3 Literature on Fluoride in Water

Numerous scientific papers, books, and news articles have been published on fluoride in drinking water supplies and natural waters, and fluoridation of water supplies, exemplified by The Fluoride Wars (Freeze and Lehr, 2009) and The Case Against Fluoride (Connett et al., 2010). An example of the rapid growth in this literature is shown in Figure 2 using a Scopus search for F in drinking water or F in groundwater or fluorosis or fluoridation. The bar graph shows the rapid increase in the number of articles since the first publications in the 1930s. There are well over 1000 reports from China and India combined. We compiled nearly 500 reports from a total of 85 countries worldwide as shown in the table presented in Box 1.

Graph showing the increase in the number of articles on fluorosis and fluoride in groundwater

Figure 2 Increase in the number of articles on fluorosis and fluoride in groundwater per decade.

A journal entitled Fluoride has been published by the International Society for Fluoride Research since 1968. Elsevier has a Progress in Fluorine Science book series oriented toward the properties and uses of fluorinated synthetic compounds and the Journal of Fluorine Chemistry that began in 1971. In 2006, the first two volumes of a planned series on Advances in Fluorine Science were published which included sections on F in water, air, and the environment. Further volumes have not appeared.

Numerous reviews of F in water as a global issue have been published (Ali et al., 2016; Ayoob and Gupta, 2006; Banerjee, 2015; Brindha and Elango, 2011; Chowdhury et al., 2019; Dissanayake and Chandrajith, 2009; Edmunds and Smedley, 2013; Hug et al., 2020; Kabir et al., 2020; Kimambo et al., 2019; Lacson et al., 2020; Mumtaz et al., 2015; O’Mallone et al., 2016; Ozsvath, 2009; Srivastava and Flora, 2020). Kut and others (2016), Thole (2013) and Malago and others (2017) reviewed F in African groundwater; Ali and others (2019a) and Yadav and others (2019) reviewed Asian groundwater; and McMahon and others (2020) is the latest compilation and review of F in US groundwater. Several other reviews on individual countries have also been reviewed and are cited under the country names in our compilation in Table 1. A bibliometric analysis of groundwater research for the period 1993-2012 has shown that the topic “fluoride” is either the second or third fastest rising topic after “arsenic” and “climate change” (Niu et al., 2014). Given the enormous literature, this book cannot cover all the reports available on the subject. We summarize the more important aspects from around the world.

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