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Selenium Contamination of Groundwater of Malwa Belt of Punjab (India)

Hardev Singh Virk


Punjab is facing a crisis situation due to high levels of uranium, arsenic and selenium in underground water table of Punjab. Malwa belt of Punjab, namely, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Roop Nagar and Fatehgarh sahib districts have high selenium contents in groundwater. Selenium Acceptable Limit (AL) for groundwater is fixed at 0.01 mg/l (ppm) by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). In this report, groundwater quality data pertaining to selenium in the Malwa belt is reported.  The highest value of selenium content of 0.14 mg/l (ppm) was reported in the water drawn from a handpump in the village Urna of Ludhiana district. Out of 80 villages of Ludhiana district with selenium content above AL value, 38 have selenium contamination levels higher than 0.015 mg/l (ppm). Roop Nagar, Ferozepur and Fatehgarh Sahib districts have 29, 9 and 17 villages with selenium content above the AL value, respectively. The possible health hazard effects of selenium are reported on the basis of studies carried out in the USA, China and Italy.


Keywords: Selenium, acceptable limit, Malwa belt of Punjab, health hazards of Selenium

Cite this Article

Virk HS. Selenium Contamination of Groundwater of Malwa Belt of Punjab, India. Research & Reviews: A Journal of Toxicology. 2019; 9(1): 13–20p.

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