Assessment of Fluoride Concentration in Ground Water in Madurai District, Tamil Nadu, India.


Dr. R. Pradeep Kumar1*, Ms. Vijayalakshmi B.2

1Reader, Department of Public Health Dentistry Saveetha Dental College, 162, Poonamallee High Road, Velappanchavadi, Chennai 600077

2Intern Saveetha Dental College, 162, Poonamallee High Road, Velappanchavadi, Chennai 600077

*Corresponding Author E-mail:



Ground water forms a major source of drinking water in urban as well as in rural areas. The water need is met mainly from tanks, tube wells and dug wells. The aim of this study is determination of fluoride content in ground water in certain areas of Madurai district. Ground water(bore well) samples were collected from 5 areas of Madurai district. The level of fluoride in water is calculated using ion exchange method. The result was compared with WHO recommended limit of fluoride - 1.5mg/l. Due to the high concentration of fluoride, dental fluorosis was also identified in people residing in that area.


KEYWORDS: Fluoride, Ground water, water quality.









Fluorine is the 13th most abundant element which represents about 0.3g/kg of earth's crust. Fluoride in small amounts is an essential component for normal mineralization of bones and dental enamel. (1) The main source of fluoride for human body is usually in drinking water that covers about 75-90% of daily intake. (2) Groundwater forms a major source of drinking water that contributes only about 0.6% of total water resources and is the major available source of drinking water. (3) Digging up of bore well for irrigation has resulted in declining levels of ground water. As a result, deep aquifers are used and the water in these aquifers contains a higher level of fluoride. Drinking water and sea food are good sources of fluoride. Many factors affect the fluoride content such as volcanic rocks, granite and gneissic rocks and sediments of marine origin in mountainous areas. These rocks are high in fluoride content that often found affecting ground water.


Thus high concentrations of fluoride in water are generally found in ground waters. (4) Fluoride could also be found in a number of minerals, of which fluorspar, cryolyte and Fluor apatite are the most common. (5) A higher concentration of fluoride causes serious health hazards in three forms, namely, dental, skeletal and non-skeletal fluorosis. Dental fluorosis produces widespread brown stains on teeth and may cause pitting. Skeletal fluorosis causes crippling and severe pain and stiffness of backbone and joints. In this context, the present work attempts to identify the fluoride level in ground water source among certain areas  in Madurai district.



Study Area:

Madurai is known for pilgrim centre which is also called Temple city that attracts vast confluence of people from various places in India and even from abroad. Madurai district covers the area of about 3405 It contains administrative divisions of 7 taluks, 13 blocks and 670 villages with the total population of 25,78,201 as per 2001 census. The prominent geomorphic units in the district are structural and denudated land forms and granites and gneisses. The district is characterized by red soil, black clayey soil and alluvial soil. The normal annual rainfall varies from 806mm in the northern part to 964.1mm in the eastern part of the district and the temperature ranges from 22-44 ̊ C.


Collection of Water Sample:

About 500ml of water was collected in a clean dry polythene container and labeled with information like date of collection, source and place. Fluoride levels were analyzed by ion exchange method by the chief water Analyst, state level water testing laboratory, Tamilnadu Water Supply and Drainage Board (TWAD), Government of Tamilnadu, Chennai (ISO 9001-2000-Certified).




Open well


Date of sample collection:



S. No


Fluoride mg/l


Pudur, Madurai District



Surveyor Colony



D.R.O Colony






Iyer Bungalow




In the present study, fluoride contents in all samples ranged between 0.12-1.2 mg/l, which is less than the optimum range of 1.5 mg/L, as recommended by WHO. Hence, fluoride contents in all the samples exhibit their suitability for drinking. In a study to assess the groundwater fluoride concentration in Kanchipuram by Pradeep Kumar during 2014 it was found that the fluoride concentration ranged between 0.05-1.04 mg/l. (6). Similar studies done by Pradeep Kumar in Chennekothapalli Mandal, Anatapur District, Andra  Pradesh the fluoride concentration was 1.46 and 1.68mg/dl (7) and  in Ennore, Chennai it ranged from 1.83 to 2.01 ppm (8,9).



1.     Wood JM (1974) Biological cycle for toxic elements in the environment. Science 183: 1049-1052.

2.     Zohouri FV, Rugg-Gunn AJ (2000) Sources of dietary fluoride intake in 4-year-old children residing in low, medium and high fluoride areas in Iran. Int J Food Sci Nut. 51(5):317-26.

3.     Swetha Garimella, Ramachander Merugu, 2014. A comparative study of fluoride and other water quality parameters of bore well water of Nalgonda town of Telangana, India. Int. J. Water Res., 2(2): 52-54.

4.     WHO (2000) Chapter 6.5 Fluorides, World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark.

5.     WHO (1993). Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality, Vol. 1, 2nd den, Geneva.

6.     Pradeep kumar. R., Sriprakesh. DKN., 2014, ”Assessment of Fluoride Concentration in Groundwater in Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu, India”. IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology (IOSR-JESTFT) 8(6) 45-46

7.     Pradeep Kumar, Durgha 2015. Estimation of Fluoride Concentration in Groundwater in Chennekothapalli, Anatapur District, Andra Pradesh (India). Res J. Chem. Environ. Sci.3(2): 44-45

8.     Pradeep Kumar. R, Joseph John. 2011. Fluoride contamination of ground water and its impact on dental health in Ennore, Chennai, Indian Journal of Environmental Sciences:15(2):127-130

9.     Pradeep R Kumar, Joseph John 2011.  Assessment of periodontal status among dental fluorosis subjects using community periodontal index of treatment needs. Indian Journal of Dental Research; 22 (2):248-251





Received on 23.11.2016          Modified on 24.12.2016

Accepted on 30.12.2016        © RJPT All right reserved

Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 2017; 10(1): 309-310.

DOI: 10.5958/0974-360X.2017.00063.4