Skip to main content


Log in

Composition of heavy metals in sediment, water, and fish of the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers in two major cities of India

  • Research
  • Published:
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The rapid industrial development in the Indian capital region has led to significant waste generation, which, despite undergoing treatment prior to disposal, contributes substantially to water body contamination. Given the diverse nature of these wastes and their potential repercussions across the food chain, a study was conducted to evaluate heavy metal contamination levels in the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers of two major cities. Six heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Hg, Cu, Cr, and Zn) were analyzed in fish, water, and sediment samples by utilizing flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry (Avanta Σ) from March 2019 to February 2020. Results revealed distinct heavy metal distribution patterns, with Cr > Zn > Pb > Cu > Cd > Hg in the Ganga River and Zn > Cr > Pb > Cu > Cd > Hg in the Yamuna River for fish samples. Additionally, levels of Hg in Cyprinus carpio and Sperata oar from the Ganga River, and Pb, Cd, Hg, and Cr in Salmophasia bacaila and Mystus cavasius from the Yamuna River exceeded WHO/FAO permissible limits. In water samples, the predominant heavy metal sequences were Pb > Cu > Zn > Cr > Cd > Hg for the Ganga River and Cr > Zn > Pb > Cu > Cd > Hg for the Yamuna River, with Pb, Cr, Zn, and Cd surpassing WHO standards. Sediment analysis revealed varying heavy metal compositions, with Zn > Cr > Pb > Cu > Cd > Hg in the Ganga River and Cr > Zn > Pb > Cu > Cd > Hg in the Yamuna River. While drinking water and fish from the Ganga River were deemed safe for consumption, those from the Yamuna River were not. Given the toxic nature of heavy metals and their detrimental health impacts, regular monitoring and effective management strategies are imperative.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

Similar content being viewed by others

Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to privacy or ethical restrictions.


  • AbdAllah, A. T., & Moustafa, M. A. (2002). Accumulation of lead and cadmium in the marine prosobranch Nerita saxtilis, chemical analysis, light and electron microscopy. Environmental Pollution, 116, 185–191.

  • Abou-Arab, A. A. K., Ayesh, A. M., Amra, H. A., & Naguib, K. (1996). Characteristic levels of some pesticides and heavy metals in imported fish. Food Chemistry, 57(4), 487–492.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Adhikari, S., Ghosh, L., & Ayyappan, S. (2006). Combined effects of water pH and alkalinity on the accumulation of lead, cadmium and chromium to Labeo rohita (Hamilton). International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology, 3, 289–296.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ahmed, M. K., Shaheen, N., Islam, M. S., Habibullah-al-Mamun, M., Islam, S., Mohiduzzaman, M., & Bhattacharjee, L. (2015). Dietary intake of trace elements from highly consumed cultured fish (Labeo rohita, Pangasius pangasius and Oreochromis mossambicus) and human health risk implications in Bangladesh. Chemosphere, 128, 284–292.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ajima, M. N. O., Nnodi, P. C., Ogo, O. A., Adaka, G. S., Osuigwe, D. I., & Njoku, D. C. (2015). Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in Mbaa River and the impact on aquatic ecosystem. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 187, 1–9.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Al-Busaidi, M., Yesudhason, P., Al-Mughairi, S., Al-Rahbi, W. A. K., Al-Harthy, K. S., Al-Mazrooei, N. A., & Al-Habsi, S. H. (2011). Toxic metals in commercial marine fish in Oman with reference to national and international standards. Chemosphere, 85(1), 67–73.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Allen, J. R. L. & Rae, J. E. (1986). Time sequence of metal pollution, Severn Estuary, southwestern UK. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 17(9), 427–431.

  • Antoniadis, V., & Alloway, B. J. (2001). Availability of Cd, Ni and Zn to ryegrass in sewage sludge-treated soils at different temperatures. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 132, 201–214.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • APHA. (2012). Standard methods of water and wastewater analysis (22th ed.). American Public Health Association.

  • Asim, M., & Nageswara Rao, K. (2021). Assessment of heavy metal pollution in Yamuna River, Delhi-NCR, using heavy metal pollution index and GIS. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 193(2), 103.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bhatti, Z. I., Ishtiaq, M., Khan, S. A., Nawab, J., Ghani, J., Ullah, Z., ... & Khan, A. (2022). Contamination level, source identification and health risk assessment of potentially toxic elements in drinking water sources of mining and non-mining areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Journal of Water and Health, 20(9), 1343–1363.

