NRC Safety Standards for Exposure to Fluorine and Fluorides.

Toxicol Mech Methods. 2011 Feb;21(2):103-70.

An NRC and ATSDR based review of safety standards for exposure to fluorine and fluorides.

Prystupa J.

Independent Research Foundation, Toxicology Division, CO, USA.


Background: A review of the literature of the element fluorine and its bonded-form, fluoride, was undertaken. Generally regarded as safe, an expanding body of literature reveals that fluoride?s toxicity has been unappreciated, un-scrutinized, and hidden for over 70 years.  The context for the literature search and review was an environmental climate-change study, which demonstrated widespread fluoride contamination by smokestack emissions from coal-fired electricity-generating plants.  The objective of this review is to educate and inform regarding the ubiquitous presence and harmful nature of this now ever-present corrosive and reactive toxin.   Methods:  Methods include examination of national health agency reviews, primarily the National Research Council (NRC), Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), standard medical toxicology references, text books, as well as reports and documents from both private and public research as well as consumer-based NGOs.  Study criteria were chosen for relevancy to the subject of the toxicity of fluoride.  Results:  Fluorine is the extreme electron scavenger, the most corrosive of all elements, as well as the most-reactive.  Fluoride appears to attack living tissues, via several mechanisms.  Fluoride renders strong evidence that it is a non-biological chemical, demonstrating no observed beneficial function or role in organic chemistry, beyond use as a pesticide or insecticide. Fluorine has a strong role to play in industry, having been utilized extensively in metals, plastics, paints, aluminium, steel, and uranium production.   Conclusion:  Due to its insatiable appetite for calcium, fluorine and fluorides likely represent a form of chemistry that is incompatible with biological tissues and organ system functions.  Based on an analysis of the affects of fluoride demonstrated consistently in the literature, safe levels have not been determined nor standardized.  Mounting evidence presents conflicting value to its presence in biological settings and applications.  Evidence examined in this review of the literature, and specifically the recent report by the National Research Council (NRC), offer strong support for an immediate reconsideration concerning risk vs benefit.  Consensus recommendations from several sources are presented.

Addemdum to above post by Richard Sauerheber, Ph.D.

Fluorine is the most electron withdrawing element in the universe, but fluoride has already stolen an electron and is then a negative charge  seeking a positive ion such as calcium.  Fluorine does not seek calcium ion and instead violently reacts with any element in the world, usually whatever it touches that is oxidizable the easiest, until it becomes reduced fluoride and then it is the opposite–seeking positive charge.  Fluoride cannot ever be oxidized back to fluorine by anything in the known world.  The element fluorine oxidizes everything, while the ion fluoride cannot oxidize anything. On the other hand, the ion fluoride cannot be oxidized by anything but the element fluorine is oxidized by everything.  Neither fluorine nor fluoride can reduce anything (the generation of fluorine from fluoride is done in labs but cannot be stored because it reacts with anything it touches back to fluoride).  So fluorine is reduced by everything, and fluoride is reduced by nothing.  Most chemists do not put in the time to understand this.  Fluorine is the most electrogeative element on the Periodic Table, but fluoride has the electron it wanted and wants no more and in fact has no electronegativity at all, and instead repels electrons and negative ions and attracts positive ions.