Dilution is not a way to prevent pollution. The industrial waste dumped and pumped in the nearby rivers and water bodies as well as landfills have been a serious concern of the environmentalists, scientists and the government authorities. But the regular practice of practical syllabi in the science laboratories of the educational institutions ignores the proper disposals of the waste produced.
Over the years, students regularly throw the test tube and other waste in the laboratory washbasins. In chemistry lab, these wastes always contain organic and inorganic substances which are harmful and hazardous to the environment as well as human health. Improper disposal of the hazardous chemicals and toxic materials in the drainage system contaminate the ecosystem and water bodies. Direct pouring of concentrated acids and bases corrode and damage the underground pipelines and their joints, thereby leaking the hazardous chemicals into the soil and ultimately leads to the underground water. Among these hazardous chemicals some of the organic molecules do not disintegrate with time and some heavy metals ions are very harmful.
Unfortunately, the pollution causing chemicals are not properly treated and to get rid of them, a major change in the syllabi is made so that these chemicals specially the heavy metals are now not used in the laboratories. These practicals are replaced by other safer and ecofriendly exercises. But to some courses these are essential and are still in use.
Through this article, we suggest that the laboratory waste should be disposed of properly. Acids and bases should be collected in a separate container and should not be poured in public sewage. The pH of the collected acids and bases can be tested and neutralized appropriately before discharging. The organic compounds can be treated according to their properties before dumping. The heavy metal ions can be collected in a separate container by the candidate in each practice. There are evidences of absorption of heavy metal ions like mercury and lead, by some plants like Tulsi and Water Hyacinth. A proper plan can be executed to plant these near laboratories in large containers to avoid the mixing of toxic metal ions in the ecosystem.
Keywords: Tulsi, dilution, ecosystem.
Dr.Vijayshri Nilosey, Dr. Anamika Jain