Fluoride Action Network


Significantly elevated bone fluoride concentrations have been reported in a population of eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) resident near a fluoride-emitting aluminum smelter in southeastern Australia. This paper describes the skeletal and synovial joint lesions observed post mortem in the same sample of kangaroos (n = 76). The prevalence and severity of skeletal lesions, specifically the formation of multiple, large, smooth exostoses over the diaphysis of long bones (especially, but not exclusively, on the tibia, fibula and metatarsi), were positively associated with bone fluoride concentration. So too were lesions of degenerative joint disease, including periarticular osteophytosis, articular cartilage erosion/ulceration, synovial hyperplasia and joint capsular fibrosis. Joint lesions were most commonly seen in the knee, hock and metatarsophalangeal joints. This is the first study to describe in detail the full range of lesions induced by chronic fluorosis in a marsupial species.