I've looked at the MSDS of Lithium Fluoride and Sodium Fluoride. It really seems that Lithium Fluoride is much safer to work with. Why is that, if both are in the Alkali Group?

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    $\begingroup$ My gut feeling is that they must be in the same basket. If anything, LiF is less soluble; maybe that explains the difference. $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2017 at 11:05
  • $\begingroup$ Solid, or powder? Both LiF and NaF are used in specialty optics equipment as lenses and windows, with the only caveat being that coatings are desirable to prevent degradation from moisture. In this form (bulk pieces) neither is considered particularly dangerous. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 5, 2017 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ @George Custer: Perhaps it's because Sodium and Potassium both are involved in neurotransmitting, and the Fluoride ion interferes with the Calcium ion which is needed in muscle contraction. Maybe together they're more lethal. While Lithium along with all the other heavier Alkali metals don't have significant biological roles, so they're not as lethal?? Also, Lithium is known to actually known to help with mania, perhaps by attenuating excessive neurotransmitting. I dunno. The pathway for Lithium's action is still a mystery. $\endgroup$
    – Dehbop
    Sep 6, 2017 at 15:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Dehbop: the amount of anion is irrelevant in the concentration of fluoride ion that would be toxic. A Ivan Neretin states, LiF is far less soluble than NaF. pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ie50227a024?journalCode=iechad $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2017 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ It's possible that it's down to the solubility, but I think there's better explanations. $\endgroup$
    – Dehbop
    Sep 7, 2017 at 5:09


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