Assessment of phytoremediation potencial of Allium cepa L. in raw sewage treatment

Abstract Whereas the effects of the substances found in domestic sewage on live organisms is important to evaluate the use of plants to remove pollutants from the environment. The objective of this study was to assess the phytoremediation activity of Allium cepa L. (onion) roots exposed to raw sewage, as well as the acute toxic activity of this effluent for the bioindicators A. cepa, through a cytotoxicity test, and Artemia salina L., through a mortality/immobility test. The physicochemical assessments of the sewage were conducted in two scenarios: immediately after collection and after being in contact with onion roots (phytoremediation) for 24 hours. The physicochemical data indicate there was a reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus levels and in biochemical oxygen demand in sewage treated. The results from the cytotoxicity test with A. cepa indicated a reduction in the mitotic cell divisions of the onions treated with the raw sewage. The mortality/immobility test with A. salina indicated that the concentrations with 50 and 100% of raw sewage induced the mortality of the nauplii. Thus, the data suggest new studies that seek greater efficiency, efficacy and viability of onion phytoremediation.