Mercury Pollution in Vembanadu Lake and Adjoining Muvattupuzha River, Kerala, India
Heavy metals are highly poisonous when they get accumulated or undergo biomagnification processes. The long existence of heavy metals in the aquatic environment is obtained by the bonding with sediments. Among those heavy metals, mercury is considered as the most dangerous pollutant to natural environment because of the ability of plants and animals to accumulate it (Porvari and Verta, 2003) and because of its detrimental effects even at very low concentration (Nriagu, 1979). Mercury present in air and water has increased dramatically in the last century owing to anthropogenic activities. Recent studies suggest that the total global atmospheric mercury has increased between 200 and 500 percent since the beginning of the Industrial Age (UNEP, 2002). Reports also indicate that its levels in rivers, coastal waters, and soil and food items are well above the acceptable levels especially in developing countries like India (Toxics Link, 2003). Pulp and paper, chloralkali, and other industries have used mercury for various purposes and it was prescribed that they were losing some of it in their wastewater. The losses of mercury from paper and pulp industry are without doubt a serious problem because much mercury is incorporated in the fibers that settle and remains in the sediments downstream (Hanson, 1971). Fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides are also a source of mercury pollution.
KeywordsToxicity Mercury Geochemistry Hydrochloride Chlor
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