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A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
How everyday common items got started
  
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 08:20    Post subject: How everyday common items got started  

Did you ever wonder how some of our everyday common products, involving minerals, got started?

For example, like fluoridated toothpaste. Most of us use this daily as a tooth cavity preventative; and have used this for much of our lives.
Well, right here where I live, in Bloomington Indiana, the location of Indiana University, is the birthplace of this common everyday product!

At the end of his Indianapolis dental school days about 1945 Joseph Muhler began a 10 year study with an Indiana University chemistry and geology department team of researchers headed by chemistry department researcher Harry Day.
It had long been recognized that folks, mostly youngsters living in communities near Bloomington Indiana, had a statistically lower incidence of tooth decay and cavities than in other communities far from Bloomington.
Why was that, they asked. By about 1950 researchers found the local drinking water was naturally fluoridated. Putting this research into motion, several compounds were made including stannous fluoride (SnF4). The compound seemed safe to use, so about 1953 several thousand Bloomington Indiana grade school children went into the first researched study using this compound. In fact it worked with no unwanted side effects. Tooth cavities in these school kids was dramatically reduced!

The company, Procter and Gamble, bought the IU stannous fluoride patents and Crest Toothpaste was born! By about 1960 it was a FDA and ADA approved, becoming a common everyday product.

Indiana University, Harry Day, and his research team, all did very well financially. while the Bloomington Indiana grade school kids all made the national news. BOB
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R Saunders




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 08:56    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

74 and I remember my mother talking about the tooth paste. We lived in St. Louis County then.Then in city waters and many thought that was a bad thing. I had a dental hygienist once cleaning my teeth. She showed me the specks on her front teeth saying it was from too much fluoride. True? Is it made from the mined fluorite like from Hardin County, Illinois? I've been told yes,
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Tracy




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 09:03    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

Yes, too much fluoride can cause tooth discoloration. At high enough concentrations it will damage the enamel secondary to hypomineralization. Young children are at the greatest risk.

-Tracy

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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 09:12    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

Yes, fluoride [if in the correct amounts] toothpaste can help reduce cavities in children [only] - NOT in ADULTS. In fact, it is fairly harmful to adults [as is fluoridated water]. Even for children, if they have some environmental exposure to fluoride from water or other factors, a fluoride toothpaste can be a problem, more than a health benefit. Discolored teeth are the least of the potential problems of fluorosis [too much fluoride in the body]. The toothpaste industry will not tell anyone this and many adults still buy toothpaste with fluoride. It should only be for children and only with supervision of a doctor or dentist who knows about other exposures to that person from the location they live in and perhaps lifestyle......
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Ricky hartzog




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 09:57    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

I saw a documentary on Discovery Channel or History Channel and there's a desert littered with human remains, and they have the nicest whitest teeth you have ever seen. The ground water had way to much fluoride and the people only lived to their 20's to early 30's because of the fluoride poisoning. I quit using fluoride toothpaste after I saw that show.
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Bruce Friedman




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 11:58    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

As a member of the dental profession for 47 years, allow me to dispel the false information that has reared its ugly head in this forum. Fluoride has been approved and recommended for children AND adults to be safe and effective by the World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), American Cancer Association, American Medical Association, FDI (International Federation of Dentistry, and the American Dental Association (ADA).

It is particularly useful in adults with radiation caries due to irradiation to the salivary glands for treatment of head and neck cancer. Google radiation caries and it looks like methamphetamine mouth. I have personally made fluoride trays for these patients and have prevented or arrested decay with fluoride placed in trays. Adults who drink numerous beverages with sugar get class 3 caries or inteproximall decay. Fluoride application via the fairly new (15 years old) varnish will arrest much of this decalcification.

There is NO accepted Scientific proof that as Peter says "it is fairly harmful to adults {as is fluoridated water}" FALSE FALSE FALSE. Please, for Pete's sake retract this misinformation.

