Skeletal fluorosis is a disease caused by excessive accumulation of fluorine in bones. It is largely characterized by deformed and brittle bones. When fluoride fumes or dust are inhaled or ingested, mainly in the form of hydrogen fluoride, it is broken down in the body to form fluoride ions. These ions react with the acids in the stomach to form a hydrofluoric acid which reacts with the calcium ions of the bone to form an insoluble salt which along with the calcium is washed off by the body. The result of this is that the calcium content of the bones decreases causing a reduction in bone strength.
Drinking fluoride rich water, which is the main reason of flourosis in India.
Inhalation of fluoride dusts or fumes by workers in industry
As of now, no treatment of flourosis exists but it is reversible to certain extent depending upon the stage of the disease. Stopping the fluorine intake helps in reducing the fluorine in the bone structures which is excreted via the urine. However, this is a long process and complete elimination of fluorine from the body is time consuming. Treatment of its symptoms like a fractures, is also difficult as the brittle structures of the bones makes it difficult to treat it according to standard protocol. (Read: 10 causes of constant body ache you shouldn t ignore)
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