10 challenges in Fluorosis

By Sunderrajan Krishnan
Safe water and health innovations in dire need for affected communities

What excites a young innovator today? Imagine our body getting deformed just by drinking water and you have the opportunity to help millions of people with your innovation.  Isn’t that something you want to devote some years of your life, have a crack at and make some inroads.

Skeletal Fluorosis is one such problem that a lot of people in India and other countries are increasingly getting affected with due to water scarcity and our rising need to just take water from where ever it comes from.

Even 80-90 years after it first got established that Skeletal Fluorosis can be caused by consuming high Fluoride, many challenges remain unaddressed. Millions of people are waiting for answers to questions like: Can Vitamin C or Tamarind or Calcium reduce fluoride in the body? Or that how effective is groundwater recharge in diluting groundwater? Or say, what is the basis behind a standard such as 1 mg/l or 1.5 mg/l for Fluoride? Does this standard need to be revised for India? Which is the safest and easiest way to take out Fluoride from water?

These and other questions got the deserved attention when a group of interested people from the Fluoride Knowledge and Action Network got together and listed down what they feel is important to be answered. The first list got long ie around 70-80 such questions.

But after meeting at the BMR College of Pharmacy on January 28, a structure emerged to all these questions. They neatly got arranged into “10 Challenges on Fluoride and Fluorosis” as summarized in this document- http://bit.ly/F10chall

As a follow up to the above, some good directions have come up. A Wiki knowledge platform is being put up by the network with multiple partners such as Akvopedia, SuSaNa and Wikipedia.

Can we make these questions and challenges more popular? Can we excite young innovators to have a go and get the brightest minds to work on this ?

The list of 10 challenges: i) standards in water and food, ii) the causes, iii) diluting in groundwater, iv) standards for filters, v) limits of colour testing, vi) food that absorb more from water, and those that help in detox, vii) standards for diagnosis, viii) aggravating factors, ix) reversal of Fluorosis, x) animal health and animal products

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