Ever-Increasing World
Fluoride Pollution Of Air,
Water, And Food Supply
From Andreas Schuld <>
Here are 15 ABSTRACTS/EXCERPTS documenting the ever-increasing global fluoride contamination of air, water and the food supply.
Gritsan NP; Babiy AP - "Hazardous materials in the environment of Dnepropetrovsk region (Ukraine)." J Hazard Mater 76(1): 59-70 (2000)
"The investigations were aimed at assessment of environmental pollution in one of the most industrialized regions of Ukraine - Dnepropetrovsk Region. The following types of environmental contamination were considered in the study: emissions and concentrations of 16 air pollutants; content and distribution of 15 elements in soils and plants at the polluted and unpolluted territories. The investigations were conducted at 28 urban sites and 18 rural sites of the Region during 1991-1998 years. Level and character of air, soil and plants contamination were investigated. Statistical methods were used to describe quantitatively the relationships between contents of hazardous materials in the environment. It was found that concentrations of fluoride, iron, copper, zinc, and lead in the soil and contents of fluoride, iron, nickel, cadmium, and aluminum in plants were several times higher than normal."
Woo, NC, Moon JW, Hahn JS, Lin XY, Zhao YS - "Water Quality and Pollution in the Hunchun Basin, China" Environmental Geochemistry and Health 22(1):1-18 (2000)
"Chemical properties and pollution of water resources were studied in the Hunchun basin, which is located in northeast China and borders directly North Korea and Russia along the Tumen river. Water quality was characterised according to its major constituents and geological features. ...Hunchun city is a pollution source for local water resources due to its uncontrolled sewage and urban discharge. ... this study identified Cd and F as prevailing contaminants in the water resources. Pollution of water resources by these contaminants appeared to be affected by the application of fertilisers, irrigation practice, variation of aquifer characteristics, solubility of mineral phases, and discharge of domestic sewage. Wide distribution and high levels of Cd and F in surface- and ground waters could pose significant problems if they are utilised as major water supply sources."
Patra RC, Dwivedi SK, Bhardwaj B, Swarup D - "Industrial fluorosis in cattle and buffalo around Udaipur, India" Science of the Total Environment 253(1-3):145-150 (2000)
"Signs of dental discolouration, difficulty in mastication, bony lesions, lameness, debility and mortality in domesticated animals, reared around superphosphate fertiliser plants located approximately 15 km north of Udaipur, Rajasthan promptedus to investigate for the occurrence of fluorosis. Out of 166 animals clinically examined, the prevalence rate was 17.4% (4/23) in calves below 1 year of age, 37.2% (16/43) in cattle between 1 and 3 years, 61.3% (46/75) in cattle above 3 years and 72% (18/25) in buffalo above 1 year. Dental fluorosis was common in buffalo compared to cattle of all the age groups. Fluoride levels in fodder and water, consumed by the animals were much higher than the recommended permissible limit. It was concluded that the consumption of fodder and water contaminated by the fumes and dusts emitting from superphosphate fertiliser plants resulted in the development of chronic fluorotic lesions in cattle and buffalo."
Godal O - "Metal industry in Norway: Economy, employment and emission of climate gases" Govt Reports Announcements & Index (GRA&I), Issue 12 (2000)
"This document presents various types of data on the metal industry in Norway as a basis for further analysis and discussion. Being energy intensive, the Norwegian metal industry has profited from the availability of hydroelectric power. The factories are often located in sparsely populated areas. In the production of aluminium, carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere. A table lists all the Norwegian smelteries and their emissions of the greenhouse gases. Some of these emissions are fluoride gases with heating potentials up to 9200 times that of carbon dioxide. The emissions of SF6 are small in mass, but large in heating effect, 23900 times that of carbon dioxide. The total emission of climate gases from Norway is 59 million ton CO2 equivalents and 11% of this is due to the part of the metal industry described in this document. The total consumption of electricity of the factories included in this analysis is 25 TWh, which is 2/3 of the consumption by private households. The metal industry is not work intensive; the last twenty years the numbers of employees have decreased by 50%. But these factories are very important for the local communities. The metal industry is exposed to competition; the large fluctuation in prices on metals leads to fluctuation in the profit of the companies. Finally the report discusses the metal industry in a global context. Norway is committed to the Kyoto Protocol and the impact of this commitment on the metal industry is not clear."
