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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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        Abstract - Issue Jul 2010, 31 (4)                                                                                                             Back

Abstract _15

Ecotoxicological characterization of tannery wastewater in Dhaka, Bangladesh


C.R. Arias-Barreiro1, H. Nishizaki1, K. Okubo2, I. Aoyama1 and I.C. Mori*1

1Research Institute for Bioresources, Okayama University, Kurashiki - 710-0046, Japan

2Graduate School of Environmental Science, Okayama University, Okayama - 700-8530, Japan

(Received: November 19, 2008; Revised received: May 22, 2009; Accepted: June 27, 2009)


Abstract: Tanning industries are one of the main economic activities in Bangladesh. It has been well documented that wastewater discharged from tanneries without appropriate treatment results in detrimental effects on the ecosystem. No ecotoxicity evaluation of any aquatic environment in Bangladesh has been conducted so far. In this study, a battery of toxicity bioassays and chemical analysis were carried out from water samples obtained from three sampling points: upstream from discharging site on River Buriganga (S1), raw wastewater effluent (S2), and downstream the discharging sluice gate (S3), in the Hazaribagh tannery area of Dhaka City, Bangladesh. While S1 and S3 water samples did not show significant toxicity in the bioassays tested, S2 exhibited high acute toxicity to the bacterium Vibrio fischeri (15-min Microtox test, EC50 = 9.8%), the higher plant Lactuca sativa (5-day root elongation inhibition test, EC50 = 14.2%), and the microcrustacean Daphnia magna (24-hour mobility test, EC50 = 31.5%). The results suggested that the raw wastewater effluent had detrimental effects on broad spectrum of organisms in the aquatic ecosystem and bacterium was the most sensitive. The chemical analysis revealed that sample S2 contained an extremely high concentration of chromium (47 g l-1). Additionally, microbiological analysis indicated that the sampling area is impacted by fecal pollution, increasing the environmental health risk for its inhabitants.

Key words: Buriganga River, Ecotoxicity, Chromium tanning

PDF of full length paper is available online



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