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Overview of fluoride distribution in major aquifer units of northern Nigeria

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2012.412189    4,000 Downloads   5,856 Views   Citations


Symptoms of dental fluorosis such as mottled teeth are common among adults, youth and children in several rural communities in northern Nigeria. This has inspired the Authors to investigate the concentration of fluoride in the natural water systems of the major aquifer units (Basement, Sedimentary, Volcanic and Younger Granites) in some parts of northern Nigeria and to delineate areas of high risk of dental fluorosis, crippling skeletal fluorosis and dental caries. Six hundred and twenty seven analytical values for water were obtained from the literature and from analysis of samples from the major aquifer units of northern Nigeria: Basement-232, Sedimentary-328, Younger Granites-38 and Volcanic-28. Fluoride concentrations range from 0.03 to 10.30 mg/L in the Basement Aquifer; 0.00 to 5.00 mg/L in the Sedimentary Aquifer; 0.00 to 0.89 mg/L in the Younger Granites Aquifer; and 0.00 to 0.78 mg/L in the Volcanic Aquifer. A background value of 1.0 mg/L for fluoride concentration for northern Nigeria has been determined in this study. Areas identified with high fluoride in their waters above the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended maximum permissible level in drinking water of 1.5 mg/L are: Dzuma, Dilchidima, Ngalbi, Udin, Kaltungo Biliri, Shongwom, Dass in the the northeast basement aquifers; Maiduguri, Mafa, Mobbar, Ngala, Logomani, Gombe in the northeast sedimentary aquifers: Langtang, Dorong, Furzi in the north-central basement aquifers and Pakoro in the northcentral sedimentary aquifers: Shawo and Barkin Lamba in the northwest basement aquifers. No anomalously high values of fluoride were recorded in the northwest sedimentary aquifers. All waters sampled in the Younger Granites and the Volcanic Aquifers have fluoride contents lower than the WHO recommended maximum permissible level in drinking water of 1.5 mg/L; and over ninety percent of the waters have fluoride concentration below the 0.5 mg/L recommended by WHO for the prevention of dental caries. Positive correlation between dental fluorosis and high fluoride water consumption has been established in all the areas with high fluoride in their waters. Positive correlation has also been established between genu valgum (bowing of legs) and consumption of high fluo-ride waters in Langtang Area. These data have been used to delineate areas of the Younger Granites Province and the Volcanic Province where inhabitants are at high risk of having dental caries.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Dibal, H. , Schoeneich, K. , Garba, I. , Lar, U. and Bala, E. (2012) Overview of fluoride distribution in major aquifer units of northern Nigeria. Health, 4, 1287-1294. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.412189.


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