Diaz-Barriga F, Navarro-Quezada A, Grijalva MI, Grimaldo M, Loyola-Rodriguez JP, Ortiz MD -"Endemic fluorosis in Mexico" Fluoride 30(4):233-239 (1997)
"The significant mining of fluorspar in Mexico is evidence of the presence of fluoride in the Mexican subsoil. Therefore, the appearance of endemic fluorosis in some areas of our country may be a consequence of the contamination of aquifers by fluorspar deposits. In endemic areas, fluoride levels in drinking water are higher than the Mexican guideline of 1.5 mg/L inboth urban and rural locations. Furthermore, health risk effects related to fluoride exposure have been identified in at least two states. Nevertheless, endemic fluorosis is still an essentially unrecognized environmental health problem in Mexico, although it is affecting around five million people. Some improvements have been obtained by the introduction of educational programs and by the emerging of research programs in some universities. However, more work is needed in order to reduce the prevalent risks."
Ando M, Tadano M, Asanuma S, Tamura K, Matsushima S, Watanabe T, Kondo T, Sakurai S, Ji R, Liang C, Cao S - "Health effects of indoor fluoride pollution from coal burning in China" Environ Health Perspect 106(5):239-44 (1998)
"The combustion of high fluoride-content coal as an energy resource for heating, cooking, and food drying is a major exhaust emission source of suspended particulate matter and fluoride. High concentrations of these pollutants have been observed in indoor air of coal-burning families in some rural areas in China. Because airborne fluoride has serious toxicological properties, fluoride pollution in indoor air and the prevalence of fluorosis have been analyzed in a fluorosis area and a healthy nonfluorosis area in China and in a rural area in Japan. For human health, fluoride in indoor air has not only been directly inhaled by residents but also has been absorbed in stored food such as corn, chilies, and potatoes. In the fluorosis area in China, concentrations of urinary fluoride in the residents have been much higher than in the nonfluorosis area in China and in the rural area in Japan. In the fluorosis area, almost all elementary and junior high school students 10-15 years of age had dental fluorosis. Osteosclerosis in the skeletal fluorosis patients was very serious. Urinary deoxypyridinoline in rural residents in China was much higher than in rural residents in Japan. Data suggest that bone resorption was extremely stimulated in the residents in China and that fluoride may stimulate both bone resorption and bone formation. Because indoor fluoride from combustion of coal is easily absorbed in stored food and because food consumption is a main source of fluoride exposure, it is necessary to reduce airborne fluoride and food contamination to prevent serious fluorosis in China."
Wyatt CJ, Fimbres C, Romo L, Mendez RO, Grijalva M - "Incidence of heavy metal contamination in water supplies in northern Mexico" Environ Res 76(2):114-9 (1998)
"Contaminants in drinking water present public health risks. The objective of this study was to analyze water samples taken from wells or storage tanks, direct sources for domestic water in Northern Mexico, for the presence of lead (Pb), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), and mercury (Hg). The samples were analyzed by atomic absorption coupled with a hydride generator or a graphite furnace. High levels of Pb (0.05-0.12 ppm) were found in Hermosillo, Guaymas, and Nacozari. Forty-three percent of the samples in Sonora exceeded the action level (0.015 ppm) established by the EPA for Pb. For As, 8.92% exceeded the limit with a range of 0.002-0.305 ppm. Several studies have indicated a possible link between As and fluoride (F) in drinking water. This study showed a positive correlation between F and As (r = 0.53, P = 0.01, and n = 116). One location in Hermosillo had 7.36 ppm of F and 0.117 ppm of As, 3.5 times the recommended F levels in drinking water and 2 times higher than the level permitted for As. Hg contamination was found in 42% of the samples..."
Meng Z, Zhang B - "Chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei in lymphocytes of workers at a phosphate fertilizer factory" Mutation Resaerch 393(3):283-288 (1997)
"The frequencies of chromosomal aberrations (CA) and micronuclei (MN) in peripheral blood lymphocytes of 40 workers at a phosphate fertilizer factory in North China, were studied. HF and SiF4 are the main air pollutants and small amounts of dust containing fluoride, NH3 and SO2 were also present in the factory. It was shown that the chemicals caused an increase in both CA and MN. The mean frequencies per 100 metaphase of major CA type (chromosome rings, translocations, and dicentrics) of the workers and the non-exposed controls were 0.91 and 0.24 (p < 0.01), respectively. The average percentages of lymphocytes with MN of the workers and the controls were 1.55 : 0.71 and 0.62 : 0.54 (p < 0.01), respectively. Both CA frequency and MN frequency of the workers increased with length of the chemical exposure period up to 10 years."
