Central Water Commission finds iron concentration in 22 spots in six states

  • A study by the Central Water Commission has observed that high concentration of iron content greater than 1.0 mg/l at 22 water quality stations has been found in six states. These states are Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.
  • The permissible iron concentration in surface water should be less than 1.0 mg/litre as per the BIS Standard for drinking water and hence the water in the rivers of these six states entail some health problems.
  • Iron is an essential nutrient in animal and plant metabolism.
  • However, it was not normally considered a toxic substance. It is not regulated in drinking water except as a secondary standard for aesthetic reasons. Adults required between 10 and 20 mg of iron per day. Excessive iron ingestion may result in hemochromatosis, a condition of tissue damage from iron accumulation and this condition rarely occurred from dietary intake alone, but from prolonged consumption of acidic foods cooked in iron utensils and from the ingestion of large quantities of iron tablets. Iron could also be toxic to freshwater aquatic life above 1 mg/L and may interfere with fish uptake of oxygen through their gills above 0.3 mg/L.

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