[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 12, 1915


Author Affiliations


From the Biochemical Department of the Pathological and Research Laboratories of the Western Pennsylvania Hospital.

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(24):1985-1986. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570500033014

Several cases of hydrofluoric acid poisoning have been reported.1 Two well-known chemists were killed by the inhalation of the poisonous fumes of this acid.2 But so far as we are aware, there is no case of sodium fluorid poisoning on record. The toxicologic effects of the metallic fluorids were studied by Rabuteau,3 Müller,4 Tappeiner,5 Schulz,6 Hewelke,7 Siegfried8 and Schwyzer.9 Witthaus calls attention to the fact that notwithstanding its toxicity, sodium fluorid is used as a food preservative.

From the pharmacologic experiments it is clear that sodium fluorid is a general protoplasmic poison. It is strongly irritant to mucous membranes and usually produces corrosions. Owing to the fact that the fluorid ion precipitates soluble calcium salts, its toxic effect is similar to that of the oxalate ion. In mammals it causes salivation, gastro-enteritis, dyspnea, convulsions and stoppage of respiration and heart.10