Increasing dependence on chemicals and rapid developments in chemical technology have practically triggered the growth of chemical industries in India. Globally, Basel convention guidelines are available for transboundary movement of hazardous wastes. However, at the national levels, health damage, resources losses and ecological impairment due to hazardous wastes indiscriminate discharges are a reality. In India, there are over 16,000 units of big and small Pharmaceutical industries alone. Quantities of hazardous effluents vary, distillery's effluent for example is reported to be over 8 million liters per day in India (Bio-energy,1996). Now, as a departure from conventional approach, based on improved performance target of industries for reasons of global market and ISO certification 14001 and also aggravated public demands, hazardous industries have been forced to take up waste minimization and recycling of treated effluents.
Conventionally, Plant systems are well suited to monitor potential impacts due to hazardous effluents in simulated conditions to document environmental changes. The present paper report the analysis of cytological effects of effluent from distillery and pharmaceutical plants at industrial estates near the city of Mysore, S. India. Root tip cells of onion (Allium cepa L.) constitute an excellent system for studying cytological tests like toxicity and mutagenecity. Analysis of the effluent reaching the receiving streams showed TDS TSS, COD BOD at levels higher than the recommended permissible limits. The study reveals that biological indicators for performance evaluation of effluent's treatment are simpler, rapid and complimentary to conventional physio-chemical methods.
Key words : Biological monitoring, recycling effluents, hazardous industries, Allium tests.