Bathinda, October 22
A recent study, titled “Assessment of fluoride exposure and associated health risks from different sources of drinking water to various age groups in Bathinda city”, has highlighted that 78.2 per cent of groundwater in the city is unfit for human consumption.
This study has been conducted by Dr Vikas Duggal, who is an assistant professor at DAV College, Bathinda, with his team memebers — Tanisha Goyal, Ramandeep Kaur, Jashandeep Kaur and Garima Bajaj — under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology. This study has been published in a journal “Physics and Chemistry of the Earth”.
The team analysed 296 water samples wherein significant proportion of the tested water had high fluoride 78.4 per cent of groundwater, 72.1 per cent of municipal RO water pre-monsoon, 14.3 per cent of public water supply, 37.5 per cent of bottled water and 25 per cent of private RO water.
The findings reveal potential health hazards, including risk of skeleton, and dental fluorosis casting a showdown over the region’s overall well-being.
However, the concentration of fluoride in all samples of surface water and rainwater were well below the permissible limit.
Dr Duggal said, “The study has revealed that fluoride levels in 72.1 of the MC reverse osmosis exceeded the permissible limit in the pre-monsoon area. The study also suggests that RO plant reduces the fluoride content in groundwater, but even after filtration, the fluoride level remains above the WHO guidelines, thus making it unsuitable for consumption.”
The study also found that the fluoride concentration in 37.5 per cent of the bottled water samples exceeded the WHO’s permissible limit, rendering them unsuitable for drinking. The study also found significant variations in fluoride levels among different brands of bottled water.
Further, when analysing different batches of the same brand, substantial fluctuations in fluoride levels were observed, thus indicating lack of regulations.
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