Study of Nitrate in Ground Water of Jhunjhunu District of Rajasthan: A Causative Agent of Methaemoglobinemia

Author(s): Suruchi Gupta and Praveen Kumar

A survey was conducted in 136 villages during Jan. 2009 to Jan. 2012 in Jhunjhunu district, Rajasthan. It was found that 152 patients (mostly bottle fed infants) were suffering from methemoglobiemia (Blue baby syndrome). Methemoglobiemia is caused by the decreased ability of blood to carry vital oxygen around the body. One of the most common cause is the presence of nitrate in high concentration in drinking water. Children show signs of blueness around the mouth, hands and feet. For the analysis, 269 water samples were collected from 136 villages. Analysis of nitrate was done by spectrophotometric method. The maximum permissible limit of nitrate in drinking water is 45 ppm according to ISI and WHO. The concentration of nitrate was found in the range of 10-180 ppm. Such high concentration of nitrate is responsible for methemoglobienia.

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