Eluru mystery: Health experts find mercury, pesticides residues in food samples

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has asked experts to keep testing drinking water samples after a private lab found excess amounts of pesticides in them
Eluru mystery: Health experts find mercury, pesticides residues in food samples

Health experts seem to be making some headway into the mysterious illness that has gripped Andhra Pradesh’s Eluru city resulting in nearly 600 people falling sick and one succumbing to the unknown disease.

According to reports, on Friday, AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy got in touch with medical experts from across the country and asked them to do a detailed examination and analysis to find out the cause behind the outbreak of this mysterious disease. He also asked the experts to test water and food samples repeatedly. The state government is awaiting a detailed report on this matter.

Reportedly, medical experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Institute of Chemical Technology have found Nickel and Lead traces in the victims’ blood samples, but no traces were found in the water samples and have informed the CM that tests are being re-conducted. Lead was also found in the urine samples of the victims. Reportedly, the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (PCB) studied the air and water quality and found no presence of metal in water.

On the other hand, the National Institute of Nutrition has found traces of mercury and pesticides in the food consumed by the victims. Extensive traces of mercury were found in rice, and pesticide residues were found in vegetables. Presently, all fingers are pointed towards the large residues of pesticide as the reason for this outbreak.

Although the experts have been able to make these findings, they are unable to trace how these metals and pesticides got into the bodies of the victims. The Andhra CM has asked all experts to keep testing the drinking water samples as a Vijayawada based private lab found excessive levels of pesticide residues in drinking water supplied to many areas in the state.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has said that the focus must be on the unrestricted use of pesticides and added that action would be taken if anyone is seen using or selling banned pesticides. The CM also stressed the need for awareness among farmers regarding the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

The NationWide