Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering 2005. 2(1):28-32.

Heavy Metals Bioaccumulation by Iranian and Australian Earthworms (Eisenia fetida) in the Sewage Sludge Vermicomposting
MR Shahmansouri, H Pourmoghadas, AR Parvaresh, H Alidadi


Vermicomposting of organic waste has an important part to play in an integrated waste management strategy. In this study, the possibility of heavy metals accumulation with two groups of Iranian and Australian earthworms in sewage sludge vermicompost was investigated. Eisenia fetida was the species of earthworms used in the vermicomposting process. The bioaccumulation of Cr, Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn as heavy metals by Iranian and Australian earthworms was studied. The results indicated that heavy metals concentration decreased with increasing vermicomposting time. Comparison of the two groups of earthworms showed that the Iranian earthworms consumed higher quantities of micronutrients such as Cu and Zn comparing with the Australian earthworms, while the bioaccumulation of non-essential elements such as Cr, Cd, and Pb by the Australian group was higher. The significant decrease in heavy metal concentrations in the final vermicompost indicated the capability of both Iranian and Australian E.fetida species in accumulating heavy metals in their body tissues.


Bioaccumulation, Eisenia fetida, Sewage sludge,

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