A review with recent advancements on bioremediation-based abolition of heavy metals
There has been a significant rise in the levels of heavy metals (Pb, As, Hg and Cd) due to their increased industrial usage causing a severe concern to public health. The accumulation of heavy metals generates oxidative stress in the body causing fatal effects to important biological processes leading to cell death. Therefore, there is an imperative need to explore efficient and effective methods for the eradication of these heavy metals as against the conventionally used uneconomical and time consuming strategies that have numerous environmental hazards. One such eco-friendly, low cost and efficient alternative to target heavy metals is bioremediation technology that utilizes various microorganisms, green plants or enzymes for the abolition of heavy metals from polluted sites. This review comprehensively discusses toxicological manifestations of heavy metals along with the detailed description of bioremediation technologies employed such as phytoremediation and biosorption for the potential removal of these metals. It also updates readers about recent advances in bioremediation technologies like the use of nanoparticles, non-living biomass and transgenic crops.