Calcium phosphate is produced using calcium, phosphates and ammonia. The calcium source can be calcium carbonate from ground animal bones, calcium hydroxide from slaked lime or calcium nitrate from limestone. Animal bones are the most common calcium source in industrial production.
Calcium phosphate can also be obtained directly from mineral sources, but this is rarely done. The minerals oxydapatit, voelicherite and whitlockite contain natural calcium phosphate.
Calcium phosphate is used as a nutritional supplement for both humans and livestock, fertilizer, food additive, medicine and contrast agent. It occurs naturally in the milk and blood of cows. Human bones are composed of 70 percent calcium phosphate, and human teeth consist of 90 percent calcium phosphate. Calcium phosphate is less popular as a supplement than its lower-cost alternatives calcium carbonate and calcium citrate.
In medicine, calcium phosphate is used to remineralize teeth, treat mouth ulcers associated with chemotherapy and as an aid in gene therapy. Calcium phosphate helps the new DNA introduced during gene therapy enter the cell nucleus.
Overuse of calcium phosphate in fertilizer leaches surface minerals from the soil. When these nutrients run off into water supplies, they contribute to algae overgrowth. This is the primary hazard associated with calcium phosphate.