Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride & the Immune System – Summation from the US National Research Council (2006)


Excerpts from the: National Research Council. (2006). Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards. National Academies Press, Washington D.C. 

“[P]atients who live in either an artificially fluoridated community or a community where the drinking water naturally contains fluoride at 4 mg/L have all accumulated fluoride in their skeletal systems and potentially have very high fluoride concentrations in their bones. The bone marrow is where immune cells develop and that could affect humoral immunity and the production of antibodies to foreign chemicals.” (p 249).

“When bone turnover occurs, the potential exists for immune system cells and stem cells to be exposed to concentrations of fluoride in the interstitial fluids of bone that are higher than would be found in serum.” (p 258).

“There is no question that fluoride can affect the cells involved in providing immune responses. The question is what proportion, if any, of the population consuming drinking water containing fluoride at 4.0 mg/L on a regular basis will have their immune systems compromised? Not a single epidemiologic study has investigated whether fluoride in the drinking water at 4 mg/L is associated with changes in immune function. Nor has any study examined whether a person with an immunodeficiency disease can tolerate fluoride ingestion from drinking water.” (p 250).

“From an immunologic standpoint, individuals who are immunocompromised (e.g., AIDS, transplant, and bone-marrow-replacement patients) could be at greater risk of the immunologic effects of fluoride.” (p 258).

“It is paramount that careful biochemical studies be conducted to determine what fluoride concentrations occur in the bone and surrounding interstitial fluids from exposure to fluoride in drinking water at up to 4 mg/L, because bone marrow is the source of the progenitors that produce the immune system cells.” ( p 259).