Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity of Heavy Metal and Cyanide-contaminated Waters in some Regions for Production and Processing of ore in Bulgaria

¹ University of Plovdiv, Faculty of Biology, ¹Department of Developmental Biology, Section of Genetics, BG-4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
² University of Plovdiv, Faculty of Biology, Department of Ecology, BG-4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria


IVANOVA, E., T. STAYKOVA and I. VELCHEVA, 2008. Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of heavy metal and cyanide-contaminated waters in some regions for production and processing of ore in Bulgaria. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 14: 262-268

This study generalizes the data of investigations on cytotoxic and genotoxic effect of heavy metal- and cyanide-contaminated waters in 2001, 2003 and 2005. The water samples were collected from different water sources in the region of “Assarel-Medet” Copper Refinery Works. The contents of copper, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and cyanides ( were determined using the method of automatic photometry. The Allium cepa and Pisum sativum plant systems were used for testing of the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of heavy metals and cyanides. A lower mitotic index and a higher frequency of chromosome aberrations were established in all test samples than in the control ones. Chromosome fragments, anaphase and telophase bridges, micronuclei, lagging chromosomes and C-mitotic effect in cells were observed. It was concluded that the pollution found in the regions for production and processing of ore has cytotoxic and genotoxic effect on cells and it could be a potential threat to water ecosystems and human health.

Key words: cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, biomonitoring, heavy metals, cyanides

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