In order to identify risk factors associated with human exposure to fluoride in San Luis Potosi (SLP), Mexico, a biochemical and epidemiological study was carried out in 1992. Results from the analysis of fluoride sources showed that 61% of tap water samples had fluoride levels above the optimal level of 0.7-1.2 ppm. The levels were higher after boiling. In bottled water, fluoride levels ranged from 0.33 to 6.97 ppm. These sources are important since in SLP 82% of the children drink tap water, 31% also drink bottled water, 92% prepare their food with tap water, 44% boiled all the drinking water, and 91% used infant formula reconstituted with boiled water. The prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in children (11-13 years old) increased as the concentration of water fluoride increased. At levels of fluoride in water lower than 0.7 ppm a prevalence of 69% was found for total dental fluorosis, whereas at levels of fluoride in water higher than 2.0 ppm a prevalence of 98% was found. In the same children, fluoride levels in urine were quantified. The levels increased as the concentration of water fluoride increased. Regressional analysis showed an increment of 0.54 ppm (P < 0.0001) of fluoride in urine for each ppm of fluoride in water. Fluoride urinary levels were higher in samples collected during the afternoon (1800) when compared with sample collected during the morning (1100). Taking together all these results, three risk factors for human exposure to fluoride in SLP can be identified: ambient temperature, boiled water, and food preparation with boiled water. These factors explain the prevalence of dental fluorosis in SLP.
*Original abstract online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0013935185710043?via%3Dihub