Hospitals produce huge volumes of wastewater daily which contain a lot of toxic substances. Hence should be treated properly. Using onion (Allium cepa) root tip system, The current research work were carried out to assess the possible toxic effects of hospital effluents collected from main sewers from different hospitals, in Srinagar city, India. Before testing, Allium bulbs were kept in collected wastewater effluent for 48 hours at different concentrations. In addition, the Allium test was used to estimate DNA damage through comet assay.The results from the Allium test indicate that wastewater at 100% concentration from all the hospitals inhibits mitotic index and show schromosomal disruptions, but is not toxic at low concentration. In the comet assay, a statistical proliferation for DNA strand breaks was found only at higher concentrations of all the four samples. The samples were analysed by flame atomic absorption spectrometer for Zn, Pb, Cu, Ni, Cd and As, whose presence could somewhat be responsible for the toxicity of hospital waste water. The study revealed that the classical Allium cepa test can give a more reliable and accurate data when performed in combination with the comet assay, which is more rapid, easy and independent of mitosis. In addition, when hospital effluentmixes with the aquatic bodies, it causes serious impacts on aquatic organisms. It should be released after proper treatment into the environment in order to protect the ecosystem health from any potential adverse effects.
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