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    HomeHyderabadCity at risk of becoming another ‘Minamata’ due to water pollution

    City at risk of becoming another ‘Minamata’ due to water pollution

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    Industrial pollution in water bodies in Hyderabad may turn the city into another ‘Minamata’, according to doctors and researchers. They have found that various heavy metals and chemical compounds, including lead and mercury, are causing different kinds of diseases in the city. The Minamata disease in Japan, caused by mercury poisoning from a chemical factory, serves as an example of the potential consequences of water pollution.

    The symptoms of Minamata disease can range from insanity to paralysis and even death. It can also affect fetuses, explained Dr K Praveen Saxena at a round table conference. Dr D Narasimha Reddy provided an example of how water bodies in Hyderabad are affected, citing a recent study in Durgam Cheruvu that revealed 183 compounds, including pharmaceuticals, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, hormones, steroids, UV filters, plasticisers, cyan toxins, and metabolites.

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    The conference, titled ‘Toxicity in city’, brought together doctors from various medical fields, as well as researchers and retired public servants. They discovered that the industry has manufactured over 81,000 synthetic chemicals since 1930, many of which are toxic, such as lead, mercury, benzene, toluene, pesticides, food additives, and xenoestrogens. The rise in disorders linked to environmental pollution necessitates government acknowledgment and appropriate solutions.

    Furthermore, metals like arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, copper, mercury, nickel, thallium, antimony, and beryllium can be found in tap water. Metals are also used as additives in food, and methyl mercury, arsenic, and cadmium can be found in fish. The use of chemical fertilizers leads to the accumulation of cadmium in the food chain. Dental amalgam contains substances like copper, mercury, stannic, silver, gold, cobalt, chromium, indium, palladium, platinum, and titanium. Cosmetics may contain aluminium, lead, mercury, and titanium, while cigarette smoke can introduce lead and cadmium into the body.

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