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September 8, 1923


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Materia Medica and Toxicology, Rush Medical College.

JAMA. 1923;81(10):811-813. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650100019007

The literature contains very little regarding poisoning by sodium fluorid, and most textbooks on toxicology have failed to record deaths by this poisoning.

Sodium fluorid (NaF), a white powder crystallizing in colorless cubes, with a specific gravity of 2.766, which, on heating, melt at about 900 C., volatilizing slightly at a lower temperature, of an acrid bitter taste, is soluble 1 part in 25 parts of water.1 It is a general protoplasmic poison having a strong local irritant action. It exerts an alkaloid-like action, in addition to the changes in the tissues wrought by the loss of calcium, similar to that of oxalic acid poisoning. In the lower organisms not requiring lime, oxalic acid, in contrast with the fluorids, does not exert this alkaloid-like action.2 One part of the salt in 200 parts of water, or one part in 500 of a fermentable liquid such as a sour