Andhra govt says pesticides liable for Eluru illness

Naveen S Garewal 

Tribune News Service 

Hyderabad, December 17 

Nearly two weeks after a mystery disease struck the Eluru town of Andhra Pradesh, the official machinery has finally come to the conclusion that pesticide particles could be responsible for the mystery disease. 

The finding has been supported by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Institute of Chemical Technology and other science institutes that were probing the mystery disease. Earlier too, it was thought to be a chemical, but the suggestion was towards anti-mosquito sprays. 

Mystery disease in Eluru town in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh has seen over 600 people fainting and showing signs of epileptic fits since the beginning of the month. Even now the state has assumed that the pesticide particles are responsible for the disease, but officials say more research is required to establish how these pesticide particles entered the human body.  

In a statement the Andhra Pradesh Government has said, “Experts from AIIMS and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology have opined that particles of pesticides are the reason for Eluru’s mysterious illness. The experts pointed out that a long-term study is required to find out how those particle materials could have entered into the human bodies. The CM has tasked the further study on the case to AIIMS and IICT.” 

The AIMS in its statement said, “On observation of patients it appears that this situation has arisen due to organochlorine it might have occurred due to pesticides, there is possibility of that entering into the human body due to food cycle.”

It may be pointed out that the Organochlorine pesticides are banned because of their being high toxicity and harmful effects to human being, but they continue to be available at some places. 

The test reports have shown that only limited quantities of metals were found in the ground water and were within range. Only mercury found in ground water was beyond the acceptable range. 

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