J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 1239 - 1246

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 1239
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030525

Heavy metals pollution in the environment of Kathmandu

H.D. Shrestha

Executive Member Federation of Business and Professional Women in Nepal (INGO), Buddha Nagar Kathmandu, Nepal

Nepal situated on the lap of mighty Himalayas is now threatened by heavy metals pollution in her atmosphere, land and river system. The indigenious technology of Nepal heavily depends on the use of mercury in gold plating technique. The mercury vapours are released to the atmosphere, when gold-amalgam smeared untesils and idols are strongly heated. Absence of control mechanism to collect mercury vapours has not only polluted atmosphere but it has also caused health hazard to the workers working in the poorly ventilated workshop. The craftsmen and articians have been victim of mercury poisoining. Another heavy metal that has caused atmospheric pollution in Nepal is lead. The lead containing gasoline used in greater amount in vehicles has released more and more lead in the from of exhaust gas into the atmosphere. The atmospheric pollution has been more acute in Nepal due to the use of lead gasoline in used vehicles. Likewise the river system of the urban areas of Nepal is polluted by heavy metals like cadmium, lead salt, ferrous salt, etc. The effulents of battery industries, leather factories, dye factories are directly dumped into the river system of urban areas. This has killed many aquatic animals of rivers. Thus Nepal is facing the problem of heavy metals pollution in her environnent.

© EDP Sciences 2003