Fluoride Action Network


Contemporary biological markers assess present, or very recent, exposure to fluoride: fluoride concentrations in blood, bone surface, saliva, milk, sweat and urine have been considered. A number of studies relating fluoride concentration in plasma to fluoride dose have been published, but at present there are insufficient data on plasma fluoride concentrations across various age groups to determine the ‘usual’ concentrations. Although bone contains 99% of the body burden of fluoride, attention has focused on the bone surface as a potential marker of contemporary fluoride exposure. From rather limited data, the ratio surface-to-interior concentration of fluoride may be preferred to whole bone fluoride concentration. Fluoride concentrations in the parotid and submandibular/sublingual ductal saliva follow the plasma fluoride concentration, although at a lower concentration. At present, there are insufficient data to establish a normal range of fluoride concentrations in ductal saliva as a basis for recommending saliva as a marker of fluoride exposure. Sweat and human milk are unsuitable as markers of fluoride exposure. A proportion of ingested fluoride is excreted in urine. Plots of daily urinary fluoride excretion against total daily fluoride intake suggest that daily urinary fluoride excretion is suitable for predicting fluoride intake for groups of people, but not for individuals. While fluoride concentrations in plasma, saliva and urine have some ability to predict fluoride exposure, present data are insufficient to recommend utilizing fluoride concentrations in these body fluids as biomarkers of contemporary fluoride exposure for individuals. Daily fluoride excretion in urine can be considered a useful biomarker of contemporary fluoride exposure for groups of people, and normal values have been published.