Perchlorate in Water; Kerala, India

Nadaraja AV, Puthiyaveettil PG, Bhaskaran K. Surveillance of perchlorate in ground water, surface water and bottled water in Kerala, India. J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2015 Jul 28;13:56. doi: 10.1186/s40201-015-0213-z. 

Background: Perchlorate is an emerging water contaminant that disrupts normal functioning of human thyroid gland and poses serious threat to health, especially for pregnant women, fetus and children.

Results: High level of perchlorate contamination in fresh water sources at places nearby ammonium perchlorate (rocket fuel) handled in bulk is reported in this study. Of 160 ground water samples analyzed from 27 locations in the State Kerala, 58 % had perchlorate above detection limit (2 μg/L) and the highest concentration observed was 7270 μg/L at Ernakulam district, this value is ~480 times higher than USEPA drinking water equivalent level (15 μg/L). Perchlorate was detected in all surface water samples analyzed (n = 10) and the highest value observed was 355 μg/L in Periyar river (a major river in the State). The bottled drinking water (n = 5) tested were free of perchlorate.

Conclusions: The present study underlines the need for frequent screening of water sources for perchlorate contamination around places the chemical is handled in bulk. It will help to avoid human exposure to high levels of perchlorate.

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