Maternal and fetal exposures to fluoride during mid-gestation among pregnant women in northern California

Dawud Abduweli Uyghurturk, Dana E. Goin, Esperanza Angeles Martinez-Mier, Tracey J. Woodruff, Pamela K. Denbesten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous studies have shown a correlation between fluoride concentrations in urine and community water fluoride concentrations. However, there are no studies of the relationship between community water fluoridation, urine, serum, and amniotic fluid fluoride concentrations in pregnant women in the US. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between maternal urine fluoride (MUF), maternal urine fluoride adjusted for specific gravity (MUFSG), maternal serum fluoride (MSF), amniotic fluid fluoride (AFF) concentrations during pregnancy, and community water fluoridation in Northern California. Methods: Archived samples of urine, serum and amniotic fluid collected from second trimester pregnant women in Northern California from 47 different communities in Northern California and one from Montana (n = 48), were analyzed for fluoride using an ion specific electrode following acid microdiffusion. Women's addresses were matched to publicly reported water fluoride concentrations. We examined whether fluoride concentrations in biospecimens differed by fluoridation status of the community water, and determined the association between water fluoride concentrations and biospecimen fluoride concentrations using linear regression models adjusted for maternal age, smoking, Body Mass Index (BMI), race/ethnicity, and gestational age at sample collection. Results: Fluoride concentrations in the community water supplies ranged from 0.02 to 1.00 mg/L. MUF, MSF, and AFF concentrations were significantly higher in pregnant women living in communities adhering to the U.S. recommended water fluoride concentration (0.7 mg/L), as compared with communities with less than 0.7 mg/L fluoride in drinking water. When adjusted for maternal age, smoking status, BMI, race/ethnicity, and gestational age at sample collection, a 0.1 mg/L increase in community water fluoride concentration was positively associated with higher concentrations of MUF (B = 0.052, 95% CI:0.019,0.085), MUFSG (B = 0.028, 95% CI:-0.006, 0.062), MSF (B = 0.001, 95% CI: 0.000, 0.003) and AFF (B = 0.001, 95% CI: 0.000, 0.002). Conclusions: We found universal exposure to fluoride in pregnant women and to the fetus via the amniotic fluid. Fluoride concentrations in urine, serum, and amniotic fluid from women were positively correlated to public records of community water fluoridation. Community water fluoridation remains a major source of fluoride exposure for pregnant women living in Northern California.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number38
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 6 2020


  • Fluoride
  • Pregnancy
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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