I have given lectures to pediatricians, dentists, and the lay public on the benefits of fluoride and this misinformation is part of the small but vocal Anti-Fluoride Movement that claims it is a Communist Plot to put fluoride in the drinking water..... NO Kidding.

Please don't let it propagate in this educated forum.

Kind regards,
Bruce D Friedman DDS

Past President of Houston Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
Past Editor of the Journal of The Houston District Dental Society
Life member of:
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
American Dental Association
Texas Dental Association
Houston District Dental Society
Past Assistant Professor of Community Dentistry University of Texas @ Houston Dental School
Past Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry University of Texas @ Houston Dental School
Past Houston Area Mineral Society (HAMS) Coordinator
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 12:48    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

GREAT.....As an MD, I was waiting and hoping for someone with specialized dental experience to respond about this with correct and positive findings!!!

My original posting had nothing what so ever to do with all this false and unsubstantiated stuff about fluoridation. My posting was just to note everyday commonly used products and how, using minerals, chemistry, and geology, they were developed. NOTHING MORE !!!

When fluoride toothpaste was introduced, there were the usual conspiracy theories. When manufactured and used appropriately there are no known bad side effects.
Fluoridated water occurs both naturally and by design. If the concentration of the fluoride is correct, other than helping to reduce cavities in the population, there are no known deleterious side effects.

The silly ideas in some of the above responses are perpetuated by misinformed, uninformed folks, and some with "off the wall" agendas stuck in out of the way places, with nothing better to do with their time other than continually post inappropriate responses to legitimate postings on this and other websites.

In fact, for related topics postings, I suggest someone look up the tungsten filament. Within 15 years the metal tungsten went from a laboratory curiosity to an everyday common home product in the incandescent light bulb.
Look up aluminum. From difficult to refine, with few uses prior to 1940 to a strategic metal in WW II to an everyday common product by 1960. Just 20 years from no aluminum to very common in everyday life!
There are lots of mineral related products that developed in this way. BOB
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Ed Huskinson




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 15:01    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

In response to Dr Friedman's post, I must add that, when growing up in Amarillo, Texas, I had many friends from Lubbock, Texas (a few miles south of Amarillo), most of whom had a brownish discoloration or thin coating thereof to their teeth. So I asked them about it, and most of them replied that it was due to a naturally occurring abundance of fluorine in the water supply. They all had healthy teeth with no (or very few) cavities, just the discoloration. I often wondered how this phenomenon affected the local dentists. Did they switch over to podiatry or whatever, given the fact that there was such a low incidence of caries in the younger population? i've often wondered about this. Perhaps someone on this forum has seen people from Lubbock who have or have had the brownish caste to their teeth. Anyway, just thought I'd throw this out there.

Ed in Kingman

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Bruce Friedman




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 15:57    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

Excellent question Ed! The ADA recommended amount of fluoride for people 3 years of age and older is 0.7 ppm. (parts per million). In order to get that amount one needs to drink one liter of water per day with 0.7 ppm in it. My son and our grandsons live in Lubbock and go to a pediatric dentist who is booked up 3 weeks in advance for cleanings, so they obviously are not suffering ;-) Lubbock currently has 0.7 ppm in their water according to their website. It was not always that way. Fifteen years ago they had 2-2.50 ppm of fluoride in the water. They may have installed defluoridation units in their water system to titrate it since then. There are still small parts in west Texas that have up to 3 ppm or more of fluoride. The recommendation is to drink bottled water and use fluoride toothpaste. It is a fine line to titrate it. Fluorosis occurs when too much fluoride is ingested. For people 3 and older browning occurs at the 3 ppm or higher. White spots occur at 2 ppm or more. The recommended amount for an infant from birth to 2 yr is 0.25 ppm. 2yr-3yr. is 0.5 ppm. Some 2 year-olds may get fluorosis by ingesting too much toothpaste chronically at that age. We recommend putting the amount of a rice grain for 0-3, and a pea size for 3 and up until they can spit and not swallow.

