Sodium fluoride (NaF) has been used to fluoridate drinking water in the United States since the mid 1940s. Because of the lack of reliable studies on the multigeneration effects of the compound, NaF (0, 25, 100, 175 or 250 ppm in drinking water) was given to rats continuously during three generations. Parental (F0) generation rats were treated for 10 weeks and mated within groups. At gestation day 20, caesarean sections were performed and eight F0 females per group and their litters (F1) were observed for implant status, fetal weight and length, sex and morphological development. The remaining F0 females (29-32 per group) were allowed to litter. F1 offspring (36 of each sex per group) were mated within groups, and caesarean sections were performed at gestation day 20. The F1 females and their litters (F2) were observed for implant status, fetal weight and length, sex and morphological development. In addition, F2 fetuses were evaluated for internal (soft-tissue) and skeletal development. Decreased fluid consumption for F0 and F1 dams at 175 and 250 ppm was attributed to decreased palatability of the solution. No dose-related effects in feed consumption or mean body weight gain were observed in either F0 or F1 females. Numbers of corpora lutea, implants, viable fetuses and fetal morphological development were similar in all groups. No dose-related anomalies in internal organs were observed in F2 fetuses. Ossification of the hyoid bone of F2 fetuses was significantly decreased at 250 ppm. Because of the decreased ossification of the hyoid bone, 250 ppm is considered the effect level.
*Original abstract online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0278691501000333