Fluoride Action Network


The presence or excess of very low concentrations of fluoride in the groundwater has been a major factor in the dental epidemiology of Sri Lanka. There is a clear boundary between the Wet Climatic Zone and the Dry Zone of the country. The high fluoride content in the groundwater (sometimes in excess of 5 mg/l) is generally found in the Dry Zone, particularly in the North Central Province. Dental fluorosis is prevalent in these Dry Zone areas whereas in the Wet Zone, the fluoride content of water is very low and results in dental caries. This particular environmental health problem is of special importance to Sri Lanka in that the vast majority of the population of the country depend on untreated groundwater for their domestic water supplies. The health of this population therefore is controlled to a marked degree by the chemistry of the groundwater.

The compilation of maps showing the distribution patterns of fluoride in groundwater is vital in the implementation of rural water supply schemes. The use of appropriate technology in the design of simple deflouridating techniques and active rural community participation are of particular importance in the management of groundwater supplies in “flouride?rich or poor” zones.

*Original abstract online at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207239108710658