Further thoughts on CKDu
Posted on April 23rd, 2013

Ben Silva

Thanks to Dr A Wijesekara for supplying information and thanks to Lankaweb for highlighting the issue.

Arsenic and Cadmium levels of healthy people living in endemic areas appear to be double (approximately) that of the control group. This suggest that people living in endemic areas are subjected to high levels of Cd and As, that are known toxins, causing kidney failure. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Due to this high level of exposure, some may succumb to CKD. The probability could be calculated easily if one knows the number of people who are suffering from CKDu and the population in the relevant area. On this basis, exposure to Arsenic and Cadmium could be considered high risk factors.

There are some lessons that could be learnt from the asbestos safety debate. Initially scientists said that there was a safe level of exposure, threshold limit value (TLV) for asbestos. Gradually, on the basis of evidence, they continuously brought the level down and ultimately found that there is no safe limit and even a small exposure is dangerous.. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It could be that the safe level for Cd and As, currently thought, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ may be too ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ highƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  and needs to be lowered ( a lesson that could be learnt from asbestos safe levels). Further, the duration of the exposure may also have a significant impact. That is, a longer duration significantly increase ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the risk of suffering from CKDu. It is prudent to drink clean water, when ever possible.

To borrow some ideas from Engineering, the cyclic failure of metals, not only depend on the number of cycles, but depend on environmental factors and stress levels. Again ideas could be borrowed from engineering. A lesson that could be learnt is that a combination of factors, including environmental factors ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ may cause CKDu.

Clearly exposure to ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Cd and As are high risk factors. Introducing these toxins to the environment is harmful to humans and pollutes the environment. Clearing these toxins from the environment may be very expensive. It is far cheaper to take preventative measures to prevent these toxins entering the environment. One method is to ban products with these toxins from entering the country.


In addition to As and Cd, a combination of other factors may contribute to CKDu such as:

  1. The exposure level ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”current safe levels may be too high
  2. The duration of the exposure ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Long periods of exposure may not allow the body to recover
  3. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ General health of the person
  4. Nutrient intake of the person ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Vitamin C is known to combat toxins. It could be that some lack food with vitamin C.
  5. Alcohol abuse
  6. Genetic make up of the person
  7. Fluid intake
  8. Heat stress
  9. Condition of the water such as fluoride content or hardness

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What is known for certain is that drinking clean water does not induce CKD. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ An obvious solution is to use rain water harvesting. This is an area whereƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  various groups and overseas Sri L Nankas can help. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As and Cd appear to be high risk and these two toxins should be banned to prevent deaths and environmental pollution. Organic farming to be encouraged. Research may be needed to find if improved diet help to combat CKDu.

11 Responses to “Further thoughts on CKDu”

  1. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    thanks ben for this input. if you do a bit of research you may find the ‘corrupt’ scientists could be mostly the anglo saxon ungulates, who are the greediest lot on this planet. now that I am based in anu, I will try my 2 cents worth of effort on this issue, as much as I am attempting educate people on solar energy. I should have thanked you for signing the sinharaja petition sometime ago, where as most people thought I was attacking mahinda. in fact it was an effort to save a forest.

  2. Fran Diaz Says:


    Thanks for summing up. This problem of CKD should be monitored and reported on at regular intervals of, say, every quarter ?

  3. hela patriot Says:

    Very informative dialog in Lanka web. Where are the health and agricultural safety officers and the Ministers? Who imported this fertiliser? Why has no actions been taken We see no evil, hear no evil is the answer whilst people are dying.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lanka GoSLs have been badly DISTRACTED from the Needs of the People. The culprits are : some 500 yrs of Colonial rule, Cold War politics and aftermath, and Tamil leaders misleading the Tamil people to Separatism because of Tamil Nadu politics & Tamil Caste wars. There are other distractions via various religions too.

  5. Ben Silva Says:

    Those responsible have not done much. Many are lethargic and silent. The suffering could be stopped or minimized by giving clean water to the people. Other toxins have also been found in water in the NCP area. Please refer to ‘Death and misery in NCP’ http://www.island.lk/2008/09/17/features4.html
    It is not rocket science to give clean water to the people, when water falls from the sky – rain water harvesting could be useful and a simple solution. The problem is the attitude to overcome and not to be afraid to overcome challenges.
    If not for this President, WE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN A BIGGER MESS and would have lost Lanka by now.

  6. Kosala777 Says:

    brilliant article

  7. Fran Diaz Says:


    Perhaps the people of that area should collect the relatively unpolluted rain water and use it for drinking etc. I went into the web and find that even rain water can be contaminated with lead etc. and there are methods to make it cleaner.

    Thank you for your input into this sad state of affairs in the NCP.


    The BBS should take up the issue of CLEAN WATER in the NCP as well as keeping the Rivers & Soil of Lanka unpolluted by poisonous matter.

  8. kavdayako Says:

    So Ben, why not look at page 14 and 15 of the report. It is clear that they analysed some 288 samples of water and found that the water samples did NOT have the toxins Cd, Pb, As etc. In a few there was borderline Arsenic, and so they re-did 32 new samples and found that there was NO arsenic above the allowed levels. THIS FACT IS CRUCIAL.

    If the water was not contaminated, how did the hair, nails and livers of the CKDU patients get the toxins? Clearly, they did NOT DRINK ENGOUGH water to flush out the usual, everyday trace amounts iof toxins and so the toxins accumulated.

    Hence, once again we conclude the the CKDU problem is due to people not dirnking enough water. Everyone must drink 8 glasses a day. those who wokk in the sun need more.

  9. Ben Silva Says:

    To respond to Kavdayako- better to query statements by any body. Some reports have indicated the presence of cadmium in water ref.
    It is difficult to know who is correct.

    It could be that the safe levels of Cd and As are not correct. It happened with Asbestos. Toxins should not get into peoples bodies.
    We may not know the whole truth, as agrochemicals is a big business. Please See http://www.theindependent.lk/news/item/1858-health-secy-concealed-who-report-on-ckdu

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    “Hence, once again we conclude the the CKDU problem is due to people not dirnking enough water.”

    But the water available to drink DOES HAVE arsenic, etc. Drinking that makes it worse.

    We KNOW some chemicals put on soil have arsenic. This has to stop first.

  11. kavdayako Says:

    Lorenzo says But the water available to drink DOES HAVE arsenic, etc.
    But WHO report (page 14) found no arsenic, cd, pb in 234 samples of water !!!!!
    And women, children, old people don’t get ill by drinking this water!!!!
    so Lorenzo is stuck with hjis prejudgements.
    And Ben Silva who says he has to have empirical data to accept Buddhism does not accept this emperical data from WHO water tests!!!!!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2022 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress