Open AccessArticle
Do 16 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Represent PAH Air Toxicity?
Toxics 2017, 5(3), 17; doi:10.3390/toxics5030017 -
Abstract
Estimation of carcinogenic potency based on analysis of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) ranked by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the most popular approach within scientific and environmental air quality management communities. The majority of PAH monitoring projects have been focused on
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Estimation of carcinogenic potency based on analysis of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) ranked by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the most popular approach within scientific and environmental air quality management communities. The majority of PAH monitoring projects have been focused on particle-bound PAHs, ignoring the contribution of gas-phase PAHs to the toxicity of PAH mixtures in air samples. In this study, we analyzed the results of 13 projects in which 88 PAHs in both gas and particle phases were collected from different sources (biomass burning, mining operation, and vehicle emissions), as well as in urban air. The aim was to investigate whether 16 particle-bound U.S. EPA priority PAHs adequately represented health risks of inhalation exposure to atmospheric PAH mixtures. PAH concentrations were converted to benzo(a)pyrene-equivalent (BaPeq) toxicity using the toxic equivalency factor (TEF) approach. TEFs of PAH compounds for which such data is not available were estimated using TEFs of close isomers. Total BaPeq toxicities (∑88BaPeq) of gas- and particle-phase PAHs were compared with BaPeq toxicities calculated for the 16 particle-phase EPA PAH (∑16EPABaPeq). The results showed that 16 EPA particle-bound PAHs underrepresented the carcinogenic potency on average by 85.6% relative to the total (gas and particle) BaPeq toxicity of 88 PAHs. Gas-phase PAHs, like methylnaphthalenes, may contribute up to 30% of ∑88BaPeq. Accounting for other individual non-EPA PAHs (i.e., benzo(e)pyrene) and gas-phase PAHs (i.e., naphthalene, 1- and 2-methylnaphthalene) will make the risk assessment of PAH-containing air samples significantly more accurate. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
North Carolina Toxic Substance Incidents Program 2010–2015: Identifying Areas for Injury Prevention Efforts
Toxics 2017, 5(3), 16; doi:10.3390/toxics5030016 -
Abstract
The National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP) is a surveillance system designed to capture acute toxic substance releases, factors contributing to the release, and any associated injuries. North Carolina has participated since 2010, when NTSIP was established. This article will present a descriptive
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The National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP) is a surveillance system designed to capture acute toxic substance releases, factors contributing to the release, and any associated injuries. North Carolina has participated since 2010, when NTSIP was established. This article will present a descriptive statistical summary from 2010 to 2015 focused on releases that resulted in injuries in order to identify areas for public health prevention efforts. Of the 1690 toxic releases in North Carolina, 155 incidents resulted in injuries and 500 people were injured. Carbon monoxide injured the greatest number of people. Of the incidents that resulted in injuries, 68 occurred at private vehicles or residences (44%), injuring 124 people (25%). Over half of events where at least one responder was injured occurred at private vehicles or residences. Events occurring at private residences did not have a significant relationship between evacuations and injuries, while for industry-related events, the odds of an evacuation being ordered were 8.18 times greater (OR = 8.18, 95% CI = 5.19, 12.89) when there were injuries associated with an event. Intervention efforts should focus on preventing responder injuries while responding to private residence releases and educating the general public on how to prevent injuries by self-evacuating areas where hazardous chemicals have been released. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Revelation of Different Nanoparticle-Uptake Behavior in Two Standard Cell Lines NIH/3T3 and A549 by Flow Cytometry and Time-Lapse Imaging
Toxics 2017, 5(3), 15; doi:10.3390/toxics5030015 -
Abstract
The uptake of nanomaterials into different cell types is a central pharmacological issue for the determination of nanotoxicity as well as for the development of drug delivery strategies. Most responses of the cells depend on their intracellular interactions with nanoparticles (NPs). Uptake behavior
