An environmental impact assessment on the hand-dye enterprise ( a case study of the Kumasi Metropolis)

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The hand dying enterprise is one of the small-scale businesses that sustain the livelihood of many people in the Kumasi Metropolis. The dyes however exert adverse effects on the environment and the health of dyers, affecting the hand the most. This study was carried out to identify the various types of dyes used, methods used and safe card (guidelines) observed in the hand dye enterprise and the effects of textile dyes on hand dyers' health and the environmental effects of the on-site disposal of wastewater through questionnaires and personal interviews. Laboratory tests were conducted to determine pH of samples of dyes and soil sediments from receiving gutters. The conductivity of aqueous samples were determined using conductivity meter and the concentration of trace metals (including chromium, copper, zinc, and nickel) in the samples were , determined using AAS spectrophotometer. Females formed majority 331, (78%) of respondents. Average age of respondents was 26. Vat, Disperse, Reactive and Sulphur dyes were the main dyes, which were applied hot or cold in batiking, tie-dye and sprinkle or splash. Although majority of dyers have had basic education, they do not follow guidelines when hand dyeing. They also did not observe any safety rule, for example keeping of first aid box and wearing of protective gears, despite monitoring by the sanitary division of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA). The dyers refusal to observe safety rules has led to high level of accidents before and during the dyeing process and haphazard disposal of textile dye wastes into the environment. With the exception of pH, TDS, conductivity and Ni values that were generally higher than the EPA standards, values of all the other parameters determined were lower than the EPA standards.  
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science (Environmental Science), 2009