In our practice in Houston, we saw people from a 25 mile radius and encouraged them to bring a sample of water in a plastic container and I had a Hach colorimeter and I could measure the fluoride. We had a map of Houston and the surrounding area and I would place a pin denoting the concentration on where it was collected. There was some variance, depending on well water, surface water or public supply where fluoride is added. Interesting to note the city puts less fluoride in the water supply in the summer because they assume more water is consumed per individual at that time. Discrepancies in the readings were also noted depending on age of pipes, copper etc which sometimes leached it out.

Permanent incisors and six year or first permanent molars start forming in the first year, so these are the teeth most affected. Some parents would iatrogenically put a lot of toothpaste on the brush and the infant would routinely swallow it, thus causing browning or white spots 6-7 years later.

The brown spots on the teeth mean the teeth have exchanged the tooth's calcium hydroxyapatite to flurohydroxyapatite thus making them harder and less likely to decalcify.

There is a technique that was later marketed, where we would apply 30% phosphoric acid on the isolated affected teeth (using a nitrile dam to isolate) and over a period of 2-4 treatments would get excellent permanent cosmetic results, without having to do veneers, crowns etc.

Hope this helps. It may be too much information, but at least they are able to keep their teeth decay free for life. Then they just need to worry about losing them to periodontal disease by not routinely flossing ;-)
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SteveB




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 18:17    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

I liked how this thread started but a shame how it fell apart. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” applies here and it's clear people don't understand what “too much” means. Too much water results in drowning but it doesn’t stop people drinking it in appropriate amounts. There is a level for everything when too much becomes harmful. It's no reason to avoid something ever. It's just people being dumb. The amount of fluoride in toothpaste is safe and to avoid it is just stupid. Just because you don't use toothpaste and have good teeth does NOT prove anything. Other factors are at play. Fluoridated toothpaste is NOT solely responsible for healthy teeth It contributes (another word people need to look up in a dictionary). Stop over-reacting to little things thinking they are the the only thing contributing to a problem or lack of problems. ALL things are NOT known in their entirety. Get educated and get a life and stop thinking headlines are facts that make you an expert to dictate anything to anybody. The internet is a cesspit of dumb people and dumb advice, please take it elsewhere.

Bob, I liked your enthusiasm in the opening post and the first reply remembering they were there at that point in history where a beneficial discovery was made and made available to the public. Seems that doesn’t happen much anymore which is sad. Instead discoveries are patented and trademarked and only available to the rich and not to all who need it. I suffered a stroke five years ago losing half my body functions. There is one treatment on the planet currently that can help but its beyond my financial means to ever get access to. With the strain this puts on my body it fails faster and faster as I grow older. I’d rather die than continue on this way but guns are hard to access in Australia. Those deniers out there are growing older too and will find treatments they should get are beyond their means too.
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Bruce Friedman




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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2020 19:11    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

Steve, I agree with you wholeheartedly, and tried to turn it around. Kudos to Bob for starting a very interesting thread. Hopefully it will continue in earnest without biases.

Please persevere and know that the mineral community wishes you well.

Bruce
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Mar 18, 2020 09:17    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

Thanks for the positive comments!

Here are a few thoughts on Aluminum. Before I go any further, my discussion will be geared toward the US.
Also I want to specifically, emphatically state that it will have nothing to do with current thoughts on aluminum levels in the brain and any possible connections with Alzheimers disease. Do not even respond if you want to bring that subject up; it has nothing to do with my posting.

I first became aware of Aluminum when my wife and I moved to Spokane Washington in 1971. Up until that time, I neither really knew anything about the metal or specifically cared about it, but there happened to be 2 big aluminum refining plants near to the city of Spokane. There was an Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) and Kaiser Aluminum plant. They were built in the 1940s.

