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Common uses of Sodium Fluoride

Sodium fluoride is composed of a mixture of negatively charged sodium ions, and positively charged fluoride. It appears as a white powder, which is easily dissolved in water. Both sodium and fluoride both are essential minerals. According to the National Institutes of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board, adults should consume 3 mg of fluoride per day. Although sodium fluoride can cause poisoning if ingested, it is safe to consume in small quantities in toothpaste and in drinking water. There are many industrial uses for sodium fluoride.

Toothpaste

Fluoride prevents tooth decay. Bacteria can cause damage to the tooth structure. Toothpaste, as well as other hygiene products, contain sodium fluoride. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sodium fluoride is most commonly found in toothpaste and fluoride-containing mouth rinses. Fluoride toothpaste sold in the United States usually contains between 1000 and 1500 parts per million of sodiumfluoride. To avoid poisoning yourself, use only a pea-sized amount of sodium fluoride toothpaste when you brush your teeth. The symptoms of sodium fluoride include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and unconsciousness.

Water Treatment

Fluoride additives can be added to water by public water treatment systems. Water is one of the main sources of fluoride in the diet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), treatment systems use one of three sources of fluoride. Smaller plants have sodium fluoride as the preferred source. The Environmental Protection Agency establishes quality standards for all additives, including sodium fluoride, to ensure safe drinking water. According to the CDC the EPA limits the amount fluoride that can be added to drinking water at 4 mg/L because too much sodium fluoride may cause discoloration of teeth.

Industrial Uses

The poisonous sodium fluoride is used frequently in pesticides. This product contains a range of 15 percent to 95 per cent sodium fluoride, according to the Fluoride Action Network. Many types of adhesives and glues contain sodium fluoride as a preventative. The presence of sodium fluoride helps prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and fungi. The aluminum and steel industries also use sodium fluoride. According to the Environment Agency (EAR), sodium fluoride can be added to molten steel to increase deoxidation, resulting in a more uniform metal. There are other industrial uses for sodium fluoride, including glass frosting, stainless steel pickling, and as wood preservatives.

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