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IJHSR. 2016; 6(4): 415-419

Comparative Study of Heavy Metal Contamination at Common Biomedical Waste Treatment and Disposal Sites (Incineration and Deep Burial) in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

Clyde J. Vincent, Abhishek A. P. Singh, Amar R. Supate, Nitin S. Desai.

Low level exposure to heavy metals likes, mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), Chromium (Cr), and lead (Pb) which are systemic toxicants known to induce multiple organ damage. All these elements are commonly found in biomedical waste and negligence towards improper handling and management of biomedical waste leads to heavy metal contamination. In present study soil and water samples were collected from two, Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facilities for three consecutive months. Soil and water samples were analysed for Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni), Zinc (Zn), Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb), Iron (Fe), Total Chromium (TCr), Aluminium (Al), Manganese (Mn), Arsenic (As) and Mercury (Hg) using ‘Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy’ and ‘Flow Injection Mercury System’. The levels of mercury exceeded the standard limits of 0.01-0.3 mg/kg and 0.001 mg/l in both soil and water respectively. Other elements like Pb, Cr and Cu analysed from soil were comparatively low, whereas elements like Cu, Pb, Fe, and Hg were high raw effluent (i.e. Before treatment), however, after effluent treatment levels of these elements decreased. Significantly improper segregation, management and handling of the BMW on the site have led to increase in mercury levels in effluent. Even after treatment and further reuse/disposal of treated effluent for gardening/ floor washing might have contaminated soil in the premises.

Key words: Biomedical waste, waste management, heavy metals.

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