BANGALORE: Endemic prevalence of a unique syndrome characterized by genu valgum, goitre, dental mottling and xerosis of the conjuctiva among school children in Kaiwara, a village in Chikkaballapur district. This is according to a study conducted on endemic hydric fluorosis in Kaiwara and a neighbouring village by MS Ramaiah Medical College and Hospitals.
The study found that 21% of the children in Kaiwara have goitre and 14% have conjunctival xerosis due to malabsorption of fat-soluble vitamin A.
Most of the fluoride is found in ground water rather than surface water. Fluoride-related problems are on the rise since there has been a shift from use of surface water to ground water for drinking purposes.
Tests conducted on drinking water samples from Kaiwara showed fluoride content above permissible limits. Excessive exposure to fluoride damages tooth formation, causes dental mottling and discolouration, ankilosis of spine, knee deformities, renal rickets, impaired thyroid function, gastrointestinal tract dysfunction, etc. The hospital plans to take up a pilot project to defluoridate drinking water at Kaiwara, with the help of CSIR.
Dr N Kochupillai, director, medical research, M S Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, highlighted that in Karnataka, fluorosis is endemic in Belgaum, Raichur, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Chikmagalur, Mandya, Bangalore Rural, Mysore, Mangalore, Shimoga and Kolar ditricts.