Ecological Disaster In Hahotoe (Togo): Population affected by Dental Fluorisis
Published 29th October 2010 - 0 comments - 2405 views -
In areas of Aneho, Agbodrafo, Kpeme, Goumou-Kope and Aglome at 30 Km from the capital of Togo Lome, we can see more and more children and adults wearing yellowed teeth. It is found in at least 70% of residents, the appearance of small yellow spots on the enamel or brown spots and tooth gaps depending on the individuals suffering from severe case. This fluorosis reached people from in their infancy and the yellow color appears immediately after the fall of deciduous teeth around six (06) years.
On the question of what caused it, populations respond vaguely that "the factory of the National Society of Togolese Phosphates (SNPT) is perhaps for something." But, they could never imagine, how much they are right.
According to studies conducted in the area, waste liquids and solids and dust from the treatment of phosphate mining in the area, posing serious environmental problems including the contamination of seawater, well water and soil with fluoride and other toxic metals such as copper, zinc, nickel, chromium. All these forms are at the cause of certain diseases related to these metals contained in ores including dental fluorosis.
Indeed, the main ore deposits of phosphorite in the area of Hahotoe Kpogamé is a carbonate fluorapatite also known under the name of francolite which contains up to 4% fluorine incorporated initially in the structure of the mineral. The treatment of the phosphate mining in ore merchant making near the beach of Kpeme, produced several types of waste: solid waste-rich particles of 2mm, waste mud, dust and gases of phosphates escaping from the chimney of the factory SNPT.
About 2.5 million tons / year of phosphatic waste and mud are dumped directly into coastal waters without any treatment and solid waste are dumped on the ground and are sometimes use for repairing runways and streets by the villagers. These toxic wastes which infiltrate through rainwater and seawater contaminated wells water and water sources nearby.
The analysis of drinking waters and fish exceed the threshold of 5 mg / kg set by the World Health Organization (WHO) for seafood and drinking water. The most contaminated points are apparently closer from the point of discharge of phosphatic waste in Kpeme and Gomou-Kope. Indeed, the normal light blue color of the water of Agbodrafo changed into greenish blue in the area of SNPT then yellow up at from the Wharf to Aneho. Staining legacy of waste ore rejected. The acidity of water has also increased, thus becoming unfit for swimming.
The most worrying situation is observed in the area of Aglome I and II. Thus the inhabitants of these areas who consume contaminated wells water without even taking care of the filter, thus were swallowing the phosphatic grains that are released after digestion in the stomach. And this condition ranges from very mild to severe depending on the extent of exposure to fluoride during the tooth development.
Dental fluorosis is given by a long exposure to phosphorites dust discharged through the chimney of the factory and by the consumption of water and contaminated products and then migrated in skeletal fluorosis. It appears stiff and painful joints, a change in bone structure, and calcification of ligaments, which can have debilitating effects in the subject.
Moreover, there is evidence that the use of crushed clay pots to fetch water or coal and activated alumina or absorptive filter to filter drinking water, may be little time reduce the fluorine content. So this is the place to challenge authorities on the plight faced by these populations so that the causes of fluorosis are formally established as well as the wrongs and responsibilities of the National Society of Togolese Phosphates (SNPT) in the goal to provide health care and financial compensation to people who were contaminated.
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