Fluoride is used to prevent tooth decay by its addition to municipal water supplies and dental products (such as toothpaste). Fluoride is also used in consumer products (such as cleaning supplies) and industrial applications. People are primarily exposed to fluoride from drinking water and use of fluorinated products. Water fluoridation represents 30% to 70% of an individual’s total exposure. Workers in some occupations may be exposed to fluoride by inhaling fluoride compounds at their place of employment.
Fluoride has been nominated to NTP for evaluation of non-cancer health outcomes. NTP requested information about fluoride on October 7, 2015, in the Federal Register. At the NTP Board of Scientific Counselors meeting on December 2, 2015, OHAT proposed conducting separate analyses of fluoride exposure and endocrine health effects. OHAT will examine the extent of available literature to inform NTP’s decision on whether or not to propose conducting a formal assessment of the scientific literature to reach conclusions regarding whether exposure to fluoride is a hazard for non-thyroid endocrine health.