CHAPTER 3: Detrimental Effects of Industrial Wastewater on the Environment and Health
Published:18 Nov 2021
N. Chauhan, S. Gola, Surabhi, S. Sharma, S. Khantwal, R. Mehrotra, ... D. Gola, in Biological Treatment of Industrial Wastewater, ed. M. P. Shah, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021, pp. 40-52.
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With an increase in the discharge of contaminated wastewater from point and non-point/diffuse sources, a great burden has been inflicted upon the environment. Although treatment systems are available for industry, due to the high cost, inadequate/untreated wastewater is discharged directly into near-by water sources. Major contaminants, such as heavy metals, dyes, pesticides, antibiotics, endocrine disrupting compounds and microplastics etc. are posing a risk to aquatic and human life. Studies have highlighted a decrease in the levels of dissolved oxygen, biomagnification of toxic components and increased nutrient content (leading to eutrophication) in receiving water bodies. Further, irrigation with contaminated water cause many negative effects, especially on soil properties i.e. low carbon mineralization, low microbial biomass, poor enzyme activities and change in soil pH and cation exchange capacity (CEC). In humans, severe side effects, including neurotoxicity, mutations, cancer and disruption of endocrine and reproductive systems has been reported. This chapter summarizes the detrimental effects of various contaminants on environment and human health.