STATE TIMES NEWS
SRINAGAR: The National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar on Saturday organised a day long awareness workshop on Mercury (Hg) as a global pollutant.The event was jointly organised by Laboratory of Multifunctional Nanomaterials (LMN), NIT Srinagar in collaboration with Centre for Minamata Convention Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad.While Dr. Asif Qureshi, Professor from Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Hyderabad was the speaker of the event.The session was attended by Director NIT Srinagar, Prof. Dr. Rakesh Sehgal, Registrar NIT Prof. Kaiser Bukhari while Dr. M. A. Shah from the Physics department was the brain behind organising the workshop for the betterment of students and faculty.On the occasion, Dr. Sehgal said mercury is a global toxic pollutant and is released into the environment through a range of natural and anthropogenic sources.“It can travel long distances, bioaccumulate in food chains and cause harmful neurological and cardiovascular health effects in exposed humans and wildlife,” he said.Director NIT also appreciated the role of Dr. MA Shah for organising such informative events for the students of the country and stated that there is a major role of students in contributing towards the environment.HOD Physics, Prof P A Ganaie, while conveying his message that we need to join hands to save the environment and thanked Prof Shah for making the Department vibrant to speak on noble issues. While addressing the virtual workshop, Dr. Shah said the workshop is intended to raise awareness among general people, students and academicians in India on the historical and present aspects of mercury use and pollution.Dr. Shah said there is need of awareness about mercury as one of the major pollutant and there is need to join hands to make its minimum use and suggested that students need to find its alternative.In his keynote speech, Dr. Qureshi talked about historical use of mercury, its bioaccumulation, and how humans are exposed to it. He also gave an introduction about the Minamata Convention on mercury in which around 250 countries have signed the agreement. “The natural paths of contaminations like volcanos and forest fires and the man-made paths of contaminations like coal fired power plants, metals smelting, iron and steel factories, and waste burning,” Dr. Qureshi said.He also talked about mercury cycles in the environment and gave a brief idea about the global emissions of mercury in air, in water, and in soil.
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