploitative rich.  The balance sought is to not let the working classes do too well or too poorly. 

Fluoride's dark history

Fluoride was used by the Nazis in concentration camps to keep the inmates passive.  The poison serves to decrease resistance to authority.  Alcoa Aluminum, which produced fluoride as a manufacturing byproduct, combined forces with I. G. Farben, the Nazi-era conglomerate, which utilized fluoride in creative, profitable ways, including deadly nerve gas.  After the war, with decades of effective propaganda from Alcoa, most U.S. municipalities came to fluoridate their water.  

The key justification was and is that fluoride is good for teeth and is harmless, although the dental benefit is consistently unsubstantiated when tested.  But a toddler can die from eating too much toothpaste with fluoride, and the effect of fluoride on teeth is to harden them to the point of making them brittle.  The bone cancer rate is six times higher among young males in fluoridated communities. 

Apart from the ongoing benefit to the aluminum industry and other industries which do not have to dispose of toxic fluoride waste — instead, putting it into the water — the control of the populace via fluoride may be a consideration for ongoing overexposure.  After all, there is a lot riding on the public's acceptance of everything from corrupt politics and elections, destruction of nature for profit, and commercial domination of daily living.  

It is not only fluoridated water systems giving people fluoride; the pollutant is emitted into the air and water from factories and mines, and ends up in food, drinks and toothpaste.  Babies that get fluoridated water added to their food or formula get several times the safe level of exposure.  Levels of exposure and accumulation in older children and adults are on average several times what is safe, according to many studies (see references).  Yet, despite fluoride's demonstrable dangers, industry influence has won so far.  Has the population succumbed to dumbness via chemicals, or is it pervasive propaganda?  The answer is both.

Not surprisingly, today's research dominated by corporate interests and an academia propping up the status quo does not over-investigate sources of pollution and health damage from industry.  It is too much to expect corporate-supported experts to pursue the issue of how our brains are affected, and what this means for our lives as controlled citizens herded by institutions, laws, and the domesticated, paved landscape.  

This report deals with only two pollutants which are produced willfully and in great quantities without the informed consent of those affected.  How efficient: control one society with two chemicals.  No doubt other chemicals are involved.  To also take into account the plethora of approved, but untested chemicals provided by Dupont, oil companies and others, and estimate the impact on our health and behavior, is extremely hard to do.  The "precautionary principle" has been thrown out the window, as demonstrated by the U.S. Congress's Delaney Clause (barring carcinogenic substances) being tossed by the Clinton/Gore Environmental Protection Agency. 

Improving on nature is a common explanation of the excesses of corporations, industries and government policies.  But to enforce the so-called improvement on nature there has to be a passive public.  Combining fluoride with carbon monoxide and other chemicals (that synergize with unpredictable results) with the massive propagandizing assaulting the public through media and public "education," it is easy keep the public out of the decision process.  The answer to this state of affairs lies is local action and taking local, responsible control.  Washington would eventually follow if it wants to.

The public health crisis is not an honest mistake by hard-working people trying to do good jobs, when decade after decade the public trust is betrayed by corrupt politicians and officials.  Nor is this a matter of electing the right president:  Aside from the consideration of anyone being elected having to be approved by the powers that be whose interests will be protected, the greater issue is our consuming habits as practiced by the most materialistic, wasteful culture ever seen.  When massive chemical production and energy use are tantamount to progress (even though this is unsustainable and harmful to life on our delicate planet) we are faced with nothing less than a breakdown of civilization.  The crisis has implications for social relations at all levels, including how much a brain-pollutant is allowed on the market.

Instead of raising hell and taking a stand, the embattled consumer wishes most often for a little more relief and distraction.  When disaster strikes, it may be seen as unreal as a television show, even as the body gives out and the spirit goes out with barely a whimper.  The American victim sees relatives and friends struggling and succumbing to the rising epidemic of cancer, but the daily routine goes on without question: make more money, pay off the rising debts, and don't take any action on global warming or the war on Iraq.  

We are suggesting there are explanations for inaction beyond what is commonly suggested.  With  more complete understanding, some individualized health purification, and old-fashioned indignation, solutions are more easily forthcoming — if people work together.

Fluoride's challenge

Very little information is available on the mind-effects of fluoride exposure.  As government and industry have suppressed the truth on the health effects, one can assume that suppression of mental and behavioral effects would be even more assured.  This report recounts the physical effects of fluoridation and how they have been hushed up.  Yet, few people are prepared to question the propaganda they grew up on.  Even in what has been called the most progressive, "green" town in the U.S. — our town of Arcata — fluoride and its relative chlorine are added to the water supply without question.  Activists have plenty to occupy themselves already.  Many are content to filter their water, but it is widely stated that filtration does not take out fluoride.

