Fluoride poisoning from groundwater in India’s eastern state of Jharkhand is causing serious health problems for villagers.
In Chukru village the people are suffering from acute dental and skeletal disorders, and it’s been that way for a long time.
Yellowed teeth and bone deformities develop as soon as children reach the age of five.
Ten-year-old Babulal Ram has severe limb deformities.
[Babulal Ram, Child Poisoned by Fluoride]:
“Due to the contaminated water here we are suffering a lot … We want that clean drinking water should be provided to us so that we stay healthy.”
Most villagers have discolored teeth and suffer acute joint pain, particularly in the knees.
There’s a growing number of physically deformed children being born in the village.
[Sushil Kumar Singh, Villager]:
“For a long time we have been suffering because of fluorosis … This problem is just increasing day by day. We want something done about it but nothing is happening.”
Fluorosis is also causing cataracts, premature ageing, calcified spinal ligaments, softened bones, and other degenerative conditions, such as spinal stenosis.
The Chukru village district administration says they’ve put in a pipeline to the Koel River to supply clearner drinking water.
[Amlendu Kumar, Executive Engineer]:
“The whole village has been affected by fluoride. That is why in Chukru village a pipeline is connected to the river. The river has less amount of fluoride. The pipeline works almost all the time as long as there is electricity.”
The fluoride concentration of water samples from Palamu district ranges up to 600% higher than normal levels.