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Uranium Link? Mentally Disabled Kids In Faridkot, Punjab Test Positive For High Levels of Uranium

In Environment, Health, Healthcare, India, People Making A Difference on June 1, 2009 at 10:04 am

Where is the uranium coming from? There are no known sources of uranium in Punjab and yet tests on children with cerebral palsy or mental disabilities in the Indian state of Punjab have revealed high levels of uranium.

The chemical tests were conducted on the suggestion of Dr Carin Smit, a South African metal toxicologist associated with the UK-based non-governmental organisation Defeat Autism Now. Samples of hair collected from the 149 children, then resident at the Faridkot-based charity, Baba Farid Centre for Special Children, were tested at Trace Mineral, a laboratory in Germany.

The results were startling, Prithpal Singh, head of Baba Farid, said. “Around 80% of the samples, including those from children with cerebral palsy, revealed the presence of uranium in levels that the experts have described as pathological,” Mr Singh said. “We are informed that there is a fairly well established correlation between exposure to uranium and birth defects, renal damage and several forms of cancer.

This follows earlier reports of the past few years of the high occurence of cancer among farmers in Punjab. The link between cancer and heavy use of pesticides from the ‘Green Revolution’ is not proven, and continues to be another medical mystery.

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