Fluoride's effect on the brain as a neurotoxin is less understood than the effects on the body, yet the known facts are being suppressed.  Evidence shows that fluoride slightly damages the brain’s hippocampus, the area needed for memory and learning new behavior.  People are still able to function normally, as the parts undamaged regulate repetitive learned behavior, with frequent memory repetitions, but little new information being processed.  This makes people more susceptible to propaganda, by repeating images in the mind.

Because much is known about excess fluoridation and its tragic effects on teeth, bones and more, we can link the physical ailments and chronic debilitation of excessive fluoridation to our mental and behavioral states.  By extension, any mass illness, such as AIDS, serves to keep the population under control.  When people are ill and have low energy, they are more likely to sit at home and watch TV than go out into the community and make changes.  It's hard enough getting up each day to go be a wage slave.  It takes time and energy to work with one's neighbors and influence the political process.   Protecting one's selfish interests with large amounts of cash —- the mother's milk of politics — can more easily be done even if such players are subject to toxic substances.

(This report focuses further on fluoride before we return to carbon monoxide.) 

Fluoride maximization: a health crisis

We summarize below two exposés on fluoride.  These stories had been suppressed by corporate news media, but found a home in 1998 at the Earth Island Journal (EIJ) whence the following comes.  We are grateful for permission to quote liberally.  We also include references/links at the end for more information.  The articles do not infer mental or behavioral effects from excess fluoridation, but the authors would probably agree that the diseases brought upon millions of citizens would limit active dissent, especially when people don't know they are being poisoned slowly and they have trust in their government.

"Harold C. Hodge, Ph.D., the former chair of the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council's Committee on Toxicology was the Atomic Energy Commission scientist who became a key figure in a secret plan to promote fluoride as a dental preservative in an attempt to derail lawsuits by US citizens exposed to the release of fluoride into the environment at the AEC's WWII uranium production plants [See "Fluoride, Teeth and the A-Bomb," Winter 97-98 EIJ].

"In 1953, Hodge prepared a chart on fluoride effects for NAS/NRC and offered this reassuring information in congressional testimony in 1954, as Congress considered a bill to outlaw water fluoridation."  

It turns out that Hodge's work was flawed regarding safe levels of exposure because he forgot a pounds/kilograms conversion.  But government standards did not get corrected for forty years.  On top of this incompetence or fraud, fluoridation levels have never been set to take into account other additional sources of exposure from industrial pollution and consumer products, according to the EIJ reports.

"Studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals worldwide describe increasing numbers of children whose teeth require complex dental treatment because of excess fluoride, and adults with headaches, back pain, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis symptoms, and hyperparathyroidism, all attributed to fluorosis. These documents also report that with increased fluoride dosage, cavities also tend to increase.

"Once confined almost exclusively to drinking water, fluorides now reach us from a variety of sources including dental products, drugs, and virtually every food and beverage item. In the light of these studies, why is it that the EPA's maximum contaminant level for fluoride in drinking water fails to take into account the additional fluoride ingested from foods, dental products or beverages?

"When drinking water containing about one ppm of fluoride is the only source of ingested fluoride, 10 to 15 percent of the exposed children will show a faint change in the appearance of their teeth called dental fluorosis. With 2 or 3 ppm, nearly all children will be affected by this first (and only visible) sign of fluoride poisoning.

"'Whereas dental fluorosis is easily recognized,' the WHO reported in 1970, "the skeletal involvement is not clinically obvious until the advanced stage of crippling fluorosis ... [Early cases may be misdiagnosed as rheumatoid- or osteo-arthritis.  

"Arthritis caused by fluoride exposure has been a threat to human health since the earliest times. Now, after 50 years of ever-increasing exposure, the world may be on the verge of a new health scourge -- crippling skeletal fluorosis.

"Today, millions of people show signs of dental disease and skeletal fluorosis. These afflictions are not caused solely by fluoridated water, but from the total daily fluoride intake of processed food using fluoridated water, the use of fluoride-based pesticides, fluoride dental products, and the result of increased industrial release of fluoride into the environment over the past 50 years

"During the last 20 years, a great deal of critical information has emerged about the health risks of fluoride, including links to tooth mottling, osteoporosis, arthritis, lower back pain, heartburn, stomach cramps and diarrhea. The problem is that these studies lie buried beneath executive summaries and official interpretations."  Such as:  "The bone cancer rate is six times higher among young males in fluoridated communities.

