Municipal solid waste landfill leachate induced cytotoxicity in root tips of Vicia faba: Environmental Risk posed by non-engineered landfill

Gupta, Anshu ; Gaharwar, Usha Singh; Verma, Akanksha ; Rajamani, Paulraj


Landfills are considered the main option for dumping of municipal solid waste (MSW) all over the world, but these landfills are mostly non-engineered. The decomposition of solid waste in the landfill and rainwater penetration into the decomposing waste produces leachate that contains dissolved organic and inorganic compounds, heavy metals, suspended particles, and hazardous substances. Leachate migration in the environment may pose serious health risks to organisms exposed. Hence, the present study explored the cytotoxic potential of landfill leachate collected in different seasons from the Okhla landfill site, Delhi, India. Cytotoxicity of leachate samples was evaluatedby cell apoptosis and ultrastructural observation based on Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) of the cells of root tips of vicia faba seedlings treated with the leachates collected in summer, winter and monsoon in a time and dose dependent manner. Leachate collected in all the three seasons induced apoptosis in cells of root tips of vicia faba that increased in a time and dose dependent manner when compared to control. The apoptosis was highest in the samples treated with leachate collected in the summer season, followed by winter and monsoon. It was further confirmed with TEM images that there was induction of apoptotic-like morphological changes in the root cells treated with landfill leachate when compared with the control. The present study indicates that municipal solid waste leachate is very toxic and it should be treated before disposing it to the environment.


Apoptosis; Landfill leachate; Toxicity; Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM); Vicia faba; Solid waste

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