PUBLIC HEALTH STATEMENT
This public health statement tells you about fluorides, hydrogen fluoride, and fluorine and the effects of exposure presented in the toxicological profile. These profiles were specifically prepared by ATSDR for hazardous substances which are most commonly found at facilities on the CERCLA National Priorities List (Superfund sites) and are intended to describe the effects of exposure from chemicals at these sites.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies the most serious hazardous waste sites in the nation. These sites make up the National Priorities List (NPL) and are the sites targeted for long-term federal cleanup activities. Fluorides, hydrogen fluoride, and fluorine have been found in at least 188 of the 1,636 current or former NPL sites. However, the total number of NPL sites evaluated for these substances is not known. As more sites are evaluated, the sites at which fluorides, hydrogen fluoride, and fluorine is found may increase. This information is important because exposure to these substances may harm you and because these sites may be sources of exposure.
When a substance is released from a large area, such as an industrial plant, or from a container, such as a drum or bottle, it enters the environment. This release does not always lead to exposure. You are exposed to a substance only when you come in contact with it. You may be exposed by breathing, eating, or drinking the substance, or by skin contact.
If you are exposed to fluorides, hydrogen fluoride, and fluorine, many factors determine whether you’ll be harmed. These factors include the dose (how much), the duration (how long), and how you come in contact with it/them. You must also consider the other chemicals you’re exposed to and your age, sex, diet, family traits, lifestyle, and state of health.