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Froth Formation in Yamuna
News: The visuals of devotees taking a dip in the froth-filled waters of the Yamuna River sent chills down the spine of the residents of Delhi.
What is Froth Formation?
• This is a phenomenon that takes place on many lakes and streams.
• Foam bubbles are produced when organic matter decomposes.
• These foam-producing molecules have one end that repels water and another that attracts water and they work to reduce the surface tension on the surface of the water.
• These foam bubbles are lighter than water, so they float on the surface as a thin film that gradually accumulates.
• The presence of phosphates and surfactants in untreated sewage from Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh is a major reason behind frothing.
• While these two components comprise of 1 per cent, the remaining 99 percent is air and water.
• Sources include:
• Untreated sewage may contain soap-detergent particles.
• The other sources are industrial effluents, organic matter from decomposing vegetation, and the presence of filamentous bacteria.
• The pollution from the sugar and paper industries in Uttar Pradesh also causes pollution in the Yamuna.
• Short-term exposure can lead to skin irritation and allergies.If ingested, these chemicals may cause gastrointestinal problems and diseases like typhoid.Long-term exposure to heavy metals in industrial pollutants can cause neurological issues and hormonal imbalances.