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Comparison of two village primary schools in northern Tanzania affected by fluorosis

Lookup NU author(s): James Shorter, Professor Richard Walker


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High fluoride levels in drinking water sources are a problem throughout the East African Rift Valley and can lead to dental fluorosis (DF) and skeletal fluorosis (SF) in exposed local populations. Two villages in the Hai District of northern Tanzania in which fluoride has been identified as a problem were investigated in a pilot study. Fluoride levels in drinking water sources were measured and the prevalence of DF and deformities due to SF were assessed in children attending school in the two villages. The assessment also recorded the source of drinking water as well as children's height, weight and 3-day food diaries. Over one-quarter of the children in both villages had skeletal deformities, despite one village having much higher levels of fluoride in its drinking water sources. More than 90% of children in both villages had DF. SF and DF are major problems in this area. Deformities relating to SF are common, but the reasons for individual susceptibility remain unclear and may include a low calcium diet, ingestion of magadi (local salt) with high fluoride, or genetic factors. © 2010 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shorter J, Massawe J, Parry N, Walker R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Health

Year: 2010

Volume: 2

Issue: 4

Pages: 269-274

Print publication date: 11/11/2010

ISSN (print): 1876-3413

ISSN (electronic): 1876-3405

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.inhe.2010.09.010


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