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Genotoxicity Evaluation of Hospital Waste Waters: A Study Monitored by E.coli WP2 Assay

Preeti Gupta, P. Mathur, P. Bhatnagar

Abstract


The major sources of health-care waste are hospitals. A variety of substances such as pharmaceuticals, radionuclide and solvents are used in hospitals for medical diagnostics, disinfection and research work. After application, some of these substances and excreted non-metabolized pharmaceuticals by the patients enter into the hospital effluents. Indeed, some of these substances found in wastewaters are genotoxic and are suspected to be a possible cause of the cancers observed in the last decades. Genotoxicity tests are an excellent means to study the toxicity and the risk associated with these releases. This paper points out the areas of concern for hospital wastewater disposal and reports the findings of E. coli WP2 assay for hospital effluents from 3 major hospitals in Delhi namely All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Apollo and Escorts. Mutagenicity of hospital waste waters from Effluent Treatment Plants (before and after treatment) was studied. The results of this study shows that the genotoxicity of hospital waste waters is highly reduced after the treatment process. This study calls for establishment of similar or perhaps advanced and effective effluent treatment plants in the hospitals which are merely dumping the waste waters in the municipal sewerage system.

 

Keywords: hospital wastewater, genotoxicity, mutagenicity tests, wastewater treatment plants, effluents, E. coli WP2 test, t-test

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