Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 6 Issue 2, 2004; Page No.(237-243 )

ENVIRONMENTALLY MEDIATED HEALTH IMPACTS AMONG THE TRIBALS OF ATTAPPADY AND WAYANAD IN THE WESTERN GHATS REGION OF KERALA

E. NIRMALA, K.N. REMANI AND NIRMALA STEPHEN

Abstract

A study on the environmental issue, and reiated health impacts in Attappady and Wayanad areas corroborates the prevalence of communicable and endemic diseases. The common endemic diseases occurring in the areas are Fluorosis and Goitre due to hyper and hypo conditions of fluoride and iodide respectively. The geological setting of the area with fluoride rich rocks like granites, hornblende gneisses and kankhar tends to the existence of high fluoride content in the drinking water sources of Narasimukku (1.77 mg/1) and Kottamedu (1.73 mg/1) in Attappady. Low iodine content in the drinking water sources in Pudur, (1.8 pg/1), Kottamedu (1.5 jig/l), and Narasimukku (6.1 jig/1) area of Attappady and lack of iodine rich food like marine fishes are found to be the major causes for the occurrence of Goitre among tribals in the high lands. Thyroid function status of the tribals in iodine deficiency disease affected areas was investigated, which aids in the detection, treatment and control of endemic goitre. Frequent out breaks of communicable diseases were prevalent in areas like Vithiri, Mananthavady and Thirunelley in Wayanad and Agali, Paloor, and Pudur in Attappady. Appropriate and low cost measures were adopted for the removal of pollutants in drinking water sources in the affected areas.

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