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The uptake of nanomaterials into different cell types is a central pharmacological issue for the determination of nanotoxicity as well as for the development of drug delivery strategies. Most responses of the cells depend on their intracellular interactions with nanoparticles (NPs). Uptake behavior can be precisely investigated in vitro, with sensitive high throughput methods such as flow cytometry. In this study, we investigated two different standard cell lines, human lung carcinoma (A549) and mouse fibroblast (NIH/3T3) cells, regarding their uptake behavior of titanium dioxide NPs. Cells were incubated with different concentrations of TiO2 NPs and samples were taken at certain time points to compare the uptake kinetics of both cell lines. Samples were analyzed with the help of flow cytometry by studying changes in the side and forward scattering signal. To additionally enable a detection via fluorescence, NPs were labeled with the fluorescent dye fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) and propidium iodide (PI). We found that NIH/3T3 cells take up the studied NPs more efficiently than A549 cells. These findings were supported by time-lapse microscopic imaging of the cells incubated with TiO2 NPs. Our results confirm that the uptake behavior of individual cell types has to be considered before interpreting any results of nanomaterial studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Aerosols of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Following Three Generation Methods Using an Optimized Aerosolization System Designed for Experimental Inhalation Studies
Toxics 2017, 5(3), 14; doi:10.3390/toxics5030014 -
Abstract
Nanoparticles (NPs) can be released in the air in work settings, but various factors influence the exposure of workers. Controlled inhalation experiments can thus be conducted in an attempt to reproduce real-life exposure conditions and assess inhalation toxicology. Methods exist to generate aerosols,
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Nanoparticles (NPs) can be released in the air in work settings, but various factors influence the exposure of workers. Controlled inhalation experiments can thus be conducted in an attempt to reproduce real-life exposure conditions and assess inhalation toxicology. Methods exist to generate aerosols, but it remains difficult to obtain nano-sized and stable aerosols suitable for inhalation experiments. The goal of this work was to characterize aerosols of titanium dioxide (TiO2) NPs, generated using a novel inhalation system equipped with three types of generators—a wet collision jet nebulizer, a dry dust jet and an electrospray aerosolizer—with the aim of producing stable aerosols with a nano-diameter average (<100 nm) and monodispersed distribution for future rodent exposures and toxicological studies. Results showed the ability of the three generation systems to provide good and stable dispersions of NPs, applicable for acute (continuous up to 8 h) and repeated (21-day) exposures. In all cases, the generated aerosols were composed mainly of small aggregates/agglomerates (average diameter <100 nm) with the electrospray producing the finest (average diameter of 70–75 mm) and least concentrated aerosols (between 0.150 and 2.5 mg/m3). The dust jet was able to produce concentrations varying from 1.5 to 150 mg/m3, and hence, the most highly concentrated aerosols. The nebulizer collision jet aerosolizer was the most versatile generator, producing both low (0.5 mg/m3) and relatively high concentrations (30 mg/m3). The three optimized generators appeared suited for possible toxicological studies of inhaled NPs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Concentrations of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in Water from Asunle Stream, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Toxics 2017, 5(2), 13; doi:10.3390/toxics5020013 -
Abstract
This study assessed the concentrations of polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) in stream water obtained from Asunle stream, an adjoining stream of the Obafemi Awolowo University dumpsite. Water samples were collected for a period of eight months from six different locations comprising of a spot
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This study assessed the concentrations of polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) in stream water obtained from Asunle stream, an adjoining stream of the Obafemi Awolowo University dumpsite. Water samples were collected for a period of eight months from six different locations comprising of a spot upstream in an uphill area relative to the refuse dumpsite and five others downstream along the stream course. The sampled waters were extracted with dicholoromethane using liquid-liquid extraction method and cleanup was carried out with silica gel. The final extracts after concentration were analyzed using GC-MS/MS. The recovery experiments were adequate (105%–110%). The mean levels of Ʃ6PBDEs compounds analyzed ranged from 0.03 to 0.45 ng/mL. Seasonal variability of PBDEs indicated that higher levels were found during the wet season. The levels of PBDEs recorded in this work were relatively lower compared to the values reported in the literature from other developed nations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Investigation of Unexpected Arsenic Compounds Observed in Routine Biological Monitoring Urinary Speciation Analysis
Toxics 2017, 5(2), 12; doi:10.3390/toxics5020012 -
Abstract
This study investigates the identity of two unexpected arsenic species found separately in a number of urine samples sent to the Health and Safety Executive’s Health and Safety Laboratory for arsenic speciation (arsenobetaine, AB; arsenite, As3+; arsenate, As5+; monomethylarsonic
