Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 10701–10713 | Cite as

The environmental impact of informal and home productive arrangement in the jewelry and fashion jewelry chain on sanitary sewer system

  • Fernanda Junqueira Salles
  • Ana Paula Sayuri Sato
  • Maciel Santos Luz
  • Déborah Inês Teixeira Fávaro
  • Francisco Jorge Ferreira
  • Wanderley da Silva Paganini
  • Kelly Polido Kaneshiro Olympio
Research Article


The outsourcing informal home practices adopted in jewelry and fashion jewelry chain can cause toxic substance elimination in the effluents and raise a concern for its environmental impact. This study evaluates if this informal work alters the concentration of potentially toxic elements (PTEs: As, Cd, Cr total and Cr-VI, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Sn, and Zn) in the sewage network. The sanitary sewage samples (n = 540) were collected in 15 manholes during two campaigns in three different areas of Limeira-SP, Brazil (industrial area, with informal work and without known industrial/informal activity). The sewage sludge (n = 12), raw (n = 12), and treated sewage (n = 12) were collected in two wastewater treatment plants (WWT: AS and TATU) operating with different treatment process. The PTE determination was performed by ICP-OES, direct mercury analysis, and UV–Vis spectroscopy. Cr-VI, Cu, Ni, and Zn were the only elements above the quantification limit. Four samples exceeded Cu or Zn values permitted to be discharged into sewage system; however, the concentration average was lower than that established by Brazilian legislation. A difference was found between values above and below the 75th percentile for campaign and total organic carbon values (p < 0.015). The AS-treated sewage presented low concentrations of Cu (p < 0.05), Zn (p = 0.02), and Ni (p = 0.01) compared to treated sewage from TATU. In the sludge samples, the Cu means exceeded the limits of the Brazilian legislation (1500 mg kg−1) and the Zn results were very close to the limits (2800 mg kg−1). The heterogeneity of the results can indicate the sporadic nature of the PTE’s sanitary disposal. PTEs used in jewelry and fashion jewelry chain may precipitate on the sludge, where presented high concentrations of Cu and Zn which require controlled destination.


Environment impact Metals Sewage Sludge Contamination Legislation 



The authors acknowledge the collaboration of all technicians and managers from State of São Paulo Environmental Company and Limeira’s Water and Sewage Company (Odebrecht Ambiental). We are grateful to Prof. Dr. Rodolfo Andrade de Gouveia Vilela for the collaboration at the beginning of this work and Matheus Angelini (scholarship student of CNPq Scientific Initiation) for the aid with sample digestion. We would like to thank the intermediation of GAEMA (Special Action Group for the Environment Defense of the Public Prosecution Office of the State of São Paulo).

Funding information

This work was supported by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP, Grants 2015/21253-0 and 2016/11087-8).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Ahluwalia SS, Goyal D (2007) Microbial and plant derived biomass for removal of heavy metals from wastewater. Bioresour Technol 98(12):2243–2257. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ali H, Khan E, Sajad MA (2013) Phytoremediation of heavy metals—concepts and applications. Chemosphere 91(7):869–881. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. ALJ—Limeirense Jewelry Association [internet]. Limeira—jewelry capital (2014) Available in: Accessed: 05 April 2015 (in Portuguese)
  4. Araya M, Olivares M, Pizarro F, González M, Speisky H, Uauy R (2003) Gastrointestinal symptoms and blood indicators of copper load in apparently healthy adults undergoing controlled copper exposure. Am J Clin Nutr 77:646–650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ashraf MA, Hussain I, Rasheed R, Iqbal M, Riaz M, Arif MS (2017) Advances in microbe-assisted reclamation of heavy metal contaminated soils over the last decade: a review. J Environ Manag 198:132–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. ATSDR. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2004) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Toxicological Profile for Copper, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  7. ATSDR. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2005a) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Toxicological Profile for Zinc, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  8. ATSDR. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2005b) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Toxicological Profile for Tin and Tin Compounds, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  9. Azevedo FA, Chasin AAM (2003) Metais: Gerenciamento da toxicicdade (Metals: toxicity management). São Paulo, Atheneu (in Portuguese) Google Scholar
  10. Bacon JR, Davidson CM (2008) Is there a future for sequential chemical extraction? Analyst 133(1):25–46. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Baysal A, Ozbek N, Akman S (2013) Determination of trace metals in waste water and their removal processes. In: Einschlag FSG, Carlos L, editors. Waste water—treatment technologies and recent analytical developments. Croatia; [s.n.]:145–71.Google Scholar
  12. Benvenuti T, Rodrigues MAS, Arenzon A, Bernardes AM, Zoppas-Ferreira J (2015) Toxicity effects of nickel electroplating effluents treated by photoelectrooxidation in the industries of the Sinos River Basin. Braz J Biol 75(2):17–24. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Braga AFM, Zaiat M, Silva GHR, Fermoso FG (2017) Metal fractionation in sludge from sewage UASB treatment. J Environ Manag 193:98–107. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cai Q-Y, Mo C-H, Qi-Tang W, Qiao-Yun Z, Katsoyiannis A (2007) Concentration and speciation of heavy metals in six different sewage sludge-composts. J Hazard Mater 147:1063–1072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. CETESB. Brazilian Environmental Company [internet](2005) Fashion Jewelry: P + L Series. Secretaria do Meio Ambiente, Governo do Estado de São Paulo. Available in: Accessed: 05 April 2015 (in Portuguese).
  16. CETESB. Brazilian Environmental Company (2011) National guide for samples collection and preservation: water, sediment, aquatic communities and liquid effluents. Agência Nacional de Águas, Ministério do meio Ambiente, Brasília (in Portuguese)Google Scholar
  17. CETESB - Brazilian Environmental Company (BR) (2016) State of São Paulo’s water quality report 2016. Governo do Estado de São Paulo: Secretária do Meio Ambiente. Available in: Accessed: 08 July 2017 (in Portuguese).
  18. CGA. General Accreditation Coordination (2011) Orientation on validation of analytical methods: guidance document. DOQ-CGCRE-008. Revision 4. 19p (in Portuguese).Google Scholar
  19. Chen M, Li X-m, Yang Q, Guang-ming Z, Zhang Y, De-xiang L, Jing-jin L, Jing-mei H, Guo L (2008) Total concentrations and speciation of heavy metals in municipal sludge from Changsha, Zhuzhou and Xiangtan in middle-south region of China. J Hazard Mater 160(2-3):324–329. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chou IC, Wang YF, Chang CP, Wang CT, Kuo YM (2011) Effect of NaOH on the vitrification process of waste Ni–Cr sludge. J Hazard Mater 185(2-3):1522–1527. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. CONAMA. Environmental National Council (BR) (2005) Resolution n° 357, March 17, 2005. Water bodies classification and environmental guidelines for its classification, as well as establishes the conditions and standards for the discharge of effluents, and provides other measures. Ministério do Meio Ambiente. Diário Oficial da União, Brasília. n°053:58–63 (in Portuguese)Google Scholar
  22. CONAMA – Environmental National Council (BR) (2006) Resolution CONAMA N° 375/2006. Defines criteria and procedures for the agricultural use of sewage sludge generated in sanitary sewage treatment plants and their by-products, and makes other provisions. Diário Oficial da União, Brasília;167:141–6 (in Portuguese)Google Scholar
  23. Fang W, Delapp RC, Kosson DS, van der Sloot HA, Liu J (2017) Release of heavy metals during long-term land application of sewage sludge compost: percolation leaching tests with repeated additions of compost. Chemosphere 169:271–280. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ferreira MAL (2005) Risk study of worker’s health and the environment in the production of jewelry and fashion jewelry in Limeira, SP. Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba, Piracicaba (in Portuguese) Google Scholar
  25. Fijalkowski K, Rorat A, Grobelak A, Kacprzak MJ (2017) The presence of contaminations in sewage sludge—the current situation. J Environ Manag 203(Pt 3):1–11. Google Scholar
  26. Gonçalves ICR, ASF A, LAPL N, Melo WJ (2014) Soil microbial biomass after two years of the consecutive application of composted tannery sludge. Acta Scientiarum. Agronomy 36(1):35–41. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gromaire MC, Garnaud S, Saad M, Chebbo G (2001) Contribution of different SOURCES to the pollution of wet weather flows in combined sewers. Wat Res 35(2):521–533. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Grotto D, Batista BL, JMO S, MFH C, Santos D, Melo WJ, Barbosa F Jr (2015) Essential and nonessential element translocation in corn cultivated under sewage sludge application and associated health risk. Water Air Soil Pollut 226(8):261. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Guney M, Zagury GJ (2014a) Children’s exposure to harmful elements in toys and low-cost jewelry: characterizing risks and developing a comprehensive approach. J Hazard Mat 271:321–330. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Guney M, Zagury GJ (2014b) Bioaccessibility of As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Sb in toys and low-cost jewelry. Environ Sci Technol 48:1238−1246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hill MK. Understanding environmental pollution. 3ed. New York (EUA): Cambridge University Press; 2010.585 p.Google Scholar
  32. Houhou J, Lartiges BS, Montarges-Pelletier E, Sieliechi J, Ghanbaja J, Kohler A (2009) Sources, nature, and fate of heavy metal-bearing particles in the sewer system. Sci of Total Environ 407(23):6052–6062. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Huang R, Huang KL, Lin ZY, Wang JW, Lin C, Kuo YM (2013) Recovery of valuable metals from electroplating sludge with reducing additives via vitrification. J Environ Manag 129:586–592. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. IARC. International Agency for Research on Cancer 1990 IARC monographs supplement 7—nickel and nickel compounds. 49:264–9Google Scholar
  35. IARC. International Agency for Research on Cancer (2006) IARC monographs supplement 7—lead and lead compounds. 87:230–2Google Scholar
  36. IARC. International Agency for Research on Cancer (2012) IARC Monographs—arsenic, metals, fibres and dusts. A review of Human Carcinogenic. Lyon. 100C.Google Scholar
  37. Kalita J, Kumar V, Misra UK, Bora HK (2017) Memory and learning dysfunction following copper toxicity: biochemical and Immunohistochemical basis. Mol Neurobiol.
  38. Krzyzanowski F Jr, Zappelini L, Martone-Rocha S, Dropa M, Matté MH, Nacache F, Razzolini MTP (2014) Quantification and characterization of salmonella spp. isolates in sewage sludge with potential usage in agriculture. BMC Microbiol 14(1):263. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Krzyzanowski F Jr, Lauretto MS, Nardocci AC, Sato MIZ, Razzolini MTP (2016) Assessing the probability of infection by Salmonella due to sewage sludge use in agriculture under several exposure scenarios for crops and soil ingestion. Sci Total Environ 568:66–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kumar V, Kalita J, Bora H, Misra UK (2016) Temporal kinetics of organ damage in copper toxicity: a histopathological correlation in rat model. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 81:372–380. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lacorte LEC, Vilela RAG, Silva RC, Chiesa AM, Tulio ES, Franco RR, Bravo ES (2013) The eradication of child labor in the production of jewelry and fashion jewelry in Limeira, SP. Rev Bras Saúde Ocup 38(128):199–215 (in Portuguese). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Li CT, Lee WJ, Huang KL, Fu SF, Lait YC (2007) Vitrification of chromium electroplating sludge. Environ Sci Technol 41(8):2950–2956. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Li H, Yang X, Xu W, Wu J, Xu J, Zhang G, Xi Y (2014) Application of dry composite electroplating sludge into preparation of cement-based decorative mortar as green pigment. J Clean Production 66(1):101–106. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Liu Y, Ma L, Li Y, Zheng L (2007) Evolution of heavy metal speciation during the aerobic composting process of sewage sludge. Chemosphere 67(5):1025–1032. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Maanan M (2007) Biomonitoring of heavy metals using Mytilus galloprovincialis in Safi Coastal Waters, Morocco. EnvironToxicol 22:525–531Google Scholar
  46. Machado TC, Lansarin MA (2016 Oct) Wastewater containing Cr (VI) treatment using solar tubular reactor. Water Sci Technol 74(7):1698–1705. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Metcalf & Eddy, Inc (1991) Wastewater engineering. Treatment, disposal and reuse, 3rd ed., revised by George Tchobanoglous and Frank Burton. McGraw-Hill Book Co., SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  48. Miaomiao H, Li W, Xinqiang L, Donglei W, Guangming T (2009) Effect of composting process on phytotoxicity and speciation of copper, zinc and lead in sewage sludge and swine manure. Waste Manag 29(2):590–597. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mishra A, Malik A (2012) Simultaneous bioaccumulation of multiple metals from electroplating effluent using Aspergillus lentulus. Water Res 46(16):4991–4998. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nascimento AL, Junio GRZ, Sampaio RA, Fernandes LA, Carneiro JP, Barbosa CF (2015) Metais pesados no solo e mamoneira adubada com biossólido e silicato de cálcio e magnésio. R Bras Eng Agríc Ambiental 19(5):505–511. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Odebrecht Ambiental [internet] Sewage: what we do? 2014 Available in: Accessed: 11 April 2015 (in Portuguese).
