Fluoride and Arsenic in Ground water.
Causes for groundwater pollution.
Fluoride in groundwater , sources for fluoride , Health implications.
Arsenic in groundwater , sources for arsenic , Health implications.
ARSENIC & FLUORIDE IN GROUNDWATER
1st MSC APPLIED GEOLOGY
UNIVRSITY OF CALICUT
“Water that exists beneath the earth’s surface in
underground stream and aquifers is known as
groundwater”. Groundwater is considered as the major
source of drinking water in most places on earth. Usually
people use groundwater for drinking and other domestic
CAUSE OF GROUNDWATER POLLUTION
AGRICULTURE FIELD: Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers .
CITY DUMP: Rain can also leach pollutants from city dumps
into groundwater supplies.
INDUSTRY : Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, chromium,
copper, and cadmium, together with household chemicals
and poisons, can all be concentrated in ground-water
supplies beneath dumps
• Liquid and solid wastes from septic tanks, sewage plants,
and animal feedlots and slaughterhouses may contain
bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can contaminate ground
• MINING AREA: Acid mine drainage from coal and metal
mines can contaminate both surface and ground water.
• RADIOACTIVE WASTE : It can cause the pollution of ground
water due to the shallow burial of low-level solid and liquid
radioactive wastes from the nuclear power industry.
Fluoride and Arsenic are the two main contaminants in
groundwater present naturally in
BANGLADESH IN SOUTH ASIA,
causing a set of health symptoms known commonly as
FLUOROSIS and ARSENICOSIS.
For many rural areas where hand-pumps and tube-wells are
the only source of safe drinking water, these two contaminants
have emerged to cause a serious crisis threatening public
Groundwater with fluoride concentration above the permissible limit set by
WHO i.e 1.5 mg/l have been recorded in several parts of the world.
In 1984, WHO estimated that more than 260 million people living all over the
world consume water with fluoride concentration above 1 mg/l .
The problem of high fluoride in groundwater has been reported by several
researchers in India, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Southern
Algeria, Mexico, Korea, Italy & Brazil.
Most of the people affected by high fluoride concentration in groundwater live
in the tropical countries where the per capita consumption of water is more
because of the prevailing climate. In places like Ghana, people consume 3 to 4
liters of water which is higher than the WHO estimate of 2 l/adult/day .
The intensity of fluorosis problem is very serious in the two heavily populated
countries of the world namely India and China .
FLUORIDE IN GROUNDWATRER
The possible causes and sources through which fluoride exists in the environment are
Most of the fluoride in groundwater is naturally present due to weathering of
rocks rich in fluoride. Water with high concentration of fluoride is mostly found in
sediments of marine origin and at the foot of mountainous areas .
Volcanic rocks are often enriched in fluoride. Hydrogen fluorine is one of the most
soluble gases in magmas and comes out partially during eruptive activity .
Like volcanic ash, fly ash from the combustion of fossil fuels also account for
high fluoride. More than 100 to 150 million tons of fly ash is produced worldwide
annually due to the combustion of coal especially from power plants .
Phosphate containing fertilisers add up to the fluoride content in soil and
SOURCES FOR FLUORIDE IN GROUNDWATER
Intake of fluoride higher than the optimum level is the main reason for dental
and skeletal fluorosis.
when fluoride concentration in drinking water is below 0.5 mg/l it causes
dental carries; fluoride between 0.5 to 1.5 mg/l results in optimum dental
health; 1.5 to 4 mg/l causes DENTAL FLUOROSIS;
4 to 10 mg/l induces dental and SKELETAL FLUOROSIS
while fluoride above 10 mg/l results in CRIPPLING FLUOROSIS.
