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Study of Behavioral Changes and Photosynthetic Activity of Euglenas gracilis in the Presence of Effluents from the Laboratory of Clinical Analysis

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: Healthcare waste has now been increasingly studied in terms of the risks or dangers that can cause the environment and human health. Waste generated in clinical analysis laboratories (CALs) deserves attention, because, due to the advent of the concept of emergent pollution, it is doubtful if the materials or reagents are disposed in the sewage by CALs, which are currently considered non-contaminated or with low risk potential, under current legislation, may actually impact the environment with actions not yet understood. This study was experimental and conducted at the Environmental Laboratory of the University of the Region of Joinville. It was used Euglena gracilis (primary trophic level) algae exposed to effluents from five sectors of a CAL: Biochemistry, Hematology, Viral Load, Tuberculosis and Immunochemistry. Samples were collected from the siphons attached to the wash sinks of the CAL materials. To verify changes in algae that denote environmental danger, behavioral changes were analyzed via NGTOX, and chlorophyll concentration was calculated by chlorophyll extraction according to Mendel’s method. Viral Load (VL) and Hematology (HT) sectors were the ones that most affected algae (Tukey test). In both sectors, there was inhibition of algae mobility and gravitaxy: in VL, due to the presence of chaotropic agents that denature organic structures; and in HT, due to the change in membrane permeability attributed to methylene blue. Also in HT, there was a search for algae adaptation by increasing the rise to the surface in order to overcome the lower luminosity due to the coloration of the environment, which also affects photosynthesis. Regarding the concentration of a-chlorophyll, the VL and HT were the most affected as well, being the first one the one that had more concentration reduction because of the presence of chaotropic agents. Considering new parameters evaluated, the discarded compounds need to be better evaluated for risk, as they affect algal photosynthesis. Procedures for removal of these compounds should be considered.

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