Soluble uranium salts enter human body through ground water and foodstuff. World Health Organization (2004) has set 15 µg/L as the "tolerated intake" of soluble uranium in drinking water.Uranium intake above this concentration is toxic to human body. The organ which are most affected are kidney and lungs leading to malfunctioning of kidneys and lung cancer. Soluble uranium is also known for its neuro-developmental, neuropsychological, cytotoxic, genotoxic and carcinogenic effects. So to overcome such hazardous problem in Bhatinda region (Cancer belt area- Jhajjal, Giana, Sivian, Malkana, Laliana, where cancer cases are prominent) of Punjab an effort has been done. Incubation of water samples with media specific for growth of Desulfovibriogenus was done for one month with soil from the same area from where water sample has been taken and with Desulfovibrio vulgaris subsp. vulgaris strain. Chemical analysis of water samples was done again to measure final uranium (VI) concentrations after incubation. In case of incubation with soil, the average reduction of uranium (VI) in the presence of Linsmaier and Skoog's (LS) media specific for the growth of Desulfovibrio genus is 59.08%. This concluded that the presence of one or a group of species of Desulfovibrio in soil is responsible for reduction of uranium (VI). In case of incubation with D. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris strain, the average reduction of uranium (VI) is 97.77%. This concludes that D. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris strain can reduce uranium at an average rate of 0.003 μg/L/h. Biochemical tests were done to find out specific species ofDesulfovibrio present in soil responsible for uranium reduction. The results of these tests concluded that the organism present in soil responsible for reduction of uranium is Desulfovibrio desulfuricans.
Key words: Uranium, Desulfovibrio, Bathinda, cancer.
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