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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2017, Article ID 5120504, 27 pages
Research Article

Black Tea Source, Production, and Consumption: Assessment of Health Risks of Fluoride Intake in New Zealand

1EnviroManagement Services, 11 Riverview, Dohertys Rd, Bandon, Co. Cork P72 YF10, Ireland
2Bay of Plenty Environmental Health Clinic, 1416A Cameron Road, Tauranga 3012, New Zealand
3Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, 124 Edward Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1G6
4Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, KEH M2225, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Declan T. Waugh; ei.orivne@nalced

Received 23 December 2016; Revised 25 April 2017; Accepted 18 May 2017; Published 21 June 2017

Academic Editor: Pam R. Factor-Litvak

Copyright © 2017 Declan T. Waugh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In countries with fluoridation of public water, it is imperative to determine other dietary sources of fluoride intake to reduce the public health risk of chronic exposure. New Zealand has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of black tea internationally and is one of the few countries to artificially fluoridate public water; yet no information is available to consumers on the fluoride levels in tea products. In this study, we determined the contribution of black tea as a source of dietary fluoride intake by measuring the fluoride content in 18 brands of commercially available products in New Zealand. Fluoride concentrations were measured by potentiometric method with a fluoride ion-selective electrode and the contribution of black tea to Adequate Intake (AI) and Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) was calculated for a range of consumption scenarios. We examined factors that influence the fluoride content in manufactured tea and tea infusions, as well as temporal changes in fluoride exposure from black tea. We review the international evidence regarding chronic fluoride intake and its association with chronic pain, arthritic disease, and musculoskeletal disorders and provide insights into possible association between fluoride intake and the high prevalence of these disorders in New Zealand.