Indian state fights fluorosis problem

The Andhra Pradesh government in India will spend US$ 131 million to provide safe drinking water to fluoride-affected villages across the state, according to Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

The Andhra Pradesh government in India will spend US$ 131 million to provide safe drinking water to fluoride-affected villages across the state, according to Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

"We are determined to pool in the required funds for implementing permanent measures to tackle the fluorosis problem," Reddy said on 10 September while inaugurating a seminar on "Sustainable Policy Initiatives on Fluorosis

Fluorosis is a serious health problem affecting 13 states in India, including Andhra Pradesh. Fluoride contamination of groundwater has seriously disabled thousands of people. The worst-affected districts in the state are Nalgonda, Anantapur, Guntur, Prakasam and Kurnool, where fluoride content ranges between two parts per million (ppm) and 11 ppm, while the permissible limit is 1.5 ppm.

The chief minister said that his government would also consider providing pensions for the fluoride-affected people who suffer from permanent disability. He added that a committee of environmentalists would advise the government on corrective measures and long-term strategies to tackle fluorosis.

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