Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lenczewski, Melissa E.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


Textile dyeing and weaving of traditional longyi garments has traditionally occurred in the Amarapura Township of Mandalay, Myanmar, since 1822, transitioning from natural to chemical dyes in the early 1900’s. With no current wastewater treatment facilities in Mandalay, dye effluents mix with other wastewaters in unlined canals dug near peoples’ homes and discharge into local canals and groundwater. As locals rely heavily on dug and tube wells for drinking, bathing, and cooking, this industry poses a major health hazard to the people in this region. The objective of this study is to identify the previously unknown composition of the textile dyes as well as identify and quantify the concentrations of major ions and heavy metals found in dye effluents and to determine the impact on local groundwater resources. Powdered dye samples as well as water samples from each stage of the dyeing process have been identified with the combination of heavy metals used to create these color dyes. Water samples collected from tube wells and dug wells, both at dyeing sites and away from these operations, have been used to assess the geochemistry of the local waters. Sodium chloride, used in the dyeing processes, was found to have been transported the furthest away from dyeing operations. Heavy metals such as thallium, aluminum, barium, iron, nickel, lead, and antimony were observed at each stage of the dyeing process as well as in effluent waters at concentrations above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). Textile dyeing is a major source of pollution and a health hazard to the people within the Amarapura Township; however, locals are not readily connecting dye practices to the issues with their drinking water.


83 pages




Northern Illinois University

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