Geeson NA, Abrahams PW, Murphy MP, et al - "Fluorine and metal enrichment of soils and pasture herbage in the old mining areas of Derbyshire, UK." Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 68 (3):217-231 (1998)
"Mining for lead, and more recently fluorspar, in the Peak District area of Derbyshire, UK, has resulted in extensive contamination of agricultural land with lead, zinc and fluorine. In this study the content of fluorine, determined as the fluoride ion, and other elements in soils along three traverses across the area, and at sites on seven farms, were determined. In addition, the seasonal variation in the content of fluorine and other elements in the pasture herbage on the farm sites was investigated. Some health problems affecting young lambs in spring have in the past been attributed to lead toxicity, but it is possible that excess fluorine in the diet may contribute to these symptoms. The agricultural significance of the concentrations of fluorine encountered, and possible antagonistic interactions between elements within the diet on the metabolism of livestock in the area studied, are discussed."
Skachkov MV, Verashchagin NN, Skachkova MA, Kalinina TN, Osiian SA - "Anthropogenic environmental factors and their role in the occurrence of acute respiratory diseases" Gig Sanit ISS 6:11-13 (1998)
"The incidence of acute respiratory diseases (ARD) in two districts of the Orenburg Region which have different levels of environmental pollution was comparatively analyzed. The higher incidence of ARD in the more polluted district (Kuvandyksky) than in the control one (Belyaevsky). The incidence rate (41.8%) of ARD correlated with the level of the ambient air pollution by dust, CO, NO2, NF and fluoride aerosols in the Kuvandyksky district."
Kierdorf U, Kierdorf H - "The fluoride content of antlers as an indicator of fluoride exposure in red deer (Cervus elaphus): A historical biomonitoring study" Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 38(1):121-7 (2000)
"Bone fluoride concentrations were analyzed in 141 red deer antlers grown between the 17th/early 18th century and 1997, that originated from four study areas (Arnsberg, Bad Berleburg, Dammerwald, Schmidtheim) in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Fluoride concentrations in the specimens ranged between 27.7 and 1, 392.1 mg F(-)/kg ash and varied significantly both between samples collected during different time-spans in the same area and between samples taken from different study areas over the same period. For antlers (n = 8) collected prior to 1860 in the study areas Arnsberg and Schmidtheim, values between 27.7 and 78.7 mg F(-)/kg ash were recorded. It is assumed that antler fluoride contents in this range are quite close to baseline levels for these regions, i.e., represent concentrations largely unaffected or only slightly influenced by fluoride from anthropogenic sources. With the onset and expansion of large-scale industrial activities, bone fluoride concentrations in the antler samples markedly increased over these baseline values, indicating fluoride deposition from industrial emissions into the red deer habitats. In the later 1980s and the 1990s, a pronounced decline in antler fluoride content was observed, which is attributed to the reduction of industrial fluoride discharges due to effective emission control programs. However, even the lowest fluoride values recorded for antlers grown in the 1990s (study area Schmidtheim, n = 10, range 158.5-367.3 mg F(-)/kg ash) clearly exceeded the concentrations found in the antlers collected prior to 1860, thereby indicating an additional fluoride burden from anthropogenic sources on the recent populations. The present study has corroborated the view that antlers are good indicators of fluoride exposure in deer. The facts that they grow during a seasonally fixed time-span and thus constitute relatively well "naturally standardized" samples and are often kept over long periods of time make antlers suitable monitoring units for historical biomonitoring studies."
Chand D - "Fluoride and human health - Cause for concern" Indian Journal of Environmental Protection 19(2): 81-89 (1999)
"Intake of excess fluoride causes dental, skeletal and non-skeletal fluorosis through continued use of fluoride contaminated water, air and agricultural produce. High fluoride intake over a period of time can cripple one for life. Apart from fluorosis, it may also cause gastrointestinal complaints, namely loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, pain in the stomach, constipation and intermittent diarrhoea and flatulence in expectant and lactating mothers, hardworking young adults, foetus and children. The adolescent age group is most vulnerable. Fluorosis has been considered as one of the incurable diseases and prevention is the only solution. At this juncture, it becomes essential to identify all possible sources of fluoride and their possible impact on health of human beings."
