Association of silicofluoride treated water with elevated blood lead

Neurotoxicology. 2000 Dec;21(6):1091-100.


Previous epidemiological studies have associated silicofluoride-treated community water with enhanced child blood lead parameters. Chronic, low-level dosage of silicofluoride (SiF) has never been adequately tested for health effects in humans. We report here on a statistical study of 151,225 venous blood lead (VBL) tests taken from children ages 0-6 inclusive, living in 105 communities of populations from 15,000 to 75,000. The tests are part of a sample collected by the New York State Department of Children's Health, mostly from 1994-1998. Community fluoridation status was determined from the CDC 1992 Fluoridation Census. Covariates were assigned to each community using the 1990 U.S. Census. Blood lead measures were divided into groups based on race and age. Logistic regressions were carried out for each race/age group, as well as above and below the median of 7 covariates to test the relationship between known risk factors for lead uptake, exposure to SiF-treated water, and VBL >10 microg/dL.

Results: For every age/race group, there was a consistently significant association of SiF treated community water and elevated blood lead. Logistic regressions above and below the median value of seven covariates show an effect of silicofluoride on blood lead independent of those covariates. The highest likelihood of children having VBL> 10 microg/dL occurs when they are both exposed to SiF treated water and likely to be subject to another risk factor known to be associated with high blood lead (e.g., old housing). Results are consistent with prior analyses of surveys of children's blood lead in Massachusetts and NHANES III. These data contradict the null hypothesis that there is no difference between the toxic effects of SiF and sodium fluoride, pointing to the need for chemical studies and comprehensive animal testing of water treated with commercial grade silicofluorides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fluorides / adverse effects*
  • Fluorides / analysis
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lead / blood*
  • Logistic Models
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Silicon Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Silicon Compounds / analysis
  • United States
  • Water Supply / analysis*


  • Silicon Compounds
  • Lead
  • Fluorides