- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2007

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (AP) — David B. Ast, a New York dentist who helped show the effectiveness of fluoridated drinking water in preventing tooth decay, died Feb. 3 of heart failure at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, where he had lived for several decades. He was 104.

In 1944, Dr. Ast began a 10-year study of fluoridation that bolstered the use of fluoride in public drinking water to prevent tooth decay.

He selected two towns of similar size along the Hudson River — Newburgh and Kingston — and compared the health and dental records of their residents. During the study, Newburgh’s water was treated with fluoride compounds, while Kingston’s water was not.

The results showed that children in Newburgh had a 60 percent reduction in numbers of cavities between the ages of 6 and 9, and a nearly 70 percent reduction in cavities by the time they were 12 to 14. Moreover, the study found no significant difference in the incidence of cancer, birth defects or heart or kidney disease between the two towns.

The use of fluoride in Newburgh subsequently was used as a landmark case study for other municipalities in New York state. In the 1950s, Dr. Ast and others successfully repeated the experiment in Mineola on Long Island. Dr. Ast called for adding fluoride to New York City’s water, which was accomplished in 1965.

Dr. Ast was born in New York City and received his dental degree from New York University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan.

He practiced dentistry and eventually became an assistant commissioner of New York state’s health department.

After World War II, Dr. Ast spent nearly 18 months in Europe, where he helped dentists re-establish clinics and resume their practices, his daughter Jill Michtom said.

Mr. Ast’s wife of 74 years, Isabel, died in 2003. The couple lived in Albany, N.Y., before moving to Laguna Hills in the 1970s.

Ian Wallace, 60, rock drummer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ian Wallace, a journeyman drummer who toured with Bob Dylan, Don Henley and Bonnie Raitt and recorded with Stevie Nicks, Ry Cooder and other music stars, died Feb. 22 of complications from esophageal cancer at UCLA Medical Center. He was 60.

Born in Bury, England, Mr. Wallace began playing in rock bands in the 1960s and earned a reputation for his eclectic range.

Mr. Wallace went on to provide beats for prominent musicians in a variety of genres. They included Crosby, Stills & Nash, Stevie Nicks, Roy Orbison, the Traveling Wilburys, Brian Eno and Jackson Browne.

He also played with several jazz bands and founded the Crimson Jazz Trio.

Survivors include his wife, Marjory Pomeroy; his mother, his father and two daughters.

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