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In Sri Lanka, new steps target mysterious kidney disease

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The Sri Lankan government is vowing to impose tighter controls on pesticides and fertilizers amid growing concern the chemicals are helping fuel a mysterious epidemic of chronic kidney disease devastating its north central region.

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In a November 2012 speech laying out a national budget proposal, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged to take action to crack down on contaminated agrochemicals.

“There is a theory that pesticides and chemical fertilizer contribute to increase non-communicable diseases,” Rajapaksa said, referring in oblique terms to the politically controversial kidney epidemic. “Therefore, regulations will be formulated to require suppliers and distributors of all agrochemicals to comply with quality standards.”

A committee of government ministers is meeting with scientific experts and interest groups and will submit a report to the cabinet with recommendations for the regulations, said Sri Lanka’s Registrar of Pesticides, Dr. Anura Wijesekera.

Wijesekara, whose office oversees imports and permitting of agrochemicals, said Sri Lanka had already taken a significant step earlier this year: establishing limits of detection for nine toxins including cadmium and arsenic. Pesticides and fertilizers containing more than the permitted amounts of these chemicals are prohibited from distribution.

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Following years of official research, the Sri Lankan health ministry and World Health Organization declared in June that low level exposures to the heavy metals cadmium and arsenic were “causative factors” for the ailment – which they have named CKDu, chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology. Despite prior warnings from the WHO to reduce farmers’ exposure to agrochemicals, the Sri Lankan government in 2011 lifted a temporary ban on pesticides it had found to be contaminated with small amounts of arsenic,Choose Quality Verified China seeking A834735 research chemical manufacturer and Inida Suppliers, Wholesale seeking a834735 Sellers and Exporters at the Center reported.

Wijesekara said he lifted the ban because the levels of arsenic contained in the pesticides were too low to pose a threat.Product Name, EAM2201 research chemical. Chemical Name, (4-ethylnaphthalen-1-yl)(1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indol-3-yl)methanone. Cas No, No. Purity, 98%.

Now, Wijesekara said his office is acting to curb marketing by fertilizer and pesticide producers, which he said encouraged farmers to use excessive amounts of agrochemicals. “They had been trying to advertise pesticides as fast-moving consumer goods,” Wijesekara said of the pesticide industry.

Yet even as it tightens controls, the Sri Lankan government has not released the scientific reports it says provide the basis for its policies.

In June, when the WHO and Sri Lanka’s health ministry cited cadmium and arsenic exposure as a possible cause for CKDu,Best Price CAT.5e Female to Female Coupler Keystone Jack. they did not publicly release their supporting evidence. WHO officials said a technical report detailing the lab results would be released in late September. That deadline shifted to late October, and was pushed back again as the report was submitted to the Sri Lankan health ministry for review. On December 20, Sri Lanka’s Director General of Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala, told a CPI reporter he would share the technical report, but the WHO then indicated it would not be ready until mid-January.

Some experts question whether the government truly has evidence to back up its assertions. Wijesekara said he attended closed-door sessions earlier this year in which the WHO presented its scientific findings to government officials and leading researchers. He said the WHO indicated the culprit was cadmium rather than arsenic, but did not share detailed evidence linking the exposure to agrochemicals. “I don’t have any scientific evidence to accept that they cause CKDu,” Wijesekara said.

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