Fluoride Action Network


The L5178Y mouse lymphoma cell forward-mutation assay was used to test for the mutagenic activity of sodium and potassium fluoride at the thymidine kinase locus. Mutants were detected by colony formation in soft agar in the presence of trifluorothymidine. Mutagenic and toxic responses were observed in the concentration range of 300-600 micrograms/ml with both sodium and potassium fluoride. Approximately 3-fold increases in mutant frequency were observed for concentrations in the 500-700 micrograms/ml range that reduced the relative total growth to approximately 10% in the absence or presence of a rat-liver S9 activation system. A sample of 30% sodium fluoride-70% sodium bifluoride (NaHF2) induced a similar mutagenic response but was more toxic with respect to the fluoride concentration. A specificity for fluoride ions in causing mutagenesis was indicated by the fast that much higher concentrations of sodium or potassium chloride were necessary to cause toxicity and increases in the mutant frequency. The possible involvement of chromosomal changes was signaled by the predominant increase in the small colony class of mutants.