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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3132-3142; doi:10.3390/ijerph110303132

Reducing Exposure to High Fluoride Drinking Water in Estonia—A Countrywide Study

Department of Public Health, University of Tartu, Ravila 19, Tartu 50411, Estonia
Department of Geology, University of Tartu, Ravila 14a, Tartu 50411, Estonia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 February 2014 / Revised: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 5 March 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 10th Anniversary)
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Fluoride is a naturally occurring contaminant in groundwater in Estonia. There are several regions in Estonia with fluoride contents in public water supplies as high as 7 mg/L. Long-term exposure to high-fluoride drinking water may have several adverse health effects, primarily dental fluorosis. The opportunities for exposure reduction rely highly on water treatment technologies. Since 2004 public water suppliers in Estonia have made efforts to diminish fluoride content in drinking water systems. A follow-up study on a country level was carried out in 2004–2012 to analyze the changes in population exposure to excessive (over 1.5 mg/L) fluoride in drinking water and to get information about the reduction methods applied by public water supplies (PWS) to optimize the fluoride levels in public water system. The results showed that bigger PWS have been more effective in fluoride reduction measures than small PWS. The main methods used to lower the fluoride content were reverse osmosis technology and replacement of water sources with new ones (new drilled wells). As a result of all the measures taken the overall high-fluoride exposure has been reduced substantially (82%).
Keywords: high-fluoride exposure; drinking water; reduction measures; Estonia high-fluoride exposure; drinking water; reduction measures; Estonia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Indermitte, E.; Saava, A.; Karro, E. Reducing Exposure to High Fluoride Drinking Water in Estonia—A Countrywide Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 3132-3142.

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