Why were they there? Bauxite, the major ore of Aluminum had no important mines anywhere near the area so why build refining plants there?
Aluminum was always known to be a relatively reactive light metal with many potential uses. But, unfortunately it had been difficult to refine.
Prior to about 1930 the metal was more of a research metal with potential uses, but no common practical uses.
By 1940 WW II was underway. Other than the troop ships carrying the troops to the European front, the war in Europe was, to become, in large part, a ground war. However after Pearl Harbor on Dec 7 1941, the war in the Pacific was to become, to a much larger extent, a naval and air war. An air war and Aluminum was a very light weight metal!
If it could be easily refined it would play a very important part in building large numbers of airplanes. Aluminum became a WWII strategic metal.

At that time refining the ore was by an electrolytic process. Electrolytic refining required very large amounts of electricity (I really don't know about current refining methods, only that about 33% of all aluminum used today is recycled aluminum). In the 1940s how to cheaply and effectively get large amounts of electric was to utilize hydroelectric plants using the abundant water power of the rivers in the Northwest. The Columbia and Spokane Rivers, among others, with their reliable, abundant water supplies, were to be the places to build the refineries.

Not only that, but the rivers were inland.....not too close to the Pacific Coast.....fear of a West Coast Japanese invasion made it mandatory that strategic metal Aluminum refineries be built well inland to avoid the possibility of an attack . Spokane, in eastern Washington, is 275 miles inland. Perfect places. Bauxite ore shipped to inland refineries using cheap abundant water power producing large amounts of electric for the refining process.
And then building large numbers of WWII aircraft relatively nearby in western Washington (Boeing plants) for use in the Pacific theater. That is why the 2 large refineries were near to the city of Spokane!

By the 1950s Aluminum had many common daily uses. By 1960 we all were using it on a daily basis.
From little use prior to 1940 to common daily use in 1960. Just 20 years for the metal Aluminum to find its place in daily use.....amazing!
Bob
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SteveB




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PostPosted: Mar 18, 2020 10:49    Post subject: Re: How everyday common items got started  

Aluminum has had an amazing journey from an valuable rarity to something everyone considers worthless to just throw away. Unlike most metals which can melt from a rock ore in the heat of camp fire, it's difficult to extract and refine and bauxite doesn't seem to offer any hint to what it can become. Its a strange and difficult metal to work with too. Steels are easier to understand and appreciate.. While aluminum is light it doesn't have much else apparently going for it. A low melting point, easy to bend, incredibly difficult to weld. It's amazing it took off like it did. War often drives innovation and discovery and considering WW2 saw bombers dropping scrap steel when explosives ran low. Maybe not so much with American aircraft but in Europe certainly.

Uranium is another weird metal that is difficult to extract and as far as I know never found in nature in metallic state, but in tiny yellow crystals. I wonder if there are new materials yet to discover since the right circumstances haven't occurred yet to bring discovery to light.

I remember as a child often hearing about the “history books will record this event...” and being a bookworm I found a history book in the library expecting it to tell me everything that's happened. It was a small book :( But I recall it talking about the Dark Ages, Bronze Age etc and hypothesizing primitive man using rocks to make a reusable fire pit and randomly some of those rocks could be a metal ore and the fire heat melting out metals that they find cool in the pit the following day, and figuring out by trial and error which rocks turn into metal in a hot fire and this leading to using the metals etc.Copper would have been the first metal likely.

It is also easy to see how this transformation of rock to metal which only a few would have known at first could lead to the rise of positions of power, and ignorance of how it occurs give rise to crediting “faith” again a Power position. Interesting this power thing mostly occurred in more “civilized” cultures. Whereas true nomadic cultures didn’t as they couldn’t travel with lots of possessions and had to live off the land wherever they went so knowledge of using the natural resources was more valuable, not mere possessions. Considering how many minerals are easily found on the surface I always wondered why Australian aborigines didn't really make use of them, especially for their art. You don't see greens and blues from copper minerals, instead it's specific clays that are valued. They recognize and value the earth giving birth to minerals.

Thanks Bob for triggering some interesting things to think about.
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