Fluoride Action Network

Water ministry ‘solves’ fluoride problem

Source: ippMedia.com | July 4th, 2014 | By Correspondent David
Location: Tanzania

•  Says crushed cow bones remove excessive amounts in water
•  Technology to be used in most affected areas this financial year

At last the ministry of Water has come up with the long awaited solution to concentration of fluoride in water, a health hazards to people consuming the liquid.

Speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Eng Bashiri Mrindoko said the government has found a new technology to minimise health hazards caused by excess fluoride in water.

“This is one of the ministry’s efforts to address health problems caused by fluoride. We are going to start investing the technology in the affected areas in the country,” noted Eng Mrindoko.

He explained that the technology involves the use of crushed cow bones which will be put into water through the use of special household de-fluoridation units. He said the technology will only be applied at household levels as well as in institutions.

Expounding why the technology would not be applied at water sources, the PS said since the fluid has various uses, the technology is meant for households and institutions so as to reduce costs.

He said drinking and cooking with water that has large amount of fluoride is what affects human health, hence using the water in other economic or domestic uses does not affect one’s health.

“It is estimated that one to three millimeters of the processed cow bone can drastically reduce the amount of fluoride in water,” he explained.
He said the technology is expected to be implemented in the 2014/15 financial year, focusing on the most affected regions.

According to him, Kilimanjaro and Arusha are the most affected regions in the Northern zone as well as Mwanza (Magu district), Singida and Manyara regions.
He noted that water sources in the most affected regions in the country produce water with an average of 4.5milligrams to 10milligrams of fluoride while the international standards states that only 1.5milligramms of fluoride is ok for human consumption.

For her part, Director of Water Quality Services Division, Eng Nadhifa Kemikimba said a huge amount of fluoride in water causes health problems mostly to children aged between two days and five years.

The effects include having brownish teeth (Dental fluorosis), development of rickets (Crippling fluorosis) and skeletal fluorosis.

She added that a survey carried out in 1980s found that almost all water sources in the country have an excessive amount of fluoride, though the quantity differs from one area to another. She noted that the cow bone technology is a result of research which was conducted by the ministry’s researchers since 1990s.

“Consumption of water with 1.5 to 3milligrams of fluoride is likely to cause dental fluorosis, concentration of 4 to 10 milligrams of fluoride results to skeletal fluorosis while water with 10 milligrams of fluoride and above causes crippling fluorosis which means bones joints tie up and cause immobility,” she urged.