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High fluoride content causes premature ageing in Jalore

Almost 40 per cent of the population of this town is suffering from premature ageing due to the extremely high fluoride content in the water.

india Updated: May 22, 2003 09:45 IST

Almost 40 per cent of the population of this town is suffering from premature ageing due to the extremely high fluoride content in the water, a senior medical officer in the district has said.

"Jalore registered 168.7 mm of rainfall in the period between June 2002 and September 2002 against an average annual rainfall of 421.6 mm. As a result, the fluoride content in water increased to 6.8 ppm against the permissible limit of 1.8 ppm causing prematutre ageing in the people," Chief Medical and Health Officer (Jalore) Keshav Kotwani told PTI on Wednesday.

Nearly 120 of the 728 villages in the district are in the grip of flurosis with Shankvali, Sardargarh, Medha Upasla being the worst hit, Kotwani said adding that osteporesis, bone deformation and yellowing of teeth are rampant.

Even the unborn children are not safe, Kotwani said.

The CMO said the two fluoride treatment plants set up by the State Government had to be shut down as huge chunks of fluoride got deposited in the plant hindering its functioning.

The European Commission has identified five worst affected villages and made 1,250 medical kits available to curb the spread of the disease.

It has also allocated Rs 16 lakh to create awareness about the disease and another Rs 30 lakh are to be released shortly, Kotwani said.

"Buckets treated with activated aluminum were supplied to the villagers which served as filters and was able to bring down the fluoride content to 2.5 ppm," he said.

First Published: May 22, 2003 09:45 IST