Necessity of toxicity assessment in Turkish industrial discharges (Examples from metal and textile industry effluents)


ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.73, no.1, pp.41-66, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 73 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1023/a:1012663213153
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.41-66
  • Keywords: bacteria, enrichment toxicity, fish and algae, metal and textile industry, toxicity, traditional bioassay, WASTE-WATER, AQUATIC ORGANISMS, OXIDATION, GROWTH
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Toxicity of some organic and inorganic chemicals to microorganisms is an important consideration in assessing their environmental impact against their economic benefits. Microorganisms play an important role in several environmental processes, both natural and engineered. Some organic and inorganics at toxic levels have been detected in industrial discharges resulting in plant upsets and discharge permit violations. In addition to this, even though in some cases the effluent wastewater does not exceed the discharge limits, the results of toxicity tests show potential toxicity. Toxicity knowledge of effluents can benefit treatment plant operators in optimising plant operation, setting pre-treatment standards, and protecting receiving water quality and in establishing sewer discharge permits to safeguard the plant. In the Turkish regulations only toxicity dilution factor (TDF) with fish is part of the toxicity monitoring program of permissible wastewater discharge. In various countries, laboratory studies involving the use of different organisms and protocol for toxicity assessment was conducted involving a number of discharges. In this study, it was aimed to investigate the acute toxicity of textile and metal industry wastewaters by traditional and enrichment toxicity tests and emphasize the importance of toxicity tests in wastewater discharge regulations. The enrichment toxicity tests are novel applications and give an idea whether there is potential toxicity or growth limiting and stimulation conditions. Different organisms were used such as bacteria (Floc and Coliform bacteria) algae (Chlorella sp.), fish (Lepistes sp.) and protozoan (Vorticella sp.) to represent four tropic levels. The textile industry results showed acute toxicity for at least one organism in 8 out of 23 effluent samples. Acute toxicity for at least two organisms in 7 out of 23 effluent sampling was observed for the metal industry. The toxicity test results were assessed with chemical analyses such as COD, BOD, color and heavy metals. It was observed that the toxicity of the effluents could not be explained by using physicochemical analyses in 5 cases for metal and 4 cases for the textile industries. The results clearly showed that the use of bioassay tests produce additional information about the toxicity potential of industrial discharges and effluents.