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High volume of uranium in Bihar groundwater worries authorities: report


High concentration of uranium found in groundwater in some districts of Bihar (representative)

Patna:

The high concentration of uranium in groundwater in some districts of Bihar has worried authorities and 100 water samples from ten districts have been sent to the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) center in Lucknow for scientific analysis, a source said. senior official.

The presence of uranium in drinking water is a matter of great public health concern, said CGWB Regional Director (Middle East Region), Thakur Brahmanand Singh.

“The water samples were sent for uranium isotope analysis by the method of Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) which measures isotope ratios with reasonably high precision. The future course of action does not will be decided only after receiving the report,” he said. Tap Trust of India.

The districts where the groundwater samples were recently taken are Nalanda, Nawada, Katihar, Madhepura, Vaishali, Supaul, Aurangabad, Gaya, Saran and Jehanabad.

“The CGWB, the Public Health Engineering Department of the Government of Bihar and the Geological Survey of India are working jointly to quantify the concentration of uranium in groundwater in the state and prepare a plan action plan to deal with the situation,” Singh said.

The uranium concentration reported in previous studies in the state will be compared to new findings.

The Bureau of Indian Standard has not mentioned any standard for uranium in drinking water, while the World Health Organization has set drinking water standards for uranium in drinking water at 30 µg / L.

In 2019-2020, the CGWB collected a total of 14,377 groundwater samples from shallow well water sources across the country for the quantification of the presence of uranium. From Bihar, 634 samples were analyzed and the concentration of the heavy metal in 11 samples was found to be beyond the permissible limit set by WHO, Singh said.

The analysis revealed that the districts where groundwater had high uranium content are Saran, Bhabhua, Khagaria, Madhepura, Nawada, Sheikhpura, Purnea, Kishanganj and Begusarai, he said.

Explaining its detrimental impact on the heavy metal, Chairman of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board, Ashok Kumar Ghosh, told news agency PTI: “Uranium contamination in groundwater is a matter of serious concern as it is hazardous to the health of those exposed. High exposure can cause bone toxicity and kidney failure and cancer.”

The Council’s study also revealed uranium contamination in groundwater in Bihar, he added.

“It took the researchers a year and a half to come to the conclusion. Studies show that uranium is a chemotoxic and nephrotoxic heavy metal. This chemotoxicity particularly affects the kidneys and bones,” Ghosh said.

Uranium concentrations are high mainly in the northwest-southeast band along and east of the Gandak River and south of the Ganga River towards Jharkhand, especially in the districts of Gopalganj Siwan, Saran, Patna, Nalanda and Nawada, according to the study.

The study, which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in April 2020, was conducted by David Polya and Laura A Richards of the University of Manchester (UK), Ashok Kumar Ghosh and Arun Kumar of Mahavir Cancer Sansthan, Patna.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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