Chronic Alcohol Consumption and the Development of Skeletal Fluorosis in a Fluoride Endemic Area of the Ethiopian Rift Valley


This study compared the occurrence of skeletal fluorosis in chronic consumers of locally brewed alcoholic beverages and their matched controls in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. The study revealed that chronic alcohol consumers developed severe forms of crippling skeletal fluorosis quite early in life. The controls were either symptom-free or exhibited mild forms of the fluorosis. The study showed that crippling skeletal fluorosis was directly associated with the large volumes of the locally brewed beer and honey-mead consumption on a daily basis. Chemical analysis of the alcoholic beverages showed that high concentration of fluoride which was much higher than the fluoride in the water was used for the brewing process. From this study one would conclude that in communities residing in high fluoride areas, there should be awareness creation campaigns to point out the relationship of excessive consumption of locally brewed alcoholic drinks and skeletal fluorosis. Regulations should also be put in place to require producers of local alcoholic beverages to use low fluoride water for brewing.

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Tekle-Haimanot, R. and Haile, G. (2014) Chronic Alcohol Consumption and the Development of Skeletal Fluorosis in a Fluoride Endemic Area of the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 6, 149-155. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2014.62020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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