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Fluoride in water_India Water Portal_2011
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Fluoride in water_India Water Portal_2011

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Contamination of groundwater, symptoms and effect of fluoride on health, fluorosis_A look at fluoride in water

Contamination of groundwater, symptoms and effect of fluoride on health, fluorosis_A look at fluoride in water

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  • Natural sources of water pollution. The geology of a place can introduce inorganic contaminants into groundwater. As water seeps into the ground, if the rocks and soil are rich in compounds of fluoride, arsenic, iron etc, these compounds dissolve in the groundwater. When groundwater is extracted and used for drinking, these compounds enter our bodies.
  • Natural sources of water pollution. The geology of a place can introduce inorganic contaminants into groundwater. As water seeps into the ground, if the rocks and soil are rich in compounds of fluoride, arsenic, iron etc, these compounds dissolve in the groundwater. When groundwater is extracted and used for drinking, these compounds enter our bodies.
  • Natural pollution is a non-point source of pollution.
  • Excess fluoride in the groundwater is a problem being faced in most parts of India. Fluoride in small levels (0.5 – 1 ppm) provides protection against dental caries and is required for healthy teeth and bones. That is why many toothpastes used to contain a small amount of fluoride. But when levels of fluoride are beyond an acceptable limit, they accumulate in our bodies and cause fluorosis. Fluorosis is of two types – dental and skeletal. In the initial stages, teeth started getting discoloured and with increasing concentrations, people get severely crippled. 60 million people are at risk. 6 million children below 14 years show visible signs of fluorosis. Though defluoridation kits are available, people living in fluoride affected areas are advised on counteracting the affects of fluoride contamination by diet restrictions – eating foods rich in Vitamin C, Calcium and iron and avoiding foods with black salt etc.
  • Excess fluoride in the groundwater is a problem being faced in most parts of India. Fluoride in small levels is required for healthy teeth and bones. That is why many toothpastes used to contain a small amount of fluoride. But when levels of fluoride are beyond an acceptable limit, they accumulate in our bodies and cause fluorosis. Fluorosis is of two types – dental and skeletal. In the initial stages, teeth started getting discoloured and with increasing concentrations, people get severely crippled. Though defluoridation kits are available, people living in fluoride affected areas are advised on counteracting the affects of fluoride contamination by diet restrictions – eating foods rich in Vitamin C, Calcium and iron and avoiding foods with black salt etc. West Bengal and Bangladesh are affected by high arsenic concentration in groundwater. This causes arsenicosis in humans, which is a life threatening disease. Such contamination is aggravated when there is excessive groundwater extraction. Concentrations of polluting compounds increase in the existing groundwater. People living in areas which have high levels of natural inorganic pollution in groundwater are advised to recharge their groundwater reservoirs with rainwater, so that the concentration of the salts in the groundwater reduces.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Fluoride in Water
    • 2. Surface Water Is what you see in rivers, lakes, streams etc.
    • 3. Groundwater is water that is found in aquifers below the surface of the Earth. To get groundwater, one must dig wells or borewells. Groundwater
    • 4. Water pollution of surface water bodies is visible in many places
    • 5. But is groundwater clean?
    • 6. When water seeps into the ground, it dissolves different substances depending on the type of soil and rock that it flows through. Groundwater can get polluted naturally
    • 7. Some of these substances like fluoride compounds can be harmful to health, if amounts greater than permissible limits are ingested over long periods of time. Natural pollution is a non-point source of pollution
    • 8. The Bureau of Indian Standards states that in drinking water, fluoride levels are 0 0.5 mg/l 1.0 mg/l 1.5 mg/l 2.0 mg/l Desirable Permissible
    • 9. Fluoride
      • Low levels of fluoride in drinking water (0.5 to 1 mg/l) protect against dental caries
      • High levels of fluoride in drinking water (above 1.5 mg/l) will lead to adverse health impacts ranging from dental fluorosis to skeletal fluorosis
      • Fluoride levels in water beyond desirable / permissible limits is typically found in groundwater and not surface water
    • 10. Fluorosis ©Ruhani Kaur/UNICEF India http://www.fannz.org.nz 19 states in India have groundwater that is rich in fluoride Dental Fluorosis Skeletal Fluorosis Excess fluoride in the body (above 1.5 – 2 ppm)
    • 11. Other symptoms
      • Fatigue
      • Low hemoglobin count
      • Irritation
      • Loss of appetite
      • Excessive thirst and urination
      • Miscarriage
      • Inability to conceive due to defective sperm
      • Depression
    • 12. Impacts of skeletal fluorosis
      • Loss of livelihood since affected persons cannot work
      • Loss of income
      • High medical costs
      • Poverty
      • Social outcasts since facilities for the handicapped are lacking in India
    • 13. Fluoride levels in groundwater are higher than permissible limits in 19 states of India
    • 14. Over 6.6 crore Indians are affected by fluorosis Mild fluorosis Moderate/severe fluorosis
    • 15. What can be done?
    • 16. Where fluoride in water is between 1.5 to 2.0mg/l, avoid: Canned fish Dental products such as fluoridated toothpaste & mouth wash Products containing black salt (kalanamak)
    • 17. Eat more of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C, Iron and Calcium Orange Lemon Guava Gooseberry (Amla) Tomato Grapefruit Almonds Apple Brinjal Banana Beetroot Spinach Coriander leaves
    • 18. In all fluoride affected areas, recharge the groundwater with rainwater Harvest rainwater Recharge groundwater
    • 19. Thank you!

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