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Fluoride and Fluorine

August 16, 2013

Children VitaminsIn high concentrations, soluble fluoride salts are toxic and skin or eye contact with high concentrations of many fluoride salts is dangerous.

Consumption of fluoride at levels beyond those used in fluoridated water for a long period of time causes skeletal fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is most known, but fluoride is also known to cause irritable-bowel symptoms, rashes, and joint pain.


Even though fluoride is a known poison, it is sometimes prescribed as medicine. Fluoride is usually prescribed to treat dental disease. It can be prescribed as a liquid or (chewable) tablet to adults and children.

Numerous pharmaceutical drugs contain fluorine, which is incorporated in the drug structures to reduce drug metabolism, as the strong C-F bond resists deactivation in the liver. Fluorine is commonly used to inhibit the activity of phosphatases. It mimics the nucleophilic hydroxyl ion in these enzymes’ active sites.

Drugs containing fluorine include: antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, HIV protease inhibitors, antibiotics, and anesthetics. For example, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Prozac is fluoxetine hydrochloride, which contains fluoride. Also, medication for osteoporosis will usually contain fluorine.


Fluoride can also be found in vitamin supplements. Especially disturbing is that fluoride can also be found in some vitamin supplements for children.

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From → Health, Poisoning

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