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ABSTRACT: Laboratory-scale experiments were conducted to determine the effect of heavy metals viz. copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) on the different vital tissues of earthworm Eudrillus eugeniae such as head, gizzard, clitellum, and intestine after the worms were placed in municipal solid waste (MSW) substrate spiked with heavy metals in the concentration range of 0.05 g/kg to 1.0 g/kg of the waste for Cu, Cr, PB, and Zn and 0.05 g/kg for Cd. The experiments were conducted for 100 days with periodic observations and sample collection for investigation after every 10th day. Copper and lead metals were found to cause more deleterious effect in head, gizzard, and intestine. Chromium metal caused cellular damage to the intestinal region. In comparison, cadmium metal severity was more than copper, lead, and chromium metal. Zinc metal did not show deleterious effect on tissues. In general, earthworms can be used as biomarkers in toxicity studies related to heavy metals at cellular levels.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 12/2010; 180(1-4):257-67. · 1.59 Impact Factor