Open AccessReview
Herb-Induced Liver Injuries in Developing Nations: An Update
Toxics 2018, 6(2), 24; doi:10.3390/toxics6020024 -
Abstract
The last few decades have seen a rise in the use of herbal supplements, natural products, and traditional medicines. However, there are growing concerns related to the safety and toxicities of these medicines. These herbal medicines are associated with complications such as liver
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The last few decades have seen a rise in the use of herbal supplements, natural products, and traditional medicines. However, there are growing concerns related to the safety and toxicities of these medicines. These herbal medicines are associated with complications such as liver damage with a high incidence of mortalities and morbidities. Clinical manifestations range from asymptomatic cases with abnormal liver functions tests to sudden and severe liver failure necessitating liver transplantation. This work aimed to review the etiology, risk factors, diagnosis, clinical manifestations and selected clinical case reports of herbal hepatotoxicity in developing nations. PubMed and Google Scholar searches were undertaken to identify relevant literature. Furthermore, we scanned the reference lists of the primary and review articles to identify publications not retrieved by electronic searches. Little data exists on clinical cases of herb-induced liver injury in some developing countries such as Nigeria, as most incidences are either not reported to health care providers or reports from hospitals go unpublished. Studies in Nigeria have highlighted a possible correlation between use of herbs and liver disease. In Uganda, and association between the use of traditional herbal medicine with liver fibrosis in HIV-infected and non-HIV patients was demonstrated. Reports from China have revealed incidences of acute liver failure as a result of herbal medicine use. The actual incidence and prevalence of HILI in developing nations remain largely unknown due to both poor pharmacovigilance programs and non-application of emerging technologies. Improving education and public awareness of the potential risks of herbals and herbal products is desirable to ensure that suspected adverse effects are formally reported. There is need for stricter regulations and pre-clinical studies necessary for efficacy and safety. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Cancer Mortality in Residents of the Cadmium-Polluted Jinzu River Basin in Toyama, Japan
Toxics 2018, 6(2), 23; doi:10.3390/toxics6020023 -
Abstract
After 26 years, we followed up 7348 participants in a 1979–1984 health screening survey in the Jinzu River basin, the heaviest cadmium-polluted area in Japan. We assessed the associations of cadmium exposure levels and mortality from cancer and renal damage, indicated by records
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After 26 years, we followed up 7348 participants in a 1979–1984 health screening survey in the Jinzu River basin, the heaviest cadmium-polluted area in Japan. We assessed the associations of cadmium exposure levels and mortality from cancer and renal damage, indicated by records of proteinuria and glucosuria in the original survey. Mortality risks (hazard ratios) were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazards model, stratified by sex, after adjusting for age, smoking status, and hypertension, as indicated in the original survey records. In men, the adjusted hazard ratio for mortality from lung cancer was significantly lower in individuals residing in an area of historically high cadmium exposure and in subjects with a historical record of proteinuria, glucosuria, and glucoproteinuria. The risk of mortality from prostate cancer was borderline higher in cadmium-exposed men. In women, historical cadmium exposure was not associated with an increased risk of mortality from malignant neoplasms, but the adjusted hazard ratios for death from total malignant neoplasms or from renal and uterine cancers were significantly higher in exposed subjects with a historical record of proteinuria, glucosuria, and glucoproteinuria. These findings suggest that women residing in cadmium-polluted areas who exhibit markers of renal damage may be at risk of dying of cancer. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Estimated Dietary Intake of Trace Metals from Swordfish Consumption: A Human Health Problem
Toxics 2018, 6(2), 22; doi:10.3390/toxics6020022 -
Abstract
Trace element (Hg, Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu, Ni, and Cr) occurrence was determined in the muscle tissue of swordfish collected in the Mediterranean Sea to assess whether the intakes complied with the recommended levels for essential metals and permissible levels for toxic elements.
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Trace element (Hg, Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu, Ni, and Cr) occurrence was determined in the muscle tissue of swordfish collected in the Mediterranean Sea to assess whether the intakes complied with the recommended levels for essential metals and permissible levels for toxic elements. Metals were analyzed by an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Shimadzu AA 7000). The methodology of Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) was also evaluated. The ranking order of toxic metal concentration was Hg > Cd > Pb, while for essential elements the distribution pattern followed the sequence Zn > Cu > Ni > Cr. The Estimated Weekly Intakes (EWI) as well as THQ for Cd and Pb indicated that swordfish consumption did not pose a risk to human health, whereas the major concern was for Hg. Fish size-related changes in Hg concentrations resulted in high EWI and THQ values relative to larger fish consumption, implying a potential risk to human health. For consumer protection, catches of swordfish approximately above 44 kg should be avoided as these fish have a higher risk of containing toxic levels of Hg. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptomic Analysis of Gonadal Adipose Tissue in Male Mice Exposed Perinatally to 2,2′,4,4′-Tetrabromodiphenyl Ether (BDE-47)
Toxics 2018, 6(2), 21; doi:10.3390/toxics6020021 -
Abstract
For the majority of lipophilic compounds, adipose tissue is traditionally considered as a storage depot and only rarely as a target organ. Meanwhile, abnormalities in adipose tissue physiology induced by chemical exposure may contribute to the current epidemic of obesity and metabolic diseases.
