|Fluorosis victim of the industrial city of Raigarh, Chhattisgarh|
Symptoms are mainly promoted in the bone structure. Due to a high fluoride concentration in the body, the bone is hardened and thus less elastic, resulting in an increased frequency of fractures. Other symptoms include thickening of the bone structure and accumulation of bone tissue, which both contribute to impaired joint mobility. Ligaments and cartilage can become ossified. Most patients suffering from skeletal fluorosis show side effects from the high fluoride dose such as ruptures of the stomach lining and nausea. Fluoride can also damage the parathyroid glands, leading to hyperparathyroidism, the uncontrolled secretion of parathyroid hormones. These hormones regulate calcium concentration in the body. An elevated parathyroid hormone concentration results in a depletion of calcium in bone structures and thus a higher calcium concentration in the blood. As a result, bone flexibility decreases making the bone more susceptible to fractures.
Common causes of fluorosis include inhalation of fluoride dusts/fumes by workers in industry, consumption of fluoride from drinking water (levels of fluoride in excess of levels that are considered safe.)
In India, especially the Nalgonda region (Telangana), a common cause of fluorosis is fluoride-rich drinking water that is sourced from deep-bore wells. Over half of groundwater sources in India have fluoride above recommended levels.
Fluorosis can also occur as a result of volcanic activity. The 1783 eruption of the Laki volcano in Iceland is estimated to have killed about 22% of the Icelandic population, and 60% of livestock, as a result of fluorosis and sulfur dioxide gases. The 1693 eruption of Hekla also led to fatalities of livestock under similar conditions.
Skeletal fluorosis phasesEdit
|Osteosclerotic phase||Ash concentration (mgF/kg)||Symptoms and signs|
|Normal Bone||500 to 1,000||Normal|
|Preclinical Phase||3,500 to 5,500||Asymptomatic; slight radiographically-detectable increases in bone mass|
|Clinical Phase I||6,000 to 7,000||Sporadic pain; stiffness of joints; osteosclerosis of pelvis and vertebral column|
|Clinical Phase II||7,500 to 9,000||Chronic joint pain; arthritic symptoms; slight calcification of ligaments' increased osteosclerosis and cancellous bones; with/without osteoporosis of long bones|
|Clinical Phase III||8,400||Limitation of joint movement; calcification of ligaments of neck vertebral column; crippling deformities of the spine and major joints; muscle wasting; neurological defects/compression of spinal cord|
As of now, there are no established treatments for skeletal fluorosis patients. However, it is reversible in some cases, depending on the progression of the disease. If fluorine intake is stopped, the amount in bone will decrease and be excreted via urine. However, it is a very slow process to eliminate the fluorine from the body completely. Minimal results are seen in patients. Treatment of side effects is also very difficult. For example, a patient with a bone fracture cannot be treated according to standard procedures, because the bone is very brittle. In this case, recovery will take a very long time and a pristine healing cannot be guaranteed. However, further fluorosis can be prevented by drinking defluoridated water. It is recently suggested that drinking of defluoridated water from the ″calcium amended-hydroxyapatite″ defluoridation method may help in the fluorosis reversal. Defluoridated water from this suggested method provides calcium-enriched alkaline drinking water as generally fluoride contaminated water has a low amount of calcium mineral and drinking alkaline water helps in eliminating the toxic fluoride from the body.
In some areas, skeletal fluorosis is endemic. While fluorosis is most severe and widespread in the two largest countries – India and China – UNICEF estimates that "fluorosis is endemic in at least 25 countries across the globe. The total number of people affected is not known, but a conservative estimate would number in the tens of millions."
In India, 20 states have been identified as endemic areas, with an estimated 60 million people at risk and 6 million people disabled; about 600,000 might develop a neurological disorder as a consequence.
Effects on animalsEdit
The histological changes which are induced through fluorine on rats resemble those of humans.
- Fluorosis from drinking very large amounts of tea: Naveen Kakumanu, M.D. & Sudhaker D. Rao, M.B., B.S. (2013-03-21). "Skeletal Fluorosis Due to Excessive Tea Drinking". New England Journal of Medicine. 368 (12): 1140. doi:10.1056/NEJMicm1200995. PMID 23514291.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Whitford GM (1994). "Intake and Metabolism of Fluoride". Advances in Dental Research. 8 (1): 5–14. doi:10.1177/08959374940080011001. PMID 7993560.
- Kalia LV, Lee L, Kalia SK, Pirouzmand F, Rapoport MJ, Aviv RI, Mozeg D, Symons SP. Thoracic myelopathy from coincident fluorosis and epidural lipomatosis. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. 2010 March; 37(2):276–278.
- Gönnewicht, Daniela (2005). "Untersuchung eines Zusammenhanges von Fluoridkonzentrationen in privaten Trinkwasserversorgungsanlagen und Kariesentwicklung im Raum Ascheberg (Südliches Münsterland/Westfalen)" (PDF). Dissertation. Universität Münster, Fachbereich Medizinische Fakultät.
- Teotia SP, Teotia M (March 1973). "Secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with endemic skeletal fluorosis". Br Med J. 1 (5854): 637–40. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.5854.637. PMC 1588649. PMID 4692708.
- "CDC – National Research Council (NRC) Report – Safety – Community Water Fluoridation – Oral Health". Cdc.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
- Reddy DR (2009). "Neurology of endemic skeletal fluorosis". Neurol India. 57 (1): 7–12. doi:10.4103/0028-3886.48793. PMID 19305069.
- Thordarson, Thorvaldur; Self, Stephen (2003). "Atmospheric and environmental effects of the 1783–1784 Laki eruption: A review and reassessment" (PDF). Journal of Geophysical Research. 108 (D1): 4011. Bibcode:2003JGRD..108.4011T. doi:10.1029/2001JD002042.
- Eruption History
- Whyte MP, Essmyer K, Gannon FH, Reinus WR (January 2005). "Skeletal fluorosis and instant tea". Am. J. Med. 118 (1): 78–82. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2004.07.046. PMID 15639213.
- Grandjean P, Thomsen G (November 1983). "Reversibility of skeletal fluorosis". Br J Ind Med. 40 (4): 456–61. doi:10.1136/oem.40.4.456. PMC 1009220. PMID 6626475.
- "UNICEF – Water, environment and sanitation – Common water and sanitation-related diseases". Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- Franke J, Runge H, Fengler F, Wanka C (1972). "[Experimental bone fluorosis]". Int Arch Arbeitsmed (in German). 30 (1): 31–48. doi:10.1007/bf00539123. PMID 5084923.