Bone and joint pathology in fluoride-exposed workers

Arch Environ Health. 1988 Sep-Oct;43(5):340-3. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1988.9934945.


Clinical and radiological investigations were performed for 2,258 aluminum workers exposed to fluoride for an average of 17.6 yr (standard deviation = 7.6). Changes in bone and joints were presented in detail in three groups: (1) exposed up to 5 yr (135 cases), (2) exposed from 6-32 yr (1,463 cases), and (3) retired workers (660 cases). A semiquantitative assessment of early fluorosis was introduced. A 20.2% incidence of fluorosis was found, but, according to Roholm, only 1.05% was in stage I. The disease was mainly in the pre-stages of O and OI. A close relationship between the occurrence of fluorosis and the time and degree of fluoride exposure was found. The difficulties in diagnosing skeletal fluorosis result from the questionable sensitivity of the x-ray techniques and from the nonspecificity of the associated symptoms. A quantitative method to assess osteosclerosis and bone structure alteration is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aluminum
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Fluoride Poisoning / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metallurgy
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Osteosclerosis / chemically induced*
  • Osteosclerosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Physical Examination
  • Poland
  • Radiography


  • Aluminum