Navigation Links
Fluoride poisoning in China due to clay, not coal

Millions of people in southwest China suffer from potentially-crippling fluoride poisoning because they burn a mixture of clay and coal, say researchers.

The findings, from a study carried out in Guizhou province, contradict the previous belief that the disease was caused by people burning fluoride-rich coal in indoor stoves without chimneys.

Because of this belief, last year, the Chinese authorities invested 34 million yuan (US$4.2 million) to help farmers in Guizhou build stoves with outdoor chimneys.

But, in a paper published in the July-August issue of the Chinese Journal of Endemiology, researchers led by Zheng Baoshan of the Institute of Geochemistry in Guizhou province show that the average fluoride content of coal burnt in Guizhou is lower than in any other major coal-burning province in China.

Instead, they say that clay, which rural people in the province mix with coal powder, is to blame.

Mixing clay with coal is much cheaper than burning large blocks of coal. The combined fuel is used to dry corn before storing it. Corn, however, absorbs more smoke than other grains, such as rice or wheat.

Zheng's team found that only 15 per cent of the fluoride released when the coal and clay mixture is burnt comes from the coal.

The fluoride that contaminates the food and air comes mostly from the clay, which is taken from fluoride-rich soil, Zheng told SciDev.Net.

Simply building outdoor chimneys will not be enough, he adds, though this will reduce the threat of arsenic poisoning, which is mainly caused by burning coal indoors.

He hopes his team's findings will help researchers develop solutions ?such as substitutes for clay ?to solve the problem of fluoride poisoning in southwestern China.

But Zheng admits this will be very difficult, as any available substitute would be more expensive than clay. Incomes in Guizhou are among the lowest in China.

According to official figures, in 20 00, nearly 18 million Chinese people, mainly in rural areas, suffered dental fluorosis and nearly 1.5 million had the skeletal form of the disease.

People get fluoride poisoning from consuming too much fluoride. It makes their teeth discoloured and fragile, and in severe cases can distort bones, stiffen joints and lead to paralysis.
In Guizhou province, where the problem is most serious, there were 10.5 million cases of dental fluorosis and just over half a million cases of skeletal fluorosis in 2001.

Reference: Chinese Journal of Endemiology 24, 468 (2005


'"/>

Source:SciDev.Net


Related biology news :

1. Mutation in clams protects against paralytic shellfish poisoning but raises human health risk
2. New treatment for food poisoning
3. Genetically modified rice in China benefits farmers health, study finds
4. Are rice and wheat behind Chinas population boom?
5. Team of international scientists departs today to discover the unknown in Chinas Himalayan region
6. Past illegal blood donation in China linked to hepatitis C virus infection
7. Breath of the dragon: ERS-2 and Envisat reveal impact of economic growth on Chinas air quality
8. Bt cotton in China fails to reap profit after seven years
9. Chinas environmental challenges
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM Business ... industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to interact ... questions via voice or text and receive relevant information about ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can ... personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... MINNEAPOLIS , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt ... technology partnership with VoicePass. By working ... user experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly ... two engines increases both security and usability. ... expressed excitement about this new partnership. ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a ... the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) ... large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple ... using any combination of fingerprint, face or iris ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware design ... Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together inventors ... and brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the NASDAQ ... Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to finish at ... Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following equities: Infinity Pharmaceuticals ... NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARLZ ... Learn more about these stocks by accessing their free trade ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division of Morris Group, ... exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing Technology Show, IMTS, ... companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and distribution, Velocity SMART ...
Breaking Biology Technology: