Vijayan Gurumurthy Iyer, Speaker at climate Change 2023
Bihar Institute of Public Administration , India
Title : Environmental health impact assessment (EHIA) process for the bio-medical Indian chromium leather tanneries towards sustainable source specific, generic and specific industrial development


In this Environmental Biomedical Science and Engineering (EBMSE) research note, environmental health impact assessment (EHIA) process is discussed for the Indian chromium leather tanneries towards sustainable development as Indian cotton double roller (DR) ginning industries are using chrome composite leather clad (CCLC) rollers. Sustainable industrial development can be defined as the industrial development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability and efficiency of future generations to meet their own needs. “Environmental Health Impact Assessment Process “(EHIA process) can be defined as the systematic identification and evaluation of the potential environmental health impacts (health effects) of proposed projects, plans, programs, or legislative actions relative to the physical-chemical, biological, cultural, and socioeconomic components of the total environmental health including EBMSE.  The objective is to conduct Environmental health impact assessment (EHIA) process and green chemistry that is to systematically identify and evaluate potential environmental health impacts of CCLC rollers used in Indian CCLC double roller (DR) ginning industries with relative to the physical -chemical and biological can be referred as entitled “natural or biophysical environment” and the cultural and socioeconomic environment represents entitled “man-made environmental components” of the total environment. Most of the cotton ginning operations are performed by using DR ginning machines which serve an important role in the Indian cotton ginning industries. The rollers used are made of CCLC covering fixed to a shaft. The CCLC contains about 18,000 to 36,000 mg/kg (ppm) (1.8 %-3.6%) of chromium particles. The chromium stabilizes the CCLC by cross linking the collagen fibres in chromium leather tanning industries. Chromium salts, especially chrome alum and chromium (III) sulfate are used in chromium-tanning of leather. The EBMSE research is conducted to investigate specifically on chromium (III) and Chromium (VI) and health effects of the workers.  Chromium tanned leather contains between 3 to 5% of chromium, which is tightly bound to the proteins. For certain types of projects, such as nuclear power plants, it may be necessary to address psychological impacts on nearby residents as per reference entitled “Can Change Damage Your Mental Health?” Nature, Volume 295, January 21, 1982, pp.177-179 for the necessity to address psychological impacts on nearby residents and reference entitled “An Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) process” published by World Health Organization (WHO) titled ‘Health and Safety component of Environmental Impact Assessment ‘from WHO publication, Copenhagen in 1987”. Although the form of chromium used for tanning is not toxic hexavalent variety, there remains interest in the management of chromium in the tanning industry such as recovery and reuses, direct / indirect recycling, use of less chromium or ‘chrome-less tanning is need to be practiced to better manage chromium in tanning with respect to green chemistry. Chromium salts or chromates in contact with skin, lungs and stomach result in dermatitis and lung and esophagus cancer and brain tumor among Indian gin and textile mill workers and the working condition of Indian chromium leather tanning industries and leather related facilities. The chemicals that are employed chemicals in leather industries are hazardous and need to be free from hazardous nature that is green chemistry. Based environmental health impact assessment (EHIA) results and realizing the importance of green chemistry and working condition in Indian tannery and chrome leather related facilities should be sustainable for the environmental development of our country.  Brief or occasional contact may not pose a problem. Potassium dichromate is a chromium salt or chromate and is a common metal making up a significant part of the earth’s crust. The most common home exposure of chromate is leather. As per the EBMSE research, the majority of leather goods, including shoes and gloves, are tanned with chromates. It is necessary to avoid chromate tanned leather gloves, and leather shoes. Vegetable tanned leather and eco-friendly   gloves and shoes or plastic shoes and Oak Bark -Tanning in the traditional manner is recommended compare to chromate tanned leather. Investigation results are provided on environmental and biotechnological chromium contamination in lint cotton, edible plants, and bioremediation of chromium contamination and role of bacteria in detoxification of chromium pollution and contamination in the unsafe chromite mines (fifteen number of Odissa   Mining Plants) and chromium pollution in drinking water and in crops such as rice, wheat, mushroom, potato. The main EBMSE investigation is adverse health conditions of the workers and local environment that being polluted by toxic hexavalent and trivalent chromium and still being employed in Indian leather industries. For those with shoe dermatitis from chromate and leather, wearing heavy socks or reducing perspiration and moisture may help to reduce dermatitis. The amount of chromium found in all skin layers due to chromium permeation through human skins in diffusion cells.  In ginning factories, when the seed-cotton is processed in DR ginning machine, the lint cotton is contaminated with hexavalent and trivalent chromium dust of about 140 to 1990 mg/kg (ppm) , Cr (VI) and Cr(III) which is carcinogenic substance against the safe limits of 0.1 ppm.

