Water test may help prevent bone disease in India
New Delhi: A easy colour-changing check to quickly detect fluoride in ingesting water might assist forestall a crippling bone illness, in creating nations similar to India, scientists have mentioned.
Whereas low quantities of fluoride are useful for wholesome enamel, excessive ranges of fluoride can weaken bones, resulting in skeletal fluorosis, mentioned researchers on the College of Tub within the UK.
This illness causes crippling deformities of the backbone and joints, particularly in youngsters whose skeletons are nonetheless forming, they mentioned.
When water passes over sure minerals, it could dissolve fluoride, which ends up in elevated ranges of fluoride in ingesting water sources in components of India, East Africa, China and North America.
Ranges of fluoride in ingesting water are routinely monitored and managed at remedy works in developed nations.
Nonetheless, in areas the place there isn’t any piped water system or remedy works, folks depend on drawing untreated water from wells, which might usually be contaminated with increased than really helpful ranges of fluoride.
The quantities of fluoride within the groundwater can fluctuate attributable to climate occasions, with ranges fluctuating vastly when there may be lots of rain.
A analysis staff led by Simon Lewis from the College of Tub has developed a easy colour-changing check that detects excessive ranges of fluoride shortly and selectively.
Whereas the check is on the proof of idea stage, the staff goals to develop it right into a disposable check strip that’s low value and straightforward to make use of by anybody.
“While a small quantity of fluoride is sweet on your enamel and prevents tooth decay, excessive ranges are poisonous and might trigger crippling deformities which are irreversible,” Lewis mentioned.
“Most water high quality monitoring methods want a lab and energy provide and a educated operator to work them. What we now have developed is a molecule that merely adjustments color in a couple of minutes which might let you know whether or not the extent of fluoride is simply too excessive,” mentioned Lewis.
“We wish to develop this expertise into check strips, just like litmus paper, that enable folks with none scientific coaching to carry out a check that’s low value, fast and strong.
“We anticipate that sooner or later it might make an actual distinction to folks’s lives,” mentioned Lewis.
(With company inputs)