Sodium fluoride is widely employed as an insecticide. It is the chief constituent of most "roach powders." It is dispensed in drug stores, grocery stores and department stores without any indication that it is a deadly poison. Because it is dispensed in containers similar to those used for saline laxatives or baking powder, it is often mistaken for these substances, with disastrous results. Insecticides containing sodium fluoride are commonly stored in medicine cabinets or kitchen cupboards.
It is apparent that considerable ignorance exists among druggists and laymen in general regarding the toxic properties of sodium fluoride. Many physicians do not appreciate the importance of this problem, largely because of the scant information contained in modern textbooks relative to the toxicology of sodium fluoride. Furthermore, the statements contained in some standard textbooks are incorrect, in the light of present knowledge. The 1923 edition of one widely used textbook on toxicology1
SHARKEY TP, SIMPSON WM. ACCIDENTAL SODIUM FLUORIDE POISONING: REPORT OF EIGHT CASES, WITH ONE FATALITY. JAMA. 1933;100(2):97–100. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740020015004
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