• Implications of traditional commercial practices on the current environmental status of River Yamuna in the Delhi-Mathura-Agra region, India

      Mehra, Aradhana; Banerjee, Deepak; University of Derby (International Water Association, 2014-03)
      The River Yamuna is regarded as a holy river in Indian mythology. It originates in the Himalayas and several important cities, pilgrimage centres and temple towns are located along its banks. It is a source of water supply to these cities and also receives their wastewaters from domestic and industrial activities. This study aims to assess the environmental and human health implications of traditional commercial practices such as electroplating and jewellery making in the cottage industries along the banks of River Yamuna in the Delhi-Mathura-Agra region. Human exposure to contaminants from overbank soil and also through the food chain from crops grown on floodplains are considered through analyses of overbank and floodplain soils with special reference to toxic trace metals such as silver, cadmium, copper, and zinc. The findings of study show that the overbank and floodplain soils at the temple town of Mathura are highly contaminated with silver and cadmium, and are above normal background concentrations for copper and zinc. This leads to suggest that the traditional and cultural activities of jewellery-making and electroplating works at Mathura are contributing a high metal load to its overbank and floodplain soils and are a cause for concern for human health.