Yamuna veggies highly toxic, full of heavy metals

A study has found dangerous level of metals in vegetables grown in fields along the Yamuna river, which could cause life-threatening diseases like cancer.

According to the study conducted by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), samples from three east Delhi locations were collected to check the status of metal concentration in seven vegetables — cabbage, cauliflower, radish, brinjal, coriander, fenugreek and spinach.

The vegetable samples were picked up from Usmanpur Khadar, Geeta Colony and Mayur Vihar and were tested for the presence of metals like Lead (Pb), Nickel (Ni), Cadmium (Cd) and Mercury (Hg).

The report found the maximum lead contamination in the coriander collected from Geeta Colony. The safe limit for lead in vegetables is 2.5mg/kg as per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The level of the metal detected in samples collected from the floodplain ranged from 2.8mg/kg to 13.8mg/kg, it said, adding that heavy metal toxicity can damage organs.

"Prolonged human consumption of unsafe concentrations of heavy metals in foodstuffs may lead to disruption of numerous biological and biochemical processes in the human body.

"Heavy metal toxicity can lower energy levels, damage the functioning of the brain, lungs, kidney, and liver. They can also damage the blood composition and other important organs. Long term exposure of metals may even cause cancer," the study, conducted by NEERI on the directions of National Green Tribunal, said.

The report said that other metals — cadmium, mercury and nickel were found below the FSSAI standards.

"In the present study, only levels of lead were found exceeding the FSSAI limits in most of vegetable samples, therefore, there is need for further investigation on the sources, from where Pb is getting accumulated in the vegetables, though corresponding soil samples also exhibited high levels of lead.

"Possible sources of lead are industries dealing in automobiles, battery, paint, polythene, pesticides and lead processing unit," the NEERI said.

It also suggested monitoring and testing of heavy metals in vegetables as well as soil and irrigation water along with water of River Yamuna by authorities concerned on a regular basis.

The study was included in the second interim report prepared by the NGT-appointed monitoring committee for the rejuvenation of the River Yamuna and abatement of pollution. It was submitted before the tribunal in May this year. more  

View all 7 comments Below 7 comments
It is not only with the vegetables- even the fruits are artificially ripened, the spices are laced with many edibles/non edible items, spurious milk etc. This need to be tackled at the earliest and severe fines and penalties should be imposed to deteter the culprits more  
Not many days ago there was a news item published in the Times of India that farmers were okay to grow veggies on the Yamuna river bank.......which location was mentioned, I don't remember.

And now we confront this Study mention by Ms Sneha.

Now, what should laymen like us believe......? more  
THE ROOT CAUSE SHOULD BE ADDRESS. BUT ALAS RESPECTIVE DELHI GOVERNMENTS HAVE DONE VERY LITTLE IN TREATING SEWAGE WATER, BEFORE RELEASING IT IN YAMUNA RIVER. MILLIONS OF RUPEES HAVE BEEN SPENT, BUT MOST MONEY HAS GONE IN CORRUPTION.

IF WE CAN CLEAN GANGA RIVER, WHY CAN'T WE CLEAN YAMUNA. THE BANKS CAN BE DEVELOPED, AS THEY HAVE DONE WITH SABARMATI RIVER FRONT. AKLASH TRIED SAME WITH GOMTI RIVER FRONT, BUT THERE ALSO CORRUPTION OVER RULED AND THERE WERE NO RESULTS DESPITE SPENDING BILLIONS. more  
Nothing to get surprised experiencing that the vegetables contents are risky for health. Yamuna water is highly polluted & contaminated,vegetables grown on the river bed have to be contaminated. It's now important how to stop selling these veggies in the roadside market or how to detect such veggies in the open market? Is there any suggestion we may forward to FSSAI or Ministry of Agriculture to take corrective measures, otherwise; it makes no sense to debate/discuss as it's a known fact to many. more  
When more than half of Delhi lives around Yamuna river, it is difficult to get escaped. Otherwise from where do we get the vegetables. And what is the guarantee that these are not grown in Yamuna catchment areas. The vegetables grown elsewhere are no better. Many a times these are grown near the drains etc. The only solution is to keep our immune system strong. more  
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