PU, PGIMER study shows heavy metal pollution in groundwater around thermal power plants in Punjab

Published on Jul 04, 2022 01:39 AM IST
A study conducted by experts from Panjab University (PU) and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has found heavy metal pollution in the ground water around coal thermal power plants in Punjab.
PU, in an official communique ,said that 50 groundwater samples were collected from various depths ranging from 5 to 30 meters below ground level and varying distances from the thermal power plants during the pre and post-monsoon seasons. (HT FIle)
PU, in an official communique ,said that 50 groundwater samples were collected from various depths ranging from 5 to 30 meters below ground level and varying distances from the thermal power plants during the pre and post-monsoon seasons. (HT FIle)
By, Chandigarh

A study conducted by experts from Panjab University (PU) and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has found heavy metal pollution in the ground water around coal thermal power plants in Punjab.

Suman Mor, chairperson, environment studies department, led the research team, along with PhD research scholar Nitasha Vig and Ravindra Khaiwal from department of community medicine and school of public health, PGIMER.

The study “heavy metal pollution assessment of groundwater and associated health risks around coal thermal power plant, Punjab” has recently been published in the international Journal of Environmental Science and Technology published by Springer Nature.

PU, in an official communique ,said that 50 groundwater samples were collected from various depths ranging from 5 to 30 meters below ground level and varying distances from the thermal power plants during the pre and post-monsoon seasons. These samples were examined for specific heavy metals using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy.

“The results show a relatively higher concentration of arsenic and lead in the groundwater around the thermal power plants. The increased levels of a few metals above the threshold limits during the post-monsoon season indicate the possible contamination of lower groundwater aquifers due to the leaching from ash ponds. The heavy metal pollution index of groundwater was also examined and found to be exceeding the critical levels,” said PU, adding that this indicates that groundwater consumption from the upper aquifer may pose health risks.

Mor said that the power plants should adopt appropriate eco-friendly technologies to avoid unscientific disposal of fly ash.

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