[back]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.
Coming soon: tributes to Drs George Waldbott and Frederick Exner