Lubna Shakir

Chemical, Microbiological And Toxicological Screening Of Tannery Effluent Wastewater - 2012

Over the last decade or so the chromium based tanning industry has shown rapid growth in Pakistan. However the rule and regulations promulgated by the government are not strictly followed for the processing of effluent discharged by the tanneries. Consequently tannery effluents have become a great source of water pollution in surrounding area. This project was designed to evaluate the hazardous effects of tannery effluent wastewater (TEW) through various bioassays.

During the first phase of the project, composition of the TEW samples was determined by PIXE analysis. Besides this, we have also investigated the impact of TEW on trace element content of ground water in Kasur tannery area. The ground water from shallow tubewells (100 to 300 ft) in the area has shown very high content of chromium while the ground water from the deeper tubewells (upto 600 ft) generally does not contain the toxic elements except for one outlet of the water supplied by the Muncipal Corporation. This could be due to corroded pipes in the tannery area.

Microbial load was determined during second phase of this research project by viable count method. The detected viable count was 7.5 X 104 to 3.0 X 107CFU/ml. Various strains of chromium tolerant bacilli were isolated and they were found tolerant up to 2600 µg/ml supplemented chromium sulphate.

During the third phase of this research plan, dilutions of TEW were evaluated for their effects on angiogenesis using CAM assay. TEWD1 and potassium dichromate were found highly anti-angiogenic. Moreover, dilutions of TEW and potassium dichromate have demonstrated significant toxicity when assessed through marine shrimps mortality assay and phytotoxiciy assasy.

Chronic toxicity study on Wistar rats was conducted in the last phase. Chronic exposure of TEW for three months to rats leads to the development of various lesions in lung, liver, kidney and heart of rats.

In short, TEW and contaminated ground water of Kasur is imposing a great threat not only to local inhabitants of the city but also to the population of far distance.

Department of Pharmaoclogy & Toxicology
Phd. thesis


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