Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia

Published April 27th, 2022 - 07:32 GMT

In Mosquera, Colombia, pollution in the local river has gotten so bad that toxic foam has begun to form in building-sized piles. The putrid foam forms when poorly treated or untreated sewage spills into the water. Surfactants and phosphates present in the pollution, which are also commonly found in household detergents, then cause foaming when mixed with water.

The end result is a foam ripe with chemicals and pollutants that are both damaging to the environment and anyone exposed. This foaming phenomenon occurs in other parts of the world where pollution levels are high, such as in India's Yamuna River.

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Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia

Two men stand near pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)

Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia

A man walks near pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)

Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia

Aerial view shows pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)

Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia

Trucks pass by pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)

Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia

A man and a woman stand near pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)

Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia

Cyclists ride by pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)

Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia

Aerial view shows pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)

Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Two men stand near pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
A man walks near pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Aerial view shows pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Trucks pass by pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
A man and a woman stand near pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Cyclists ride by pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)
Polluted River Produces Toxic Foam in Colombia
Aerial view shows pungent foam which formed in a polluted river and invaded the Los Puentes neighborhood, in Mosquera, west of Bogota, on April 26, 2022. (Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP)