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River Water Pollution: 5 reasons why you should avoid taking bath in Ganga

While the Ganges hold a special place in the hearts of many, it is important to prioritise the health of ourselves and the environment. It is time to acknowledge the dirty truth about the Ganges and take the necessary steps to restore its glory.

Written By : Health Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Published on: February 29, 2024 18:30 IST
River Water Pollution
Image Source : SOCIAL Reasons why you should avoid taking a bath in Ganga.

The Ganges River, also known as the Ganga, is a sacred and revered body of water in India. It is considered to be a holy river by Hindus and is believed to have the power to wash away sins and grant salvation. However, despite its spiritual significance, the Ganges is facing a severe problem of pollution. The river is contaminated with various pollutants and toxins that not only harm the environment but also pose a serious threat to human health. Yet, many people continue to take baths in the Ganges without realising the dangers they are exposing themselves to. In this article, we will discuss five important reasons why you should avoid taking a bath in the Ganges.

High Levels of Toxic Chemicals

One of the main reasons why bathing in the Ganges is harmful is due to the high levels of toxic chemicals found in the water. These chemicals come from various sources such as industrial waste, sewage, and agricultural runoff. Industries located along the riverbank often release untreated or partially treated waste into the river, which contains harmful chemicals like lead, mercury, and arsenic. These chemicals not only contaminate the water but also accumulate in the bodies of aquatic animals and plants, making them unfit for consumption.

Dangerous Pathogens

Apart from toxic chemicals, the Ganges is also home to numerous pathogens that can cause illnesses in humans. Sewage from cities and towns along the river's course often finds its way into the Ganges, carrying harmful bacteria and viruses with it. This puts people who take baths in the river at risk of contracting diseases like cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A, and dysentery.

Contaminated with Heavy Metals

Heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium are known to have serious health consequences, especially when consumed in high doses. Unfortunately, these metals are present in the Ganges due to industrial waste and agricultural runoff. These metals can cause neurological disorders, kidney damage, and even cancer. Fish and other aquatic animals living in the river can also accumulate these metals, making them unsafe for consumption.

Presence of Dead Bodies

The Ganges is also used by many Hindus as a place for cremation and immersion of ashes. While this is a cultural practice, it has also added to the pollution problem of the river. It is estimated that over 100,000 bodies are cremated or immersed in the Ganges every year. As a result, the river water contains high levels of bacteria and viruses from decomposing bodies, making it extremely dangerous for bathing.

The Impact on Marine Life

The Ganges is home to a diverse range of aquatic life, including several endangered species. However, due to pollution, many of these species are facing extinction. The contaminated water affects their health and reproductive abilities, causing a decline in their population. Moreover, the accumulation of pollutants in their bodies also poses a threat to their survival. Taking a bath in the Ganges not only puts human health at risk but also contributes to the destruction of the river's ecosystem.

ALSO READ: Entire stretch of river Ganga in West Bengal unfit for bathing: NGT

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