Fluoride Action Network


Fluoride has been in focus as a possible causal agent for respiratory symptoms amongst aluminium potroom workers for several decades. Previously, using bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), we demonstrated airway inflammation in healthy volunteers 24 hours after exposure to hydrogen fluoride (HF). The objective of the present study was to examine early lung responses to HF exposure. Bronchoscopy with BAL was performed 2 hours after the end of 1-hour exposure to HF. Significant reductions in the total cell number and the number of neutrophils and lymphocytes were observed in bronchoalveolar portion (BAP), whereas there were no significant changes in the bronchial portion (BP). Significantly decreased concentrations of beta2-MG, IL-6 and total protein were found in both BAP and BP. Additionally, IL-8 was significantly reduced in BP, and ICAM-1 and albumin were present in lower concentrations in BAP. Lung function measurements were not affected by HF exposure. These reported effects are presumably transitory, as many were not present in the airways 24 hours after a similar HF exposure.