  52. Odebrecht Ambiental [internet] Sewage: treatment process 2014 Available in: Accessed: 11 April 2015 (in Portuguese).
  53. Östman M, Lindberg RH, Fick J, Bjöorn E, Tysklind M (2017) Screening of biocides, metals and antibiotics in Swedish sewage sludge and wastewater. Water Res 115:318–328. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Palmquist H, Hanaeus J (2005) Hazardous substances in separately collected grey- and blackwater from ordinary Swedish households. Sci Total Environ 348(1-3):151–163. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Peng G, Tian G (2010) Using electrode electrolytes to enhance electrokinetic removal of heavy metals from electroplating sludge. Chem Eng J 165(2):388–394. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. PMSB (2013) Municipal sanitation basic plan. Sanitation municipal plan of Limeira, SP: planning area characterization (in Portuguese).Google Scholar
  57. Rehman K, Fatima F, Waheed I, Akash MSH (2017) Prevalence of exposure of heavy metals and their impact on health consequences. J Cell Biochem 119(1):157–184. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. São Paulo (State) (1976) Decree no. 8.468, September 8, 1976. Approves the Regulation of Law No. 997 May 31, 1976, which provides for the prevention and pollution environment control. Diário Oficial do Estado de São Paulo (in Portuguese).Google Scholar
  59. Shamuyarira KK, Gumbo JR (2014) Assessment of heavy metals in municipal sewage sludge: a case study of Limpopo Province, South Africa. Int J Environ Res Public Health 11(3):2569–2579. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sikder AM, Hossain T, Khan MH, Hasan MA, Fakhruzzaman M, Turner JB, Pestov D, McCallister LS, Elahi KM (2017) Toxicity assessment of ash and dust from handmade gold jewelry manufacturing workshops in Bangladesh. Environ Monit Assess 189(6):279. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Soonthornnonda P, Christensen ER (2008) Source apportionment of pollutants and flows of combined sewer wastewater. Wat Res 42(8-9):1989–1998. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sousa FW, Sousa MJ, Oliveira IRN, Oliveira AG, Cavalcante RM, Fechine PBA, Neto VOS, Keukeleire DD, Nascimento RF (2009) Evaluation of a low-cost adsorbent for removal of toxic metal ions from wastewater of an electroplating factory. J Environ Manag 90(11):3340–3344. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Souza LCF, Canteras FB, Moreira S (2014) Analyses of heavy metals in sewage and sludge from treatment plants in the cities of Campinas and Jaguariúna, using synchrotron radiation total reflection X-ray fluorescence. Radiat Phys Chem 95:342–345. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. STM. Standard Methods Committee (2011a) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. Method 3500Cr-B: colorimetric method. Revision 1Google Scholar
  65. STM. Standard Methods Committee (2011b) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. 5310 B. High-temperature combustion method. Revision 1Google Scholar
  66. STM. Standard Methods Committee (2011c) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. Method 5310-D: wet-oxidation method. Revision 1Google Scholar
  67. STM. Standard Methods Committee (2011d) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. Method 1060: collection and preservation of samples. Revision 1Google Scholar
  68. Sud D, Mahajan G, Kaur MP (2008) Agricultural waste material as potential adsorbent for sequestering heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions—a review. Bioresour Technol 99(14):6017–6027. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tavazzi S, Locoro G, Comero S, Sobiecka E, Loos R, Gans O, Ghiani M, Paracchini B, Umlauf G, Suurkuusk G, Cristache C, Fissiaux I, Alonso Riuz A, Gawlik BM (2012) Occurrence and levels of selected compounds in European sewage sludge samples (N° LB-NA-25598-EN-N). European Commission Joint Research Centre, IspraGoogle Scholar
  70. Teare J, Kootbodien T, Naicker N, Mathee A (2015) The extent, nature and environmental health implications of cottage industries in Johannesburg, South Africa. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12(2):1894–1901. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. US EPA. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2004) Primer for municipal wastewater treatment systems. WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  72. US EPA. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2007a) Method 3015A: microwave assisted acid digestion of aqueous samples and extracts. Revision 1Google Scholar
  73. US EPA. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2007b) Method 6010C: inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry. Revision 3Google Scholar
  74. US EPA. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2007c) Method 7473: mercury in solids and solutions by thermal decomposition, amalgamation, and atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Revision 0Google Scholar
  75. US EPA. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2007d) Method 3051A: microwave assisted acid digestion of sediments, sludges, soils and oils. Revision 1Google Scholar
  76. US EPA [internet]. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2016) Municipal wastewater: collection systems. 2016. Available in: Accessed: 19 may 2017.