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This study investigates the identity of two unexpected arsenic species found separately in a number of urine samples sent to the Health and Safety Executive’s Health and Safety Laboratory for arsenic speciation (arsenobetaine, AB; arsenite, As3+; arsenate, As5+; monomethylarsonic acid, MMA5+; and dimethylarsinic acid, DMA5+). Micro liquid chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (µLC-ICP-MS) and electrospray time of flight tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-QqTOF-MS/MS) were used to identify the two arsenic peaks by comparison to several characterized arsenicals: arsenocholine, AC; trimethyl arsine oxide, TMAO; dimethylarsenoacetate, DMAA; dimethylarsenoethanol, DMAE; thio-dimethylarsinate, thio-DMA; thio-dimethylarsenoacetate, thio-DMAA and thio-dimethylarsenoethanol, thio-DMAE. The results from both the ICP-MS and ESI-QqTOF-MS/MS investigations indicate that the unexpected arsenic species termed peak 1 was thio-DMA. While the unexpected arsenic species termed peak 2 has yet to be identified, this investigation shows that it was not AC, TMAO, DMAA, DMAE, thio-DMA, thio-DMAA or thio-DMAE. This study demonstrates the incidence of unexpected arsenic species in both routine and non-routine urine samples from both workers and hospital patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Vitis vinifera Extract Ameliorate Hepatic and Renal Dysfunction Induced by Dexamethasone in Albino Rats
Toxics 2017, 5(2), 11; doi:10.3390/toxics5020011 -
Abstract
This study was conducted to evaluate the biochemical effects of grape seed extract against dexamethasone-induced hepatic and renal dysfunction in a female albino rat. Twenty-eight adult female rats were divided randomly into four equal groups: Group 1: animals were injected subcutaneously with saline
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This study was conducted to evaluate the biochemical effects of grape seed extract against dexamethasone-induced hepatic and renal dysfunction in a female albino rat. Twenty-eight adult female rats were divided randomly into four equal groups: Group 1: animals were injected subcutaneously with saline and consider as normal control one. Group 2: animals were injected subcutaneously with dexamethasone in a dose of 0.1 mg/kg body weight. Group 3: animals were injected subcutaneously with 0.1 mg/kg body weight of dexamethasone, and then treated with a grape seed extract in a dose of 200 mg/kg body weight by oral gavage. Group 4: animals were injected subcutaneously with 0.1 mg/kg body weight of dexamethasone, and then treated with a grape seed extract in a dose of 400 mg/kg body weight by oral gavage. After 4 weeks, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activities, albumin, uric acid, creatinine, and glucose levels were assayed. Hepatic reduced glutathione (GSH), total protein content, and catalase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activities were also assayed. Dexamethasone administration caused elevation of serum levels of glucose, uric acid, creatinine, ALT, AST activities, and a decrease in other parameters such as hepatic glutathione, total protein levels, and catalase enzyme activity. Treatment with Vitis vinifera L. seed extract showed a significant increase in the body weight of rats in the group treated with Vitis vinifera L. seed extract orally compared with the dexamethasone control group. An increase in GSH and catalase activity in response to oral treatment with Vitis vinifera L. seed extract was observed after treatment. Grape seed extract positively affects glucocorticoid-induced hepatic and renal alteration in albino rats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pharmaceutical Wastewater Effluent—Source of Contaminants of Emerging Concern: Phytotoxicity of Metronidazole to Soybean (Glycine max)
Toxics 2017, 5(2), 10; doi:10.3390/toxics5020010 -
Abstract
Industrial discharge of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) into the environment in some middle- and low-income countries is not sufficiently regulated. The phytotoxicity of metronidazole (FLAGYL)—one of the most commonly used over the counter (OTC) antibiotics, to soybean (Glycine max) is investigated.
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Industrial discharge of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) into the environment in some middle- and low-income countries is not sufficiently regulated. The phytotoxicity of metronidazole (FLAGYL)—one of the most commonly used over the counter (OTC) antibiotics, to soybean (Glycine max) is investigated. Relative growth rate (RGR) expressed in gram per gram per day (gg−1d−1) was applied to plants destructively harvested at maturity (42 d), to determine the toxicological impact. Differences between mean RGR of the three groups were performed at 0.05 significance level. Multiple comparisons suggest that there was a statistical significant difference among mean RGR for all treatment groups. Metronidazole is toxic to soybean plants (Glycine max) based on dose-response criterion. There is a need to enforce treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater effluent by Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Companies (PMCs) before discharge into the environment. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
The Food and Beverage Occurrence of Furfuryl Alcohol and Myrcene—Two Emerging Potential Human Carcinogens?
