Chemicals solvate food chain from toxic lakes

Chemicals solvate food chain from toxic lakes
Highlights

Lakes like Bellandur and Varthur, which emit froth and fire every now and then, are adding dangerous chemicals to our food chain in the form of heavy metals, taking a toll on children, said IISc professor TV Ramachandra

BENGALURU: “Lakes like Bellandur and Varthur, which emit froth and fire every now and then, are adding dangerous chemicals to our food chain in the form of heavy metals, taking a toll on children,” said IISc professor TV Ramachandra. He said polluted water entering the food chain is why kidney failure cases are increasing in the city. “I recently visited a school where I was told that two kids were suffering from bone marrow cancer and kidney failure. Is this what you call urbanisation and development which are only making its citizens sick,” he wondered.

His team has done substantial research on water bodies in the city.“There are many communities that grow vegetables using lake water, like those downstream of Varthur. Then there are people who make a livelihood by selling fish extracted from some water bodies. Because the lake water is polluted, harmful heavy metals like cadmium and chromium have entered the food chain. Our studies found metal content in fish too,” said Prof Ramachandra said at a talk organised by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) on Friday.

The scientist also poked at politicians and the bureaucracy for not taking measures to protect water bodies.“About one-and-half years ago, HD Kumaraswamy come to our lab and appreciated our work. He’d said if he becomes CM again, most of our recommendations on water bodies would be implemented. As soon as he took over, I reminded him about the promise. So far, I don’t see any action,” he added.

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