Sodium Fluoride

What is Sodium Fluoride?

Sodium fluoride (chemical formula: NaF), appears as white crystal or as a powder. It may also be available as blue coloured crystals. It is soluble in water and slightly soluble in alcohol. 

What is Sodium Fluoride used for?

Sodium fluoride is the substance that is commonly added to drinking water, toothpastes and other dental products for the benefit of dental health. 

Sodium fluoride is also an ingredient in insecticides and other pesticides, steel degreasing agents as well as used in the manufacturing of coated paper and frosted glass.

Another use for sodium fluoride is that it is used to disinfect fermenting equipment in breweries and distilleries.  

Sodium fluoride has long been lauded for its ability to prevent dental cavities
Sodium fluoride has long been lauded for its ability to prevent dental cavities

Sodium Fluoride Hazards

The routes of exposure for sodium fluoride include inhalation, ingestion and skin and eye contact. 

Inhalation of dusts may produce irritation and inflammation to the respiratory tract. Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, tremors, collapse, irritation of the nose and throat, coughing, chest discomfort, fever, chills, blue skin and lips, respiratory and cardiac failure and even death. Even a single exposure to high concentrations can cause a nose bleed. Individuals with existing respiratory diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis as well as circulatory/nervous system or kidney damage, may incur further disablement if excessive concentrations are inhaled. 

Ingestion of sodium fluoride can lead to toxic effects with as little as 5g indicated to be the fatal dose for humans. Symptoms of ingestion can include nausea, vomiting,diarrhoea, involuntary muscle contractions, cardiovascular collapse/arrhythmia, adverse effects on the brain and kidneys, excessive salivation, lethargy, coma and convulsions. 

Skin exposure can produce skin irritation and inflammation often characterised by redness, swelling and/or blistering. Other systemic effects may appear following entry into the bloodstream through open cuts and wounds. 

Eye exposure is expected to cause irritation. Repeated contact with the eyes may cause inflammation characterised by redness as well as temporary vision impairment and other forms of transient eye damage. 

Sodium Fluoride Safety

If inhaled, remove the patient from the contaminated area to the nearest fresh air source. Lay the patient down and ensure they are kept warm and rested. If they are not breathing and you are qualified to do so, perform CPR on the patient, preferably with a bag-valve mask device. Seek medical attention. 

If swallowed, seek medical attention immediately as urgent hospital treatment is likely to be required. In the meantime, personnel qualified in first-aid should observe and support the patient along with a copy of the SDS. If medical attention is over 15 minutes away, induce vomiting with fingers down the back of the throat ensuring the patient is leaned forward or placed on their left side to prevent aspiration. 

If skin exposure occurs, remove all contaminated clothing and footwear and immediately flush the affected area with plenty of soap and running water. Seek medical attention in the event of irritation. 

If the chemical is exposed to the eyes, flush the eyes out immediately with water for at least 15 minutes, remembering to wash under the eyelids. Contact lenses should only be removed by a skilled professional. Seek medical attention without delay.

Sodium Fluoride Safety Handling

Emergency eyewash fountains should be accessible in the immediate area of the potential exposure to the chemical and there should always be adequate ventilation to remove or dilute any air contaminants to prevent overexposure (install local exhaust if necessary). 

The PPE recommended when handling sodium fluoride includes, safety glasses with side shields, chemical goggles, filter dust respirators, PVC/rubber gloves, overalls and safety footwear. Barrier and skin cleansing creams are also recommended to prevent and treat skin irritation during handling. 

The SDS will outline the proper handling instructions of sodium fluoride to ensure you are kept from harm when handling sodium fluoride. Click here for a trial of our SDS Management Software or contact us at for more information about our chemicals management solutions.