Fluoride Action Network

Spatial distribution of fluoride in drinking water and health risk assessment of children in typical fluorosis areas in north China.

Source: Chemosphere Jan;239:124883. [Epub 2019 ahead of print] | November 16th, 2019 | Authors: Zhang L, Zhao L, Zeng Q, Fu G, et al.
Location: China


  • Fluoride content in drinking water for fluorosis areas in Tianjin was investigated.
  • MWS system has a better effect on reducing water fluoride concentration.
  • Younger children (1–4 years old) are more vulnerable to high fluoride exposure.
  • Special attention should be paid to health education strategies against fluorosis.


China has been suffering from endemic fluorosis for the past 30 years. This study investigated fluoride concentrations in 10 districts of Tianjin, China, to illustrate their spatial distribution characteristics and potential human health risks. The results showed fluoride concentration of 0.01–6.30 mgL-1 with a mean value of 0.99 mgL-1, and 78.82% of water fluoride reaches the standard for drinking water (1.5 mgL-1). Higher fluoride levels were recorded in deep well pumps supply zones, and more potential changes in fluoride occurred was positively correlated with pH in groundwater. Mean value of fluoride in drinking water in 10 districts followed the order of WQ  BC > JZ > NH > BD > BH > JN > JH > DL > XQ. Estimations of non-carcinogenic risk for drinking water indicated that mean hazard quotient values of fluoride for combined pathways (i.e., oral ingestion and dermal absorption) were >1.0 for all age groups of WQ and BC. The results also showed that the estimated risk primarily came from the ingestion pathway. Risk levels for children varied obviously, generally in the order of 1-4y > 4-7y > 7-9y (years old). In the central tendency center and reasonable maximum exposure conditions, estimated risks were 1.25, 1.12, 0.771 and 3.66, 3.29, 2.27, respectively. The results supply material information for health authorities in fluorosis areas to put forward more efficient policies to control the endemic diseases. Attention should be paid to the formulation of health promotion strategies and measures to reduce fluoride intake in order to protect the health of residents.