This research work is carried out to evaluate fluoride (F) hydrogeochemistry and its effect on the population of two endemic villages of Birbhum district, West Bengal. Fluoride concentration in drinking water varies from 0.33 to 18.08 mg/L. Hydrogeochemical evolution suggests that ion-exchange mechanism is the major controlling factor for releasing F in the groundwater. Most of the groundwater samples are undersaturated with respect to calcite and fluorite. Health survey shows that out of 235 people, 142 people suffer from dental fluorosis. According to fluoride impact severity, almost 80 and 94 % people in an age group of 11-20 and 41-50 suffer from dental and skeletal fluorosis, respectively. Statistically drinking water F has a positive correlation with dental and skeletal fluorosis. Bone mineral density test reveals that 33 and 45 % of the studied population suffer from osteopenic and osteoporosis disease. IQ test also signifies that F has a bearing on the intelligence development of the study area school children. The existence of significant linear relationship (R (2) = 0.77) between drinking water F and urinary F suggests that consumption of F-contaminated drinking water has a major control over urinary F (0.39-20.1 mg/L) excretion.
Keywords: Bone mineral density; Dental and skeletal fluorosis; Fluoride hydrogeochemistry; IQ level; Urinary F.