Fluoride Action Network


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Current programs to fluoridate water supplies as a dental caries control measure have stimulated interest in the extent to which the fluoride might be retained by the various tissues of the body. Considerable evidence is available to show that much of the fluoride is excreted in the urine, but there is little information on the possible accumulation or storage of the fluoride not excreted.

A previous study of normal human blood fluoride concentrations of residents of Rochester and Newburgh, N.Y. (1), has disclosed blood fluoride as a function of the fluoride concentration in drinking water. Higher levels of blood fluoride were noted for residents of Newburgh, where the fluoridated water supply contains 1.0-1.2 ppm fluoride, than for residents of Rochester, where the supply contains approximately 0.06 ppm.

In this investigation samples of placentae were obtained from the afterbirth of normal patients residing in Rochester and Newburgh, and the fluoride contents determined by the method of Smith and Gardner (2) as described for blood. Table 1 shows the distribution of the fluoride content of the placental samples as found for the two cities.

Of the Rochester samples 58% contained less than 50 ug/100 g of tissue, whereas only 17% of the Newburgh samples were in this range. Only one Rochester sample contained more than 200 ug/100 g, but 6 of the Newburgh samples contained more than this concentration. The Rochester sample had a mean concentration of 0.74 ppm fluoride and the Newburgh samples 2.09 ppm, almost three times as much. In the study of blood fluoride concentrations (1) the Rochester samples had a mean value of 0.014 ppm fluoride and the Newburgh samples 0.040 ppm – also almost three times as much…


1 This article is based on work performed under contract with the United States Atomic Energy Commission at the University of Rochester Atomic Energy Project, Rochester, N.Y.


*This excerpt online at https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.115.2982.208