- The presence of fluoride was found high in the water of borewells in Palakkad and Alappuzha districts
- Iron content is high in borewell water and in some areas there is bacteriological contamination
- Dental fluorosis among children has risen from 35.6% in 1997 to 40% in two decades
Using water from borewells could increase chances of dental fluorosis. A recent study has found that borewell water has high morbidity associated with dental fluorosis and it is necessary to defluoridate water before drinking.
With the rains playing truant and drought tightening its grip, people are digging borewells indiscriminately, without seeking approval from authorities. This is not only leading to depletion of ground water level but also cause a spur in fluorosis owing to the presence of high level of fluoride in water. The presence of fluoride was found high in the water of borewells in Palakkad and Alappuzha districts.
Aquifer, the permeable rock which can contain or transmit groundwater, contains various minerals like apatite, calcium fluoride, cryolite and fluorspar. A study conducted last year had found that as many as 6,604 children had contacted fluorosis of the 15, 182 children from 114 schools in Alappuzha. So it is important to defluoridate borewell water before drinking, Arun P R, a scientist at the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management said.
"There is an increase in the prevalence of dental fluorosis among children in correspondence with the increasing use of water from borewells. Iron content is high in borewell water, and in some areas, there will be bacteriological contamination which could worsen the situation. Ground water contains ferrous sulphate at the unstable amount, which precipitates as insoluble ferric hydroxide, which settles as rust coloured silt," Arun said.
Fluorosis among children has risen from 35.6% in 1997 to 40% in 2017, mainly due to high fluoride content in drinking water. It was also found that places, where drinking water projects are running properly, are less exposed to the issue. "Prevalence of dental fluorosis is higher among girls in the urban areas.
The internationally accepted level of fluoride is one particle per molecule (ppm) but the level in some places in Alappuzha is 2.5 particle per molecule, which is considered as a toxic dose. Prevalence of such high amounts is likely to lead to health issues like knock-knee, spinal issues, neurological problems and bow leg which are also likely to lead to abdominal discomfort, neurological problems, infertility in male owing to an abnormality in sperm and low birth weight.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:49 PM IST