IIT Mandi study warns of cancer-causing toxic metals in Baddi-Barotiwala groundwater : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

IIT Mandi study warns of cancer-causing toxic metals in Baddi-Barotiwala groundwater

The reliance on untreated groundwater has caused numerous health problems, including significant reports of cancer and renal disease between 2013 and 2018.

IIT Mandi study warns of cancer-causing toxic metals in Baddi-Barotiwala groundwater

The Baddi-Barotiwala industrial belt.



Tribune News Service

Dipender Manta/Ambika Sharma 

Mandi/Solan, June 13

In an alarming revelation that can trigger the outburst of cancer, high human health risk assessment of groundwater in the state’s Baddi-Barotiwala industrial area  revealed  high carcinogenic risks for adults, mainly from industrial nickel and chromium in a study conducted by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi and IIT Jammu.

In India, groundwater is heavily used for agriculture and domestic consumption. However, rapid urbanisation, industrialisation and population growth have led to increased groundwater use and a decline in its quality. Northern India has faced severe water quality issues. Similar issues are evident in the Himachal Pradesh’s BB industrial area, where industrialisation has contaminated groundwater with toxic metals exceeding permissible limits. The reliance on untreated groundwater has caused numerous health problems, including significant reports of cancer and renal disease between 2013 and 2018.

Deepak Swami, associate professor, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, IIT Mandi, along with his research scholar Utsav Rajput, in collaboration with Nitin Joshi, assistant professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Jammu, have published a research paper in the journal, Science of the Total Environment, that investigates the chemical hydrology of groundwater in the region, identifying dominant ion sources and measuring the geospatial variation of toxic metal concentrations.

By determining potential contamination sources, the study evaluated non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic health risks from oral intake of contaminated groundwater using the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) human health risk assessment model for both adults and children. The researchers identified key metals of concern and prepared geospatial maps showing metal contamination and health risks across village boundaries.

Speaking about the research, Deepak Swami, said, “Groundwater poses high health risks through oral intake, necessitating urgent remediation. Monitoring industrial effluents for zinc, lead, nickel, and chromium is essential to prevent health hazards. Policies must be framed to balance industrial development with public health for sustainable growth.”

Nitin Joshi said, while expressing concern over the findings, said, “Our research group conducted a field study to map the pollution status in the industrial region of Baddi-Barotwala. The objective was to analyse the chemical composition of the groundwater, which is considered readily potable by the nearby communities. The analysis revealed that, if left unattended, the lower Himalayan region is on a similar trajectory to south-western Punjab”.

Considering that over 80 per cent of health issues in developing countries are linked to waterborne diseases, resulting in 1.5 million deaths annually from poor water quality and hygiene, the importance of this study cannot be overstated.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Baddi #Cancer #Groundwater #Mandi #Solan


Top News

Royalty payable on minerals is not tax, says Supreme Court 9-judge Constitution bench

Royalty on minerals not tax; states competent to impose taxes on mineral rights, rules Supreme Court

Royalty is a contractual consideration paid by the mining le...

4 dead in rain-related incidents in Pune; low-lying areas inundated, people being evacuated

Heavy rain wreaks havoc in Maharashtra's Pune; 4 dead, Army teams deployed; IMD issues 'red alert'

29 tourists stranded due to flooding at resorts and bungalow...

Haryana govt doctors' strike leaves patients terrified

Health services paralysed as thousands of government doctors go on indefinite strike in Haryana

Doctors’ demands include the formation of a specialist cadre...


Cities

View All