High levels of toxins in groundwater

High levels of toxins in groundwater

High levels of toxins in groundwater.

Water is precious” save each and every drop of it., This is the slogan used most in our Pride country India.This is only permitted to say slogans but not yet in implementation. According to the World Health Organization report, groundwater waters have been contaminated in the fields of waste, poisons and pesticides from industries for many years. Reportedly, nitrates have been exposed to underground waters in more than 50 per cent of the country.

Overall, the groundwater is contaminated with the presence of excess nitrate in as many as 386 districts followed by fluoride in 335 districts, iron in 301 districts, salinity in 212, arsenic in 153 districts, lead in 93 districts, chromium in 30 districts and cadmium in 24 districts of different states across India. Many districts have more than one, two or three toxic elements in their groundwater.

High levels of toxins in groundwater


The chemical quality of groundwater (GW) is monitored once a year by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) through a network of about 15,000 observation wells located all over the country. The monitoring details show that states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh  Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal reported presence of all types of toxic elements, including heavy metals, in the groundwater of their one or the other district.

Fluoride is an acute toxin, with a rating slightly higher than lead. It is, in fact, one of the most bone-seeking elements known to human beings. And groundwater in India shows the presence of unhealthy quantities of fluoride. A worrying scenario: daily ingestion of just 2 milligram (mg) of fluoride could result in crippling skeletal fluorosis after 40 years. Excess fluoride causes several diseases, like osteoporosis, arthritis, brittle bones, cancer, infertility in women, brain damage, Alzheimer’s disease and thyroid disorders.

High levels of toxins in groundwater
arsenic effects on body

Though iron is the biggest groundwater chemical contaminant in India, the number of habitations, or household clusters, affected by this problem have decreased from 151,762 in 2012-13 to 110,111 in 2015-16, according to a WaterAid India analysis.

Nitrate is the most common chemical contaminant in the world’s groundwater and aquifers. In some low-income countries nitrate levels in groundwater are extremely high, causing significant health problems. It is also stable (it does not degrade) under high oxygen conditions.Nitrate levels above 10 mg/L (10 ppm) in groundwater can cause “blue baby syndrome” (acquired methemoglobinemia).Drinking water quality standards in the European Union stipulate less than 50 mg/L for nitrate in drinking water.

Trace amounts of pharmaceuticals from treated wastewater infiltrating into the aquifer are among emerging ground-water contaminants being studied throughout the United States. Popular pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, decongestants, tranquilizers, etc. are normally found in treated wastewater.This wastewater is discharged from the treatment facility, and often makes its way into the aquifer or source of surface water used for drinking water.

Government data says 94% of the population has access to improved water sources but this number does not tell the whole story. If you dig deeper and question the quality of available water, the crisis becomes murkier and more dangerous.

High levels of toxins in groundwater
Delhi deteriorating water quality by India today

India has over 30 million groundwater extraction points and barring a handful, in all states a majority of wells have registered declining water levels in the pre-monsoon months over a decade from 2006 to 2015.

“If current trends continue, within 20 years 60% of all aquifers in India will be in a critical condition,” according to a 2012 World Bank report.

video covered by The lallantop.

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