1. The 30-day LC50 of sodium fluoride administered in the drinking water was 205 ppm fluoride in the weanling rat. Death generally occurred between the third and fifth day after administration was begun. When levels of 150–250 ppm fluoride were administered in the water, 30–40% of the surviving rats showed a renal lesion consisting of dilatation of the tubules at the corticomedullary junction.
2. Levels of 0, 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 ppm fluoride were administered in the drinking water to rats for 6 months. No growth depression was seen, even at 100 ppm, but mortality was slightly increased in males and females ingesting 50 ppm and males ingesting 100 ppm. The only pathologic changes were seen in the kidney and the bone. Two of the 12 rats receiving 100 ppm for 6 months showed a marked dilatation of the tubules in the corticomedullary region of the kidneys. The lesion was accompanied by a high water consumption and urine output. Radiographically, an increase in the deposition of trabecular bone was seen in the rats ingesting 100 ppm fluoride. A slight increase was also seen in the males ingesting 50 ppm fluoride.
3. Balance studies showed that rats retained about 50% of the ingested fluoride after 3 months on fluoridated water. Seventy-five to 80% of the ingested fluoride was absorbed, and 65–70% of the absorbed fluoride was retained. After 6 months, the male rats retained 45% of the ingested fluoride, the females about 60%. Both males and females absorbed 80% of the ingested fluoride. The males retained 60% of the absorbed fluoride; the females, 80%. The percentage fluoride retained was independent of the fluoride level in the water. The increased age of the rats did not alter fluoride retention, except that the females retained a higher percentage of the ingested fluoride than the males after 6 months.
4. The fluoride concentration in the femur ash of the rats ingesting fluoridated water for 3 months was directly proportional to the fluoride level in the water, even with a level of 100 ppm. After 6 months, the fluoride concentration was directly proportional to the fluoride level in the water at levels of 50 ppm and less. The rats ingesting 100 ppm fluoride in the water had a lower concentration than would be expected from this proportionality.
5. The natural fluoride present in a stock animal ration such as Purina Fox Chow Meal was of limited availability. Only 10–15% of this fluoride was metabolized by the rat.