Present study aimed to establish the chemical composition of sewage sludge leachate before/after calcium oxide-based solidification using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF). The other aim was to determine leachate effects on human lymphocyte and DNA integrity in vitro using a battery of bioassays (DNA diffusion assay, micronucleus test and comet assay) to determine effects of those complex mixtures of elements on cell and DNA integrity. EDXRF showed that nickel concentration in the leachate of untreated sludge was 18.5 times higher than the upper permissible limit for inert waste landfills. Other elements were kept below the permissible values. After sludge solidification, leachate concentrations of Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Pb dropped 1.6, 2.7, 37, 5.9, 3.2, 7.8, and 2.6 times, respectively. Untreated sludge leachate was cytogenotoxic to lymphocytes, and may lead to adverse effects on the exposed human populations, but calcium oxide-based solidification reduced these effects in significant manner. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
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