Fluoride Action Network


The genetic toxicity of fluoride has been investigated extensively by various test systems. However, results obtained have been inconsistent. Fluoride has been reported to be non-genotoxic, genotoxic, and synergistic or antagonistic with certain mutagens. To date, there are no published human studies on the genotoxicity of fluoride. The purpose of this investigation was to determine genotoxic risks of long-term exposure to various concentrations of fluoride in drinking water in humans with normal or inadequate nutrition. Six groups of subjects with either normal or inadequate nutritional intakes were selected from areas of approximately 0.2, 1.0, or 4.8 ppm (10.5, 52.6, or 252.6 mumol/L) fluoride in water. The subjects had been continuous residents in the area for at least 35 years. Samples of drinking water, plasma, and urine were analyzed for fluoride content. Blood lymphocytes were examined to determine the frequency of sister chromatid exchange (SCE). Blood chemistry and electrolytes were also analyzed. The results showed that average daily fluoride intake as well as urine and plasma fluoride levels increased with increase in the fluoride content of the drinking water. The blood chemistry and electrolyte values were within the normal range for all populations, but several parameters were significantly different. While the numerical differences were small, the subjects with low fluoride in the water (0.11 and 0.23 ppm or 5.8 and 12.1 mumol/L) had significantly higher SCE frequencies than those with higher fluoride exposures.