DELETERIOUS EFFECT OF COMMERCIAL DETERGENTS ON SOIL MICROORGANISMSAju K. Asok, Santhosh Mathew and M.S. Jisha
The harmful effects caused by the widespread use of synthetic detergents and its disposal to the environment is an area to be investigated. A study in this aspect is conducted here with three different commercially available synthetic detergents Domex (D1), Henko (D2) and Surf (D3). Three different concentrations of the selected detergents were applied to test soil viz., 0.05%, 0.1% and 0.2%. The study was done for 120 days with intermittent sampling on every fortnight and checked its effect on soil microbial count and dehydrogenase activity. It was found that the application of detergents reduced the total metabolic activity of the soil. But after a period of exposure it was found that the soil developed resilience mechanism to these toxic chemicals, and we got a steady microbial count and enzyme activity after that but in a lower rate than that of the untreated control soil. The results indicated that the soil microorganisms can be efficaciously used as test organisms in monitoring detergent contaminated soil.
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