Author(s): V. Ramesh, S. Ahmed John and M. Koperuncholan*
The cement dust, produced by cement manufacturing units is considered one of the most hazardous pollutants which affect the surrounding environment. Increased concentrations of the pollutants can cause progressive reduction in the photosynthetic ability of leaves, closure of leaf stomata and, mainly, a reduction in growth and productivity of plants. The Ariyalur district is being polluted by several cement industries and mining activities and is also received both point and non-point source pollution throughout the year. To find the physiochemical and heavy metal levels, we collected six sediments, three water and two different plant samples belonging to three different areas were collected from cement industrial zone of Ariyalur district. The sampling sites of S1, S2 and S3 were 0-500 m, 500-1000 m and 1000-1500 m away from the cement industry of Ariyalur industrial zone, respectively. At the same time, the two soil, one water and two different plant were collected from Jamal Mohammed College, Tiruchirappalli (sampling site (C1) - non-industrial area – control site), Tamil Nadu. In this study, the physiochemical and heavy metal parameters were high in surface sediment than bottom sediment and waters. The phytochemical parameters of the plants in control site are lower than proposed sampling sites. The heavy metal levels were higher in water and sediment and were also found in both plants. The need for guidelines to protect the water, sediment and plant quality of the Ariyalur district are imperative.