Toxics 2017, 5(1), 9; doi:10.3390/toxics5010009 -
Abstract
For decades, compounds present in foods and beverages have been implicated in the etiology of human cancers. The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) continues to classify such agents regarding their potential carcinogenicity in humans based on new
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For decades, compounds present in foods and beverages have been implicated in the etiology of human cancers. The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) continues to classify such agents regarding their potential carcinogenicity in humans based on new evidence from animal and human studies. Furfuryl alcohol and β-myrcene are potential human carcinogens due to be evaluated. The major source of furfuryl alcohol in foods is thermal processing and ageing of alcoholic beverages, while β-myrcene occurs naturally as a constituent of the essential oils of plants such as hops, lemongrass, and derived products. This study aimed to summarize the occurrence of furfuryl alcohol and β-myrcene in foods and beverages using literature review data. Additionally, results of furfuryl alcohol occurrence from our own nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis are included. The highest content of furfuryl alcohol was found in coffee beans (>100 mg/kg) and in some fish products (about 10 mg/kg), while among beverages, wines contained between 1 and 10 mg/L, with 8 mg/L in pineapple juice. The content of β-myrcene was highest in hops. In conclusion, the data about the occurrence of the two agents is currently judged as insufficient for exposure and risk assessment. The results of this study point out the food and beverage groups that may be considered for future monitoring of furfuryl alcohol and β-myrcene. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cytotoxic and Inflammatory Potential of Air Samples from Occupational Settings with Exposure to Organic Dust
Toxics 2017, 5(1), 8; doi:10.3390/toxics5010008 -
Abstract
Organic dust and related microbial exposures are the main inducers of several respiratory symptoms. Occupational exposure to organic dust is very common and has been reported in diverse settings. In vitro tests using relevant cell cultures can be very useful for characterizing the
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Organic dust and related microbial exposures are the main inducers of several respiratory symptoms. Occupational exposure to organic dust is very common and has been reported in diverse settings. In vitro tests using relevant cell cultures can be very useful for characterizing the toxicity of complex mixtures present in the air of occupational environments such as organic dust. In this study, the cell viability and the inflammatory response, as measured by the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interleukin-1 β (IL-1β), were determined in human macrophages derived from THP-1 monocytic cells. These cells were exposed to air samples from five occupational settings known to possess high levels of contamination of organic dust: poultry and swine feed industries, waste sorting, poultry production and slaughterhouses. Additionally, fungi and particle contamination of those settings was studied to better characterize the organic dust composition. All air samples collected from the assessed workplaces caused both cytotoxic and pro-inflammatory effects. The highest responses were observed in the feed industry, particularly in swine feed production. This study emphasizes the importance of measuring the organic dust/mixture effects in occupational settings and suggests that differences in the organic dust content may result in differences in health effects for exposed workers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Current Mercury Exposure from Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia—Future Significant Health Risks
Toxics 2017, 5(1), 7; doi:10.3390/toxics5010007 -
Abstract
The rapid expansion of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) industry in developing countries has marginalized the local communities in poverty, and resulted in occupational exposure to mercury via the gold extraction process. We investigated the mercury exposure of the mining workers
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The rapid expansion of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) industry in developing countries has marginalized the local communities in poverty, and resulted in occupational exposure to mercury via the gold extraction process. We investigated the mercury exposure of the mining workers lived inside and outside the mining area. Based on the occupations of the contributors, the hair samples were divided into three subgroups: directly exposed, indirectly exposed, and a control. A total of 81 hair samples were analyzed by particle-induced X-ray emission spectrometry. The median mercury concentration was highest in the hair from the directly exposed group (12.82 μg/g hair) (control group median: 4.8 μg/g hair, p < 0.05), and the concentrations in hair from 45 respondents exceeded the Human Biomonitoring I (HBM I) threshold limit. Mercury concentrations were also elevated in the hair from the indirectly exposed group (median 7.64 μg/g hair, p < 0.05), and concentrations in hair from 24 respondents exceeded the HBM I threshold limits. Exposure to mercury during ASGM presents health risks and is harmful for the miners; mercury is also at hazardous levels for people who live in the mining area but who are not engaged in mercury-based gold extraction. Full article
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Open AccessReview
EDCs Mixtures: A Stealthy Hazard for Human Health?