Ion chromatographic method and atomic absorption spectrometry method are employed for determining chromium content in all samples and Chromium (VI) found more with increased total chromium concentration in samples due to increasing level of application of potassium dichromate and is found cancer among all skin dermatitis workers. The percentage of chromium found during the cotton ginning process due to persistent rubbing of CCLC over stationary knife the chromium particles are adsorbed into lint cotton such that the spun yarns and woven fabrics get contaminated about 100 to 200 ppm which according to eco-standards should not be more than 0.1 ppm. The CCLC rollers used in cotton roller ginning machines get powdered during the ginning process. As chromium is a specific dust, gin and mill workers and residents are directly exposed to this carcinogenic substance and are vulnerable to environmental health hazards. To offset this problem, pollution-free eco-friendly washers/rollers both for laboratory and commercial studies have been fabricated and experimented. Biomedical research attempts are made to alternate dust-producing grinding CCLC ginneries (EBMSE by Vijayan Gurumurthy Iyer, 2018). Environmental health inventory (EHI) serves as the basis for evaluating the potential environmental health impacts both beneficial and adverse of a proposed action. Environmental health impact statement (EHIS) describes the affected environmental health or environmental health setting without the project. Green Design and development of the EHI is an initial step in the EHIA process.  It is concluded that EHIA process is conducted for certain projects, plans, programs, legislative actions, policies in the project planning and decision-making process. As the EBMSE research has over looked in to the chemicals that leather tanneries use in the past and present specifically in chromium and public health and occupational health hazards   , sustainable policy measures should be needed to control environmental pollution and contamination in source specific , generic and  industrial specific Indian leather tannery environment.
The paper also concluded that the earth system contains functional and cross functional interaction, interconnected and interrelated system of set of activities that have been already breached beyond climate and weather safe limits for global climate system, biodiversity, freshwater, nutrients and different kinds of air, water, land (LAW) pollution (Vijayan Gurumurthy Iyer, 2023) .

Audience Take Away:
Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) Process
Unsafe chromium pollution and contamination
Zero emission chromium pollution and contamination in leather
Occupational Health Hazards and Safety Impact Assessment in Indian Leather tannery environment. 
The organizational planning and decision making process as considerations of Four E s , Engineering , Economics, Environment and Ethics .
The Earth system contains climate and whether functional and cross functional interacted, interconnected and interrelated system of set of activities that have been already breached beyond safe limits for climate, biodiversity, freshwater, brackish water, nutrients and different kinds of air, water, land (LAW) environmental pollution. The audience can able to learn about climate and weather impact assessment process and sustainable addiction, behavioural health and Psychiatry for sustainable development .


Dr. Vijayan Gurumurthy Iyer studied Environmental Science and Engineering with Specialization in Environmental Biomedical Science and Engineering (EBMSE) at the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India and post graduated as Master of Technology, M.Tech.,  in 1998. He received his Ph.D. degree in Environmental Science and Engineering in 2003 at the same institution. He has served in Indian Council of Agricultural Research (I.C.A.R.) with effect from 22.05.1985 (FN) to 10.02.1998 (FN).  In the year 2006, he joined the post-doctoral fellow under research guidance of Prof. Nikos E.Mastorakis at the World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society (WSEAS) , Athens, Greece. After ten years of postdoctoral research supervised by Prof.Nikos E Mastorakis , WSEAS , Athens, Greece , he  obtained the position of Professor at the Institute of Technology,  Haramaya University , Harar , Ethiopia , East Africa . He has published more than 445 research articles in recognized journals and conference proceedings with his h.index of 55 and total number 3000  citations  in his credit .