Hirakund Wetland : Cancer-Causing Heavy Metals Detected
A study has revealed high levels of cancer-causing heavy metals, including lead and chromium, in eight wetlands in Odisha, with Hirakud being one of them.
- These heavy metals, which result from human activities such as urbanization, industrialization, and agriculture, can enter crops through the soil and subsequently be consumed by humans.
- The study also noted that the surrounding community indirectly consumes water from these wetlands by consuming foods like fish, rice, vegetables, and spinach grown in them.
- Hirakud Reservoir (Ramsar Site) is the largest earthen dam in Odisha and started operating in 1957.
- Out of the known 54 species of fish from the reservoir, one has been classed as being endangered, six near threatened and 21 fish species of economic importance.
- It also provides important hydrological services by moderating floods in the Mahanadi Delta, the ecological and socio-economic hub of the east coast of India.