Development of a fluoride chronic effects benchmark for aquatic life in freshwater

Environ Toxicol Chem. 2014 Nov;33(11):2621-7. doi: 10.1002/etc.2724. Epub 2014 Sep 19.


Canada has an interim water-quality guideline for fluoride for protection of freshwater aquatic life that dates from 2002, and 1 Canadian province has a different interim water-quality guideline for fluoride that dates to 1995. The United States does not have a national benchmark for fluoride in freshwater, and only 1 US state has such a benchmark. There are no other national or regional benchmarks for fluoride chronic toxicity in freshwater. In the present study, available data on the acute and chronic toxicity of fluoride to freshwater aquatic life were compiled and reviewed. Acute toxicity was reported to occur at concentrations ranging from 11.5 to >800 mg/L fluoride (F(-) ). The majority of chronic effects occur at concentrations between 1.8 mg/L and 195 mg/L. A total of 10 chronic studies representing 16 species (5 fish, 7 invertebrates, and 4 algae/aquatic plants) were used to derive a chronic effects benchmark of 1.94 mg/L F(-) , applying the species sensitivity distribution approach.

Keywords: Aquatic; Benchmark; Chronic; Effect; Fluoride.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • British Columbia
  • Canada
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Environmental Monitoring / standards*
  • Fishes
  • Fluorides / analysis*
  • Fresh Water*
  • Invertebrates
  • Phosphates / analysis*
  • Plants
  • Species Specificity
  • United States
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*


  • Phosphates
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • fluorophosphate
  • Fluorides