Report in TOI regarding Uranium leak harms to inborn abnormality:
Uranium deforming children of Faridkot
Strangely No Apparent Source Of Chemical In State
Priya Yadav | TNN
Faridkot: Big heads, bulging eyes, twisted hands that don’t reach their mouths and gnarled legs that can barely support their frail frames. Intrigued by the strange abnormalities visible among children in a pocket of Faridkot, a visiting South African toxicologist, Dr Carin Smit, had their hair samples sent to a German laboratory. The results, which have just come in, are shocking—the deformities were caused by alarmingly high levels of uranium.
“The test results have left us baffled as there’s no apparent source of uranium in Punjab,’’ said Prithpal Singh, head of the Baba Farid Centre for Special Children in Faridkot.
Intent on unravelling the bizarre ailment afflicting about 150 kids, more tests are being organised with the help of a team of German and South African doctors to establish if the traces found are from depleted uranium or natural sources. Dr Smit said, “When I first saw such overwhelming evidence of severe brain damage, I thought it was poisoning. I never suspected uranium.’’
Now she, along with Vera Dirr, another South African specialist, is here to collect urine samples. “Of the 149 children tested, 53 are likely to show more traces of uranium. We are now focusing on them to get more specific evidence.’’
The uranium-induced debility has rendered the kids unable to communicate. “If they get hurt or are bitten by, say, ants, they don’t feel the pain,’’ said Dr Prithpal. Yuvraj Singh, 7, has no control over his body. He can barely stand, eat or speak. “It’s agonising to watch him make futile attempts to reach out for things,’’ says Davinder Singh, a farmer from Mallan Wala village, about 60 km from Faridkot. Sarika, 13, can’t hold her head up, it flops sideways. It’s a struggle for her to eat.
For most parents living in anxiety, the arrival of the foreign specialists has brought a flicker of hope. “We desperately hope that the treatment willhelp my four-year-old grandson stand on his feet,’’ said Paramvir Singh from Korakpura, a village some 35 km away from Faridkot.
So, where could the uranium have come from? One possibility could be negligence while using uranium in heavy water reactors for the making of nuclear weapons. “The nearest nuclear power plant in India is in Kota, Rajasthan. But, Pakistan’s Khushab is not more than 150 km from the Indian border and has a thriving heavy water and natural uranium research reactor,’’ Smit said.
After TOI carried a report in some of its editions on Thursday, the Punjab government announced the setting up of a five-member committee to probe into the possible causes of the alarming levels of uranium in Faridkot. Shedding its earlier reluctance to look into the matter, the government is now not averse to rope in PGI experts for a scientific study into the issue. Faridkot civil surgeon S S Mahia, who will lead the five-member probe team, said, “We’ve taken five water samples from the town, including the centre where these children with uranium traces have been lodged. We plan to test the water for heavy metals.’’
Link to original article
I still think how it could be Pakistan nuclear wastage or Kota power plant nuclear dump? Either of place is far away from Faridkot ! If its Faridkot than why cities around the place are not affected.
Ideally, nuclear waste is dumped far away in sea or deserted area to avoid any such issue. Its kept under watch. Nuclear content in water & soil could help to investigate the issue further.