Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) of a Tanning Industry

  • Mwinyikione Mwinyihija


The complex nature of the pollutants (posing risks and hazards within the working tannery environment) demonstrated in this study and explained in the previous chapters, led to the development of an ecological risk assessment (ERA) associated with the tanning industry. This approach acts both as a diagnostic and remediative tool pertinent to the tanning industry. This chapter attempted to capture the impact of the tanning industry in a much more holistic manner and encompassing experiences learnt in the earlier chapters. This resulted to the development of an ecological risk assessment (ERA) to provide possible mitigating factors geared towards the tanning industry. Ecological risk assessment utilised various techniques to evaluate the probability that adverse ecological effects will occur as a result of exposure to one or more stressors. Ecological risk assessment determined and documented actual or potential effects and impacts of contaminants on ecological receptors and habitats as a basis for evaluating remedial alternatives. Therefore the main aim of this chapter was to integrate principal issues such as identifying stressors/hazards, application of biological (Bioassays) and chemical assays (to determine heavy metals, COD, BOD, and Total Phenols).


Hazardous Waste Biological Oxygen Demand Discharge Point United Nations Environment Programme Ecological Risk Assessment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Adams SM (2003) Establishing causality between environmental stressors and effects on aquatic ecosystems. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 1: 17–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anonymous (2001b) Freshwater Ecosystems, Department of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), .
  3. Anonymous (2003) Unione Nazionale Industria Conciaria. Environmental report 2003,
  4. Aloy M, Folachier A, Vulliermet B (1976) Tannery and pollution, Centre Technique Du Cuir, Lyon, France.Google Scholar
  5. Artiola JF (1996) Waste disposal, chapter 10, pp 142. In: Pepper, L.I., Gerba, P.C., Brusseau, M.L (eds.) Pollution Science, Academic Press (Elsevier Science, USA), San Diego, California, USA.Google Scholar
  6. Apajalahti JHA, Salkinoja-Salonen MS (1986) Degradation of polychlorinated phenols by Rhodococcus chlorophenolicus. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 25: 62–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Balakrishnan PA, Arunagiri A, Rao PG (2002) Ozone generation by silent electric discharge and its application in tertiary treatment of tannery effluent. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 56: 77–86.Google Scholar
  8. Balusubramanian S, Pugalenthi V, (2000) A Comparative study of the determination of sulphide in tannery wastewater by ion selective electrode (ISE) and Iodimetry. Water Res 34: 4201–4206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Beaublen S, Niriagu J, Blower D, Lawson G (1994) Chromium speciation and distribution in the Great Lakes. Environ Sci Tech 28: 730–738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bryant SE, Schultz TW (1994) Toxicological assessment of biotransformation products of pentachlorophenols: Tetrahymena population growth impairment. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 26: 299–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boyd EM, Meharg AA, Wright J, Killham K (1998) Toxicity of chlorobenzene to a lux-marked terrestrial bacterium, Pseudomonas flourescens. Environ Toxicol Chem 16: 849–856.Google Scholar
  12. Cassano A, Molinari A, Romano M, Drioli E (2001) Treatment of aqueous effluents of the leather Industry by membrane processes, a review. J Membr Sci 181: 111–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cassin MH, Lammerding AM, EC Ross W, McColl RS (1998) Quantitative risk assessment for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground beef hamburgers. International. J Food Microbiol 41: 21–44.Google Scholar
  14. Chaaban MA (1996) Source reduction hazardous waste. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on the role of engineering towards better environment. Alexandria, Egypt, December 17–20.Google Scholar
  15. Chaaban MA (2001) Hazardous waste source reduction in materials and processing technologies. J Materials Processing Technol 119: 336–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chaudri M, McGrath SP, Knight BP, Johnson DL, Jones KC (1996) Toxicity of organic compounds to the indigenous population of Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar trifolii in soil. Soil Biol Biochem 28: 1483–1487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Codex Alimentarius Commission CAC (1998) Principles and guidelines for the conduct of microbiological risk assessment (Alinorm 99/13A, Appendix II).Google Scholar
  18. Dorman CD, Brenneman KA, Melanie FS, Miller KL, James AR, Marshall MW, Foster PMD (2000) Fertility and developmental neurotoxicity effects of inhaled hydrogen sulphide in Sprague-Dawley rats. Neurotoxicol Teratol 22: 71–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Duffus JH (1993) Glossary for chemists of terms used in toxicology. Pure Appl Chem 65: 2003–2122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eary LE, Rai D (1988) Chromium removal from aqueous wastes by reduction with ferrous ion. Environ Sci Tech 22: 972–977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. EWOFFT (1992) Summary and Recommendation of the European Workshop on Freshwater Field Tests (EWOFFT), Crossland NO, Heimbach F, Hill IR, Boudou A, Leeuwangh P, Matthiessen P, Persoone G (eds) Potsdam, Germany, pp. 2–12.Google Scholar
  22. Fendorf SE, RJ Zasoski (1992) Chromium (III) oxidation by δ−MnO2: 1. Characterization. Environ Sci Tech 26: 79–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Florence MT (1989) Trace element speciation in biological systems, pp. 319. In: Batley GE (ed) trace element speciation: Analytical Methods and Problems, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.Google Scholar
  24. Gerba CP (1996) Risk Assessment chapter 22 pp. 346–355. In: Pepper LI, Gerba PC, Brusseau (eds), Pollution Science, Academic Press (Elsevier Science, USA), San Diego, California, USA.Google Scholar
  25. Germann HP (1999) Science and technology for leather into the next millennium. Tata McGraw-Hill, New Delhi. pp. 283.Google Scholar
  26. Giggleman MA, Fitzpatrick LC, Goven AJ, Venables BJ (1998) Effects of pentachlorophenol on survival of earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) and phagocytosis by their immunoactive coelomocytes. Environ Sci Tech 17: 2391–2394.Google Scholar
  27. Goel R, Minto T, Satoh H, Matsuo T (1998) Enzyme activity under anaerobic and aerobic conditions under activated sludge sequencing batch reactor. Water Res 32 (7): 2081 – 2088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hansen PD, Schwanz-Pfitzner I, und Tillmanns GM (1989) Ein Fischzellkulturtest als Ergänzungs- oder Ersatzmethode zum Fischtest. Bundesgesundheitsblatt 32(8): 343–346.Google Scholar
  29. Heitzer A, Appegate B, Kehrmeyer S, Pinkart H, Webb OF, Phelps TJ, White DC, Sayler GS (1998) Physiological considerations of environmental applications of lux reporter fusions. J Microbiol Meth 33: 45–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hewitt LM, Dubé MG, Culp JM, MacLatchy DB, Munkittrrick KR (2003) A proposed framework for investigation of cause for environmental effects monitoring, Hum Ecol Risk Assess 9 (1): 195–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hongwei Y, Zhanpeng J, Shaoqi S, Tang WZ (2002) INT-dehydrogenase activity test for assessing anaerobic biodegradability of organic compounds. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 53: 416 – 421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hulzebos EM, Adema DMM, Dirven-van Breemen EM, Henzen L, van Dis WA, Herbold HA, Hoekstra JA, Baerselman R, van Gestel CAM (1993) Phytotoxicity studies with Lactuca sativa in soil and nutrient solutions. Environ Toxicol Chem 12: 1079–1094.Google Scholar
  33. Jensen J (1996) Chlorophenols in the terrestrial environment. Rev. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 146: 25–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Johnson CA (1990) A rapid technique for the seperation and preconcentration of Cr(VI) and Cr(III) in natural waters. Anal Chim Acta 238: 273–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Khwaja AR (1998) Studies on pollution abatement of wastes from leather Industries, PhD thesis, University of Roorkee, India.Google Scholar
  36. Killham K, Staddon WJ (2002) Bioindicators and Sensors of Soil Health and the Application of Geostatistics pp 397–406. In: Burns GR, Dick RP (eds) Enzymes in the Environments; Activity, Ecology and Applications Marcel Dekker, New York.Google Scholar
  37. Krull IS, Bushee D, Savage RN, Scheleicher RG, Smith SB Jr (1982) Anal Lett 15: 267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Le Bihan Y, Lessard P (1998) Influence of operational variables on enzymatic tests applied to monitor the microbial biomass activity of a biofilter. Water Sci Tech 37 (4/5): 199 – 202.Google Scholar
  39. McGrath SP, Knight B, Killham K, Preston S, Paton GI (1999) Assessment of the toxicity of metals in soils amended with sewage sludge using a chemical speciation technique and a lux-based biosensor. Environ Toxicol Chem 18: 659–663.Google Scholar
  40. Murti KCR (1989) Health implications of hazardous wastes disposal, pp.191–196. In: Maltezou SP, Biswas AK, Sutter H (eds), Hazardous Waste Management, Tycooly, London.Google Scholar
  41. Mwinyihija M, Strachan NJC, Meharg A, Killham K (2005b) Ecological risk assessment of the Kenyan tanning industry. J Am Leather Chem Assoc 100: 380–395.Google Scholar
  42. Mwinyihija M, Strachan NJC, Dawson J, Meharg A, Killham K (2006) An ecotoxicological approach to assessing the impact of tanning industry effluent on river health. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 50: 316–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nybroe O, Jorgensen PE, Henze M (1992) Enzyme activities in wastewater and activated sludge. Water Res 26 (5): 199–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pantsar-Kallio M, Reinikainen S, Oksanen M (2001) Interactions of soil components and their effects on speciation of chromium in soils. Anal Chim Acta 439: 9–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Park J, Dec J, Kim J, Bollag J (1999) Effect of humic constituents in the transformation of chlorinated phenols and anilines in the presence of oxidoreductase enzymes or birnessite. Environ Sci Tech 33: 2028–2034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Peila U (1981) Impianto di depurazione acque reflue da trattamento di concia delle pelli, AES 3 (10): 61.Google Scholar
