Alarming: Water with excess flouride content in Mysore
Mysore district is among the districts in the State facing severe water scarcity due to failed monsoons and a survey on the prevalence of fluorosis among children in schools shows that children are suffering the results of water shortage and contamination.
According to National Programme for Prevention and Control of Fluorosis (NPPCF) school survey report, 540 students of the 5,815 surveyed were found to have skeletal fluorosis, while 1,250 students were tested positive for dental. Consumption of water with excess fluoride content causes dental and skeletal fluorosis.
Though fluoride is essential for the human body, excess fluoride content in water, results in diseases of the bones.
The survey was conducted in 70 government lower and higher primary schools of the district between August 2011 to March 2013. A community survey and water and urine analysis report was also part of the NPPCF survey conducted by District Surveillance Unit of the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
A total of 63 villages were part of the community survey report, where 6,083 individuals were examined. Incidence of fluorosis was lower in the community survey, with 71 cases of dental fluorosis and 62 cases of skeletal fluorosis.
District Surveillance Officer, Dr D G Nagaraj said that the prevalence of fluorosis was higher among children than adults.
Noting the difference between incidences of dental and skeletal fluorosis, he said that ‘chronic exposure’ to water with high fluoride content resulted in limb deformation. “Incidences of limb deformation occurs only at the last stage of skeletal fluorosis,” he said and added that such incidences were ‘very low’ in the district.
Mysore and Bellary were the two pilot districts in the State that were taken up by the central government under NPPCF.
Nagaraj said that the fluorosis was endemic in around 40 villages in the district, where fluoride content in water was more than one part per million.
Noting that the fluoride content did not reduce if water is boiled, he said that a defluorination technique can be used to rid the water sources from fluoride content. However, the method was very costly.
Among the villages surveyed, 28 villages were from Mysore taluk, 18 from T Narasipura taluk, nine from Nanjangud taluk, three from Hunsur taluk, 11 from K R Nagar taluk and none from H D Kote taluk.