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Under Ground water pollution with Fluoride


Its effects on bio organisms and measures to mitigate


The crucial role groundwater plays as a decentralized source of drinking water for
millions rural and urban families cannot be overstated. According to some
estimates, it accounts for nearly 80 Percent of the rural domestic water needs, and
50 per cent of the urban water needs in India. Groundwater is generally less
susceptible to contamination and pollution when compared to surface water bodies.
Also, the natural impurities in rainwater, which replenishes groundwater systems,
get removed while infiltrating through soil strata. But, In India, where groundwater
is used intensively for irrigation and industrial purposes, a variety of land and
water-based human activities are causing pollution of this precious resource. Its
over-exploitation is causing aquifer contamination in certain instances; while in
certain others its unscientific development with insufficient knowledge of
groundwater flow dynamic and geo-hydro chemical processes has led to its

Endemic fluorosis related with the presence of fluoride in water is a public health
problem in most of the Indian States. Groundwater forms a major source of drink-
ing water in urban as well as rural areas. Since, quality of public health depends on
the quality of drinking water,

It is unfortunate that millions of people in India have no access to safe drinking wa-
ter and consumes the water easily accessible to them without knowing the ill effects
of such consumption. The fluoride content data in water belonging to nine different
States which covers almost the entire country reveal an elevated concentration as
high as 20 ppm which is much higher than the permissible limits of 1.5 ppm set
forth by the WHO for safe drinking water.

The probable sources of high fluoride in the water, its ill affects leading to fluorosis
disease and other related health hazards, if consumed by human beings and certain
necessary steps to reduce the high fluoride concentration to the level of safe
consumable limits are discussed in the paper.

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, and infertility in women, brain damage, Alzheimer's
disease and thyroid disorders.

The perception that many people have is that the fluoride in the water is just like
the fluoride used in the dentist's office. However, that fluoride is pharmaceutical
grade and approved for dental use. The fluoride found in drinking water is in a
different form.

The type of fluoride that is added to municipal water supplies is called

silicofluorides. According to a report released from the EPA, this compound consists
of chemicals that are collected from the pollution scrubbers of the phosphate
fertilizer industry. This scrubber substance contains arsenic, lead and radioactive
particles. It is legally regulated as toxic waste until being sold to municipalities,
where it is used to fluoridate the municipal water supplies. Consequently, this is
the water that comes through your tap.

The ingestion of too much fluoride has been proven to cause an array of health
problems. Studies have linked silicofluorides to everything from cancer to
Alzheimer's disease. Fluoridated water particularly affects individuals who suffer
from kidney problems because they are unable to eliminate fluoride and therefore
suffer more of the toxic effects.

Water To Go offers water in its purest form. Our proprietary Pure & Fresh 12-Stage
Water Purification System eliminates everything from the water, including fluoride,
pesticides and bacteria.

Groundwater contamination is an enormous problem. The sooner we accept that,
the better. Unless we take fast and determined steps, we are headed towards a very
big water crisis. The first step is to identify and seal off contaminated tube wells.
Simultaneously, people must be provided with safe drinking water from state-
drilled tube wells.

In the affected areas, a massive campaign effort is needed. There should also be
promotion of higher calcium and vitamin c intake. Since most Indians cannot afford
these, the state must arrange for free distribution. The next step is reduction of
fluoride concentration through artificial recharge techniques like flooding of
groundwater with surface water.

Ultimately, the impact of drinking water on human health must be acknowledged.

The affluent may have their bottled water. The masses cannot afford it. Can
toothless voters and crippled soldiers safeguard the world's largest democracy?



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Kaleem Ahmed