Studies on the Determination of Fluoride Content in Leafy Vegetables Cultivated in Rift Valley and Non Rift Valley Areas of Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa Universty


Fluorosis is considered as a public health problem in different parts of the world including Ethiopia via exposure of fluoride from drinking water, alcohol and beverage, food stuff and other sources. In Ethiopia, this problem is mainly observed in Rift Valley Region. Many researches have been conducted on water bodies, cereals and beverages. However, the fluoride contents in leafy vegetable have not been studied so far in the country. The main objective of this study was to determine the fluoride content in selected leafy vegetables lettuce, Swiss chard, cabbage and Abyssinian cabbage cultivated in Rift Valley and non Rift Valley area of Ethiopia. Fluoride contents of water, soil and leafy vegetables were determined using alkali fusion – ISE technique from six irrigation farms in the study area. The fluoride contents (mg/kg, dry wt.) of leafy vegetable ranges were: lettuce 2.95−5.76; Swiss chard 2.74−5.40; cabbage 2.12−2.70 and Abyssinian cabbage 2.08−2.59. The fluoride levels in irrigation water bodies (mg/L) ranges: 0.43−7.66 in the study areas. The soluble and total fluoride levels in the studied farmland soil (mg/kg) ranges were: 4.30−23.4 and 133−802 in the sample sites, respectively. Higher fluoride levels were observed in the vegetables cultivated in Rift Valley farms compared to non Rift valley farms. Similarly higher fluoride levels were also observed in the irrigation water and the farmland soil in the Rift Valley area. The statistical analysis, ANOVA shows that the significant difference between mean fluoride contents of vegetables at (p < 0.05) confidence level. The Pearson correlation shows variable (weak, moderate or strong) relationship between the fluoride levels in water and vegetables and between fluoride levels in soil and vegetables. The fluoride contents in leafy vegetable were comparable with values reported in literature. In general, leafy vegetables contribute significant amount to total intake of fluoride to those who regularly consumes these vegetables. Key words: Fluoride, Leafy vegetables, Soil, Water, Rift Valley, Ethiopia.



Fluoride; Leafy vegetables; Soil; Water; Rift Valley; Ethiopia