Fluoride content monitoring of the public water supply of the Northwest area of the state of São Paulo, Brazil: 36-month analysis
Keywords:Fluoridation, fluoride, systemic fluoridation, oral health
AbstractPurpose: Water fluoridation is a safe, comprehensive, effective and economic means of controlling caries. The responsibilities for monitoring the levels of fluoride in drinking water are set out by the Brazilian Ministry of Health in 2004. The objective of this study was to analyze the fluoride content of the public water supply in eight districts of the northwestern area of the state of São Paulo for 36 months. Methods: Three major points of collection for each city were chosen, considering that all have unique sources of public water supply. Samples were collected once a month on weekdays at previously established points and were analyzed in duplicate on a monthly basis from November 2004 to October 2007 in the laboratories of the Center for Research in Public Health of the Postgraduate Program in Preventive and Social Dentistry (NEPESCO) of the School of Dentistry of Araçatuba – UNESP, using an ion analyzer attached to an electrode specific for fluoride. The results were sent monthly to the municipalities. Results: Of the total samples (n = 864), 77.4% had adequate levels of fluoride (n = 669) and 22.6% had inadequate levels (n = 195), of which 19.8% (n = 171) were below and 2.8% (n = 24) were above the recommended level. There was variation in samples collected at the same point of collection over time and between points in the same municipality. Conclusion: These results highlight the importance of monitoring fluoride levels in public water supplies so that the population can enjoy the benefits of this preventive method.
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