Cadmium pollution arises mainly from contamination of minerals used in agriculture and from industrial processes. The usual situation is of large volumes of soil and water that are contaminated with low - but significant - concentrations of cadmium. Therefore, detoxification of the polluted water and soil involves the concentration of the metal, or binding it in a way that makes it biologically inert. Cadmium is one of the more toxic metals, that is also carcinogenic and teratogenic. Its effects are short term, even acute (diseases like Itai-itai), or long term. The long term effects are intensified due to the fact that cadmium accumulates in the body. This paper describes a study involving several hundred cadmium-resistant bacterial isolates. These bacteria could be divided into three groups-the largest group consisted of bacteria resistant to cadmium by effluxing it from the cells. The bacteria of the other two groups were capable of binding cadmium or of detoxifying it. We concentrated on one strain that could bind cadmium very efficiently, depending on the bacterial biomass and on the pH. This strain could effectively remove cadmium from contaminated water and soil.
- heavy metals