Fluoride Action Network


In reviewing the effects of the 2 pollutants on vegetation and domestic animals there can be no doubt that airborne F– is far more harmful than sulfur oxides. F– reaches the blood stream both through inhalation and by ingestion with contaminated food. In plants the translocation of F– throughout the plant structure and its damaging effect on leaves, blossoms and fruit is much more pronounced than that of sulfur oxides. Sulfur oxides irritate, primarily, the upper respiratory tract. They rarely enter the distal portions of the lungs and the alveolar system. They never enter the blood stream. F–, a systemic poison, is promptly absorbed into the blood stream from the upper respiratory tract. It affects primarily the calcified tissue but can also induce considerable damage to many other organs, especially the arteries and the heart. Where there is smoke from buringing coal there is also F–. The systemic damage to humans believed to have been induced by sulfur oxides is likely to be primarily brought on by F– in conjunction with toxic agents such as As, Cd and Hg present in coal.