The following is a letter from Dr. DeLoss E. Winkler, a Shell chemist describing his health problems due to water fluoridation.

Fluoridation, as you know, is the addition of fluoride to the public water supply with the intention of aiding dental health of young children. 60% of the people ' in the United States now have fluoridated water. It is a waste of over 600 million dollars a year in government funds and the probable cause of some 20,000 deaths a year. Countries of western Europe have refused to fluoridate or have tried it and discarded it in spite of the persistent advocacy of fluoridation by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

This subject is personally very close to me because of my extreme sensitivity to fluoride. Our water in the East Bay Municipal Utility District is fluoridated. Distillation is the only method available for complete removal of fluoride, so we must distill all of our cooking and drinking water. Even people who do not have an immediate problem as I do will eventually evidence adverse effects.

First, let me tell you a little about myself. I an a graduate of the University of Kansas with A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry. I worked thirty years for Shell Development Company, Emeryville, California, in the fields of organic and polymer chemistry and six years at Beckman Instruments, Palo Alto, California, as chief polymer chemist. Since 1979 1 have been a consultant in polymer chemistry and technology. I have 38 United States patents and 12 publications in scientific journals.

Nineteen years ago, when I started work in Palo Alto, I suffered a series of sick spells which might be described as "flu like", in which I experienced chronic fatigue, muscular weakness, And muscular aches. The fatigue and muscle weakness was so overwhelming that I was unable to perform any normal task and was forced to stay in bed for a week each time, until I gained the strength to return to work.

This occurred about once a month, so during my first eight months with Beckman Instruments I was absent from work twenty five percent of the time and never felt up to par. Doctors in Palo Alto and at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland were unable to help me, and I was beginning to despair of ever being well again. Was I going to live or die?

When my wife, who had studied fluoridation for a number of years, learned that Palo Alto water was artificially fluoridated, she suggested that I carry unfluoridated water from our home in Orinda to Palo Alto for drinking. The result was truly miraculous and I was able to lead a normal life again.

After I understood my illness and what was causing it, I did some research. The Physicians Desk Reference described my symptoms as typical of fluoride poisoning. A study by Feltman and Kosel in 1961 predicted that one percent of the population in a fluoridated community will show sensitivity to fluoride.

This latter statement means that in the East Bay Municipal Utility District a little over one million people, for example, probably 10,000 people will evidence some sensitivity in one way or another. The halogen, fluoride, is the most electronegative and one of the most reactive of the elements. It is known as an enzyme poison, even at the seemingly low level of I mg/l in the water supply. Why be surprised if it affects some people adversely?

As in my case, the average physician, having been told emphatically by the Public Health Service and the American Dental Association that fluoridation is safe, is unaware that fluoride in the public water supply can cause severe illness. As the saying goes, "What you don't look for, you don't find". Thus many people are no doubt suffering needlessly, unable to find a doctor who can diagnose their illness.

Now, because of my sensitivity to fluoride, when I travel I must buy distilled water whenever I am in a fluoridated area; and at home, now that East Bay Municipal Utility District water is fluoridated (since 1976), we distill all our drinking and cooking water.

Fourteen years ago, to test our diagnosis, I took part in a double blind test in which I was given a one week supply of water at a time, sometimes fluoridated with 1 ppm fluoride using hydrofluosilicic acid, sometimes not. (Hydrofluosilicic acid is the compound used by E.B.M.U.D. to fluoridate.) Neither the doctor nor I knew which water was fluoridated as a third person determined this. My body accurately identified the water containing the fluoride.

In my opinion, a public water district should not use a procedure which has the known possibility of harming one percent of those using it. In the case of fluoride, not fluoridating the public water supply will not cancel anyone's opportunity to use fluorides from many other sources if they so choose, but it will respect the right of the individual who wants to avoid fluoride.

DeLoss E. Winkler, PhD