Assessment Of The Fluoride Concentration In Drinking Water And Tea In The Arusha Region Of Tanzania

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Supplemental Material


High fluoride concentrations in drinking water affect millions of people around the world; however, fluoride can come from several sources. The World Health Organization recommends a fluoride concentration in drinking water of no more than 1.5 mg/L; fluoride above this concentration can cause long-term problems known as fluorosis, such as mottled teeth and increased risk of dental caries, or skeletal deformities. Rural communities near Arusha, Tanzania have high fluoride concentrations in their water. Adults and children of the Arusha Region rely heavily on tea for daily water consumption, which has the benefit of disinfection by boiling. Researchers investigated water quality, water access, and water use and perceptions through household surveys and interviews with the local water board. Tea was traditionally prepared with milk. Researchers found that the prepared tea had the same amount of fluoride as its constituents; that is, fluoride did not precipitate from the mixed beverage. The results indicated significant problems with consistent access to water proximal to residents. Additionally, there is a misconception on the cause of fluorosis and according to the water board, residents do not recognize fluoride as a health risk.

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