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For the majority of lipophilic compounds, adipose tissue is traditionally considered as a storage depot and only rarely as a target organ. Meanwhile, abnormalities in adipose tissue physiology induced by chemical exposure may contribute to the current epidemic of obesity and metabolic diseases. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a group of lipophilic flame retardants found in the majority of human samples in North America. Their ability to alter the physiology of adipose tissue is unknown. We exposed pregnant mice to 0.2 mg/kg body weight/day of BDE-47 perinatally. Transcriptomic changes in gonadal adipose tissue were analyzed in male offspring using the RNA-seq approach with subsequent bioinformatic analysis. The expression of genes of coagulation and complement cascade, de novo lipogenesis, and xenobiotic metabolism was altered in response to BDE-47 exposure. The affected molecular network included the following hubs: PPARα, HNF1A, and HNF4. These findings suggest that adipose tissue should be considered a target tissue for BDE-47, in addition to its role as a storage depot. This study also builds a background for a targeted search of sensitive phenotypic endpoints of BDE-47 exposure, including lipid profile parameters and coagulation factors in circulation. Additional studies are needed to investigate the role of PBDEs as an obesogen. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Mitochondrial Morphology and Function of the Pancreatic β-Cells INS-1 Model upon Chronic Exposure to Sub-Lethal Cadmium Doses
Toxics 2018, 6(2), 20; doi:10.3390/toxics6020020 -
Abstract
The impact of chronic cadmium exposure and slow accumulation on the occurrence and development of diabetes is controversial for human populations. Islets of Langerhans play a prominent role in the etiology of the disease, including by their ability to secrete insulin. Conversion of
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The impact of chronic cadmium exposure and slow accumulation on the occurrence and development of diabetes is controversial for human populations. Islets of Langerhans play a prominent role in the etiology of the disease, including by their ability to secrete insulin. Conversion of glucose increase into insulin secretion involves mitochondria. A rat model of pancreatic β-cells was exposed to largely sub-lethal levels of cadmium cations applied for the longest possible time. Cadmium entered cells at concentrations far below those inducing cell death and accumulated by factors reaching several hundred folds the basal level. The mitochondria reorganized in response to the challenge by favoring fission as measured by increased circularity at cadmium levels already ten-fold below the median lethal dose. However, the energy charge and respiratory flux devoted to adenosine triphosphate synthesis were only affected at the onset of cellular death. The present data indicate that mitochondria participate in the adaptation of β-cells to even a moderate cadmium burden without losing functionality, but their impairment in the long run may contribute to cellular dysfunction, when viability and β-cells mass are affected as observed in diabetes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Hair Manganese, Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic Levels in Environmentally Exposed Children
Toxics 2018, 6(2), 19; doi:10.3390/toxics6020019 -
Abstract
Biomarkers of environmental metal exposure in children are important for elucidating exposure and health risk. While exposure biomarkers for As, Cd, and Pb are relatively well defined, there are not yet well-validated biomarkers of Mn exposure. Here, we measured hair Mn, Pb, Cd,
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Biomarkers of environmental metal exposure in children are important for elucidating exposure and health risk. While exposure biomarkers for As, Cd, and Pb are relatively well defined, there are not yet well-validated biomarkers of Mn exposure. Here, we measured hair Mn, Pb, Cd, and As levels in children from the Mid-Ohio Valley to determine within and between-subject predictors of hair metal levels. Occipital scalp hair was collected in 2009–2010 from 222 children aged 6–12 years (169 female, 53 male) participating in a study of chemical exposure and neurodevelopment in an industrial region of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Hair samples from females were divided into three two centimeter segments, while males provided a single segment. Hair was cleaned and processed in a trace metal clean laboratory, and analyzed for As, Cd, Mn, and Pb by magnetic sector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Hair Mn and Pb levels were comparable (median 0.11 and 0.15 µg/g, respectively) and were ~10-fold higher than hair Cd and As levels (0.007 and 0.018 µg/g, respectively). Hair metal levels were higher in males compared to females, and varied by ~100–1000-fold between all subjects, and substantially less (<40–70%) between segments within female subjects. Hair Mn, Pb, and Cd, but not As levels systematically increased by ~40–70% from the proximal to distal hair segments of females. There was a significant effect of season of hair sample collection on hair Mn, Pb, and Cd, but not As levels. Finally, hair metal levels reported here are ~2 to >10-fold lower than levels reported in other studies in children, most likely because of more rigorous hair cleaning methodology used in the present study, leading to lower levels of unresolved exogenous metal contamination of hair. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design of Stripping Columns Applied to Drinking Water to Minimize Carcinogenic Risk from Trihalomethanes (THMs)