  • Brraich, O. S., & Jangu, S. (2012). Scales of fish Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus) as heavy metal pollution indicator in Harike wetland (Ramsar site). Trends in Fisheries Research, 3, 5–8.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burger, J., & Gochfeld, M. (2005). Heavy metals in commercial fish in New Jersey. Environmental Research, 99(3), 403–412.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). (2006). Annual report 2005–06. Central Pollution Control Board, Government of India.

  • Chabukdhara, M., & Nema, A. K. (2012). Assessment of heavy metal contamination in Hindon River sediments: A chemometric and geochemical approach. Chemosphere, 87(8), 945–953.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chang, S. I., & Reinfelder, J. R. (2000). Bioaccumulation, subcellular distribution, and trophic transfer of copper in a coastal marine diatom. Environmental Science & Technology, 34(23), 4931–4935.

  • Chattopadhyay, B., Chatterjee, A., & Mukhopadhyay, S. K. (2002). Bioaccumulation of metals in the East Calcutta wetland ecosystem. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management, 5(2), 191–203.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chen, Y. C., & Chen, M. H. (2001). Heavy metal concentrations in nine species of fishes caught in coastal waters off Ann-Ping, SW Taiwan. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, 9(2), 9.

  • Dakshini, K. M. M., & Soni, J. K. (1982). Diatom distribution and status of organic pollution in sewage drains. Hydrobiologia, 87, 205–209.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Duman, F., Aksoy, A., & Demirezen, D. (2007). Seasonal variability of heavy metals in surface sediment of Lake Sapanca, Turkey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 133, 277–283.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dwivedi, A., Tripathi, A., Mishra, A., & Trivedi, S. P. (2020). Heavy metal pollution in the Ganges River basin: An assessment of sources and their effects. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 192(6), 364.

    Google Scholar 

  • El-Serafy, S., Abdel-Hameid, N. A., & El-Daly, A. (2009). Histological and histochemical alterations induced by phenol exposure in Oreochromis aureus (Steindachner, 1864) juveniles. Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, 13(2), 151–172.

  • FAO/WHO (Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization). (2004). Summary of Evaluations Performed by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA 1956–2003), (first through sixty-first meetings). ILSI Press International Life Sciences Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Farago, M. E., Mehra, A., & Banerjee, D. K. (1989). A preliminary investigation of pollution in the River Yamuna, Delhi, India: Metal concentrations in river bank soils and plants. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 11, 149–156.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Fernandez-Leborans, G., & Herrero, Y. O. (2000). Toxicity and bioaccumulation of lead and cadmium in marine protozoan communities. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 47(3), 266–276.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Figueiredo-Fernandes, A., Fontaínhas-Fernandes, A., Rocha, E., & Reis-Henriques, M. A. (2006). The effect of paraquat on hepatic EROD activity, liver, and gonadal histology in males and females of Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, exposed at different temperatures. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 51, 626–632.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Fischer, J. (Ed.). (2013). Fish identification tools for biodiversity and fisheries assessments: Review and guidance for decision-makers (107 pp.). FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 585. FAO.

  • Giri, S., Singh, A. K., & Mahato, M. K. (2017). Metal contamination of agricultural soils in the copper mining areas of Singhbhum shear zone in India. Journal of Earth System Science, 126(4), 49.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gogoi, A., Taki, K., & Kumar, M. (2020). Seasonal dynamics of metal phase distributions in the perennial tropical (Brahmaputra) river: Environmental fate and transport perspective. Environmental Research, 183, 109265.

  • Gupta, V. (2020). Vehicle-generated heavy metal pollution in an urban environment and its distribution into various environmental components. Environmental Concerns and Sustainable Development: Volume 1: Air, Water and Energy Resources, 113–127.

  • Haritonidis, S., & Malea, P. (1995). Seasonal and local variation of Cr, Ni and Co concentrations in Ulva rigida C. Agardh and Enteromorpha linza (Linnaeus) from Thermaikos Gulf, Greece. Environmental Pollution, 89(3), 319–327.

