Heavy Metal Pollution and its Management: Bioremediation of Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal Pollution and its Management: Bioremediation of Heavy Metal

Ashok K. Rathoure (Vardan Environet Guargaon, India)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9734-8.ch002
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Abstract

Environmental degradation has become a major societal issue thanks to uncontrolled anthropogenic activity, besides natural factors. Entry of toxic heavy metals and minerals in human system mainly through contaminated water, food and air, leads to overt and insidious health problems. Heavy metal pollution, a global concern today, can be managed by using bioremediation, an eco-friendly alternative. Bioremediation is one of the most promising technological approaches to the problem of hazardous waste. It is a technology for removing pollution from environment, restoring contaminated site and preventing future pollution. Bioremediation can be performed in situ or ex situ. Microorganisms directly degrade contaminants rather than merely transferring them from one medium to another, employ metabolic degradation pathways and can be used in situ to minimize disturbance of the cleanup site. Hence, microorganisms can be effective, economical and non-disruptive tools for eliminating hazardous chemicals. Its advantage generally outweigh the disadvantage, therefore may be used as management tool.
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2. Waste And Its Type

Waste is an unavoidable by product of most human activity. Waste can be, in the form of solid or liquid, posed the harmful nuisance. Most solid waste is either sent to landfills or to incinerators. Ocean dumping has also been a popular way for coastal communities to dispose of their solid wastes in which large barges carry waste out to sea and dump it into the ocean. Most municipal and non municipal waste is sent to landfills. Landfills are popular because they are relatively easy to operate and can handle of lot of waste material. There are two types of landfills, sanitary landfills and secure landfills. Each day after garbage is dumped in the landfill, it is covered with clay or plastic to prevent redistribution by animals or the wind. In natural system, there is no such thing as waste. Everything flows in a natural cycle of use and reuse. Living organisms consume materials and eventually return them to the environment, usually in a different form, for reuse. Solid waste refers to a variety of discarded materials, not liquid or gas that is deemed useless or worthless. However, what is worthless to one person may be of value to someone else and solid wastes can be considered to be misplaced resources. Solid wastes are all the waste arising from human and animal activities that are normally solid waste and that are discarded as useless or unwanted. The term is all inclusive and it encompasses the heterogeneous mass of throwaways from the urban community as well as the homogeneous accumulations of agricultural, industrial and mineral wastes (USAID, 2004; Rajor & Kunal, 2011).

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