Toxics 2017, 5(1), 5; doi:10.3390/toxics5010005 -
Abstract
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous chemicals that may occur naturally (e.g., phytoestrogens), while others are industrial substances and plasticizers commonly utilized worldwide to which human exposure, particularly at low-doses, is omnipresent, persistent and occurs in complex mixtures. EDCs can interfere with/or mimic
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Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous chemicals that may occur naturally (e.g., phytoestrogens), while others are industrial substances and plasticizers commonly utilized worldwide to which human exposure, particularly at low-doses, is omnipresent, persistent and occurs in complex mixtures. EDCs can interfere with/or mimic estrogenic hormones and, consequently, can simultaneously trigger diverse signaling pathways which result in diverse and divergent biological responses. Additionally, EDCs can also bioaccumulate in lipid compartments of the organism forming a mixed “body burden” of contaminants. Although the independent action of chemicals has been considered the main principle in EDCs mixture toxicity, recent studies have demonstrated that numerous effects cannot be predicted when analyzing single compounds independently. Co-exposure to these agents, particularly in critical windows of exposure, may induce hazardous health effects potentially associated with a complex “body burden” of different origins. Here, we performed an exhaustive review of the available literature regarding EDCs mixtures exposure, toxicity mechanisms and effects, particularly at the most vulnerable human life stages. Although the assessment of potential risks to human health due to exposure to EDCs mixtures is a major topic for consumer safety, information regarding effective mixtures effects is still scarce. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tannery Effluent Treatment by Yeast Species Isolates from Watermelon
Toxics 2017, 5(1), 6; doi:10.3390/toxics5010006 -
Abstract
The quest for an effective alternative means for effluent treatment is a major concern of the modern-day scientist. Fungi have been attracting a growing interest for the biological treatment of industrial wastewater. In this study, Saccharomycescerevisiae and Torulasporadelbrueckii were isolated from spoiled watermelon
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The quest for an effective alternative means for effluent treatment is a major concern of the modern-day scientist. Fungi have been attracting a growing interest for the biological treatment of industrial wastewater. In this study, Saccharomycescerevisiae and Torulasporadelbrueckii were isolated from spoiled watermelon and inoculated into different concentrations of effluent. The inoculants were incubated for 21-days to monitor the performance of the isolates by measurement of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), nitrates, conductivity, phosphates, sulphates and turbidity. The results showed that Saccharomycescerevisiae had the highest percentage decrease of 98.1%, 83.0%, 60.7%, 60.5%, and 54.2% for turbidity, sulphates, BOD, phosphates and COD, respectively, of the tannery effluent. Torulasporadelbrueckii showed the highest percentage decrease of 92.9%, 90.6%, and 61.9% for sulphates, COD, and phosphates, respectively, while the syndicate showed the highest percentage reduction of 87.4% and 70.2% for nitrate and total dissolve solid (TDS), respectively. The least percentage decrease was displayed by syndicate organisms at 51.2%, 48.1% and 40.3% for BOD, COD and conductivity, respectively. The study revealed that Saccharomycescerevisiae and Torulasporadelbrueckii could be used in the biological treatment of tannery-effluent. Hence, it was concluded that the use of these organisms could contribute to minimizing the adverse environmental risks and health-hazards associated with the disposal of untreated tannery-effluents. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Toxics in 2016
Toxics 2017, 5(1), 4; doi:10.3390/toxics5010004 -
Abstract
The editors of Toxics would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Urinary Naphthol as a Biomarker of Exposure: Results from an Oral Exposure to Carbaryl and Workers Occupationally Exposed to Naphthalene
Toxics 2017, 5(1), 3; doi:10.3390/toxics5010003 -
Abstract
Urinary naphthol is an established human biomarker used for assessing both occupational and environmental exposure. However, 1-naphthol is a metabolite of the insecticide carbaryl while both the 1- and 2-isomers are metabolites of naphthalene. Thus, urinary 1-naphthol levels will reflect combined exposure to
