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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 27-32

A real-time investigation on public health consequences of chromium laden effluent from the leather industries

1 PhD Scholar, Department of Bio-Medical Sciences, School of Bio Sciences and Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Bio-Medical Sciences, School of Bio Sciences and Technology; Research Officer, CO2 Research and Green Technology Centre, VIT, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Anand Prem Rajan
Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of BioSciences and Technology, VIT, Vellore - 632 014, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.ijph_1511_21

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Background: Extensive evidence of elevated chromium (Cr) in the surface and groundwater exists. However, the importance of exposure toward Cr-associated health risks in areas with tanneries is still often neglected. These situations prompted an independent research study to investigate the views of those close-knit communities who are being directly affected by this tannery village. Objectives: To establish an understanding of the local demographics and; exploratory data analysis (EDA) to discover patterns in the occurrence of diseases; measure the awareness of residents of the presence of Cr and its harmful health effects. Methods: The EDA technique was used to conduct survey studies on data to uncover patterns, identify anomalies, test hypotheses, and validate assumptions using summary statistics and graphical representations. Results: Out of 14 diseases directly linked to high Cr toxicity, the study reported high levels of diarrhea, epigastric pain, and moderate-to-severe cases of vertigo among those aged more than 22 years. With over 90 active tanneries and toxic Cr released to the environment in a town of <78 km2 area (1.2 tannery/km), there are only 15 hospitals (0.2 hospitals/km) for the population currently accommodating more than a quarter-million people daily (3205 people/km). Conclusion: New mitigation strategies must be put forth to alleviate the negative impacts of the tanneries on the residents and nature most affected as well as the population as a whole.

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