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Hazards of Groundwater Pollution

Hazards of Groundwater Pollution

  • Haemoglobin transports oxygen to various parts of the body. Excess nitrate in drinking water reacts with haemoglobin to form methaemoglobin which impairs oxygen transportation to various parts of body.
  • As a result, oxygen is not available to various parts of body leading to their bluish appearance. This disease is called ‘blue baby syndrome’ or methaemoglobinemia. Blue baby syndrome can occur due to multiple reasons.
  • Excess fluorine in drinking water causes neuromuscular disorders, gastrointestinal disorders and stiffness of bones and joints. Stiffness of bones and joints is called skeletal fluorosis.
  • Over exploitation of groundwater may enhance concentration of arsenic in the underground water as arsenic being a heavy metal remains in the lower layers of underground water.
  • Chronic exposure to arsenic leads to ‘Black Foot Disease’ (BFD).
  • BFD is a severe form of vascular disease in which the blood vessels in the lower limbs are severely damaged, eventually resulting in gangrene.
  • High uranium concentration is also identified in the underground water at some regions. Intake of water with high uranium content leads to cancer and other medical problems in the long term.                      Hazards of Groundwater Pollution

Oil Spills

  • Oil spills can occur both over land as well as over water bodies. Oil spills are more dangerous over water bodies.
  • Oil layer prevents the penetration of sunlight, leading to the reduction of photosynthesis activity.
  • Consequently, availability of oxygen is reduced in the water body, leading to the death of marine animals.

Oil zapper

  • It is a mix of five bacteria which feed on hydrocarbon compounds present in the crude oil and the hazardous hydrocarbon waste known as oil sludge generated by oil refineries.
  • Oil zapper converts hydrocarbons into CO2 and H2O. Oil zapping bacteria are immobilised and packed into polythene bags.
  • The shelf life of oil zapper is three months. The oil zapper is used to clean oil spills.                    Hazards of Groundwater Pollution


Environment & Biodiversity

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