Analysis of chromium status in the revegetated flora of a tannery waste site and microcosm studies using earthworm E. fetida

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Journal Article
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2018, 25 (6), pp. 5063 - 5070
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© 2017, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany. Chromium from tannery waste dump site causes significant environmental pollution affecting surrounding flora and fauna. The primary aims of this study were to survey vegetation, investigate the degree of soil pollution occurring near tannery waste dump site and make a systematic evaluation of soil contamination based on the chromium levels found in plants and earthworms from the impacted areas. This paper presents the pollution load of toxic heavy metals, and especially chromium, in 10 soil samples and 12 species of plants. Soil samples were analysed for heavy metals by using ICP-MS/ICP-OES method. Results indicated that Cr in soils exceeded soil quality guideline limits (SQGL). The total chromium present in the above ground parts of plants ranged from 1.7 mg kg−1 in Casuarina sp. to 1007 mg kg−1 in Sonchus asper. The Cr bioaccumulation in Eisenia fetida from tannery waste soil ranged from 5 to 194 mg kg−1. The high enrichment factor of Cr in S. asper and bioaccumulation factor in earthworms indicate that there is a steady increase of toxic chromium risk in this area, which could be correlated with the past dumping activity. Emphasis needs to be put on control measures of pollution and remediation techniques in such areas to achieve an ecologically sustainable industrialisation.
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