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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 310-314

Estimation of fluoride level in drinking water samples of Raipur District, Chhattisgarh

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Chhattisgarh Dental College and Research Institute, Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, ESIC Dental College, Kalaburagi, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Rungta College of Dental Sciences and Research, Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India
5 Department of Community Medicine, Pt. JNM Medical College, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
6 Department of Public Health Dentistry, New Horizon Dental College and Research Institute, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, India

Date of Submission02-Nov-2020
Date of Decision03-Jun-2021
Date of Acceptance08-Nov-2021
Date of Web Publication15-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Anubhuti Jain
E-181, Sector-5, Devendra Nagar, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_199_20

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Background: The fluoride intake in the general population derives chiefly from drinking water and dietary sources. The presence of fluoride in groundwater for drinking purposes may be beneficial or detrimental depending on its concentration and the amount ingested. Objective: The objective of the study was to estimate the concentration of fluoride in drinking water sources of Raipur district. Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out for fluoride mapping of Raipur district. Samples of drinking water were collected from 50 different sites of 20 villages. The concentration of fluoride in drinking water was analyzed using ion-selective electrode method. Results: In all the water samples analyzed, there was the presence of trace amount of fluoride, which ranged from 0.2 ± 1.22 ppm with the mean concentration of 0.411 ± 0.180 ppm. Conclusion: Fluoride levels in groundwater were in trace quantity and well below the optimal level of fluoride necessary for caries prevention.

Keywords: Dental caries, fluorides, fluorosis, groundwater

How to cite this article:
Jain A, Parakh A, Yunus G Y, Naveen N, Jain KK, Agrawal R. Estimation of fluoride level in drinking water samples of Raipur District, Chhattisgarh. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2021;19:310-4

How to cite this URL:
Jain A, Parakh A, Yunus G Y, Naveen N, Jain KK, Agrawal R. Estimation of fluoride level in drinking water samples of Raipur District, Chhattisgarh. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Sep 26];19:310-4. Available from: https://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2021/19/4/310/332529

  Introduction Top

Fluoride is often termed a double-edged weapon – the optimal use of which offers maximum caries protection, whereas injudicious and excessive systemic consumption may lead to chronic fluoride toxicity, which manifests as dental and skeletal fluorosis.[1] Hence, the critical issue that deserves probing is the optimal level of fluoride concentration in water to use this double-edged sword in a defensive manner. In India, fluoride was first detected in drinking water at Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh in 1937.[2] Since then, considerable work has been done in different parts of India to explore fluoride-laden water sources.

Fluoride is one of the chemical pollutants available in water that comes into water by dissolutions of fluoride-containing rocks by their weathering and leaching or discharge by agricultural and industrial activities during manufacturing glass, electronic, steel, aluminum, bricks, tiles, ceramic, pesticides, and fertilizer.[3]

The concentration of fluoride in the public water supply that provides the greatest protection against dental caries with the least clinically observable dental fluorosis is considered optimal. However, depending on the climatic conditions and fluoride ingestion from other sources, an appropriate fluoride level of 0.5–1 ppm in drinking water is recommended.[4]

The presence of fluoride in groundwater for drinking purposes may be beneficial or detrimental depending on its concentration and the amount ingested. Therefore, it is important to determine the levels of fluoride in natural drinking water sources in a community so as to prevent excessive fluoride ingestion and guide those who wish to use fluoride in a preventive manner.

At present, there is a dearth of information in the literature on fluoride mapping of Raipur district in general. Thus, to appreciate the status over the defined geographical distribution areas, an attempt was made to estimate the concentration of fluoride in drinking water sources to have baseline data.


The aim of the study was to map the level of fluoride in Raipur district and to obtain baseline data.

  Methodology Top

A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out for fluoride mapping of Raipur district. Raipur district has been administratively divided into four blocks [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].[5]
Figure 1: Map of Chhattisgarh state

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Figure 2: Outline map of Raipur district

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The domestic and drinking water supply system in Raipur district is met by both the surface and groundwater sources. However, gradually, the surface water sources are disappearing from the rural parts due to its indiscriminate use. As most of these sources are direct recipients of sewage, industrial effluent, etc., the water gets unfit for human consumption, and therefore, the maximum water requirements these times are fulfilled by groundwater sources such as hand pumps. Raipur district was once known as a land of ponds, but today, there are only a handful of ponds left with water but not fit for drinking.[6] The sampling technique used was multistage random sampling with population proportionate to size. The total number of villages in Raipur district is 483 as per the list available from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Chhattisgarh, Raipur.[7] The block-wise distribution of villages is Arang – 166 villages, Abhanpur – 104 villages, Dharsiwa – 81 villages, and Tilda – 132 villages. Hence, to meet the estimated sample size, 20 villages were randomly selected using the table of random numbers from the four blocks of Raipur district. However, due to the unequal distribution of villages in each block, a proportionate number of villages were selected for equal representation using the formula:

Number of villages from block = 20 × number of villages in each block/total number of villages

After calculation, the number of villages selected from each block is as follows: Arang – seven villages, Abhanpur – four villages, Dharsiwa – three villages, and Tilda – six villages.

