Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Water treatments alone not enough to combat fluorosis in Ethiopia

27.04.2012
Increased intake of dietary calcium may be key to addressing widespread dental health problems faced by millions of rural residents in Ethiopia's remote, poverty-stricken Main Rift Valley, according to a new Duke University-led study.

As many as 8 million people living in the valley are estimated to be at risk of dental and skeletal fluorosis as a result of their long-term exposure to high levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the region's groundwater.

Fluoride is essential for healthy tooth enamel development, but consuming too much of it can damage enamel and bones, particularly in children between the ages of 3 months and 8 years.

Mild to moderate fluorosis typically results in permanent discoloring and disfiguration of tooth enamel. Severe fluorosis can cause chronic pain and lead to tooth and bone loss.

Most efforts to combat fluorosis in the region have focused primarily on treating drinking water to reduce its fluoride content.

The new Duke-led study, published online in the journal Environment International (www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412012000530), finds that these efforts "may not be sufficient on their own, because of the region's geology and the low threshold of exposure at which we found fluorosis was likely to occur," said Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.

Increasing the amount of calcium in villagers' diets, or finding alternative sources of drinking water may be necessary in addition to these fluoride-reducing treatments.

By systematically analyzing groundwater quality in the valley, Vengosh and his colleagues found that as water flows from the surrounding mountains into the rift, it interacts with volcanic rock, which contributes fluoride to the water while also removing most of its calcium. That's important, he explained, because "calcium is essential for mineral formation that can capture fluoride in a groundwater system."

Water samples from 48 of 50 wells tested in the valley contained fluoride levels above World Health Organization safe guidelines. The average daily fluoride intake of people drinking from the wells was six times higher than the current no-observed-adverse-effects-level (NOAEL) – the highest known level of exposure that can occur before adverse biological effects are detected.

The researchers also conducted clinical examinations of 200 villagers' teeth to see if differences in fluoride levels in drinking water supplies affected the severity and prevalence of fluorosis in a community's population.

"The idea was to test the hypothesis that higher fluoride in the water correlates to more common and severe cases of fluorosis in the people who drink it. But we found no linear correlation above a certain point," said Tewodros Rango, a postdoctoral researcher at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment who was lead author of the study. "Essentially, our examinations showed that once you reach a low threshold of fluoride exposure, fluorosis is likely to happen."

In some of the communities, the fluoride levels in well water were so high you could treat the water to cut the fluoride content by half and it still wouldn't drop below the critical threshold, he said.

In villages where people had access to milk, severe fluorosis was about 10 percent less likely to occur, Rango's clinical examinations found. Further research is needed to explain this anomaly, he said, but it may be possible that by drinking milk -- which is not a common staple in the rural Ethiopian diet -- these people take in enough calcium to retard fluorosis development.

"Future mitigation strategies may want to include increased calcium intake in diets, particularly for children," he said.

The research team's tests also found high levels of naturally occurring toxic elements, including arsenic and uranium, in the groundwater samples.

"The combined impact of these elements on human health may be higher than the sum of the effects from each specific contaminant," said study co-author Dr. Julia Kravchenko, a researcher at the Duke Cancer Institute. "For example, it could result in aggravated toxicity of fluoride as well as increased risk of damaged kidney function. This phenomenon is very important for evaluating region-specific safety limits for water contaminants."

Increased numbers of fluorosis cases have been reported in recent years in many parts of the world, including Mexico, Brazil, China, Vietnam and Thailand. Devising mitigation strategies that take into account each region's geology and water quality is critical, the researchers noted, because global warming could worsen the quality of drinking water in these regions in coming years.

Other co-authors on the study were Marc Jeuland of Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy; Nicholas School PhD student Brittany Merola; Behailu Atlaw of Jimma University in Ethiopia, and Peter G. McCornick of the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka. Support came from the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Tim Lucas | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Atome rennen sehen - Phasenübergang live beobachtet

Ein Wimpernschlag ist unendlich lang dagegen – innerhalb von 350 Billiardsteln einer Sekunde arrangieren sich die Atome neu. Das renommierte Fachmagazin Nature berichtet in seiner aktuellen Ausgabe*: Wissenschaftler vom Center for Nanointegration (CENIDE) der Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE) haben die Bewegungen eines eindimensionalen Materials erstmals live verfolgen können. Dazu arbeiteten sie mit Kollegen der Universität Paderborn zusammen. Die Forscher fanden heraus, dass die Beschleunigung der Atome jeden Porsche stehenlässt.

Egal wie klein sie sind, die uns im Alltag umgebenden Dinge sind dreidimensional: Salzkristalle, Pollen, Staub. Selbst Alufolie hat eine gewisse Dicke. Das...

Im Focus: Kleinstmagnete für zukünftige Datenspeicher

Ein internationales Forscherteam unter der Leitung von Chemikern der ETH Zürich hat eine neue Methode entwickelt, um eine Oberfläche mit einzelnen magnetisierbaren Atomen zu bestücken. Interessant ist dies insbesondere für die Entwicklung neuartiger winziger Datenträger.

Die Idee ist faszinierend: Auf kleinstem Platz könnten riesige Datenmengen gespeichert werden, wenn man für eine Informationseinheit (in der binären...

Im Focus: Quantenkommunikation: Wie man das Rauschen überlistet

Wie kann man Quanteninformation zuverlässig übertragen, wenn man in der Verbindungsleitung mit störendem Rauschen zu kämpfen hat? Uni Innsbruck und TU Wien präsentieren neue Lösungen.

Wir kommunizieren heute mit Hilfe von Funksignalen, wir schicken elektrische Impulse durch lange Leitungen – doch das könnte sich bald ändern. Derzeit wird...

Im Focus: Entwicklung miniaturisierter Lichtmikroskope - „ChipScope“ will ins Innere lebender Zellen blicken

Das Institut für Halbleitertechnik und das Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie, beide Mitglieder des Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), der Technischen Universität Braunschweig, sind Partner des kürzlich gestarteten EU-Forschungsprojektes ChipScope. Ziel ist es, ein neues, extrem kleines Lichtmikroskop zu entwickeln. Damit soll das Innere lebender Zellen in Echtzeit beobachtet werden können. Sieben Institute in fünf europäischen Ländern beteiligen sich über die nächsten vier Jahre an diesem technologisch anspruchsvollen Projekt.

Die zukünftigen Einsatzmöglichkeiten des neu zu entwickelnden und nur wenige Millimeter großen Mikroskops sind äußerst vielfältig. Die Projektpartner haben...

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Industriearbeitskreis »Prozesskontrolle in der Lasermaterialbearbeitung ICPC« lädt nach Aachen ein

28.03.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Neue Methoden für zuverlässige Mikroelektronik: Internationale Experten treffen sich in Halle

28.03.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Wie Menschen wachsen

27.03.2017 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Nierentransplantationen: Weisse Blutzellen kontrollieren Virusvermehrung

30.03.2017 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Zuckerrübenschnitzel: der neue Rohstoff für Werkstoffe?

30.03.2017 | Materialwissenschaften

Integrating Light – Your Partner LZH: Das LZH auf der Hannover Messe 2017

30.03.2017 | HANNOVER MESSE