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Uranium in Faridkot water sets alarm bells ringing

Presence of high levels of uranium in drinking water at Faridkot has raised an alarm amongst the residents with the NGO Baba Farid Center for Special Children which brought this issue to light some two years back demanding that the drinking water in this once princely state should be declared unfit for human consumption.

Written by Amrita Chaudhry | Ludhiana |
May 27, 2011 2:10:47 am

Presence of high levels of uranium in drinking water at Faridkot has raised an alarm amongst the residents with the NGO Baba Farid Center for Special Children which brought this issue to light some two years back demanding that the drinking water in this once princely state should be declared unfit for human consumption.

“The levels of uranium found by the department are as high as 245 micro grams per liter of water which is almost 15 times higher than the levels prescribed by the World Health Organization and the department has sealed three hand pumps. But this does not resolve the situation. What about the hand pumps which are close to these affected ones. The health department should give out an advisory to the residents advising them not to drink water from any hand pump,” says Dr Prithpal Singh who along with his team runs this centre.

Dr Singh claims,“Depleted uranium is definitely present in the environment of Punjab. Our centre is treating children and grown ups for neurological disorders ranging from ‘learning disabilities to severe mental retardation and cerebral palsy’. It is a known scientific fact that certain heavy metals,when present in excess quantities in the environment,are known to cause such neurological disabilities. In trying to test this fact we got the hair of about 150 under-treatment individuals analysed for heavy metals. The tests were done with the help of a German friend Dr Karen who is specialist in medical toxicology,a new branch of medical science gaining popularity in western world.”

The analysis of hair compiled has shown that some of the heavy metals are present in excess of normal expected levels. The chemistry of the hair is a direct reflection of the chemistry of the environment in which the individual is living. All these heavy metals are toxic in nature and result into ill health and premature death of the population in whose environment it is present. The 150 children tested for presence of high metals hail from places like Bathinda,Abohar,Faridkot,Mansa,Kapurthala,Malout and Faridkot,to name a few. The highest level of uranium has been found in two children hailing from Khuban in Ferozepur district with a five-year-old male child showing 6.60 micro grams of uranium against the normal of 0.15 micro grams while another 12-year-old male child showed 4.56 micro grams of uranium.

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