Fluoride and heavy metal accumulation by vegetation in the fluoride affected area of Talupula, Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh
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© 2017, Geological Society of India. A detailed survey showed that groundwater fluoride was 6.1ppm in the Talupula area of the Anantapur district in southern India which is higher than is normally observed in groundwater elsewhere in India but not so extreme as that reported in Andhra Pradesh (up to 21 mg L-1). Groundwater is used for irrigating agricultural crops as well as for drinking which may expose its population to higher concentrations of fluoride through their diet. A preliminary study examined the concentrations of fluoride in five agricultural crops in the Talupula area and the soil beneath agricultural crops. The stem and leaves of Heliathusannuas, Arachishypogaea, Morusalba, Lychopersiconesculantum, and Phaseolus vulgaris were examined for fluoride and heavy metal accumulation. Heavy metal (Zn, Cu and Pb) accumulation in the stem and leaves were examined to determine if there was any correlation between their uptake and that of fluoride. In the soil beneath the crops, fluoride concentrations ranged from 6.53±0.44 to 8.23±1.22 ppm and a significant accumulation of fluoride was observed in the stems (13.2±2.0 to 23.9±3.6 ppm; p < 0.001) and leaves (16.4±1.9 to 61.5±4.5 ppm) of the agricultural plants. A significant accumulation of fluoride was observed from the stem to the leaves for all plants (p < 0.03) except Helianthus annuas. Copper also displayed significant accumulation from the soil to the stems in some of the plants tested but there was no significant accumulation of zinc or lead. A significant translocation from the stem and accumulation in the leaves was not observed for Cu or Pb but there was significantly higher zinc in the leaves of Arachishypogaea and Morusalba when compared to their stems. This study demonstrated that agricultural plants grown under field conditions and irrigated with groundwater high in fluoride will accumulate fluoride, but that fluoride is unlikely to have a significant effect on Cu, Zn or Pb accumulation in the stems and leaves of agricultural plants of the area. While drinking water is still the major cause of fluorosis in southern India, consumption of foods with high fluoride concentrations may also increase the risk of fluorosis.
author list (cited authors)
Nagaraju, A., Thejaswi, A., & Aitkenhead-Peterson, J. A.