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Indian J Exp Biol. 2010 Jul;48(7):666-78.

Arsenic and fluoride: two major ground water pollutants.

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Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Defence Research and Development Establishment, Gwalior 474 002, India.


Increasing human activities have modified the global cycle of heavy metals, non metals and metalloids. Both arsenic and fluoride are ubiquitous in the environment. Thousands of people are suffering from the toxic effects of arsenicals and fluorides in many countries all over the world. These two elements are recognized worldwide as the most serious inorganic contaminants in drinking water. Many studies have reported as regards to simple fluorosis and arsenicosis, but the knowledge of the joint action of these two elements is lacking and the results derived from previous studies were inconclusive. Contradictory results were reported in experimental studies in which different joint actions such as independent, synergistic and antagonistic effects were observed. This indicates that interaction mechanism of these two elements is considerable complicated and requires extensive studies. When two different types of toxicants are simultaneously going inside a human body they may function independently or can act as synergistic or antagonistic to one another. Thus there is an urge to resolve the question that how arsenic and fluoride act in condition of concomitant exposure. Although there have been reports in literature of individual toxicity of arsenic and fluoride however, there is very little known about the effects following the combined exposure to these toxicants. This review focused on recent developments in the research on the condition of individual exposure to arsenic and fluoride along with the recent updates of their combined exposure to better understand the joint action of these two toxicants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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