Mayer R, Liess S, Silveira Lopes M, Kreutzer K -" Atmospheric pollution in a tropical rainforest:Effects of deposition upon biosphere and hydrosphere:II. Fluxes of chemicals and element budgets" Water and soil pollution 121 (1-4):79-92 (*2000)
"Three rain forest ecosystems in the Serra do Mar, the atlantic coastal mountain range of Brazil, have been investigated in the frame of an interdisciplinary German-Brazilian research project on dispersion, transformation and deposition of air pollutants in and around the industrial area of Cubatao....The forests under investigation are characterized by a very high input from the atmosphere. Between 100 and 200 kg S ha-1 are annually carried into soil by precipitation in the form of sulfate, 20 to 70 kg of nitrogen mainly in the form of ammonium, 3 to 24 kg of fluoride.... Soil acidification associated with turnover of sulfur and nitrogen is followed by the release of aluminum from soil minerals, and leaching of ionic forms of Al (up to 280 kg Al ha-1 annually). Transfer of aluminum ions to groundwater and surface water can have serious ecological effects. Alkalinity is consumed, and the water is subject to acidification."
Jedrychowski W, Maugeri U, Bianchi I - "Environmental pollution in central and eastern European countries: a basis for cancer epidemiology" Rev Environ Health 12(1):1-23 (1997)
The main objective of this paper is to discuss the environmental issues in the countries of central and eastern Europe (CCEE) and to show their significance for cancer epidemiology. ...Among other factors, the most common environmental exposure in the CCEE that has potential adverse effects on health in terms of cancer incidence is related to high levels of ambient and indoor pollutants exceeding the air quality guidelines of the World Health Organization. Millions of people, usually in urban areas, are estimated to be exposed to such levels of pollution. Outdoor air pollution is a substantial environmental problem in many areas of the CCEE, where heavy industries are concentrated without adequate technology for emission control. Chemically contaminated drinking water provides a major route of exposure for many potential environmental health hazards. The pollution of water resources, including groundwaters, by industrial and agricultural wastes is a widespread problem in both the CCEE and the former USSR. An estimated 13% of treatment plants in the Russian Federation lack the necessary equipment to treat drinking water, particularly for disinfection, to meet the required standards. Many countries in the region have problems in rural areas, where the networks are small or consumers depend on private wells, and treatment of drinking water is either poor or nonexistent. ... The main concern is nitrate, arsenic, fluoride, and pesticides. . .Lack of appropriate data hamper valid estimates of the extent of unhealthy working conditions or of poor housing conditions. Unsafe industrial installations are potential environmental health hazards, the possible scale of which is difficult to estimate reasonably."
Ecotoxicity Risks Associated with the Land Treatment of Petrochemical Wastes
"Although many consider land treatment of petrochemical industrial wastes to be a viable and safe management practice, recent field studies by our laboratory raises serious environmental concerns regarding immunotoxicity and fluorosis risks to wild vertebrates. We will address these concerns by monitoring immunologic and pathologic responses of cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) in situ by seasonally collecting resident animals from replicated Land Treatment and Reference Sites throughout Oklahoma. Biomarker responses (immune system function, biotransformation enzyme activities, pathology) will be compared to soil and tissue contaminant levels to identify probable causative agents. We hypothesize that fluoride, lead, arsenic, and other contaminants are universally high in land-treatment soils and that these contaminants behave in a dose-response fashion to cause a high incidence of dental fluorosis and immune system dysfunction in resident small mammal populations."
Sponsor: Environmental Protection Agency
PIs: Charles W. Qualls, Jr.
Robert Lochmiller (Zoology)
Nick Basta (Plant and Soil Sciences)
"Steel plant belches poison"
China Daily - 08/06/98
A MAJOR steel plant in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region spews thousands of tons of fluoride every year, which has caused bone deformities among local herders and has killed thousands of sheep.
The impact on livestock is so great that many herders have decided to leave their flocks, the only source of income in the region. Those who remain have seen their living standard spiral downward.
Although the local government has protested the pollution for almost 20 years, the problem has not been resolved. The cause is the deeply-rooted protectionism of some government departments which show no concern for people's well-being and the environment.
Like many large State-owned enterprises, the steel plant in Inner Mongolia is subject to the direct administration of a department under central government control.The local government's complaints are thus ineffective unless it can persuade the central government department in charge of the plant to take action.
Although it may be the case that some large State-owned enterprises need more financial and technical resources to improve waste treatment, some firms with adequate resources use their supervisory departments as a shield to dump wastes freely and escape the enforcement efforts of local governments.
This problem is not checked because of the attitude and practices of some officials who ignore the well-being of local residents while making efforts to fulfill their profit targets. (Chen Yali)
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