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 18; doi:10.3390/toxics6010018 -
Abstract
The aim of this study is the application of a software tool to the design of stripping columns to calculate the removal of trihalomethanes (THMs) from drinking water. The tool also allows calculating the rough capital cost of the column and the decrease
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The aim of this study is the application of a software tool to the design of stripping columns to calculate the removal of trihalomethanes (THMs) from drinking water. The tool also allows calculating the rough capital cost of the column and the decrease in carcinogenic risk indeces associated with the elimination of THMs and, thus, the investment to save a human life. The design of stripping columns includes the determination, among other factors, of the height (HOG), the theoretical number of plates (NOG), and the section (S) of the columns based on the study of pressure drop. These results have been compared with THM stripping literature values, showing that simulation is sufficiently conservative. Three case studies were chosen to apply the developed software. The first case study was representative of small-scale application to a community in Córdoba (Spain) where chloroform is predominant and has a low concentration. The second case study was of an intermediate scale in a region in Venezuela, and the third case study was representative of large-scale treatment of water in the Barcelona metropolitan region (Spain). Results showed that case studies with larger scale and higher initial risk offer the best capital investment to decrease the risk. Full article
Open AccessArticle
County-Level Radon and Incidence of Female Thyroid Cancer in Iowa, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, USA
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 17; doi:10.3390/toxics6010017 -
Abstract
Background: Few studies have investigated the association between radon and thyroid cancer despite the sensitivity of the thyroid gland to radiation. Our goal is to investigate the association between county-level radon and incidence of female thyroid cancer in the US States of Iowa,
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Background: Few studies have investigated the association between radon and thyroid cancer despite the sensitivity of the thyroid gland to radiation. Our goal is to investigate the association between county-level radon and incidence of female thyroid cancer in the US States of Iowa, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Methods: Thyroid cancer incidence data were provided by individual state cancer registries and span 1990–2013. Radon data come from a publicly available third-party database, AirChek, accessed in 2017. We tabulated the percent of radon above four picocuries per liter and the female thyroid cancer incidence rate in each county. Quantile maps were constructed, and an ordinary least-squares regression model was run using Geoda 1.10.0.8 (Chicago, IL, USA). Results: No association was observed between county-level radon and incidence of female thyroid cancer in any of the States: New Jersey (β = 0.06, p = 0.23); Iowa (β = −0.07, p = 0.07); or Wisconsin (β = −0.01, p = 0.78). A spatial regression model was considered, but the Moran’s I of the residuals from each of the models was not significant, so no spatial term was required. Discussion: In this county-level ecological study across three different States in the US, we did not find an association between elevated radon and thyroid cancer incidence in women. While this ecologic study reports null findings, due to the ecologic fallacy, individual-level studies of this association may still be warranted. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Cadmium Nephrotoxicity Is Associated with Altered MicroRNA Expression in the Rat Renal Cortex
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 16; doi:10.3390/toxics6010016 -
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) is a nephrotoxic environmental pollutant that causes a generalized dysfunction of the proximal tubule characterized by polyuria and proteinuria. Even though the effects of Cd on the kidney have been well-characterized, the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects have not been fully
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Cadmium (Cd) is a nephrotoxic environmental pollutant that causes a generalized dysfunction of the proximal tubule characterized by polyuria and proteinuria. Even though the effects of Cd on the kidney have been well-characterized, the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects have not been fully elucidated. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate cellular and physiologic function by modulating gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. The goal of the present study was to determine if Cd affects renal cortex miRNA expression in a well-established animal model of Cd-induced kidney injury. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with subcutaneous injections of either isotonic saline or CdCl2 (0.6 mg/kg) 5 days a week for 12 weeks. The 12-week Cd-treatment protocol resulted in kidney injury as determined by the development of polyuria and proteinuria, and a significant increase in the urinary biomarkers Kim-1, β2 microglobulin and cystatin C. Total RNA was isolated from the renal cortex of the saline control and Cd treated animals, and differentially expressed miRNAs were identified using µParafloTM microRNA microarray analysis. The microarray results demonstrated that the expression of 44 miRNAs were significantly increased and 54 miRNAs were significantly decreased in the Cd treatment group versus the saline control (t-test, p ≤ 0.05, N = 6 per group). miR-21-5p, miR-34a-5p, miR-146b-5p, miR-149-3p, miR-224-5p, miR-451-5p, miR-1949, miR-3084a-3p, and miR-3084c-3p demonstrated more abundant expression and a significant two-fold or greater increased expression in the Cd-treatment group versus the saline control group. miR-193b-3p, miR-455-3p, and miR-342-3p demonstrated more abundant expression and a significant two-fold or greater decreased expression in the Cd-treatment group versus the saline control group. Real-time PCR validation demonstrated (1) a significant (t-test, p ≤ 0.05, N = 6 per group) increase in expression in the Cd-treated group for miR-21-5p (2.7-fold), miR-34a-5p (10.8-fold), miR-146b-5p (2-fold), miR-224-5p (10.2-fold), miR-3084a-3p (2.4-fold), and miR-3084c-3p (3.3-fold) and (2) a significant (t-test, p ≤ 0.05, N = 6 per group) 52% decrease in miR-455-3p expression in the Cd-treatment group. These findings demonstrate that Cd significantly alters the miRNA expression profile in the renal cortex and raises the possibility that dysregulated miRNA expression may play a role in the pathophysiology of Cd-induced kidney injury. In addition, these findings raise the possibility that Cd-dysregulated miRNAs might be used as urinary biomarkers of Cd exposure or Cd-induced kidney injury. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Dietary Cadmium Intake and Its Effects on Kidneys
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 15; doi:10.3390/toxics6010015 -
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) is a food-chain contaminant that has high rates of soil-to-plant transference. This phenomenon makes dietary Cd intake unavoidable. Although long-term Cd intake impacts many organ systems, the kidney has long been considered to be a critical target of its toxicity. This
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Cadmium (Cd) is a food-chain contaminant that has high rates of soil-to-plant transference. This phenomenon makes dietary Cd intake unavoidable. Although long-term Cd intake impacts many organ systems, the kidney has long been considered to be a critical target of its toxicity. This review addresses how measurements of Cd intake levels and its effects on kidneys have traditionally been made. These measurements underpin the derivation of our current toxicity threshold limit and tolerable intake levels for Cd. The metal transporters that mediate absorption of Cd in the gastrointestinal tract are summarized together with glomerular filtration of Cd and its sequestration by the kidneys. The contribution of age differences, gender, and smoking status to Cd accumulation in lungs, liver, and kidneys are highlighted. The basis for use of urinary Cd excretion to reflect body burden is discussed together with the use of urinary N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG) and β2-microglobulin (β2-MG) levels to quantify its toxicity. The associations of Cd with the development of chronic kidney disease and hypertension, reduced weight gain, and zinc reabsorption are highlighted. In addition, the review addresses how urinary Cd threshold levels have been derived from human population data and their utility as a warning sign of impending kidney malfunction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Proposal for a Monitoring Concept for Veterinary Medicinal Products with PBT Properties, Using Parasiticides as a Case Study
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 14; doi:10.3390/toxics6010014 -
Abstract
The aim of this work is to prepare a proposal for the post-authorization monitoring (PAM) of veterinary medicinal products (VMP), in particular parasiticides. Such a monitoring might especially be useful for parasiticides identified as Persistence Bioaccumulation Toxicity (PBT) substances, i.e., chemicals that are
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The aim of this work is to prepare a proposal for the post-authorization monitoring (PAM) of veterinary medicinal products (VMP), in particular parasiticides. Such a monitoring might especially be useful for parasiticides identified as Persistence Bioaccumulation Toxicity (PBT) substances, i.e., chemicals that are toxic (T), persist in the environment (P) and bioaccumulate (B) in food chains and, thus, pose a hazard to ecosystems. Based on a literature search, issues to be considered when performing such a PAM are discussed (e.g., residue analysis, compartments to be included, selection of organisms and the duration of monitoring studies). The outcome of this discussion is that—and despite that there are huge challenges in detail (e.g., in terms of analytical chemistry or taxonomy)—the technical performance of such a PAM is not the main problem, since most of the chemical and biological methods to be used are well-known (partly even standardized) or could be adapted. However, it is very difficult to define in detail where and when a monitoring should be performed. The main problem is to link exposure to effects of a certain parasiticide in a way that any impact can directly be related to the use of this parasiticide. Therefore, a “Targeted Environmental Monitoring” (TEM) is proposed, which is essentially a combination between a field study and a PAM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hematological Abnormality, Oxidative Stress, and Genotoxicity Induction in the Greenhouse Pesticide Sprayers; Investigating the Role of NQO1 Gene Polymorphism