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Urinary naphthol is an established human biomarker used for assessing both occupational and environmental exposure. However, 1-naphthol is a metabolite of the insecticide carbaryl while both the 1- and 2-isomers are metabolites of naphthalene. Thus, urinary 1-naphthol levels will reflect combined exposure to both substances, particularly at environmental levels. The interpretation of biomarkers is aided by knowledge of levels following well-characterised exposure scenarios. This study reports urinary 1-naphthol levels in five volunteers administered an oral dose of carbaryl at the acceptable daily intake (ADI, 0.008 mg/kg). The elimination half-life was 3.6 h and the mean 1-naphthol level in 24 h total urine collections, normalised for a 70 kg individual, was 37.4 µmol/mol creatinine (range 21.3–84.3). Peak levels in spot-urine samples were around 200 µmol/mol creatinine. For comparison, 327 post-shift urine samples obtained from 90 individual workers exposed occupationally to naphthalene had 1-naphthol levels from below the limit of detection (<LoD) to 1027 µmol/mol creatinine (median = 4.2, mean = 27.2). The 2-naphthol levels ranged from <LoD to 153 µmol/mol creatinine (median = 4.0, mean = 8.1). Background ranges have been reported for urine naphthols in several populations, with upper limits between 10 and 20 µmol/mol creatinine. The data reported here suggest that environmental exposure to carbaryl and naphthalene in these populations is well controlled. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis between Ecotoxicity of Nitrogen-, Phosphorus-, and Potassium-Based Fertilizers and Their Active Ingredients
Toxics 2017, 5(1), 2; doi:10.3390/toxics5010002 -
Abstract
This study aimed to analyze the ecotoxicity of nitrogen-, phosphorus-, and potassium-based compounds to organisms of two different trophic levels in order to compare the toxic effect between high-purity substances and these substances as components of fertilizers. Dilutions were made with the fertilizers’
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This study aimed to analyze the ecotoxicity of nitrogen-, phosphorus-, and potassium-based compounds to organisms of two different trophic levels in order to compare the toxic effect between high-purity substances and these substances as components of fertilizers. Dilutions were made with the fertilizers’ potassium chloride, potassium nitrate, superphosphate, urea, and their equivalent reagents, to conduct assays to establish the acute lethal concentration for half of the population (LC50). Ten individuals of the benthic snail Biomphalaria glabrata and the fish Danio rerio were exposed to each concentration of tested compounds. As a result, the toxicity levels of potassium chloride, potassium nitrate, and urea were obtained for B. glabrata and D. rerio, with the fish being more susceptible to potassium chloride in the fertilizer and the snail to potassium nitrate and urea, in both commercial and reagent forms. Regarding superphosphate, no significant toxicity was found. This study concluded that among the tested substances, KNO3 and KCl were the most toxic substances and urea the least toxic. It was not possible to establish the most sensitive species since, for KCl, the fish were more susceptible to the fertilizer and the snail to the reagent, while for KNO3 the opposite was observed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Heavy Metal Concentration and Potential Health Implications of Beverages Consumed in Nigeria
Toxics 2017, 5(1), 1; doi:10.3390/toxics5010001 -
Abstract
Beverages are consumed in Nigeria irrespective of age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Beverages may be alcoholic (wine, spirits, and beers) or non-alcoholic (soft drink, energy drinks, candies, chocolates, milks). Notwithstanding, most beverages are packed in cans, bottles, and plastics. This paper reviews the
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Beverages are consumed in Nigeria irrespective of age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Beverages may be alcoholic (wine, spirits, and beers) or non-alcoholic (soft drink, energy drinks, candies, chocolates, milks). Notwithstanding, most beverages are packed in cans, bottles, and plastics. This paper reviews the concentration of heavy metals from some commercially-packaged beverages consumed in Nigeria. The study found that heavy metal concentrations, including iron, mercury, tin, antimony, cadmium, zinc, copper, chromium, lead, and manganese, seldom exceed the maximum contaminant level recommended by the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as applicable to drinking water resources. The occurrence of heavy metals in the beverages could have resulted from the feedstocks and water used in their production. Consumption of beverages high in heavy metal could be toxic and cause adverse effect to human health, depending on the rate of exposure and accumulation dosage. This study concludes by suggesting that heavy metal concentration in the feedstocks and water should be monitored by producers, and its concentration in beverages should also be monitored by appropriate regulatory agencies. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Drug Vaping: From the Dangers of Misuse to New Therapeutic Devices
Toxics 2016, 4(4), 29; doi:10.3390/toxics4040029 -
Abstract
Users of e-cigarettes are unwitting volunteers participating in a worldwide epidemiological study. Because of the obvious benefits of e-cigarettes compared with traditional cigarette smoking, these electronic devices have been introduced all around the world to support tobacco smoking cessation. Same potential harm reduction
