Pesticide Residue makes 600 people fall ill in Andhra Pradesh’s Eluru.

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Pesticide Residue makes 600 people fall ill in Andhra Pradesh’s Eluru.

Since the epidemic started, over 600 people have fallen ill in Andhra Pradesh’s Eluru.

A mystery disease that afflicted hundreds in Andhra Pradesh’s Eluru may be behind chemical residues from pesticides, claim studies by AIIMS in Delhi and other science facilities across the country.

Experts, however, claim that only after examining food, water, and vegetable samples during the next few months will the exact causes be established.

A video conference was arranged by Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy with state officials, who were ordered to take steps to ensure that such outbreaks are not replicated.

A video conference was arranged by Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy with state officials, who were ordered to take steps to ensure that such outbreaks are not replicated.

These actions include the breaking down of fruit, soil, and water tests on landfill grounds and routine monitoring. The Department of Agriculture was ordered to remove hazardous pesticides and allow farmers to opt for organic options.

Eluru is the West Godavari district’s capital, which is seen as the “rice bowl” of the state and widespread paddy cultivation has led to the strong use of pesticides and fertilizers.

Mr. Reddy has called for a long-term review of the Eluru epidemic to be carried out by AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Education) and IICT (Indian Institute of Chemical Technology).

AIIMS said that in blood samples of about 30 patients, lead was found. In milk samples obtained from patients’ homes, nickel, another highly toxic element, was detected. In the blood samples of patients’ family members, early testing even revealed lead.

No traces of heavy metals – lead, nickel, or arsenic – or pesticide residues were found in 21 samples of drinking water, IICT experts said. However, in blood samples, endosulfan (an organochlorine insecticide) and DDT (another toxic pesticide) have been found.

The lead was also present, but there was no sign of organophosphates, they said.

In tomato and brinjal tests, Hyderabad’s National Institution of Nutrition identified pesticide residue. No signs of bacterial or viral infection were detected in experiments by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad and the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

Air quality tests by Hyderabad’s National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) finds emissions below allowable limits. NEERI has checked samples of underground water and surface water and considered all metals, except for mercury, to be below acceptable limits.

In underground water samples, experiments found levels of mercury to be greater than those from surface sources. Scientists have said this may be due to the combustion of solid waste.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that deciding how pesticide contaminants reach the body is important.


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