studies should determine both absolute intakes (mg/day) and body-weight normalized intakes (mg/kg/day).

  • Assumptions about the influence of environmental factors, particularly temperature, on water consumption should be reevaluated in light of current lifestyle practices (e.g., greater availability of air conditioning, participation in indoor sports).

  • Better characterization of exposure to fluoride is needed in epidemiology studies investigating potential effects. Important exposure aspects of such studies would include the following:

    • collecting data on general dietary status and dietary factors that could influence exposure or effects, such as calcium, iodine, and aluminum intakes

    • characterizing and grouping individuals by estimated (total) exposure, rather than by source of exposure, location of residence, fluoride concentration in drinking water, or other surrogates

    • reporting intakes or exposures with and without normalization for body weight (e.g., mg/day and mg/kg/day)

    • addressing uncertainties associated with exposure, including uncertainties in measurements of fluoride concentrations in bodily fluids and tissues

    • reporting data in terms of individual correlations between intake and effect, differences in subgroups, and differences in percentages of individuals showing an effect and not just differences in group or population means.

  • Further analysis should be done of the concentrations of fluoride and various fluoride species or complexes (especially fluorosilicates and aluminofluorides) present in tap water, using a range of water samples (e.g., of different hardness and mineral content). Research also should include characterizing any changes in speciation that occur when tap water is used for various purposes—for example, to make acidic beverages.

  • The possibility of biological effects of SiF62−, as opposed to free fluoride ion, should be examined.

  • The biological effects of aluminofluoride complexes should be researched further, including the conditions (exposure conditions and physiological conditions) under which the complexes can be expected to occur and to have biological effects.

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