  47. Pezzo DL, Simone DG, Tomaselli M, Ummarino G (1980) Proposta di un ‘modello’ schematico per impianti di depurazione di acque di scarico conciarie, Cuoio, Pelli. Mat. Concianti 56 (1): 17.Google Scholar
  48. Ramasami T, Prasad BGS (1991) Environmental aspects of leather processing. Proceedings of the LEXPO–XV, Calcutta, India, pp 43.Google Scholar
  49. Ritchie JM, Cresser M,.Cotter-Howells (2001) Toxicological response of a bioluminescence microbial assay to Zn, Pb and Cu in artificial soil solution: relationship with total metal concentrations and free ion activities. Environ Pollut 144: 129–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sinclair MG (1999) Soil toxicity assessment of 2,4-DCP using lux microbial biosensors. PhD thesis, University of Aberdeen, U.K.Google Scholar
  51. Smith S, Furay VJ, Layiwola PJ, Menezes-Filho JA (1994) Evaluation of the toxicity and quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) of chlorophenols to the copepodid stage of a marine copepod (Tisbe battagliai) and two species of benthic flatfish, the flounder (Platichthys flesus) and sole (Solea solea). Chemosphere 28: 825–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sousa S, Duffy C, Weitz H., Glover AL, Bar E, Henkler R, Killham K (1998) Use of a lux-modified bacterial biosensor to identify constraints to bioremediation of BTEX-contaminated sites. Environ Toxicol Chem 17: 1039–1045.Google Scholar
  53. Stuhlfauth T (1995) Ecotoxicological monitoring of industrial effluents, chapter 14 pp. 187. In: Richardson M (ed), Environmental Toxicology Assessment, Taylor & Francis, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  54. Suter GW (1993) Ecological Risk Assessment. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.Google Scholar
  55. Scholz N, Müller FJ (1992) The riverine biocoenosis model (aquatic stair case model); A test system for determining the ecotoxicity and biodegradation under reality-approximate riverine conditions. Chemosphere 25: 563–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Thanikaivelan P, Rao RJ, Nair BU, Ramasami T (2003) Approach towards zero discharge tanning: role of concentration on the development of eco-friendly liming-reliming processes. J Clean Prod 11: 79–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. UK Habitat directives (2004) 3rd revision of habitats directives and regulations guidance.
  58. UNEP IE/PAC (1994) Tanneries and the Environment – A Technical Guide, Technical Report (2nd Print) Series No 4, ISBN 92 807 1276 4.Google Scholar
  59. USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) (1991) Methods for aquatic toxicity identification evaluations: Phase I toxicity characterisation procedures. 2nd Edition EPA/600/6-91/003. Environmental Research Laboratory, Duluth, MN, USA.Google Scholar
  60. USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) (1993a) Methods for aquatic toxicity identification evaluations: Phase II toxicity characterisation procedures. 2nd Edition EPA/600/R-92/080. Environmental Research Laboratory, Duluth, MN, USA.Google Scholar
  61. USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) (1993b) Methods for aquatic toxicity identification evaluations: Phase III toxicity characterisation procedures. 2nd Edition EPA/600/R-92/081. Environmental Research Laboratory, Duluth, MN, USA.Google Scholar
  62. USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) (1997) Marine toxicity identification evaluations (TIE): Phase I guidance document. EPA/600R92054. Environmental Research Laboratory, Duluth, MN, USA.Google Scholar
  63. USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) (1998). Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessment. EPA/630/R-95002F. Office of Water, Washington, DC, USA.Google Scholar
  64. van Beelen P, Fleuren-Kemila AK (1997) Influence of the pH on the toxic effect of zinc, cadmium, and pentachlorophenol on pure cultures of soil microorganism. Environ Toxicol Chem 16: 146-153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. van Leeuwen HP (1999) Metal speciation dynamics and bioavailability: inert and labile complexes. Environ Sci Technol 33: 3734–3748.Google Scholar
  66. Vose D (2000) Risk Analysis a Quantitative Guide, 2nd edn. Wiley, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  67. Vosey PA, Brown M (2000) Microbiological risk assessment: a new approach to food safety control. Int J Food Microbiol 58: 173–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wierenga PJ (1996) Physical processes affecting contaminant fate and transport in soil and water, chapter 5, pp. 53–54. In: Pepper LI, Gerba PC, Brusseau, ML (Eds.) Pollution Science, Academic Press (Elsevier Science, USA), San Diego, California, USA.Google Scholar
  69. Woodman JN, Cowling EB (1987) Airborne chemicals and forest health. Environ Sci 21: 120–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wiemann M, Schenk H, Hegemann W (1998) Anaerobic treatment of tannery wastewater with simultaneous sulphide elimination. Water Res 32(3): 774–780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. World Health Organisation (WHO) (1978) Principles and Methods of Evaluating the Toxicity of Chemicals, Part 1(1978). International Programme on Chemical Safety.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leather Development CouncilNairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations