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Reports confirm, Uranium presence in Punjab water responsible for retarded children

 

BATHINDA:

The high level of Uranium and other dangerous heavy metals present in water samples from the region is responsible for retarded children, mainly from southern Malwa region. It is crippling children’s brain.

This was confirmed by Germany’s Microtrace Mineral Lab which revealed that hair samples taken from 80% of the neurologically disabled children, and thier drinking water contains high levels of uranium, a radioactive element.

The report also confirms the presence of dangerous heavy metals in water, questioning high use of chemicals to support state’s green revolution.

The possible source of uranium is the depleted uranium used by US nuclear warheads that were deployed in its war against Iraq.

There were high level of uranium in the drinking water sources and nearly all kinds of heavy metals in the hair samples of 149 children and a few adults at the Baba Farid Centre for Special Children in Faridkot, confirms the report.

The report came out at a press conference on Sunday at Faridkot revealed that most awter samples from the region had uranium content beyond the maximum permissible counts(MPC).

Dr Carin Smit, a South African clinical toxicologist visited the Baba Farid Centre for Special Children, Faridkot and sent samples of disabled children to the German laboratory in March 2009, said Dr NS Azad and Pritpal Singh, incharge of the centre.

Most of the disabled children belongs to southern Malwa region of Punjab which includes Bathinda, Faridkot, Moga, Muktsar, Ferozepur, sangrur, Mansa, Srinagar.

Hundreds of children with physical and mental problems are treated at the Baba Farid centres in Bathinda and Faridkot in the Punjab.

Dr Carin Smit said, “The test results of the hair samples are somewhat surprising. We had suspected arsenic exposure, instead over 80% of children and adult, many of whom are suffering from cerebral palsy and mental retardation, showed pathological levels for uranium.”

With no apparent source of uranium in Punjab, Carin added, “We were not testing for the radioactive element but heavy metal toxicity, which results in ill-health and premature death.”

The use of pesticides and fertilizers, some of which are already banned in other countries are being indiscriminately used in Punjab also acting as catalyst to these diseases.

Other milder problems related to respiratory and nervous system, digestion are very common in Punjab.

Erectile dysfunction in men, menstrual problems, spontaneous abortions, premature births, congenital defects, child mortality and premature deaths(below the age of 60) are on the rise.

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