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Groundwater Quality and Its Impact on Health: A Preliminary Evaluation of Dental Fluorosis in Julimes, Chihuahua, Mexico

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: Medical Geology can be defined as the branch of geology dealing with the relationship between natural geological aspects and health in organisms (humans and animals), trying to determine the influence of ordinary environmental factors on the geographical distribution of health issues. The main goals of this research were: 1) to evaluate the severity of dental fluorosis (DF) and fluoride concentration in groundwater, used for human consumption, as an indicator of overexposure to fluorides, 2) to estimate the Community Fluorosis Index (CFI) in the Julimes municipality in Chihuahua, Mexico. Nine water samples were collected in four locations in the Julimes area: Hacienda Humboldt, La Regina, Colonia San Jose, and Julimes. Samples were collected and stored in accordance with the Mexican standard (NOM-014-SSA1-1993). All the samples exceeded the maximum permissible limit established in the modified Mexican standard (NOM-127-SSA1-1994) of 1.5 mgL-1 for fluoride in water for human consumption. Average concentrations of 2.74 mgL-1 were found in Colonia San Jose, 2.19 mgL-1 in La Regina, 2.17 mgL-1 in Julimes and 2.06 mgL-1 in Hacienda Humboldt. Dental Fluorosis diagnosis was evaluated using the Dean Index and the CFI applied to residents. A total of 100 inhabitants were examined, with interviews and oral examinations also carried out. Dental Fluorosis prevalence was 92 overall for the municipality, while for Colonia San Jose was of 100 , of 88.89 for Hacienda Humboldt, 88.24 for Julimes and 96 for La Regina. Dental Fluorosis’ severity for the Julimes municipality was distributed as follows: 2 normal, 6 questionable, 8 very mild, 13 mild, 19 moderate, and 52 severe. An average CFI was found for the four localities of 3.02 points, with a very notable impact on public health.

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