Schedule of the survey

The study was scheduled over a period of 2 months (June–July 2016). The daily and weekly schedule was prepared with prior approval from the village authorities, and additional 2 days were allotted to each village so that the unexpected delays might not alter the survey timetable.

Training and calibration of the examiner

Before the start of the survey, the examiner was trained by the professor in the Department of Public Health Dentistry and calibrated by Scientist B (Chemistry), Central Ground Water Board, North Central Chhattisgarh Region, Ministry of Water Resources, Raipur.

Ethical clearance

The study was conducted after ethical approval of the Institutional Ethical Review Board (IERB) of Rungta College of Dental Sciences and Research, Bhilai, Chhattisgarh (RCDSR/IEC/MDS/2014/D-26).


Before the commencement of the study, permission has been obtained from Central Ground Water Board for providing laboratory assistance regarding the estimation of fluoride concentration in drinking water samples.

Data collection

Fifty samples of drinking water were collected from preselected 20 villages of Raipur district in the month of June–July 2016. Drinking water from sources such as tap, hand pump, well, and river was collected in a clean and dry 250 ml plastic bottle (Polylab® Reagent narrow mouth bottle, Code No. 33303). Each sample was labeled, giving sample number, date of sample collection, site, and source of water. When collecting tap water and hand pump water, water was allowed to run for a few minutes so as to collect an evenly distributed sample of water. All bottles were thoroughly cleaned and rinsed with the source water before sample collection. The samples collected were representative, and the volume collected was sufficient for replicate analysis. After the collection of water samples, they were handed to the laboratory and there it was stored at room temperature (17°C–25°C) before the analysis.


The fluoride concentration in drinking water was analyzed using an ion-selective electrode method (Ion Meter Thermo Scientific Orion 4 Star) coupled with an ion-specific electrode for fluoride (Model No. 96083).


In the fluoride ion-selective sensor, the key element is the laser-type doped lanthanum fluoride crystal across which a potential is established by fluoride solution of different concentrations. Fluoride ion activity depends on the solution's total ionic strength. Adding an appropriate buffer provides uniform ionic strength background; it adjusts pH and breaks up complexes so that the electrode measures concentrations correctly.


Ion-selective meter or digital pH meter or expanded scale, sleeve-type reference electrode, fluoride electrode, magnetic stirrer, and timer were used.


Analytical grade chemicals, stock fluoride solution, standard fluoride solution, fluoride buffer, and total ionic strength adjustment buffer (TISAB III) (940911, Deneb Instruments, Kolkata) were used in the study. To prepare all the reagents and calibration standards, deionized water was used.


Fifty samples of water were collected and analyzed for fluoride level using ion-selective electrode method. This method is applicable to the measurement of fluoride in drinking water, groundwater, and lightly polluted water in the concentration range of 0.2–2000 mg/L. The fluoride concentration in the groundwater samples was determined directly after diluting with an equal volume of TISAB III. A buffer solution was added to the standard and sample solution to reduce matrix interferences and ionic strength effects. The instrument was calibrated to zero with standard sodium fluoride solutions so chosen that the concentration of one was ten times the concentration of the other. The electrodes were immersed in standard solution for 3 minutes and the developed potential was measured while stirring the solution.[8],[9]

Statistical analysis

The data obtained in the present study were compiled and organized systematically. All the collected data were entered into the Microsoft Office Excel Sheet 2007 version. The final data set was exported to SPSS for Windows, Version 16.0. (Chicago, SPSS Inc.).

  Results Top

Most of the selected villages in the study area are dependent on hand pumps as the major source of water supply. Only seven villages (Arang, Bhilai, Guma-2, Tor, Bartori, Khauna, and Tarpongi) had multiple sources of drinking water, i.e., tap water and well water. In the study area, a total of 50 samples were analyzed for fluoride concentration in different sources of drinking water in the study area of Raipur district [Table 1]. Out of 50 samples collected, majority were from hand pumps (n = 40); seven samples were from tap water; two samples were obtained from well water; and only one sample was from surface water (river). In all the water samples analyzed, there is the presence of trace amount of fluoride.
Table 1: Source of drinking water selected from study areas

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In the Arang block, the highest concentration of fluoride was reported in Odka village, i.e., 0.703 ppm, and the lowest concentration was reported in Dhamini village, i.e., 0.339 ppm with the mean range of 0.501 ppm. In Abhanpur block, the highest concentration of fluoride was reported in Lamkeni village, i.e., 0.542 ppm, and the lowest concentration was reported in Khorpa village, i.e., 0.218 ppm with the mean range of 0.408 ppm. In the Dharsiwa block, the highest concentration of fluoride was reported in Kara village, i.e., 1.22 ppm, and the lowest concentration was reported in Guma-2 village, i.e., 0.119 ppm with the mean range of 0.453 ppm. In the Tilda block, the highest concentration of fluoride was reported in Bartori village, i.e., 0.625 ppm, and the lowest concentration was reported in Kirna village, i.e., 0.131ppm with the mean range of 0.323 ppm [Table 2].
Table 2: Mean concentration of fluoride level in drinking water samples of Raipur district

