'High flouride' levels in Malwa groundwater : The Tribune India

'High flouride' levels in Malwa groundwater

'High flouride' levels in Malwa groundwater


Tribune News Service

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Bathinda, May 16

Fresh evidence of the presence of alarming levels of chemicals, especially flouride, in groundwater in the southern Malwa region has emerged in a study.

The study revealed fluoride levels in 745 groundwater samples from the Malwa belt. Nearly 49 per cent of the samples exceeded the WHO guideline value of 1.5 mg L-1. High fluoride levels were observed in industrial and agricultural areas. Health risk assessment was computed for different age groups. Children and teenagers were more vulnerable to high fluoride exposure than infants, the study found.

Health risks

  • The study finds high risk of dental and skeletal fluorosis for all age groups in Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot and Muktsar
  • Groundwater of Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot and Muktsar districts may pose serious health risks if consumed for longer periods without prior treatment

Dr Vikas Duggal of the Department of Physics, DAV College, Bathinda, conducted the study on fluoride contamination in drinking water and associated health risk assessment in the Malwa belt. This study has been published in Environmental Advances (Elsevier) Journal.

He said the previous studies showed high levels of uranium, arsenic, lead, cadmium and other heavy metals in the groundwater of Malwa. On studying 745 samples from Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot, Muktsar, Fazilka, Barnala and Moga districts, it was found that groundwater had high concentration of fluoride.

The fluoride concentration in groundwater samples from Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot, Muktsar, Fazilka, Barnala and Moga districts, exceeded the permissible limit set by the Bureau of Indian Standards and World Health Organisation.

He said high risks of dental and skeletal fluorosis for all age groups in Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot and Muktsar also came to notice. It has thus been inferred that groundwater of Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot and

Muktsar districts may pose serious health risks to

the population if consumed for longer periods without prior treatment.

High fluoride levels were observed in shallow groundwater sources up to a depth of 30 metre. After non-carcinogenic risk of fluoride was calculated for various age groups, it was observed that children and teenagers were more vulnerable to high fluoride exposure than adults, senior citizens and infants.

Principal Dr Rajeev Kumar Sharma applauded the efforts of Dr Duggal in conducting a research of immediate concern to Malwa residents. He said this research would educate the community on dangers of using groundwater with excess of fluoride.

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