Scourge of high fluoride in groundwater; its implication on human health and mitigation strategies: a case study of Sikar district, Rajasthan, India.

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Water is a crucial natural resource for sustaining life and the environment but over the last few decades, the water quality is deteriorating due to its overexploitation. Fluoride is one of the critical chemical parameters, which impacts the quality of groundwater. Excess ingestion of fluoride (F) through drinking water causes ‘Fluorosis’ on human beings in many states of India, including Rajasthan. Sikar district in Rajasthan is also such a region where a high concentration of fluoride is present in groundwater. Due to the unavailability of surface water in Sikar district, groundwater plays an important role for all uses particularly as a drinking water source. The study was carried out to assess the fluoride contamination status and to understand its spatial variation. The fluoride concentration in groundwater of this region ranged from 0.1 to 9.94 mg/l. Physicochemical settings like decomposition, dissociation and subsequent dissolution with long residence time are responsible for leaching of fluoride into the groundwater. Artificial recharge structures are proposed to minimize the stress on groundwater extraction from deeper aquifers that are discharging fluoride in the area. There is an instant need to take urgent steps in this region to prevent the population from fluorosis.

Keywords: Groundwater, Fluoride, Fluorosis, Sikar District.

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Subhash Chandra Yadav


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