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Geochemistry of Iodine

Geochemistry of Iodine

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Iodine deficiency is an important global health problem with an estimated 200 million people affected by iodine related problems. Indian Coalition for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) reveals that 79 million or 8 person out of every hundred, suffer from goiter in India.














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Iodine deficiency is an important global health problem with an estimated 200 million people affected by iodine related problems. Indian Coalition for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) reveals that 79 million or 8 person out of every hundred, suffer from goiter in India.














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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi on Dec 21, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/30/2012

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Geochemistry of Iodine with special reference to Biharstate of India.
8 person out of every hundred, suffer from goiter in India.
ByDr. Nitish Priyadarshi
Halogens are present and are volatile trace elements in most geological samples.Among them, iodine has the lowest abundance; less than 0.1 ppm in igneous rocksand less than several ppm in sedimentary rocks.Iodine is least abundant of the halogens and is lithophile element. It is typically adispersed element and is never concentrated enough in rocks or sediments to formindependent minerals. The content of iodine is higher in air masses of marine origin thanin those over the continents (Rankama and Sahama, 1950). The content of iodine seemsto have some relationship to the salinity of the sea water as it is found to increase to therise in salinity. Iodine is carried away from the atmosphere partly by rainwater and partly by direct adsorption into the soil and into plants. High solubility of iodine makes itenriched in soil and its highest concentration is noted in cultivated soil. According tomost comprehensive observation by Goldschmidt(1954), the concentration of iodine indifferent media is as follows:Igneous rock- 0.3 gm/tonne.Cultivated soil- 2.0 gm/tonne.Air- 0.0005 gm/tonne.Rain water- 0.001-0.003 gm/tonne.Sea water- 0.05 gm/tonne.Konovalov (1959) found that rivers draining Tertiary marine sediment have higher iodinecontent than rivers draining other areas and this was considered to be due to iodine beingeasily leached from the marine sediments.There is very marked increase in the iodine content of soils as compared to the rocksfrom which they derive. Many authors have suggested that much of the iodine in soils isderived from atmospheric sources, while another major source of soil iodine is thatsupplied by plant remains. Silty and clay soils appear to be enriched in iodine. It wasfound that clay fractions of soil fix iodide, a feature which is most marked for illite.It has been generally accepted that the oceans are a major source of atmospheric origin;other sources are volcanic gases and rotting bio-materials. It has also been observed thatsome iodine in urban atmosphere may be derived from combustion of fossil fuels.Iodine is a micro constituent in all plants and animals. Its influence on plant life isunknown and it may only be ballast element (Rankama and Sahama, 1950). Averagecontent of iodine in marine life (from both plant and animal) is more than the fresh water 
 
and inland life (Cauer, 1938). In higher animals like mammals it plays a very importantrole, when it is present in the thyroid gland in the form of amino acid-thyroxin thatcontrols the rate of metabolism.Aside from tungsten, iodine is the heaviest element to be essential in living organisms,and iodine is the heaviest element thought to be needed by higher animals. About 19,000tons are produced annually from natural sources.A case study of Bihar State in India.:Iodine deficiency is an important global health problem with an estimated 200 million people affected by iodine related problems (Moynahan,1979). Indian Coalition for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) reveals that 79 million or 8 person outof every hundred, suffer from goiter in India (Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 25-11-2001).The human body contains very little iodine (0.00004% or 0.4 ppm), yet it is essentiallyrequired to be maintained through food and water. Any disruption in iodine content jeopardizes the human metabolism. Thyroxin, a hormone secreted by the thyroid glandlocated on both side of the trachea contains about 65% iodine. In the absence of optimalquantity of iodine, the gland increases in size to compensate the deficiency of iodine andadversely affects the human metabolism. Water with iodine concentration less than 5-10µg/l produces goiter.The Gandak basin in Bihar is also known to be goiter prone since long. A detail researchwas carried out by Prof. N.C. Ghose (2003) of Department of Geology, Patna Universityon distribution of iodine in soil-water system in the Gandak Basin in Bihar.According to Prof. Ghose, the vast tract in Gandak basin in north Bihar is known iodinedeficient area and the population is prone to dreaded and endemic disease like goiter.Surface water of this area, iodine content ranges from 1.56 µg/l to 5.52 µg/l, while ingroundwater which is the only source for drinking, it varies from 2.1 µg/l to 4.56 µg/l. Insoil, the iodine content ranges between 3.65 µg/gm to 12.59 µg/gm. Season wise, there isconsiderable variation in iodine content both in surface and groundwater. Duringmonsoon it reduces considerably in surface water due to dilution and in groundwater itreduces owing to heavy recharge of the aquifer system through infiltration. In soil, thereis no definite pattern in seasonal variation in iodine content. In major part of the studyarea, the iodine content is deficient and ranges between 3 and 4 µg/l. The cause of lowiodine is attributed to repeated floods and erosion of top soil which is the main source of iodine to the groundwater system.The spatial variation of iodine in both surface and groundwater reveals a striking feature.It is observed that the abundance of iodine both in surface and groundwater decreasesdownstream from West Champaran to Vaishali. However, in surface water, the profile of iodine content of river Gandak increases again near Hajipur, where it rises to 5.52 µg/l.the high incidence of iodine at the confluence of Ganga and Gandak near Patna is due tomixing of the two river waters.

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