|Molar mass||41.988173 g/mol|
993 °C, 1266 K, 1819 °F
1704 °C, 1977 K, 3099 °F
|Solubility in water||36.4 (0 °C); 40.4 (20 °C); 50.5 (100 °C) g/L|
|Solubility||soluble in HF
insoluble in alcohol
|Vapor pressure||1 mmHg @ 1077 C°|
|Refractive index (nD)||1.336|
|MSDS||Sodium fluoride MSDS|
|EU classification|| T – Toxic
Xi – Irritant
|R-phrases||R25, R32, R36/38|
|S-phrases||(S1/2), S22, S36, S45|
|LD50||52–200 mg/kg (oral in rats, mice, rabbits)|
|Other anions||Sodium chloride
|Other cations||Lithium fluoride
|Related compounds||TASF reagent|
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Sodium fluoride is an inorganic chemical compound with the formula NaF. A colorless solid, it is a source of the fluoride ion in diverse applications. Sodium fluoride is less expensive and less hygroscopic than the related salt potassium fluoride.
Structure, general properties, occurrence
Sodium fluoride is an ionic compound, dissolving to give separated Na+ and F− ions. Like sodium chloride, it crystallizes in a cubic motif where both Na+ and F− occupy octahedral coordination sites; its lattice spacing, approximately 462 pm, is somewhat smaller than that of sodium chloride.
NaF is prepared by neutralizing hydrofluoric acid or hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6), byproducts of the reaction of fluorapatite (Ca5(PO4)3F) (from phosphate rock) from the production of superphosphate fertilizer. Neutralizing agents include sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate. Alcohols are sometimes used to precipitate the NaF:
- HF + NaOH → NaF + H2O
From solutions containing HF, sodium fluoride precipitates as the bifluoride salt NaHF2. Heating the latter releases HF and gives NaF.
- HF + NaF ⇌ NaHF2
In a 1986 report, the annual worldwide consumption of NaF was estimated to be several million tonnes.
Fluoride salts are used to enhance the strength of teeth by the formation of fluorapatite, a naturally occurring component of tooth enamel. Although sodium fluoride is also used to fluoridate water and, indeed, is the standard by which other water-fluoridation compounds are gauged, hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) and its salt sodium hexafluorosilicate (Na2SiF6) are more commonly used additives in the U.S. Toothpaste often contains sodium fluoride to prevent cavities. Alternatively, sodium fluoride is used as a cleaning agent (e.g., as a "laundry sour"). A variety of specialty chemical applications exist in synthesis and extractive metallurgy. It reacts with electrophilic chlorides including acyl chlorides, sulfur chlorides, and phosphorus chloride. Like other fluorides, sodium fluoride finds use in desilylation in organic synthesis. The fluoride is the reagent for the synthesis of fluorocarbons.
In medical imaging, fluorine-18-labelled sodium fluoride is used in positron emission tomography (PET). Relative to conventional bone scintigraphy carried out with gamma cameras or SPECT systems, PET offers more sensitivity and spatial resolution. A disadvantage of PET is that fluorine-18 labelled sodium fluoride is less widely available than conventional technetium-99m-labelled radiopharmaceuticals.
The lethal dose for a 70 kg (154 lb) human is estimated at 5–10 g. Sodium fluoride is classed as toxic by both inhalation (of dusts or aerosols) and ingestion. In high enough doses, it has been shown to affect the heart and circulatory system. For occupational exposures, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have established occupational exposure limits at 2.5 mg/m3 over an eight-hour time-weighted average.
In the higher doses used to treat osteoporosis, plain sodium fluoride can cause pain in the legs and incomplete stress fractures when the doses are too high; it also irritates the stomach, sometimes so severely as to cause ulcers. Slow-release and enteric-coated versions of sodium fluoride do not have gastric side effects in any significant way, and have milder and less frequent complications in the bones. In the lower doses used for water fluoridation, the only clear adverse effect is dental fluorosis, which can alter the appearance of children's teeth during tooth development; this is mostly mild and is unlikely to represent any real effect on aesthetic appearance or on public health.
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