Fluoride Action Network

Hydrogeochemical characterisation and health hazards of fluoride enriched groundwater in diverse aquifer types.

Source: Environmental Pollution [Epub ahead of print] | November 7th, 2019 | Authors: Hossain M, Patra PK.
Location: India


  • Significantly different F? level (1.5 ± 2.7 mg/L) were seen among sites and groups.
  • Groundwater classification based on modified F? guideline range with GIS mapping.
  • High F? fluctuation among diverse rock and water types by Bland-Altman plot.
  • F? abnormality linked to basaltic horizons and aquifer’s depth.
  • WQI and dental fluorosis prevalence through modified optimal fluoride limit and EBK.


High concentration of fluoride (up to 20.9 mg/L) in groundwater with significant variation (p = 5.9E-128) among samples was reported from Birbhum district, an acknowledged fluoride endemic region in India. The groundwater samples (N = 368) were grouped based on their hydrochemical properties and aquifer geology for hydro-geochemical characterization. Friedman’s test showed p < 0.0001 confidence level which indicates that fluoride concentration among geological groups and water groups are independent. Bland-Altman plot was used to study the inter-relationships among the groups through bias value (?) and limit of agreement (LoA). Among the geological groups, laterites and granite-gneiss groups exhibited statistically significantly difference in fluoride geochemistry; whereas the younger and older alluvium groups displayed similar characteristics. The fluoride concentration was found to be in the order Lateritic > Granite-gneiss > Older alluvium ? Younger alluvium. Dissolution of minerals (such as fluorite, biotite) in laterite sheeted basalt, and granite-gneiss is the main source of groundwater fluoride in the region. Fluoride concentration is also influenced by depth of water table. Hydrochemical study indicated that fluoride concentration was higher in Na-HCO3 than in Ca-SO4 and Ca-HCO3 type of groundwater. The fluoride concentration were positively correlated with Na+ and pH and negatively correlated with the Ca2+ and Mg2+ signifying linkage with halite dissolution and calcite, dolomite precipitation. Geostatistical mapping of WQI through empirical bayesian kriging (EBK) with respect to regional optimal guideline value (0.73 mg/L) classified that groundwater in some parts of the district are unfit for drinking purpose. Health survey (N = 1767) based on Dean’s criteria for dental fluorosis indicated presence of slight to moderate dental hazard. Besides, providing baseline data for management of groundwater quality in the study area, the study demonstrated the applicability of Bland-Altman analysis and empirical bayesian kriging (EBK) in delineation and interpolation of fluoride contaminated region.

*Original abstract online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749119347773?via%3Dihub