Prevalence of Fluorosis and pattern of Domestic filters use in two Fluoride endemic blocks of West Bengal, India
Keywords:Fluoride, Fluoride toxicity, Domestic filters
Fluorosis is an impending public health problem in West Bengal affecting a large number of population, and Birbhum is one of the affected districts with seven affected blocks with increased prevalence of dental, skeletal, and non-skeletal fluorosis. Objective: The present study was conducted to see the extent of fluorosis in two selected affected blocks of Birbhum District of West Bengal and to determine the pattern of usage of domestic filters by the villagers of the above selected endemic villages. Methodology: A total 30 families were selected randomly out of families having past history of taking water from an unsafe source from the two endemic blocks i.e. Rampurhat I and Khoerasol of Birbhum Distric of West Bengal. Out of these 30 families a total 125 family members were selected health survey. A total 60 school children were examined and screened for Dental fluorosis in the above blocks. All these families were supplied domestic filters for removal of fluoride and the pattern of usage of domestic filters by the villagers were also studied. Results: 44.4% and 47.5% of the study population are found to be suffering from Dental fluorosis. Prevalence of manifestations of skeletal fluorosis was found to be 6.6-26.2% in this study. Prevalence of manifestations of non skeletal fluorosis was found to be 25% to 40%. 40 -60% of school children were found to be suffering from Dental fluorosis in the study area. Withdrawal of source(s) identified for fluoride by supplying domestic and community filters along with dietary intervention leads to decreased manifestations of the three types of fluorosis but from the study it was evident that only 20-40% of population were using domestic filters due to lack of awareness regarding health hazards of Fluoride toxicity, lack of maintenance and delay in repair of parts and lack of monitoring and supervision. Conclusion: More extensive studies involving large group of population may be needed in future to measure the impact. Supply of safe water with nutritional interventions based on the above findings may be necessary to combat the problem of fluorosis
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