It has been suggested that systemic fluoride absorption from drinking water may be influenced by the type of fluoride compound in the water and by water hardness. Using a human double-blind cross-over trial, we conducted this study to measure c(max), T(max), and Area Under the Curve (AUC) for plasma F concentration against time, following the ingestion of naturally fluoridated hard and soft waters, artificially fluoridated hard and soft waters, and a reference water. Mean AUC over 0 to 8 hours was 1330, 1440, 1679, 1566, and 1328 ng F.min.mL(-1) for naturally fluoridated soft, naturally fluoridated hard, artificially fluoridated soft, artificially fluoridated hard, and reference waters, respectively, with no statistically significant differences among waters for AUC, c(max), or T(max). Any differences in fluoride bioavailability between drinking waters in which fluoride is present naturally or added artificially, or the waters are hard or soft, were small compared with large within- and between-subject variations in F absorption. Abbreviations used: F, fluoride; AUC, Area under the Curve for plasma F concentration against time; AUC(0-3), Area under the Curve for plasma F concentration against time for 0 to 3 hours following water ingestion; AUC(0-8), Area under the Curve for plasma F concentration against time for 0 to 8 hours following water ingestion; c(max), maximum plasma F concentration corrected for baseline plasma F and dose (i.e., F concentration of individual waters); T(max), time of c(max).