ATSDR - Toxic Substances - Fluorides, Hydrogen Fluoride, and Fluorine
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Fluorides, Hydrogen Fluoride, and Fluorine

CAS ID #: 7782-41-4

Affected Organ Systems: Dermal (Skin), Musculoskeletal (Muscles and Skeleton), Ocular (Eyes), Respiratory (From the Nose to the Lungs)

Cancer Classification: None

Chemical Classification: Inorganic substances, Metals/Elements (the simplest forms of matter)

Summary: Fluorides, hydrogen fluoride, and fluorine are chemically related. Fluorine is a naturally-occurring, pale yellow-green gas with a sharp odor. It combines with metals to make fluorides such as sodium fluoride and calcium fluoride, both white solids. Sodium fluoride dissolves easily in water, but calcium fluoride does not. Fluorine also combines with hydrogen to make hydrogen fluoride, a colorless gas. Hydrogen fluoride dissolves in water to form hydrofluoric acid. Fluorine and hydrogen fluoride are used to make certain chemical compounds. Hydrofluoric acid is used for etching glass. Other fluoride compounds are used in making steel, chemicals, ceramics, lubricants, dyes, plastics, and pesticides. Fluorides are often added to drinking water supplies and to a variety of dental products, including toothpaste and mouth rinses, to prevent dental cavities.

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