Other health disorders that occur due to consumption of high fluoride in
drinking water to be muscle fibre degeneration, low haemoglobin levels,
deformities in RBCs, excessive thirst, headache, skin rashes, nervousness,
neurological manifestations, depression, gastrointestinal problems, urinary
tract malfunctioning, nausea, abdominal pain, tingling sensation in fingers and
toes, reduced immunity, repeated abortions or still births, male sterility,
DENTAL FLUOROSIS : Very high incidences of
dental and in some cases skeletal fluorosis
mainly caused by excessive fluoride in
It affects young as well as old.
The symptoms include severe pain and
stiffness in the backbone, joints and/or
rigidity in hip bones.
RADIOGRAPH OF A PATIENT
OF SKELETAL FLUOROSIS
Occurrence of fluoride in groundwater in
various parts of the world based on literature
The Indian Ministry of Water Resources informs that several districts of 9 states are
affected by high Fluoride concentrations (greater than 1 mg/l) in groundwater.
Fluorosis is an endemic disease prevalent in 20 states out of the 35 states and
Union Territories of the Indian Republic.
Rajasthan and Gujarat in North India and Andhra in South India are worst affected.
Bihar, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, M.P. and
Maharashtra are moderately affected.
T.N., W.B., U.P., Bihar and Assam are mildly affected.
Throughout India fluorosis is essentially Hydrofluorosis except in parts of Gujarat
and U.P. where industrial fluorosis is also seen.
FLUOROSIS IN INDIA
Places that Affected with high Fluoride concentrations
• Naturally occurring metalloid element in the earth’s crust
• Released to the environment by natural pathways
ARSENIC IN GROUNDWATER
• Released to the environment by human activities
burning high-arsenic coal
CCA-treated wood (chromated copper arsenic)
arsenic-containing pesticides and herbicides
• Arsenic is an element that CANNOT be destroyed. It can only change
from one form to another
Various types of skin manifestations and other arsenic toxicity were
observed from melanosis , keratosis , hyperkeratosis, dorsal keratosis, and
non pitting edema to gangrene and cancer.
Keratosis is the hardening skin bulges on palms
It can also result in decreased production of red and white blood cells
which may cause fatigue, abnormal heart rhythm, blood-vessel damage
resulting in bruising, and impaired nerve function.
Other signs and symptoms include skin thickening, fluid accumulation
(resulting in puffiness) especially around the lower eyelids, face and ankles,
diarrhea, garlic breath, perspiration, excessive salivation, generalized itching,
oral inflammation, sore throat, runny nose, excessive tearing, numbness, skin
inflammation, hair loss, weakness, and loss of appetite.
Arsenic can also cause a range of neurological effects, including headaches
and vision problems.
Over 30 countries in the world is affected by
arsenic in drinking water
ARSENIC IN INDIA,
the groundwater arsenic contamination was first surfaced from West-Bengal in
a number of other States, namely; Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh in flood
plain of the Ganga River; Assam and Manipur in flood plain of the
Brahamaputra and Imphal rivers, and Rajnandgaon village in Chhattisgarh
state have chronically been exposed to drinking arsenic contaminated hand
tube-wells water above permissible limit of 50 μg/L.
Even with every additional survey, new arsenic affected villages and people
suffering from arsenic related diseases are being reported.
All the arsenic affected river plains have the river routes originated from the
Arsenic affected stretches in Ganga Plains in India
Adsorption/Ion Exchange: Through adsorption, fluoride ions are collected
on the surface of the adsorbant; in ion exchange, fluoride ions would be
removed from solution onto the ion exchange resin in exchange for a less
Chemical: By chemical reaction with fluoride, the fluoride is bound in the
solution, it would then require removal from solution.
Precipitation/Sedimentation: Employed along with chemical reaction to
remove particles, such as flocculants, from solution.
Filtration: This method can be used in to remove particles, such as
flocculants or bacteria from solution .
THE REMOVAL OF FLUORIDE
Surface Water Treatment
Slow sand filter adapted for
intermittent use for a household
THE REMOVAL OF ARSENIC
Potter for Peace Filter
Pass water through a porous,
colloidal silver soaked ceramic
container. Small pores and silver traps
and inactivates pathogens.