  • Hayat, S., Javed, M., and Razzaq, S. (2007). Growth performance of metal stressed major carps viz. Catlacatla, Labeorohita and Cirrhinamrigala reared under semiintensive culture system. Pakistan Veterinary Journal, 27(1), 8–12.

  • Huang, M., Zhou, S., Sun, B., & Zhao, Q. (2008). Heavy metals in wheat grain: Assessment of potential health risk for inhabitants in Kunshan, China. Science of the Total Environment, 405(1–3), 54–61.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jain, C. K., & Sharma, M. K. (2006). Heavy metal transport in the Hindon river basin, India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 112, 255–270.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jayaram, K. C. (1981). The freshwater fishes of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and Srilanka. A handbook (475 pp.). Zoological Survey of India.

  • Joshi, D. M., Kumar, A., & Agrawal, N. (2009). Assessment of the irrigation water quality of river Ganga in Haridwar district. Rasayan Journal of Chemistry, 2(2), 285–292.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kalay, M., Ay, Ö., & Canli, M. (1999). Heavy metal concentrations in fish tissues from the Northeast Mediterranean Sea. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 63, 673–681.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kamboj, N., & Kamboj, V. (2019). Water quality assessment using overall index of pollution in riverbed-mining area of Ganga-River Haridwar, India. Water Science, 33(1), 65–74.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kargin, F. (1996). Seasonal changes in levels of heavy metals in tissues of Mullus barbatus and Sparus aurata collected from Iskenderun Gulf (Turkey). Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 90, 557–562.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Karri, V., Schuhmacher, M., & Kumar, V. (2016). Heavy metals (Pb, Cd, As and MeHg) as risk factors for cognitive dysfunction: A general review of metal mixture mechanism in brain. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, 48, 203–213.

  • Khan, A. S., Anavkar, A., Ali, A., Patel, N., & Alim, H. (2021). A review on current status of riverine pollution in India. Biosciences Biotechnology Research Asia, 18(1), 9–22.

  • Krishna, P. V., Jyothirmayi, V., & Rao, K. M. (2014). Human health risk assessment of heavy metal accumulation through fish consumption, from Machilipatnam Coast, Andhra Pradesh, India. Journal Issues ISSN, 2360, 8803.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kumar, S., & Saxena, A. (2021). Evaluation of heavy metals in sediment, water and Macrophyte (Eicchornea crassipes) of Yamuna River at Delhi. International Journal of Chemical Studies 9, 3552–3556.

  • Kumar, D., Malik, D. S., Kumar, N., Gupta, N., & Gupta, V. (2020). Spatial changes in water and heavy metal contamination in water and sediment of river Ganga in the river belt Haridwar to Kanpur. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 42, 2059–2079.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kumar, A., Saxena, P., & Kisku, G. C. (2023). Heavy metal contamination of surface water and bed-sediment quality for ecological risk assessment of Gomti River, India. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 37(8), 3243–3260.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee, C. S., Li, X. D., Zhang, G., Li, J., Ding, A. J., & Wang, T. (2007). Heavy metals and Pb isotopic composition of aerosols in urban and suburban areas of Hong Kong and Guangzhou, South China—evidence of the long-range transport of air contaminants. Atmospheric Environment, 41(2), 432–447.

  • Li, L., Gou, M., Wang, N., Ma, W., Xiao, W., Liu, C., & La, L. (2021). Landscape configuration mediates hydrology and nonpoint source pollution under climate change and agricultural expansion. Ecological Indicators, 129, 107959.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lowe, T. P., May, T. W., Brumbaugh, W. G., & Kane, D. A. (1985). National contaminant biomonitoring program: Concentrations of seven elements in freshwater fish, 1978–1981. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 14, 363–388.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Maceda-Veiga, A., Monroy, M., & de Sostoa, A. (2012). Metal bioaccumulation in the Mediterranean barbel (Barbus meridionalis) in a Mediterranean River receiving effluents from urban and industrial wastewater treatment plants. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 76, 93–101.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Malik, D., Singh, S., Thakur, J., Singh, R. K., Kaur, A., & Nijhawan, S. (2014). Heavy metal pollution of the Yamuna River: An introspection. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences, 3(10), 856–863.

