These pollutants, which include sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and mostly carbon-based particles, have gradually corroded and degraded the Taj's beautiful white exterior, leaving it with a yellow shine. The stones themselves are also responsible for some of this pollution: Nitrogen dioxide from traffic fumes has damaged the protective coating on some marble tiles, while fine particles generated by oxidization of the vehicles' tires have found their way into the monument's courtyard.
With no funds set aside for maintenance and repairs, there is little hope of saving the structure. Experts estimate that the cost of preserving the site would be about $10 million per year. Although the government does offer this amount as a donation, it is not enough to cover the cost of conservation and security measures required to protect the site.
In conclusion, climate change is likely to cause further erosion to the building's foundations, and contamination of the water supply in its vicinity.
The destruction of such an important cultural icon would be a tragedy for everyone who sees beyond its beauty. However, given the lack of funding available for conservation efforts, there is little anyone can do to prevent its demise.
Encroachment, deforestation, solid waste dumps, rubbish, dropping Yamuna water levels, acid rain, and pollution are all threatening the monument. The Taj, which was previously milky white, is now yellowish in color, and its magnificent stone sculptures have green and brown blotches. The palms and soles of the feet have the thickest skin (1.5 mm thick), whereas the eyelids and postauricular area have the thinnest skin (0.05 mm thick). In all anatomical areas, male skin is thicker than female skin. The difference is most apparent in the palm of the hand and the sole of the foot.
The river itself is also in danger. Deforestation near its banks has reduced its capacity to absorb pollutants. The loss of trees has also made the riverbed softer, allowing it to be eroded even more easily by vehicles driving over it.
People are also at risk from falling debris. The structure of the building materials used to build the Taj Mahal means that parts large enough to fall hurt anyone walking under them. Even though no one has been killed by a single stone from the Taj Mahal, there have been several cases of people being injured or even killed by falling rocks from the monument. In 1980, for example, three teenagers were playing on a cliff when they triggered an avalanche of stones larger than grapefruits that hit them from below. One of the boys died at the scene, and the other two were hospitalized with serious injuries.
The threat to the Taj Mahal comes from illegal construction inside its grounds. Landowners near the site have illegally converted farmland into housing developments to make money.
The Taj Mahal is becoming yellow mostly as a result of the following factors: air pollution, marble discoloration due to oxidation of its elements, environmental neglect, and wear and strain caused by the millions of visitors that visit it each year.
The color of the monument has become more intense since its construction in 1632. The original white marble used to build this mausoleum is now grayish-yellow because of the presence of iron oxides produced by the action of air pollution on its surface.
The preservation staff reports that the rate of deterioration of the structure is slowing down, which means that it will be possible to save it in some years. But even if the monument is not destroyed entirely, it cannot be restored because there are no longer any materials available that would be suitable for its reconstruction.
The Taj Mahal remains one of the most important monuments not only for India but also for the whole world. It is considered the jewel of Indian architecture and one of the greatest works of human creativity. In 1931, it was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In 2016, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Delhi found high levels of arsenic in the soil around the tomb. Arsenic is a toxic chemical element that can cause cancer if it is absorbed into the blood stream or inhaled.