From: University of Bath
Published November 14, 2017 09:46 AM

Simple water test could prevent crippling bone disease

A simple colour-changing test to detect fluoride in drinking water, devised by researchers at the University of Bath, could in the future prevent the crippling bone disease, skeletal fluorosis, in developing countries such as India and Tanzania.

Whilst low amounts of fluoride are beneficial for healthy teeth, high levels of fluoride can weaken bones, leading to skeletal fluorosis. This disease causes crippling deformities of the spine and joints, especially in children whose skeletons are still forming.

When water passes over certain minerals, it can dissolve fluoride, which results in elevated levels of fluoride in drinking water sources in parts of East Africa, India, China and North America.

Levels of fluoride in drinking water are routinely monitored and controlled at treatment works in developed countries. However, in areas of the world where there is no piped water system or treatment works, people rely on drawing untreated water from wells, which can often be contaminated with higher than recommended levels of fluoride.

Continue reading at University of Bath

Image: The test changes from purple to blue when the levels of fluoride in the water are too high (Credit: University of Bath)

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