    Google Scholar 

  • Malik, R. N., Zeb, N., & Younas, M. (2018). Assessment of heavy metals contamination and human health risk in urban soils of Bannu District, Pakistan. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 24(3), 702–715.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mandal, P., Upadhyay, R., & Hasan, A. (2010). Seasonal and spatial variation of Yamuna River water quality in Delhi, India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 170, 661–670.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mason, C. F. (2002). Biology of freshwater pollution. Pearson Education Ltd. Essex (p. 38).

  • Maurya, P. K., Malik, D. S., Yadav, K. K., Kumar, A., Kumar, S., & Kamyab, H. (2019). Bioaccumulation and potential sources of heavy metal contamination in fish species in River Ganga basin: Possible human health risks evaluation. Toxicology Reports, 6, 472–481.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • McIntosh, A. (2020). Trace metals in freshwater sediments: a review of the literature and an assessment of research needs. In Metal ecotoxicology concepts and applications (pp. 243–260).

  • Mishra, V. K., Tripathi, B. D., & Kim, K. H. (2009). Removal and accumulation of mercury by aquatic macrophytes from an open cast coal mine effluent. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 172(2–3), 749–754.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nanda, S., & Berruti, F. (2021). A technical review of bioenergy and resource recovery from municipal solid waste. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 403, 123970.

  • Nawab, J., Ghani, J., Rehman, S. A. U., Idress, M., Luqman, M., Khan, S., ... & Rahman, Z. (2022). Biomonitoring of mercury in water, sediments, and fish (brown and rainbow trout) from remote alpine lakes located in the Himalayas, Pakistan. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 29(53), 81021–81036.

  • Nazir, R., Khan, M., Masab, M., Rehman, H. U., Rauf, N. U., Shahab, S., ... & Shaheen, Z. (2015). Accumulation of heavy metals (Ni, Cu, Cd, Cr, Pb, Zn, Fe) in the soil, water and plants and analysis of physico-chemical parameters of soil and water collected from Tanda Dam Kohat. Journal of pharmaceutical sciences and research, 7(3), 89.

  • Nziku, A., & Namkinga, L. (2013). Heavy metal pollution in the receiving environment of the University of Dar Es Salaam waste stabilization ponds. Journal of Biology and Life Science, 4(1), 205–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Papagiannis, I., Kagalou, I., Leonardos, J., Petridis, D., & Kalfakakou, V. (2004). Copper and zinc in four freshwater fish species from Lake Pamvotis (Greece). Environment International, 30(3), 357–362.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pattee, O., & Pain, D. (2003). Lead in the environment. In D. J. Hoffman, B. A. Rattner, G. A. Burton Jr., & J. Cairns Jr. (Eds.) Handbook of ecotoxicology (2nd ed., pp. 373–408). CRC Press.

  • Pillai, M. K. K. (1986). Pesticide pollution of soil, water and air in Delhi area, India. Science of the Total Environment, 55, 321–327.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rai, U. N., Prasad, D., Verma, S., Upadhyay, A. K., & Singh, N. K. (2012). Biomonitoring of metals in Ganga water at different ghats of Haridwar: Implications of constructed wetland for sewage detoxification. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 89, 805–810.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rai, U. N., Upadhyay, A. K., Singh, N. K., Dwivedi, S., & Tripathi, R. D. (2015). Seasonal applicability of horizontal sub-surface flow constructed wetland for trace elements and nutrient removal from urban wastes to conserve Ganga River water quality at Haridwar, India. Ecological Engineering, 81, 115–122.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rajeshkumar, S., Liu, Y., Ma, J., Duan, H. Y., & Li, X. (2017). Effects of exposure to multiple heavy metals on biochemical and histopathological alterations in common carp, Cyprinus carpio L. Fish & Shellfish Immunology, 70, 461–472.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ratn, A., Prasad, R., Awasthi, Y., Kumar, M., Misra, A., & Trivedi, S. P. (2018). Zn2+ induced molecular responses associated with oxidative stress, DNA damage and histopathological lesions in liver and kidney of the fish, Channa punctatus (Bloch, 1793). Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 151, 10–20.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rauf, A., Javed, M., & Ubaidullah, M. (2009). Heavy metal levels in three major carps (Catla catla, Labeo rohita and Cirrhina mrigala) from the River Ravi, Pakistan. Pakistan Veterinary Journal, 29(1), 24–26.

