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Urinary Fluoride Levels among Canadians with and without Community Water Fluoridation

Riddell, K, Malin AJ, McCague H, Flora DB, Till C

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Drinking water is a major source of dietary fluoride intake in communities with water fluoridation. We examined the association between urinary fluoride adjusted for specific gravity (UFSG) and tap water fluoride levels, by age and sex, among individuals living in Canada. Participants included 1629 individuals aged 3 to 79 years from Cycle 3 (2012–2013) of the Canadian Health Measures Survey. We used multiple linear regression to estimate unique associations of tap water fluoride levels, age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), use of fluoride-containing dental products, smoking in the home, and tea consumption with UFSG. UFSG concentration was significantly higher among participants who received fluoridated drinking water (mean = 1.06 mg/L, standard deviation = 0.83) than among those who did not (M = 0.58 mg/L, SD = 0.47), p < 0.01. UFSG increased over adulthood (ages 19 to 79). Higher UFSG concentration was associated with being female, tea drinking, and smoking in the home. In conclusion, community water fluoridation is a major source of contemporary fluoride exposure for Canadians. Lifestyle factors including tea consumption, as well as demographic variables such as age and sex, also predict urinary fluoride level, and are therefore important factors when interpreting population-based fluoride biomonitoring data.