Excessive fluoride intake has been reported in many studies, which can lead to diseases such as autism, mental retardation, low birth weight, reproductive disorder, as well as dental and bone fluorosis. The potential risk assessment of fluoride intake for the health of people living in Fars Province, Iran, is investigated. Hence, 1700 drinking water samples were taken from April 2018 to March 2020 in four seasons in 29 cities of Fars Province and were analyzed. Non-carcinogenic health risks of exposure to fluoride through drinking water were evaluated. Moreover, the spatial distribution maps of fluoride and hazard quotient (HQ) risk index were prepared using GIS software. The results showed that the concentration of fluoride in the drinking water of the studied area was in the range of 0.086 to 2.61 mg/L. Accordingly, in 48.27% of the cities, fluoride was in the range below the national and international standards, 34.48% of the cities were in the permissible range of 0.5 to 1.5 mg/L, and 17.24% of the urban areas of the province had fluoride contents above the permissible range. Hazard quotient index had the health risk of HQ > 1 in 27.58% of children, 17.24% of teenagers, and 10.34% of adults in the urban areas of Fars Province. In the cities with HQ > 1, there was risk of diseases associated with excessive fluoride intake. Therefore, it is necessary to replace water supply sources in these cities.
Keywords: Distribution; Fluoride toxicity; Groundwater resources; Non-carcinogenic health risk.