Four water samples from Raj Nagar test positive for hexavalent chromiumUpdated: Feb 12, 2020 20:20 IST
The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has found presence of hexavalent chromium (chromium 6) in four of 14 groundwater samples that were sent to a government laboratory in Lucknow.
The regional officials sent the samples for testing on January 29 after residents from Sector 2, Raj Nagar, complained of the quality of water extracted through borewells.
The UPPCB officials said of the four samples that tested positive, two are from the residential area of Sector 2, Raj Nagar, while two from an industrial plot nearby.
According to officials, the two residential samples had presence of chromium 6 up to .552 mg/litre and .415 mg/litre, both well over the permissible limit of .10 mg/litre.
According to World Health Organization, exposure to hexavalent chromium occurs through breathing, ingestion, and contact. Although most of the known health impacts are related to inhalation, there is now strong data linking ingestion of hexavalent chromium, such as through drinking water, to severe health effects. In addition to cancer and reproductive harm, short and long-term exposures can lead to eye and respiratory irritation, asthma attacks, nasal ulcers, dermal burns, anaemia, acute gastroenteritis, vertigo, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, convulsions, ulcers, and damage or failure of the liver and kidneys.
“The residential area samples were collected from a household and a nursery. The other two samples are from an industrial plot. We are issuing a show cause notice to the industrial plot owner. We are also recommending a hydrogeological survey of Raj Nagar by an expert agency,” Utsav Sharma, regional officer of UPPCB, said.
About two months ago, residents spotted the change in colour of groundwater and got samples tested at a private laboratory.
The tests indicated that a household in Sector 2 had chromium 6 of up to .80 mg/litre, while a second household in Sector 3 had .62 mg/litre.
Following this, the UPPCB teams arrived and collected samples for testing.
According to officials, the two water samples from the industrial area had a very high presence of chromium 6 — of around 13mg/litre.
The Raj Nagar locality is opposite Lohiya Nagar, where chromium contamination had come to light in 2005. The two localities are separated by a railway track.
“The groundwater of several pockets (C block) in Lohiya Nagar is already contaminated and a remediation plant is also functional for treating of water. Since both localities are nearby, it is possible it is possible that they share the same acquifer. It is also possible that contamination from Lohiya Nagar may have reached Raj Nagar over a period of time. However, a hydrogeological study is needed to assess the scenario,” Sharma said.
The board officials have also found four industrial units involved in chrome electroplating and a survey is on for assessing their activities.