  • Roméo, M., Siau, Y., Sidoumou, Z., & Gnassia-Barelli, M. (1999). Heavy metal distribution in different fish species from the Mauritania coast. Science of the Total Environment, 232(3), 169–175.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rubalingeswari, N., Thulasimala, D., Giridharan, L., Gopal, V., Magesh, N. S., & Jayaprakash, M. (2021). Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in water, sediment, and tissues of major fisheries from Adyar estuary, southeast coast of India: An ecotoxicological impact of a metropolitan city. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 163, 111964.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sahu, Y. K., Patel, K. S., Martín-Ramos, P., Rudzińska, M., Górnaś, P., Towett, E. K., ... & Tarkowska-Kukuryk, M. (2020). Algal characterization and bioaccumulation of trace elements from polluted water. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 192, 1–16.

  • Sani, H. A., Tsafe, A. I., Bagudo, B. U., & Itodo, A. U. (2011). Toxic metals uptake by spinach (Spinacea oleracea) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa) cultivated in sokoto: A comparative study. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 10(6), 572–576.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sarkar, S. K., Cabral, H., Chatterjee, M., Cardoso, I., Bhattacharya, A. K., Satpathy, K. K., & Alam, M. A. (2008). Biomonitoring of heavy metals using the bivalve molluscs in Sunderban mangrove wetland, northeast coast of Bay of Bengal (India): possible risks to human health. CLEAN–Soil, Air, Water36(2), 187–194.

  • Sauliutė, G., & Svecevičius, G. (2015). Heavy metal interactions during accumulation via direct route in fish: A review. Zoology and Ecology, 25(1), 77–86.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shakir, H. A., Qazi, J. I., Chaudhry, A. S., & Ali, S. (2015). Metal bioaccumulation levels in different organs of three edible fish species from the river Ravi, Pakistan. International Journal of Aquatic Biology, 3(3), 135–148.

  • Sharma, R. K., Agrawal, M., & Marshall, F. (2007). Heavy metal contamination of soil and vegetables in suburban areas of Varanasi, India. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 66(2), 258–266.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sharma, J. K., Kumar, N., Singh, N. P., & Santal, A. R. (2023). Phytoremediation technologies and their mechanism for removal of heavy metal from contaminated soil: An approach for a sustainable environment. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14, 1076876.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Siddiqui, E., & Pandey, J. (2019). Assessment of heavy metal pollution in water and surface sediment and evaluation of ecological risks associated with sediment contamination in the Ganga River: A basin-scale study. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 26, 10926–10940.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, M. (2001). Heavy metal pollution in freshly deposited sediments of the Yamuna River (the Ganges River tributary): A case study from Delhi and Agra urban centres, India. Environmental Geology, 40, 664–671.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, A. K., & Lakara, W. S. (2011). Risk and benefit assessment of alien fish species of the aquaculture and trade into India. Reviews in Aquaculture, 3, 3–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, K. P., Malik, A., Sinha, S., Singh, V. K., & Murthy, R. C. (2005). Estimation of source of heavy metal contamination in sediments of Gomti River (India) using principal component analysis. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 166, 321–341.

  • Singh, N. K., Raghubanshi, A. S., Upadhyay, A. K., & Rai, U. N. (2016). Arsenic and other heavy metal accumulation in plants and algae growing naturally in contaminated area of West Bengal, India. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 130, 224–233.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, G., Sinam, G., Kriti, Pandey, M., Kumari, B., & Kulsoom, M. (2020). Soil pollution by fluoride in India: distribution, chemistry and analytical methods. Environmental Concerns and Sustainable Development: Volume 2: Biodiversity, Soil and Waste Management, 307–324.

