Urinary fluoride excretion by children 4-6 years old in a south Texas community

Ramon J. Baez, Martha X. Baez, Thomas M. Marthaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This study evaluated urinary fluoride excretion by school children 4-6 years old who were living in a south Texas rural community that had concentrations of fluoride in drinking water supplies generally around the optimal level. We took supervised collections of urine samples in the morning and afternoon at school, and parents of the participating students collected nocturnal samples. We recorded the beginning and end times of the three collection periods and then determined the urinary volume and urinary flow for each of the periods. We measured urinary fluoride concentrations and calculated the urinary excretion rate per hour. The children had breakfast and lunch provided at the school, where the drinking water contained 1.0-1.3 milligrams/liter (mg/L) fluoride. Fluoride concentrations in the tested household water supplies, from wells, ranged from 0.1 to 3.2 mg/L fluoride. The children's average urinary fluoride concentrations found for the day were similar to those for the night, with means ranging from 1.26 mg/L to 1.42 mg/L. Average excretion was 36.4 μg/h in the morning, 45.6 μg/h in the afternoon, and 17.5 μg/h at night. The lower nocturnal excretion rates are easily explained by low urinary flow at night. Based on the 15 hours of urine collected, the extrapolated 24-hour fluoride excretion was 749 μg. In conjunction with similar studies, the data from this study will help in developing upper limits for urinary fluoride excretion that are appropriate for avoiding unsightly fluorosis while providing optimal protection against dental decay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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