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  Discussion Top

Fluoride is widely distributed in nature and is estimated to be the 13th most abundant element on our planet. The concentration of fluoride in groundwater depends on the concentration in soil, geologic formation of the area through which water passes, solubility of fluoride-containing minerals, and the presence of other elements, e.g., calcium, aluminum, and iron, which may be bound with the fluoride.[10]

The fluoride present in the drinking water may be useful or perilous to every single living creature, animals and plants, depending on its concentration, amount of ingestion, and time of exposure.[11] The ingestion of fluoride-containing water prompts the fuse of fluoride ions into the apatite crystal lattice of calciferous tissue enamel in its development process. The hydroxyl ion gets substituted by the fluoride ion, and the resulting fluorapatite is steadier than hydroxyapatite. In this manner, fluoride gets stored in the hard and skeletal tissues of the body, and the excess storage of fluoride may result in conditions such as dental and skeletal fluorosis.[12] Therefore, determining fluoride ions in drinking water samples is of great significance for human health.

The occurrence of fluoride in drinking water has been widely reported in literature from various studies conducted in several states of India, including Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat,[13] but Chhattisgarh still needs to be explored. Therefore in the present study, an attempt was made to undertake the mapping of fluoride in Raipur district. Determination of the most appropriate concentration of fluoride in drinking water is crucial for the one that intends to start the community water fluoridation as well as for those who want to start defluoridation due to excessive natural fluoride in the drinking water.[14]

There are numerous methods for the analysis of fluoride in drinking water samples. In the present study, the electroanalytical method of fluoride ion determination is used, this method is based on potentiometry with an ion-selective electrode and is one of the most popular and convenient methods of fluoride ion determination. Fluoride selective electrode can be used to determine fluoride concentration in resource and mineral water due to its high selectivity, specificity, and low detection limit. The advantages of this include a short analysis time, elimination of sample pretreatment, and simplicity of the measuring system.[15]

The study was undertaken in 20 randomly selected villages of Raipur district, Chhattisgarh. The concentration of fluoride ions was determined in 50 different drinking water samples of the study area [Table 1]. Water obtained from different sources, located closely in the same village, showed different concentrations of Fl in the present study. Similar observations were reported by El-Nadeef and Honkala[16] in Nigeria and Gopalakrishnan et al.[17] in Kerala. The fluoride concentration of drinking water samples in this study ranges from 0.12 to 1.22 ppm, with a mean concentration of 0.411 ppm. This result was in agreement with the previous studies conducted by Gopalakrishnan et al.[18] in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu, Dhingra et al.[19] in Kathmandu, Moslemi et al.[20] in Tehran, Iran, Parkar and Ajithkrishnan[21] in Vadodara city, Gujarat, and Mahvi et al.[22] in Behsar, i.e., 0.26–1.3 ppm, 0.11–0.26 ppm, 0.1–0.26 ppm, 0.1–0.38 ppm, 0.1–0.94 ppm, and 0.36 ppm, respectively. However, the studies conducted by Gupta and Kumar[23] in Agra city and Bhosle and Peepliwal[24] in Shirpur reported the high concentration of fluoride ranging from 1.6 to 1.7 ppm and 1.59 to 4 ppm, respectively.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the maximum acceptable concentration of fluoride in drinking water is 1.5 ppm, while India's permissible limit of fluoride in drinking water is 1 ppm.[25] But in the present study, the concentration of fluoride in most of the samples is much below the level recommended by the WHO.


Like all research works till now, no single one is perfect, and every research comes with its own limitations and the same is with the present study, which needs to be addressed. The study had provided only limited information, and the influence of climatic conditions on the concentration of fluoride has not been mentioned, but the information provided by the present study can be used as preliminary data and can serve as a pilot study for subsequent surveys of Raipur district.


There seems to be a need to implement a community-based water fluoridation system. But under present conditions, the rural areas of Raipur district cannot implement a community-based water fluoridation system as there is no centralized water supply system.

  Conclusion Top

The present study collected a multitude of information on the fluoride concentration in drinking water samples of Raipur district. To conclude, based on the findings of the present study, the concentration of fluoride in drinking water samples was below the recommended level. The rural population who rely solely on groundwater for eating and drinking may require additional exposure to fluoride for optimal caries prevention. A significant proportion of the population remains unaware of the benefits of fluoride and water fluoridation. Hence, the Chhattisgarh government should identify the nonfluoridated areas and try to implement the program of water fluoridation which is an effective and cheap method.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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