Menace of Iron and Fluorosis Across the Nation (Download PDF)

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Menace of Iron and Fluorosis Across the Nation

The Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) has transferred its High Flow Rate Fluoride & Iron Removal technology to Capricans Aqua Private Limited, West Bengal.

Key Points

  • Technology: It is a Community Level Water Purification System which has a Flow-Rate capacity of 10,000 Ltr/hr.
  • It uses commonly available raw materials such as sand, gravel, and adsorbent materials.
  • It comprises a three-stage purification process that purifies water within permissible limits 1.5 parts per million (ppm) & 0.3 parts per million for Fluoride and Iron respectively.
  • The technology uses a combination of Oxidation, gravity settling (settling down of heavier impurities under gravity) and Chemisorption process in an Affordable Package.
  • Chemisorption is a kind of adsorption which involves a chemical reaction between the surface and the adsorbate. New chemical bonds are generated at the adsorbent surface.
  • The integrated backwashing technology will help in improving the shelf-life of the filtration media in a resource rationalized manner.
  • Backwashing refers to pumping water backwards through the filter media, for the preventive maintenance so that the filter media can be reused.


  • The number of Fluoride affected individuals is continuously increasing in a contaminated habitat in the last 50 years.
  • This has been happening in consonance with the disproportional depletion of the Water Table, which has led to the multiplication of the level of concentration of Fluoride in the region.
  • The deployment of this Community Level system at affected places can help to turn the tide against the menace of Iron and Fluorosis across the Nation.
  • Cost-Effective solution for serving the most vulnerable sections of the Nation.
  • Besides, the technology is also a major thrust towards the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign.
  • The proliferation of this technology will also help in catalyzing Employment Generation opportunities.
  • Iron in water: Iron is the most common contaminant of drinking water, followed by salinity, arsenic, fluoride, and heavy metal.
  • Rajasthan had the highest number of rural habitations affected by contamination overall, at 16,833 in 2019.
  • Combined arsenic and iron pollution affect West Bengal and Assam the worst.
  • Reason: Corrosion of pipes is a common reason why iron is found in drinking water.
  • Impacts: As little as 0.3 mg/L concentration of iron can make the water appear brown.
  • The overload of iron may cause severe health problems such as liver cancer, diabetes, cirrhosis of liver, diseases related to heart and central nervous system, infertility etc.
  • High levels of Fluoride were reported in 230 districts of 20 States of India (2016 - 17) .
  • Reasons: Naturally occurring fluoride in water along with the result of industrial processes.
  • Owing to inaccessibility to Affordable Fluoride Removal Solutions the Fluorosis affected statistics has also witnessed an upward trajectory.
  • Impact: There are two main types of fluorosis, namely dental and skeletal fluorosis.
  • Dental fluorosis is caused by continuous exposure to high concentrations of fluoride during tooth development.
  • Skeletal fluorosis is developed by the disturbance of calcium metabolism in the formation of bones of the body.
  • It results in the softening and weakening of bones resulting in deformities leading to crippling.
  • The National Programme for Prevention and Control of Fluorosis:
  • NPPCF is a health initiative launched in the 11th Five Year Plan, initiated in 2008 - 09.


  • To collect, assess and use the baseline survey data of fluorosis of the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • Comprehensive management of fluorosis in the selected areas.
  • Capacity building for prevention, diagnosis, and management of fluorosis cases.
  • Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute
  • CMERI is a public engineering research and development institution in Durgapur, West Bengal.
  • It is a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
  • CSIR is the largest research and development (R&D) organization in India.
  • CSIR has a pan-India presence and has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centers, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units.
  • Established: September 1942
  • Located: New Delhi
  • CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • CSIR covers a wide spectrum of streams and provides significant technological intervention in many areas regarding societal efforts which include the environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm, and non-farm sectors.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 28, 2021

Science/Technology, Health, Environment/Ecology

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