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Problem of Fluorosis (Relevant for GS Prelims and Mains Paper II, III)

Extent of problem
Nearly two decades after the world came to know about a large population in Odisha’s Nuapada district suffering from crippled backbones on account of consumption of high fluoride-laced water, the government is yet to provide a solution to the problem. Over 50,000 villagers in the district have been affected by fluorosis.

What is fluorosis?
Fluorosis is a chronic condition caused by excessive intake of fluorine compounds.

How does fluorosis affect people?
1. Adults mostly suffer from skeletal fluorosis that deforms bones and causes acute pain. Most cannot straighten their backs and get exhausted very easily.

2. Children below 15 years of age suffer from mottling of teeth or dental fluorosis.

Other effects of fluorosis
Apart from causing health hazards, fluorosis adversely affects the economic productivity of the area, leading to hunger and malnutrition.

There is a social impact, too. People from the non-contaminated zones do not wish to establish any marital relationship with people in the contaminated pockets.



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