Fluoride Action Network


The high concentration of fluoride (F) in soils has become a rising concern for its toxicity to microbes, plants, animals and human health. In the present study, the spatial and vertical distribution, health risk assessment and anthropogenic sources of F in farmland soils in an industrial area dominated by phosphate chemical plants were studied. Concentrations of total fluoride (TF) and water soluble fluoride (WSF) in the surface soils decreased with distance within the range of 2500m at the prevailing downwind of the industrial area. The soil TF and WSF concentrations in 0-40cm profiles were higher than those in 40-100cm layers in the industrial area. At the prevailing downwind of the industrial area within 700m, the hazard quotient values of human exposure to surface soils were higher than 1, indicating that a potential risk may exist for human health in this area. The main exposure pathway for children and adults was oral ingestion and particulate inhalation, respectively. The source apportionment model of soil F was modified based on years’ historical data and experimental data. The results showed that the proportion of anthropogenic sources of soil F was dustfalls (69%)> irrigation water (23%)> air (5%)> chemical fertilizers (3%) in the industrial area. The high F concentration of dustfalls was mainly due to the phosphate rock, phosphogypsum, and surface soils with high F contents from the factories. In order to safeguard human health and alleviate hazards of F to surroundings, the control of pollutants emission from factories was a basic and vital step to reduce F in the soils in industrial areas.