Impact of Pharmaceutical and Mining Industrial Wastes on Natural Reservoirs in Goa and Its Microbial-Based Solution

Impact of Pharmaceutical and Mining Industrial Wastes on Natural Reservoirs in Goa and Its Microbial-Based Solution

Mohammad Raeesh Shekh (National Innovation Foundation (NIF), India), Mohammad Nasir Ahemad (National Innovation Foundation (NIF), India) and Pawan Kumar Singh (National Innovation Foundation (NIF), India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3126-5.ch005


Table salt is essential for metabolism of human being. These salt crystals are produced in saltpans of high salinity natural reservoirs, affiliated to sea water through evaporation process. Arabian Sea makes its boundary with Goa as its western coast helps in salt production. The pharmaceutical and acid mine drainage generated by nearly located iron mines are continuously destructing the natural reservoirs, agricultural lands, flora and fauna. Local people are affected by the muddy water, passing trucks with mined minerals into their farms or agricultural land and continuously decreasing the fertility of the soil. The aim of this chapter is to focus on the present scenario of the ecosystem, salt pans and flora and fauna in relation to pharmaceutical and mining waste and impact of this pollution on local people. Microbial based monitoring and cleanup strategy of the present polluted bodies, are also discussed in this chapter.
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Man-made activities are the major cause of pollution on the planet earth, either that might be beneficial or harmful for the society. Natural reservoirs of the earth are continuously affected by or by the result of the activities of human being. The adverse impact of these activities is reflecting in the form of natural calamities on the earth, loss of flora and fauna from the ecosystems, several life-threatening diseases, rise in temperature etc. On the other hand, we can say that above effects are the impact of globalization or abruptly use of natural resources for human welfare.

Goa, a smallest state of India is famous for its tourism, especially for beaches, sun and sand. Billions in revenue is generated per year based on Goa’s tourism industry. Most of the pharmaceutical industries are also located here due to ease of transport of raw materials and manufactured product, its geographical location and positive government attitude. Most of these industries located near Mandovi or Zuari River talukas, are continuously discharging pharmaceutical wastes in the nearby river bodies or agricultural lands directly or indirectly.

Pharmaceutical waste is the combination of different stuffs associated with pharmaceutical industry and hospital based waste like different drug wastes; incomplete; unused or expired drugs; nutritional supplements; diagnostic agents; rejected bottles and cans; foils, papers and veterinary drugs; including most of the unsealed syrups, drops, tablets, capsules, ointments, syringes, glass items and other items used for cleaning the hospital utilities either hazardous or non-hazardous and many more. Pharmaceutical waste particularly health care or personal care products also play important role for effecting environment. It is astonished that there is not a single pharmaceutical waste treatment plant in Goa. These pharmaceuticals waste reach the environment either via urban solid garbage handling, industry waste disposal or via household wastewater. Manufacturing plants producing the active substances might be unintentionally releasing pharmaceuticals into the environment.

In India, more than 24000 pharmaceutical companies are having valid license for manufacturing drugs. Companies like Goa Antibiotics Ltd and Karnataka Antibiotics Ltd are among the few of pharmaceutical companies under the control of state governments. Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF), Government of India in 1998, prepared guidelines for handling, managing the biomedical waste since then it is known as Biomedical Waste Rules of 1998 and were amended twice in the year 2000. These rules comprise the principle of segregation treatment, and disposal of different categories of biomedical waste (MEFN, 1998).

In a recent parliamentary session on 8th February 2017, a question was raised in Lok Sabha on disposal of waste, the Minister of state in the Ministry of urban development admits that only 21.51% of waste generated per day is treated / processes in the urban areas. Whereas, only 37.6% of the sewage is treated in comparison of the sewage generation (Ministry of Urban Development, 2017), the data showed that there is an urgent need to address the situation.

The pharmaceutical waste reaches to the natural environment through excretion, either in the form of original pharmaceutical compounds, or as a derivative of that compound. Once it gets mixed in the main water bodies or soil, treatment becomes very problematic. The plants to treat the sewage or solid waste are still not designed or in existence to remove such types of pharmaceutical waste. Once these compounds flow into the river or in the neighboring water bodies it is really a hazardous situation. Not only the environment but also fertility of the soils of farms is affected by the spreading of these types of waste.

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