DAR ES SALAAM, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Scientific researchers from East Africa and the European Union (EU) said on Sunday they have embarked on an intensive research on ways to tackle the health hazards caused by flouride on human health.
The scientific researchers from Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and the EU told a meeting with water authorities in Tanzania's northern city of Arusha that flouride affected humans when consumed through water.
The research covered the semi-arid areas around Arusha and the Great Rift Valley which were notorious for having large quantities of flouride in waters drawn from boreholes, lakes and rivers.
Speaking during the meeting, the Arusha regional water engineer Joseph Makaidi said Tanzania was yet to find an effective technology to remove flouride from water for domestic use.
Giogio Ghiglier, the lead researcher from Cagliari University in Italy, said fluoride also affected animals, including livestock, but he added there was no conclusive research findings done on its impact compared to humans.
Flouride from water has for many years gravely impacted on the health of the residents of Arumeru in Arusha region weakening of their bones, including teeth, often leading to physical disability.
In the 1990s, the government set up a research center for deflouridization of water at Ngurdoto outside Arusha in collaboration with the University of Dar es Salaam.
However, for many years the center remained idle and it was reported only recently that it was about to operate a deflouridization plant that was to be installed there.