Fluorine is used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and inert plastic resins. Fluoride ion is obtained industrially as a by-product
from phosphate fertilizer plants and is widely used as an
additive to municipal drinking water for the purpose of hardening
teeth. Industrial organofluorine compounds are becoming
increasingly prevalent and are of concern as environmental pollutants; the European Fluorocarbon Technical
Biodegradative pathways for trifluoroacetate and methyl fluoride are
known (Visscher et al, 1994; Hyman et al, 1994). Although not as common as organochlorines or organobromines, biogenic organofluorines
are known to be produced by some plants and bacteria
(reviewed by Murphy et al, 2003). An enzyme from Streptomyces cattleya that catalyzes the formation
of fluorine-carbon bonds has been identified and characterized (Dong et al, 2004).
For more information:
Medline for fluorine metabolism AND bacteria
ToxFAQs: Fluoride, Hydrogen Fluoride, and Fluorine
Visscher PT, Culbertson CW, Oremiand RS. Degradation of trifluoroacetate in oxic and anoxic sediments. Nature.