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Project Name: Research on Metal Speciation
Country: USA
Description: Water quality standards for metals in textile effluents severely restrict permit limits and result in significant capital outlays for wastewater treatment plant improvements. In some cases, textile facilities may be required to close down or relocate due to costs associated with treatment. Ironically, many dischargers with high metals concentrations do not exhibit aquatic toxicity caused by the metals present. Thus, metals present do not appear to be bioavailable or in a form toxic to aquatic life. A study was performed to demonstrate the stability and "non-bioavailability" of metals present in textile effluents. Results were used in an attempt to obtain variances in metal limits for textile NPDES permits. The research involved the evaluation of methods for the speciation of metal dyes from textile wastewaters. The methods included ultrafiltration, copper ion selective electrode, ion exchange resins, and solid phase extraction. Ultrafiltration was found to be most appropriate for separation of non-bioavailable fractions. Aquatic toxicity testing was performed to verify results. Based on the results of this study, the EPA and the American Textile Manufacturers Institute jointly funded additional research. This research developed an analytical methodology now used for measurement and regulation of bioavailable metals in textile effluents.
 

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