Fluoride Action Network


A health survey of 1135 children and 1475 adults living in Sanganer Tehsil, Rajasthan, India, revealed a wide range of gastrointestinal (GI) discomforts associated with fluoride (F) in the groundwater in over 30 village areas. Complaints of abdominal pain including stomach ache, a bloated feeling, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation were recorded by questionnaires and interviews in low (<0.5 ppm F), medium (1.0-1.5 ppm), and high (>1.5 ppm) F water areas. Although the survey did not disclose GI discomfort among 360 children in the low nor among 375 children in the
medium F areas, 8.50% of the 400 children (mainly 12 to 18 years old) in the high F area were suffering from stomach ache, 3.25% from a bloated feeling, 4.75% from nausea, 0.25% from diarrhea, and 0.25% from constipation. Among 458 adults in the low F village areas, 8.30%, 3.49%, 6.11%, 5.24%, and 0.87%, respectively, complained of stomach ache, a bloated feeling, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation, while among 489 adults in the medium F areas the percentages were 12.07%, 4.29%, 9.20%, 4.50%, and 1.64%, and among 528 adults in the high F areas they increased to 39.20%, 11.17%, 17.61%, and 18.94%, and 1.89%, respectively. The main complaint of children
and adults was stomach ache, followed by nausea and a bloated feeling, with males more prone to these effects than females. Possible reasons for the prevalence of gastric distress in these F areas are poor nutritional and socio-economic conditions exacerbated by ingestion of F through drinking water and dietary habits