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Users of e-cigarettes are unwitting volunteers participating in a worldwide epidemiological study. Because of the obvious benefits of e-cigarettes compared with traditional cigarette smoking, these electronic devices have been introduced all around the world to support tobacco smoking cessation. Same potential harm reduction could be considered by cannabis vaping for marijuana smokers. However, the toxicities of liquids and aerosols remain under investigation because although the use of e-cigarettes is likely to be less harmful than traditional cigarette smoking, trace levels of contaminants have been identified. Simultaneously, other electronic devices, such as e-vaporisers, e-hookahs or e-pipes, have been developed and commercialised. Consequently, misuse of electronic devices has increased, and experimentation has been documented on Internet web fora. Although legal and illegal drugs are currently consumed with these e-devices, no scientific papers are available to support the observations reported by numerous media and web fora. Moreover, building on illegal drug vaping and vaporisation with e-devices (vaping misuse), legal drug vaping (an alternative use of vaping) could present therapeutic benefits, as occurs with medical cannabis vaporisation with table vaporisers. This review seeks to synthesise the problems of e-cigarette and liquid refill toxicity in order to introduce the dangers of illegal and legal drugs consumed using vaping and vaporisation for recreational purposes, and finally, to present the potential therapeutic benefits of vaping as a new administration route for legal drugs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Haematological, Biochemical and Antioxidant Changes in Wistar Rats Exposed to Dichlorvos Based Insecticide Formulation Used in Southeast Nigeria
Toxics 2016, 4(4), 28; doi:10.3390/toxics4040028 -
Abstract
The indiscriminate use of pesticide is a treat to non-target organisms. This study evaluates the haematological and biochemical changes induced by inhalation of local Nigerian dichlorvos insecticide on rats. The rats were randomly assigned to a control group which received only food and
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The indiscriminate use of pesticide is a treat to non-target organisms. This study evaluates the haematological and biochemical changes induced by inhalation of local Nigerian dichlorvos insecticide on rats. The rats were randomly assigned to a control group which received only food and water and a test group which, in addition to food and water, was exposed to the pesticide for a period of 4 h daily for 28 days, after which exposure was discontinued for seven days. Five animals were sacrificed from each group on days 1, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35, and blood was collected by cardiac puncture for haematological, biochemical and antioxidant analysis. Results obtained showed lowered values of red blood cell count (RBC), packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin, mean cell haemoglobin (MCH) and mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) (p < 0.05) with increased white blood cell count (WBC) and platelet counts after day 14 when compared to the control group. Liver enzymes aspartate amino transaminase (AST) and alanine amino transaminase (ALT) were higher in the exposed rats compared to the control group (p < 0.05). Urea and creatinine concentrations increased significantly after day 1 and at day 28, while superoxide dismutase (SOD), gluthathione (GSH) and catalase (CAT) activity increased significantly compared to the control after day 1, day 14 and day 21, respectively. The RBC, PCV and haemoglobin values of all exposed rats were restored to normal following withdrawal of the pesticide, though AST, ALT, urea, creatinine and, glutathione values remained significantly high compared to the control. Inhalation of the local insecticide is toxic to the blood, liver and kidney of laboratory rats and may be deleterious to human health following long-term exposure. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Hair Microelement Profile as a Prognostic Tool in Parkinson’s Disease
Toxics 2016, 4(4), 27; doi:10.3390/toxics4040027 -
Abstract
Changes in the homeostasis of metals and microelements have been demonstrated in Parkinson’s disease, whose etiology includes both a genetic and environmental basis. We studied the difference of microelements in the hair of Parkinson’s disease subjects (n = 46) compared with healthy
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Changes in the homeostasis of metals and microelements have been demonstrated in Parkinson’s disease, whose etiology includes both a genetic and environmental basis. We studied the difference of microelements in the hair of Parkinson’s disease subjects (n = 46) compared with healthy controls (n = 24). Hair was chosen as a representative matrix to measure microelements, since it is a vehicle of substance excretion from the human body and it allows for long-term evaluation of metal exposure. An inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis of hair collected from 24 Parkinson’s patients compared with their healthy relatives used as controls shows a significant decrease in Ca (U = 166, p = 0.012),), Mg (U = 187, p = 0.037), and Sr (U = 183, p = 0.030). Cd and Ca/Mg were decreased, and Cu was increased, in patients with respect to their healthy related controls at the limit of significance (p = 0.0501). Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of these microelements in hair shows a clustering into two groups according to gender, disease severity according to the Hoehn–Yahr scale, and pharmacological therapy. This pilot study represents a starting point for future investigations where a larger group of subjects will be involved to define other microelements useful when screening for early biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease. Full article
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