  • Spry, D. J., & Wiener, J. G. (1991). Metal bioavailability and toxicity to fish in low-alkalinity lakes: A critical review. Environmental Pollution, 71(2–4), 243–304.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sun, R., Luo, X., Tang, B., Chen, L., Liu, Y., & Mai, B. (2017). Bioaccumulation of short chain chlorinated paraffins in a typical freshwater food web contaminated by e-waste in south china: Bioaccumulation factors, tissue distribution, and trophic transfer. Environmental Pollution, 222, 165–174.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Tiwari, A., Dwivedi, A. C., & Mayank, P. (2016). Time scale changes in the water quality of the Ganga River, India and estimation of suitability for exotic and hardy fishes. Hydrology Current Research, 7(3), 254.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Tüzen, M. (2003). Determination of heavy metals in fish samples of the middle Black Sea (Turkey) by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. Food Chemistry, 80(1), 119–123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Venkatesharaju, K., Ravikumar, P., Somashekar, R. K., & Prakash, K. L. (2010). Physico-chemical and bacteriological investigation on the river Cauvery of Kollegal stretch in Karnataka. Kathmandu University Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology, 6(1), 50–59.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walse, C., Berg, B., & Sverdrup, H. (1998). Review and synthesis of experimental data on organic matter decomposition with respect to the effect of temperature, moisture, and acidity. Environmental Reviews, 6(1), 25–40.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, L., Guo, Z., Xiao, X., Chen, T., Liao, X., Song, J., & Wu, B. (2008). Heavy metal pollution of soils and vegetables in the midstream and downstream of the Xiangjiang River, Hunan Province. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 18, 353–362.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weber, P., Behr, E. R., Knorr, C. D. L., Vendruscolo, D. S., Flores, E. M., Dressler, V. L., & Baldisserotto, B. (2013). Metals in the water, sediment, and tissues of two fish species from different trophic levels in a subtropical Brazilian river. Microchemical Journal, 106, 61–66.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • World Health Organization. (2008). Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality: Incorporating First and Second Addenda (Vol. 1). World Health Organization.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yi, Y., Yang, Z., & Zhang, S. (2011). Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in sediment and human health risk assessment of heavy metals in fishes in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin. Environmental Pollution, 159(10), 2575–2585.

  • Yılmaz, F., Özdemir, N., Demirak, A., & Tuna, A. L. (2007). Heavy metal levels in two fish species Leuciscus cephalus and Lepomis gibbosus. Food Chemistry, 100(2), 830–835.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, X. Y., Lin, F. F., Wong, M. T., Feng, X. L., & Wang, K. (2009). Identification of soil heavy metal sources from anthropogenic activities and pollution assessment of Fuyang County, China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 154, 439–449.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, S., Chen, B., Du, J., Wang, T., Shi, H., & Wang, F. (2022). Distribution, assessment, and source of heavy metals in sediments of the Qinjiang River, China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(15), 9140.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zhou, Q., Yang, N., Li, Y., Ren, B., Ding, X., Bian, H., & Yao, X. (2020). Total concentrations and sources of heavy metal pollution in global river and lake water bodies from 1972 to 2017. Global Ecology and Conservation, 22, e00925.

Download references


The authors are thankful to the Head of Department, Department of Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and Department of Fisheries Resource Management, College of Fisheries, Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar, for heavy metals analysis in and sample digestion their laboratories. The author is also very grateful to the Advisor and all committee teem for their valuable suggestions and guidance during the whole research period.


The author(s) reveal the beneficiary of the financial assistance for this research work. This work was supported by the fellowship received by the corresponding author from Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



Sumit Kumar: Conceptualization, Resources, Methodology, Data Curation, Writing—Original Draft, Writing—Review & Editing; Amita Saxena: Writing, Formal Analysis, Validation, Visualization. R K Srivatava: Writing, Data Curation, Data Analysis, Resources, Validation, S B Singh: Visualization, Resources, Data Curation, Formal analysis. R N Ram Resources, Data Curation, Formal analysis; Parvaiz Ahmad Ganie: Data Curation, Resources, Visualization, Formal analysis, Review & Editing; Ravindra Posti: Writing, Resources, Formal analysis; Nityanand Pandey: Writing, Investigation, Supervision, Data Curation, Investigation.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sumit Kumar.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Competing interest

No, I declare that the authors have no competing interests as defined by Springer, or other interests that might be perceived to influence the results and/or discussion reported in this paper.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kumar, S., Saxena, A., Srivastava, R.K. et al. Composition of heavy metals in sediment, water, and fish of the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers in two major cities of India. Environ Monit Assess 196, 612 (2024).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: