Doda, December 9
To check the fluoride level in water an ionometer has been installed in Doda district, a first in the state.
The ionometer costing Rs 8 to Rs 9 lakh has been installed at the Doda District Hospital under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Fluorosis (NPPCF), Government of India. Doda is one of the 230 districts across the country where the level of fluoride in water is much higher than normal. It was included in the list in 2014.
NPPCF District Nodal Officer Dr Faheem Ahsan Kelu said, “The device has been installed to check the level of fluoride in water so that preventive measures can be taken timely. It’s the first machine installed in the state.”
“A number of teams from different institutes of the state and outside, including renowned scientists, had visited Doda in the recent past to check the level of fluoride in water and found it much higher than the permissible limit,” Dr Faheem said.
Dr Deepika Salaria from the department of environment sciences, Jammu University, who conducted a survey on fluoride, said, “The permissible limit of fluoride in water is 1.5 parts per million (ppm). However, it was found to be 7 ppm in the Golibag area of Doda during summer, which is quite alarming. We also conducted a survey in Kishtwar and Bhaderwah, but the fluoride level was high only in Malwas and Ghat.”
“We have just conducted the first level of the survey. In the next level, we will conduct a survey on how the excess fluorides affect residents’ lives as a large number of people in Malwas are suffering from dental fluorosis,” she added.
Meanwhile, Dr Faheem said, “Dental fluorosis affects children and discolours and disfigures the teeth. Skeletal fluorosis affects the bones and major joints of the body like neck, backbone, shoulder, hip and knee joints with severe pain, rigidity or stiffness in joints. It can also result in marked disability.”
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