Fluorosis: India at huge Risk

Date: December 29, 2014

Fluorosis: India at huge Risk 

Fluorosis is a crippling and painful disease caused by intake of fluoride. Fluoride can enter the body through drinking water, food, toothpaste, mouth rinses and other dental products; drugs, and fluoride dust and fumes from industries using fluoride containing salt and or hydrofluoric acid.

Drinking water is typically the most significant source of fluoride. The control of drinking-water quality is therefore critical in preventing fluorosis. The World Health Organization guideline value for fluoride is 5 mg per litre, with a target of between 0.8 and 1.2 mg per litre to maximise benefits and minimise harmful effects. Fluoride levels in the body depend on climate and intake of the chemical from drinking water and other sources.
Fluoride contamination affects the teeth and bones and long-term excessive exposure causes abdominal pain, excessive saliva, nausea, vomiting, seizures and muscle spasms.
Fluoride levels above 1.5 mg per litre causes pitting of tooth enamel and deposits in bones. Levels above 10 mg per litre cause the crippling skeletal fluorosis.

Fluorosis occurs as: Dental Fluorosis,Skeletal Fluorosis and·,Non-skeletal Fluorosis

Why In News-

According to the Data collected by the Drinking water and Sanitation Ministry:

Rajasthan has the highest number of such habitations (7,670), affecting 48,84,613 people.
Telangana has 1,174 such districts with 19,22,783 affected people.
Karnataka has 1,122 such districts and Madhya Pradesh 1,055.
Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh too face the problem.

Government’s initiatives:

The government has started the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Fluorosis in 2008-09. In 2013-14, the programme was brought under the National Rural Health Mission, which has so far covered 111 districts.The programme includes surveillance of fluorosis in the community, training and manpower support, establishment of diagnostic facilities, treatment and health education.
The Indian Council of Medical Research has formed a task force on fluorosis to address issues related to prevention and control.

Suggested question for mains-

1-Recently there are many reports of fluorosis in India. Discuss the initiatives taken by government of India to tackle the problem? (150 words)

2-What is Fluorosis? what are there causes and how it effects on human body?