Levels of natural fluoride in the public water supply of São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil
AbstractPurpose: The objective of this study was to map out the residual levels of fluoride in isolated wells belonging to the municipality of São Luis, Maranhão, Brazil, during the period of August of 2009. Methods: The wells were determined according to sectors of the company responsible for the public water supply. Collection points were near these wells. The analysis of fluoride concentration was carried out in triplicate, using an ion-specific electrode for fluoride connected to a previously calibrated temperature meter. After analysis, samples were considered adequate when the fluoride concentration was within the recommended limits from 0.60 to 0.80 ppm F (criteria I) or within the stipulated range from 0.55 ppm F to 0.84 ppm F (criteria II). Results: The results show levels of residual fluoride less than 0.11 ppm in the water of isolated wells. Conclusion: It may be concluded that the population of São Luis, supplied with water from its wells, does not benefit from the method of fluoridation. The levels of residual fluoride found cannot cause dental fluorosis in its most severe forms, nor even prevent dental caries.
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