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Environmental evaluation of fluoride in drinking water at "Los Altos de Jalisco," in the central Mexico region.

Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part a

analysis, Water Pollutants, Chemical, Mexico, Humans, Fresh Water, Fluorides, methods, Environmental Monitoring

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      Naturally occurring fluoride has been detected and quantified in drinking water in several cities of the "Los Altos de Jalisco" (LAJ) region. LAJ is located in the northeastern part of the state of Jalisco-Mexico, covering an area of 16,410 km2 with a population of 696,318 in 20 municipalities. Drinking water comes mainly from groundwater aquifers, located in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, which is a volcanic region characterized by hydrothermal activity. Results indicated that water supply from 42% of the municipalities had a fluoride concentration over the Mexican standards of 1.5 mg/L. It is important to notice that there are three cities, Lagos de Moreno (1.66-5.88 mg/L F(-)), Teocaltiche (3.82-18.58 mg/L F(-)), and Encarnación de Díaz (2.58-4.40 mg/L F(-)) where all water samples resulted in fluoride concentration over the maximum contaminant level. The total population from these three cities is over 122,000 inhabitants. Another important city with high levels of fluoride in the water supply was Tepatitlán de Morelos (2 wells with 6.54 and 13.47 mg/L F(-)). In addition to water supply, 30 samples of brand-name bottled water were tested. Surprisingly, 8 samples (27%) demonstrated fluoride level over the standards, mainly Agua de Lagos with 5.27 mg/L. Fluoridated table salt (200-300 mg/kg F(-)) is another important source of fluoride. A large number of people living in the region, mainly school children, might be under adverse health risk because they are consuming contaminated drinking water. It is well known that long-term exposure to water with high levels of fluoride produces severe health problems.

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