The occurrence and geochemistry of fluoride in some natural waters of Kenya
In recent years the acquisition of considerable additional data on the hydrogeochemical behaviour of fluoride in natural waters of Kenya has been made possible by extensive surface-water and groundwater sampling campaigns as well as by improvements in analytical techniques. Ultimately, the principal source of fluoride relates to emissions from volcanic activity associated with the East African Rift System. Through various intermediate steps, but also directly, fluoride passes into the natural water system and components of the food chain. Ingestion by man is mainly through drinking water and other beverages. River waters in Kenya generally have a fluoride concentration lower than the recommended level (1.3 ppm) for potable water, thus promoting susceptibility to dental caries. Groundwaters and lake waters show considerably higher fluoride contents, resulting in the widespread incidence of fluorosis in areas where groundwater is the major source of drinking water, and lake fish is a regular component of the diet. This paper presents a synthesis of the data so far obtained on the sources and distribution of fluoride in the hydrological system of Kenya, examines the extent of fluorine toxicity and puts forward recommendations to combat or minimise the problem.
CitationJournal of Hydrology Volume 143, Issues 3–4, 15 March 1993, Pages 395–412
University of NairobiDepartment of Geology