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Referring to a common salt of fluoride, NaF, the lethal dose for most adult humans is estimated at 1–10 grams. A lethal dose is approximately 28 mg per kilogram of body mass.
Seizures may result from both hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia. Severe fluoride toxicity will result in multiorgan failure. Central vasomotor depression as well as direct cardiotoxicity also may occur. Death usually results from respiratory paralysis, dysrhythmia, or cardiac failure.
Children younger than 6 years account for the vast majority of the cases. In 2006, this age group had a total 21,064 exposures, while adults 19 years and older had only 982 exposures.
1. Infants and children usually have accidental exposures.
2. Adults usually have intentional exposures.
Stable. Hydrolyzed by water. Reacts with mineral acids to generate highly toxic hydrogen fluoride. Incompatible with glass.
Very toxic by ingestion, inhalation and skin contact. 4g may be fatal. May cause burns. Severe eye irritant. Chronic exposure may cause lung damage. TLV 2.5 mg/m3 (as F).