Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation by Earthworm Lumbricus rubellus H in Paper Industry Solid Waste

Ditulis oleh : Dadang Hermawan on Minggu, 25 Juli 2010


As we know it needs a big cost to handle a waste problem. The butt that we want to reach is to control the waste not to make a pollution danger to the environment. It means some of the available cost can allocated for organic waste manufacture using earthworm.

Many creatures live in the polluted place have a capabilities to tolerance a metal concentration more than a fisologic need. Detoxification mechanism involve a metal deposit in the non active part of creature tissue temporary or more permanent. Temporary deposit begins by bounding metal with protein, polysaccharide and amino acid in the soft tissue or body liquid. Effectively methalotionin deposit cadmium in hepar and kidney. A sorage place like bone, hair or  skeleton can be used to  decrease some metal like cadmium and mercury. 

Earthworm have a capabilities to absorp aor accumulate heavy metal like cadmium and mercury  in the contaminated environment or not contaminated. Main stock organ on Oligochaeta  is Chloragosome tissue that consist of epitelium cells modificated as a thin layer around gastric. More important function of chloragosome is about its connection with heavy metal. Chloragosome is a cation change system than can take and accumulate a hevy metal, so it will decrease the toxic effect.


Heavy metal level that accumulated by earthworm is depend on species and some of fisiologic gactor that involved in the process. Some of them are:
  • type of chemistry bound between metal with other toxic.
  • Environment effect like temperature, salinity, pH, or oxygen level in the water.
  • live phase like (egg, larva, imago), organism measure, gender, and nutrition need
  • Organism capabilities to adapt with toxic.
Solid waste is a  last product that resulted from paper industry, that come from the waste manufacture instalation.  Solid waste, except contain organic matter also contain heavy metal like Cd, Pb, Cr,Ni,Hg,Cu, and Zn that need a process before exiled to the environtment.  Paper industry solid waste can be processed by earthworm that  enable  to decreas the heavy metal level in the solid waste because it will be accumulated in the earthworm tissue. Bioaccumulation is an economic and match choice to process the solid waste because  its efficiency in using energy and have a good effect to the environment.

Experiment result showed that either cadmium and copper are much accumulated in the pure solid waste. Accumulation of Cd and Cu in pure solid waste was different significant if the earthworm placed in mixed media. So bioaccumulation using earthworm will be a good  choice to process  a solid waste.

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