Fluoride Action Network


A field study was undertaken to determine effects of tamarind, the use of aluminium (Al) cooking utensils, and smoking on dental and skeletal fluorosis in the randomly selected fluoride (F) endemic village of Buttlapally in the Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh, India, where the F level in the drinking water is 3.6 ppm. In the survey, information on the above factors was collected for all persons in the village of 46 households (HHs) with a total population of 144 adults and 83 children. The survey revealed that persons who consume tamarind daily had significantly less (p<0.01) dental mottling, bamboo spine, and genu varum/genu valgum than occasional tamarind users. The incidence of skeletal and dental fluorosis was significantly higher among smokers than nonsmokers. About 95% of the HHs used Al utensils, which aggravated the fluorosis problem in the village. When the 3.6-ppm F water was stored undisturbed for 8 and 24 hr in an Al vessel, the F level decreased to 2.58 ppm and 2.36 ppm, respectively; boiling the water for 40 min in an Al utensil decreased the F level to 2.25 ppm. In conclusion, daily consumption of tamarind correlated with less dental and skeletal fluorosis, whereas smoking and the use of Al utensils for cooking appeared to enhance the effects of fluoride toxicity.