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March 26, 1949

Health of Workers Exposed to Sodium Fluoride at Open Hearth Furnaces

JAMA. 1949;139(13):890-891. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02900300076034

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This government document presents an authoritative report of a complete and exhaustive study of the subject conducted by the Industrial Hygiene Division of the U. S. Public Health Service on the request of representatives of the Republic Steel Corporation and the United Steelworkers of America, C. I. O. Numerous questions have arisen concerning the effects of sodium fluoride on health in industry, particularly in connection with its use in open-hearth operations in steel mills. Suspicion of potential health hazards inherent in its use has provoked much labor unrest. Workers have complained bitterly about its use.

Field work was conducted in four Republic Steel Corporation plants in Ohio. Medical examinations were made of 350 men, distributed as follows: One hundred and eighty-seven in two plants now using sodium fluoride, 63 in a plant where sodium fluoride formerly was used and 100 as a control group in a plant which had never

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