The need to determine the mutagenic ability of waste waters from pharmaceutical industry is on the rise. With the aid of macro and micro assay of the root tip, this study was carried out to assess the genotoxic effects of varied concentrations of three pharmaceutical effluents (Ciprofloxacin, Arthemetrin and Psuedophedrin) on Allium cepa root tip during mitosis. The chemical evaluation of the effluents confirmed the presence of a few heavy metals with mutagenic potentials (Ni, Zn, Pb and Cu). The experiment carried out in the research and teaching laboratory of the Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The results showed extensive reduction in the length and number of the roots that were grown on the effluents. Noticeable reductions in the reproduction process of the cells were observed in Ciprofloxacin and Psuedophedrin than Arthemetrin effluent. The mitotic index ranged from 18.92 to 22.55% with Ciprofloxacin recording significantly (P < 0.05) the highest index. Both effluent concentrations and the time of treatment significantly affected the mitotic index. Conclusively, these untreated effluents are considered to be lethal following the aforementioned results and are environmentally risky. Therefore, a sound sewerage system in the pharmaceutical industry is therefore crucial.
Key words: Cell, mitosis, pharmaceutical effluents, environmental pollution, sewage.
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