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The Fortnight

Fluorosis menace

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Jun 15, 1999 | From the print edition

fluorosis a crippling disease caused by excess fluoride in water, is fast becoming a scourge in Rajasthan where about 50 per cent of the villages face the problem. Excess fluoride content in the human body causes toxicity, resulting in paralysis, muscle damage and premature ageing.

The disease is prevalent in nearly 14,000 villages of the state. Rajasthan's science and technology minister, Zakia Inam, said the real figure might be higher. The minister said that despite intensive research on the problem, little has been done to check the menace. Her ministry, she said, had a meagre budget of Rs 25 crore which makes it impossible to fight the problem. As there are no alternate water sources, people are forced to depend on groundwater, resulting in a drop in the groundwater levels. Deeper the water, higher the chances of fluoride contamination, said Inam.

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