  77. Vilela RAG, Ferreira MAL (2008) Not everything shines in the production of jewelry in Limeira, SP. Rev Produção. 18(1):183–194 (in Portuguese). Google Scholar
  78. Weidenhamer JD, Newman BE, Clever A (2010) Assessment of leaching potential of highly leaded jewelry. J Hazard Mater 177(1–3):1150–1152. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Weidenhamer JD, Miller J, Guinn D, Pearson J (2011) Bioavailability of cadmium in inexpensive jewelry. Environ Health Perspect 119(7):1029–1033. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wilkie PJ, Hatzimhalis G, Koutoufides P, Connor MA (1996) The contribution of domestic sources to levels of key organic and inorganic pollutants in sewage: the case of Melbourne, Australia. Wat Sci Technol 34(3–4):63–70Google Scholar
  81. Wuana RA, Okieimen FE (2011) Heavy metals in contaminated soils: a review of sources, chemistry, risks and best available strategies for remediation. ISRN Ecology 2011:1–20. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Yang K, Zhu Y, Shan R, Shao Y, Tian C (2017) Total concentrations and speciation of heavy metals in municipal sludge from Changsha, Zhuzhou and Xiangtan in middle-south region of China. J Environ Manag 189:58–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Ye S, Zeng G, Wu H, Zhang C, Dai J, Liang J, Yu J, Ren X, Yi H, Cheng M, Zhang C (2017) Biological technologies for the remediation of co-contaminated soil. Crit Rev Biotechnol 37(8):1062–1076. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Yost JL, Weidenhamer JD (2008) Accessible and total lead in low-cost jewelry items. Integr Environ Assess Manag 4(3):358–361. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Zhou Q, Zhang J, Fu J, Shi J, Jiang G (2008) Biomonitoring: Na appealing tool for assessment of metal pollution in the aquatic ecosystem. Analytica Quim Acta 606(2):135–150. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Zhuang Z, Xu X, Wang Y, Wang Y, Huang F, Lin Z (2012) Treatment of nanowaste via fast crystal growth: with recycling of nano-SnO2 from electroplating sludge as a study case. J Hazard Mater 211-212:414–419. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernanda Junqueira Salles
    • 1
  • Ana Paula Sayuri Sato
    • 2
  • Maciel Santos Luz
    • 3
  • Déborah Inês Teixeira Fávaro
    • 4
  • Francisco Jorge Ferreira
    • 5
  • Wanderley da Silva Paganini
    • 1
  • Kelly Polido Kaneshiro Olympio
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Health Department, School of Public HealthSão Paulo UniversitySao PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Epidemiology Departament, School of Public HealthSão Paulo UniversitySao PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Metallurgical Processes LaboratoryTechnological Research Institute of the State of São PauloSao PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Neutron Activation Analysis LaboratoryNuclear and Energy Research InstituteSao PauloBrazil
  5. 5.Inorganic Chemistry LaboratoryState of São Paulo Environmental CompanySao PauloBrazil

Personalised recommendations