Fluoride Action Network


This study examined the behavioral effects of chronic ingestion of various monofluoroaluminum complexes (AlF3) in drinking water. Forty young adult male Long-Evans rats were divided into four groups of 10 rats each. The groups received different concentrations of AlF3 in the drinking water from three sample solutions having a total Al concentration of 0.5, 5.0, and 50 ppm, respectively, or double-distilled deionized water on an ad lib. basis for 45 weeks. General decline of bodily appearance was observed in the lowest concentration AlF3 group, and animals in this group succumbed in greater numbers during the course of the study than those in any other group. Examinations of performance in an open field, an analysis of walking patterns, and a balance beam test did not find any difficulties indicative of motor disorder. Indeed, on the initial trial on the balance beam, the AlF3-treated animals exhibited superior performance. No group differences were found in behavior assessed by spontaneous alternation or by a modified Morris water maze test. When retested in the Morris maze after a low dose of scopolamine (0.4 mg/kg), the control animals took longer to reach the platform while the AlF3-treated rats were not affected. In an olfactory preference test, the AlF3-treated animals failed to show preferences exhibited by the controls, indicating a possible olfactory impairment. The level of Al in the brains of the AlF3-exposed rats, as determined by direct current plasma analysis, was almost double that of the control animals. There was a similar trend for the Al content found in the kidneys.