‘Fluoride Warriors’ use science to fight water contamination in Madhya Pradesh

May 31, 11:00 AM
Students in Madhya Pradesh are documenting excess fluoride in groundwater through a citizen science project that uses smartphones and portable fluoride detection kits. The students go around villages in Alirajpur district, testing water samples from handpumps, geotagging them, and marking them as safe or unsafe.

Madhya Pradesh is one of the 19 Indian states severely affected by high fluoride content in drinking water. Long-term ingestion of large amounts of fluoride can lead to dental and skeletal fluorosis.

Through the project run by Columbia University researchers and local partners, the young volunteers, majorly girls, are finding a solution to the fluoride crisis by identifying the extent of the problem in their homelands.

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The story was supported by the Solutions Journalism Network ‘LEDE’ fellowship.