India’s Yamuna River has become so polluted that toxic white foam now covers the surface of the water. The river is still popular among many residents of the capital, despite its apparent danger.
Local reports claim that the white foam was discovered for the first time Monday, near Kalindi Kunj in the suburbs of Delhi. On videos posted online, you can see the small foam that looks similar to icebergs atop fast-moving Yamuna River waters.
It is not the first time such foam – understood to be caused by high levels of ammonia and phosphates – has formed on the waterway. In July 2020, the Yamuna Monitoring Committee was disbanded and called upon federal and city officials to fully investigate the issue.
Exposure to direct sunlight can lead to skin irritations and even respiratory issues. The obvious health hazards aside, Hindu devotees continued to perform rituals along the riverbanks despite the risks. The waterway flows through Uttar Pradesh, the world’s most populated province.
The river supplies 70% of Delhi’s water, and many fisherman in the area rely on it for their livelihood.
The development of foam comes as the city’s air recovers from celebratory fireworks to mark the Diwali festival at the weekend. The concentration of poisonous particulate matter PM2.5 soared far above ‘safe’ levels. According to Reuters information, PM2.5 concentrations above 5 micrograms are considered unsafe by the World Health Organization. But, there were some levels that reached 706 milligrams in Delhi during Diwali.
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