BIOTA Philippines Conference System, 52nd BIOTA Annual National Convention and Scientific Sessions

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PHYTOTOXICITY ASSESSMENT OF AN STATE UNIVERSITY (SU) SCIENCE LABORATORY CHEMICAL WASTES USING Lactuca sativa Linn. SEED GERMINATION ASSAY
Iza Mae E. Gutierrez, Jairah N. Obregon, Ben Joe D. David, Evelyn M. Labastilla, Chester C. Deocaris

Last modified: 2017-03-11

Abstract


Long-term storage of laboratory chemical wastes is considered a great concern for science laboratories especially in academic institutions. Aside from the hazards of ignitability, corrosivity and reactivity associated with laboratory chemicals, the potential toxicities and adverse environmental effects of laboratory chemical wastes hinders its disposal in the drain and by burial.

In this paper, liquid chemical wastes kept in a state university science laboratory were evaluated for its composition and its phytotoxicity using the Lettuce (Lactuca sativa Linn.) seed germination assay. From 493 chemical waste bottles in the laboratory inventory, 177 (36%) was randomly selected for the analyses.

Chemical tests include the pH, and the presence of oxidizing agents (OA), heavy metal (HM) group I (Hg22+, Pb2+, Ag+), HM group II (Hg2+, Cu2+, Bi3+, Cd2+, Fe2+, Fe3+, Al3+, Cr3+, Ni2+, Co2+, Mn2+, Zn2+) and HM group III (As3+, As5+, Sb3+, Sb5+, Sn2+, Sn4+­) cations.

The results show that 30.68% of the chemical wastes were oxidizing agents. The proportions of HM I, HM II and HM III were 2.84%, 20.02% and 18.75% respectively. The proportion of waste bottles containing mixtures of HM II and HM III cations. Chemical wastes exhibiting oxidizing activity were noted in 25/35 (71.4%) and 22/33 (66.7%) of the bottles containing HM II and HM III respectively.

ANOVA revealed significantly shorter root length of germinated L. sativa seeds in the presence of HM II (p=0.03), HM III (p<0.01) and oxidizing agents (p=0.03) after 120 hours. Similar effects on the length of L. sativa root were observed in chemical waste with lower pH levels (p<0.01).

From our observations, chemical wastes commonly produced in science laboratories have potential phytotoxic effects. The research strongly recommends the scaling-down laboratory experiments and demonstrations to reduce the use of chemicals and eventually minimize the production of laboratory wastes.


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