Fluoride Action Network

Fluorides raise health concern

Source: The Times of India | January 2nd, 2017
Location: India

JAIPUR: High contents of fluorides in water used for drinking purposes is victimising a large section of the population in affected areas. In 2016, the health department found 2.18 lakh [218,000] suspected cases of fluorosis. But, the cause of concern is that they have found 35,737 skeletal fluorosis cases, affecting skeleton of the body.

The figures are collected by the health department officials from 23 worst affected districts of the state having high contents of fluorides.

According to the health department officials, if a person consumes water having high content of fluorides, he may develop problems related to bones and teeth. “In skeletal fluorosis, the patients have problems of bones and teeth. In non-skeleton cases, fluorosis cause non-skeletal damages including infertility and mental disorders,” Dr Devendra Sharma said.

In the state, the number of patients with non-skeleton fluorosis is 18,008, health department’s survey’s figure shows.

Now, the health department is taking all possible measures to provide patients with fluorosis with proper medicines. “We have facilities in primary health centres and at higher centres, from where the patients can get the medicines. We provide them with calcium, vitamin C and also anti-oxidant tablets to fight against fluorosis,” Dr Sharma said.

In the state, the health department officials conducted survey in 8193 villages of 23 districts to identify patients with fluorosis.

In the state, there are numerous villages containing 3ppm-5ppm and some of them contain even more than 5 ppm of fluoride in drinking water. According to health experts, 1ppm to 1.5ppm concentration of fluoride in water is the standard and recommended upper limit.

According to health experts, high fluoride in water put people at risk of getting affected with gastric problems, mental retardation, paraplegia and burning sensation during urination.

However, fluorosis make harmful effects are permanent and irreversible in nature. Among the 23 district, Nagaur was the most affected district in the state due to fluorosis.

Health department is taking help of public health and engineering department (PHED) officials for preventing supply of high content of fluorosis in drinking water. They have urged to the PHED officials to ensure that people get water which does not have content of fluoride above permissible limit.