"If this general increase in fluoride dose were proved harmful to humans, the impact on industry would be major. The nation's air is contaminated by fluoride emissions from the production of iron, steel, aluminum, copper, lead and zinc; phosphates (essential for the manufacture of all agricultural fertilizers); plastics; gasoline; brick, cement, glass, ceramics, and the multitudinous other products made from clay; coal-burning electrical power plants; and uranium processing.

"As for water, the leading industrial fluoride polluters are the producers and processors of glass, pesticides and fertilizers, steel and aluminum, chemicals and metals - copper and brass, titanium, superalloys, and refractory metals for military use.

'The level of fluoride the government allows the public is based on scientifically fraudulent information and altered reports,' charges Robert Carton, an EPA environmental scientist. 'People can be harmed simply by drinking water,' Carton warns.

"Does fluoridation reduce cavities in children? Over the years, many health professionals - especially abroad - have decided the beneficial effects of fluoride are mostly hokum; but open debate has been stifled if not strangled.

"In 1939, ALCOA-funded scientist Gerald J. Cox was one of the first to note that 'The present trend toward complete removal of fluoride from water and food may need some reversal.' Cox also proposed that this 'apparently worthless by-product' might reduce cavities in children. Cox fluoridated lab rats, concluded that fluoride reduced cavities and declared flatly 'The case should be regarded as proved.'

"In 1939, the first public proposal that the US should fluoridate its water supplies was made, not by a doctor, or dentist, but by Cox, an industry scientist working for a company threatened by fluoride damage claims."

Fluoride's downsides by Moth

Fluoride compounds added to drinking water have generated much controversy due to industry manipulation.  Science is often influenced by the financial support of industry, and dissenting opinions are often treated harshly in the mainstream scientific community. Dr. Phyllis Mullinex presented her report to the National Institute of Dental Research about the negative effects of fluoride and was later fired.  She discovered that exposure to fluoride caused hypoactivity, or lethargy in prenatal rats.  Exposing adult rats caused hyperactivity, and also showed effects of fluoride accumulation in the brain.  Subjecting animals to toxins for research is unethical since animals are not able to give consent.  Animals may also be effected differently than humans.  However, she was not fired for ethics and animal research; she was fired because she continued to talk about her findings of fluoride on rats.

Some basic information on fluoride is needed to help people begin educating themselves on fluoride's effects.  The term “fluoride” is often used to describe several compounds that contain the element “Fluorine”, or “F” on the periodic table.  Fluorine is grouped with bromine and chlorine as a halogen.  Halogen gasses are electronegative elements, with fluorine exhibiting the strongest electronegativity of the three.  

Elemental fluorine gas is never found in nature in pure form, it is mined and extracted from minerals like cryolite (Na2AlF6), fluorspar (CaF2) and converted to fluoride compounds like hydrofluosilicic acid (from phosphate fertilizer production) or sodium fluoride (from aluminum production).  Uranium and phosphate mining also result in fluoride waste products, the radioactive uranium is found in the same mineral as fluorine and phosphate.  The decay products of uranium are found in the fluoride waste product from the phosphate fertilizer stack scrubbers and then added to drinking water.  Though the radioactive decay products may be small amounts, the ingestion of even a small radioactive fragment causes genetic mutations.

The behavior of the fluoride ion in the body is different for the type of tissue it affects. The most common effect known is the effect on the enamel of the teeth, where the fluorine separates and bonds with the calcium containing hydroxyapatite (enamel) and replaces the hydroxyl (OH) group.  Since fluorine is a strong electronegative element, it creates a stronger bond. The tooth is harder and also more brittle after the more flexible hydroxl is replaced.  

 Carbon monoxide exposure: nothing to sneeze at - Introduction to section

One of the main ingredients of exhaust is carbon monoxide.  In large amounts it can cause death.  In outdoor exposure, it causes headaches, itching eyes, dizziness, drowsiness, impairs hand-eye coordination, slows reflexes and can cause fetal damage. Carbon monoxide also interferes with the blood’s ability to absorb oxygen, thus affecting perception and thinking.

About 65 percent of the world’s carbon monoxide is caused by motor vehicles.  In urban areas, 80 percent of it comes from cars.  In the U.S. 67 million tons of carbon monoxide are emitted into the atmosphere each year.

Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning from fossil fuel combustion - by Moth

Emission of carbon monoxide (CO) is a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion.  This varies according to the make/model of a vehicle:  For example, SUVs emit nearly twice the amount of CO than do smaller cars.  This carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that is often inhaled by people in the vicinity of vehicles.  The approximate amount CO inhaled and its effect on the body is the subject of this report by Culture Change:

After CO enters the lungs it is absorbed into the bloodstream (along with oxygen, O2 gas) through the capillaries.  What normally happens is the O2 molecule binds chemically with the iron (Fe) molecule in the hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells and its primary function is to transport oxygen to cells.  When the iron delivers the oxygen to the cells, it picks up the waste product carbon dioxide (CO2) and returns to the lung’s capillaries where CO2 is exhaled.  The CO molecule is 200 times more likely to bind with the iron molecule in hemoglobin than is O2.  When this occurs, the hemoglobin can no longer deliver O2 to the cells and is considered “carboxylated hemoglobin.”  When cells do not receive the needed oxygen they die.  The effect of cell death from CO inhalation is called carbon monoxide poisoning.  Severe cases of CO poisoning cause death, yet milder cases of CO poisoning are less noticeable but are also detrimental to health.

Low-level CO poisoning symptoms are a result of less oxygen being transported to the brain.  These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, depression, irritability, headaches and other common symptoms often misdiagnosed.  People who live and/or work in the vicinity of heavy vehicle traffic are more susceptible to low level CO poisoning.  Long term exposure to low level CO poisoning can cause worsening of symptoms, sometimes leading to violence.  The question is how much CO inhalation can cause the symptoms mentioned above?

CO inhalation is usually measured in parts per million (PPM).  The amount in CO ppm inhaled that causes the above symptoms varies with each individual.  On average, a one hour exposure time to CO levels of 300 ppm can lead to 10 percent carboxylated hemoglobin in the blood. [Source: CO Headquarters]  This is an estimate for an adult at rest.  Any level above 5 percent carboxylated hemoglobin is abnormal and unsafe.  Obviously a child at play will be far more sensitive to CO uptake and resulting increase of carboxylated hemoglobin in the blood.

Since CO inhalation is most common in urban areas of high vehicle traffic, the equation below applies to “street canyons” (areas surrounded by buildings):
Ce = (0.1*K*N*V^-0.75) / (U + 0.5)[(x^2 + z^2)^(1/2) + 2]
Ce = concentration of CO in parts per million
K = constant of 7
N = traffic (vehicles per hour)
V = vehicles avg. velocity (miles per hour)
U = wind speed (meters per second)
W = street width (meters)
x = distance of receptor from traffic lane
z = height of receptor above traffic lane
This equation is used for the “leeward” side of the street canyon; there is a separate equation for the windward side of the canyon.  Leeward is in the direction from which the wind is blowing; windward is the direction or side from which the wind blows.  This is assuming the wind is blowing at an approximate 90 degree angle perpendicular to the street canyon. (Eagleman, pg. 95.)  Although there are less CO emissions from modern vehicles, there are more vehicles on the road, so CO poisoning in urban areas like Los Angeles, Mexico City and Houston is still a great risk.  “The total miles driven by all passenger vehicles in the U.S. increased 2.7 times between 1965 and 1995.  The passenger vehicle is still the largest single source of carbon monoxide nationwide.  The average vehicle's emissions of hydrocarbons have been reduced by two-thirds, while the emissions of carbon monoxide have been reduced by only one-third.” [Auto Emissions and Carbon Monoxide]

Symptoms of aggressive behavior and depression in large urban areas are often misdiagnosed as mental health problems.  Many people from urban areas are being incarcerated for behavior that is a result of CO poisoning over several years exposure.  Urban children are especially at risk, as they are more frequently misdiagnosed and labeled ADD by a mental health system that attempts to correct this problem by prescribing pharmaceuticals.  

A simpler and healthier solution would be to reduce the amount of fossil
-fuel combusting vehicles by increasing public transit, making cities more bike/pedestrian friendly, and using alternative fuels (hydrogen, biodiesel) instead of petroleum. 

[The foregoing section of this report on CO was by Moth, a research volunteer for Sustainable Energy Institute/Culture Change]


References and recommendations:
- “Air Pollution Meteorology” by Joe R. Eagleman 1991, University of Kansas CO Headquarters;
- Auto Emissions and Carbon Monoxide  
- Chronology of Nazi and aluminum industry fluoride development
- Fluoride exposés from Earth Island Journal
(originally printed in Covert Action Quarterly (Fall, 1992), and
- Val Valerian:

- Fluoride Action Network:

- The Argument Against Fluoridation:
- Refuting "the dose makes the poison," Rachel's Environment & Health News deals with chemical exposure.
- Rachel's also surveys fluoridation in the U.S.
- "A New Kind Of Poverty" Anna Quindlen, Newsweek
- "The Reality" by Jill Cloutier, from Hopedance magazine

- Overpopulation: Resources for Understanding and Taking Action  

Back to Home Page

Jan Lundberg's columns are protected by © copyright; however, non-commercial use of the material is permitted as long as full attribution is given with a link to this website, and he is informed of the re-publishing:



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Renewable and alternative energy information.

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