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75% of river monitoring stations report heavy metal pollution

  • Published
    6th Jun, 2022

According to Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), heavy toxic metals such as lead, iron, nickel, cadmium, arsenic, chromium and copper were present at alarming levels.


Key Findings:

  • Heavy Metal Contamination:
  • In about a fourth of the monitoring stations, which are spread across 117 rivers and tributaries, high levels of two or more toxic metals were reported.
  • Of the 33 monitoring stations in Ganga, 10 had high levels of contaminants. 
  • Coastline erosion: Over a third of India’s coastline that is spread across 6,907 km saw some degree of erosion between 1990 and 2018. West Bengal is the worst hit with over 60% of its shoreline under erosion.
  • Ocean Health:
  • While the global average of the Ocean Health Index, a measure that looks at how sustainably humans are exploiting ocean resources, has improved between 2012 and 2021.
  • India’s score in the index has declined over the same period.
  • India’s Forest Cover:
  • India has a forest cover of 77.53 million hectares. But recorded forests, the area under the forest department with forest cover are only 51.66 million.
  • This gap of 25.87 million hectares —a size bigger than Uttar Pradesh— remains unaccounted.

Heavy Metal Pollutants and its effects on Human health:

About Centre for Science and Environment (CSE):

  • Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a non-governmental, independent policy research institution based in Delhi, which was started in 1980.
  • For more than three decades, CSE has helped shape policies and build public awareness to bring change in areas of pollution mitigation and public health security, low-carbon development, natural resource management and livelihood security to make growth sustainable and inclusive.
  • CSE researches into, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable.


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