WaterMaker India

The Devastating Effects Of Fluoride In UP's Groundwater

​Uttar Pradesh's Sonbhadra district is home to 600 villages, out of which 250 suffer from excess fluoride in their groundwater with 150 of them containing fluoride well beyond the permissible limit.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO): Ingestion of excess fluoride, most commonly in drinking-water, can cause fluorosis which affects the teeth and bones. Long-term ingestion of large amounts can lead to potentially severe skeletal problems. The early symptoms of skeletal fluorosis, include stiffness and pain in the joints. In severe cases, the bone structure may change and ligaments may calcify, with resulting impairment of muscles and pain.

​In Sonbhadra, the situation is alarming. Both young and old alike are victims: young children have decaying, discoloured teeth and joints that are already beginning to disfigure​, while many of the village's older inhabitants are rendered immobile due to long term excessive fluoride consumption.

According to NDTV, a study by the Centre for Science and Environment in 2011 found alarming levels of mercury, lead, arsenic and chromium, along with fluoride in the ground water. The government says it's doing whatever's possible.

"You see we try our very best to get all this equipment repaired, the villagers also need to tell us on time. But we are trying," says Ruby Prasad, the ruling Samajwadi Party's lawmaker from Sonbhadra.

Meanwhile, the villages continue to suffer.

Read the full NDTV report here.

Image courtesy: NDTV
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