Fluoride Action Network



  • The impact of aluminium smelter closure on fluoride concentrations was investigated.
  • Concentrations in forage decreased rapidly to safe levels for livestock grazing.
  • The concentrations in some species declined to background levels within a year.
  • Significant interspecies differences in fluoride decline are described.
  • Mineral-rich soils have limited potential as contaminating sources for forage.

Although a great deal is known about the deposition of fluoride on vegetation, and the hazards associated with uptake by grazing herbivores, little is known about what happens to the concentration of fluoride in vegetation and soil at polluted sites once deposition ceases. The closure of Anglesey Aluminium Metals Ltd smelter, in September 2009, provided a unique opportunity to study fluoride loading once deposition stopped. Fluoride was monitored in plants and soil within 1 km of the former emission source. Fluoride concentrations in a range of plant material had decreased to background levels of 10 mg F kg-1 after 36 weeks. Concentrations of fluoride in mineral-rich soils decreased steadily demonstrating their limited potential to act as contaminating sources of fluoride for forage uptake. There were significant differences in the rate of decline of fluoride concentrations between plant species.

*Original abstract online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0269749113001243#!

    Brougham KM, Roberts SR, Davison AW, Port GR,