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 13; doi:10.3390/toxics6010013 -
Abstract
The widespread use of pesticides in agriculture represents a threat to the human populations exposed to them. In this cross-sectional study, the hematological and biochemical parameters, plasma cholinesterase (PChE) activity, oxidative stress, genotoxicity, and NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) C609T polymorphism were measured
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The widespread use of pesticides in agriculture represents a threat to the human populations exposed to them. In this cross-sectional study, the hematological and biochemical parameters, plasma cholinesterase (PChE) activity, oxidative stress, genotoxicity, and NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) C609T polymorphism were measured in 100 greenhouse workers occupationally exposed to pesticide mixture and 104 normal healthy controls. There was a decrease in erythrocytes (5.45%, p = 0.026) and hemoglobin (3.26%, p = 0.025), and an increase in mean corpuscular hemoglobin (3.54%, p = 0.013) in the exposed workers. Sprayers showed a reduction in PChE (23%) and GSH (50%) levels, and an increase in lipid peroxidation (LPO) (55%), protein carbonyl (145%), Superoxide dismutase activity (61%), and total antioxidant capacity (35%) (p < 0.001 for all parameters but LPO: p = 0.009). Genotoxicity parameters were significantly high in the exposed cases (for all parameters: p < 0.001 but tail length: p = 0.002). There was a significant correlation between oxidative stress and genotoxicity parameters, and also between these biomarkers and PChE activity. The NQO1 C609T polymorphism was not significantly associated with studied biomarkers. The findings indicate that occupational exposure to a mixture of pesticides can induce hematotoxicity, oxidative stress, and genotoxicity in greenhouse workers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cytotoxicity Enhancement in Breast Cancer Cells with Carbonate Apatite-Facilitated Intracellular Delivery of Anti-Cancer Drugs
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 12; doi:10.3390/toxics6010012 -
Abstract
Pharmacotherapy as the mainstay in the management of breast cancer has demonstrated various drawbacks, including non-targeted bio distribution and narrow therapeutic and safety windows. Thus, enhancements in pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles of the classical anti-cancer drugs could lead to improved efficacy against cancer
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Pharmacotherapy as the mainstay in the management of breast cancer has demonstrated various drawbacks, including non-targeted bio distribution and narrow therapeutic and safety windows. Thus, enhancements in pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles of the classical anti-cancer drugs could lead to improved efficacy against cancer cells. Therefore, inorganic pH-dependent carbonate apatite (CA) nanoparticles were utilized to efficiently deliver various drugs into cancer cells. Following characterization and various modifications in the structure of CA complexes with different drugs, lifted outcomes were achieved. Markedly, complexing paclitaxel with CA resulted in 20.71 ± 4.34% loading efficiency together with 24.14 ± 2.21% enhancement in cytotoxicity on MCF-7 cells plus superior in vivo anti-tumour efficacy compared to free paclitaxel. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Degradation of Organophosphorus and Pyrethroid Insecticides in Beverages: Implications for Risk Assessment
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 11; doi:10.3390/toxics6010011 -
Abstract
Since urinary insecticide metabolites are commonly used as biomarkers of exposure, it is important that we quantify whether insecticides degrade in food and beverages in order to better perform risk assessment. This study was designed to quantify degradation of organophosphorus and pyrethroid insecticides
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Since urinary insecticide metabolites are commonly used as biomarkers of exposure, it is important that we quantify whether insecticides degrade in food and beverages in order to better perform risk assessment. This study was designed to quantify degradation of organophosphorus and pyrethroid insecticides in beverages. Purified water, white grape juice, orange juice, and red wine were fortified with 500 ng/mL diazinon, malathion, chlorpyrifos, permethrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, and deltamethrin, and aliquots were extracted several times over a 15-day storage period at 2.5 °C. Overall, statistically significant loss of at least one insecticide was observed in each matrix, and at least five out of seven insecticides demonstrated a statistically significant loss in all matrices except orange juice. An investigation of an alternative mechanism of insecticide loss—adsorption onto the glass surface of the storage jars—was carried out, which indicated that this mechanism of loss is insignificant. Results of this work suggest that insecticides degrade in these beverages, and this degradation may lead to pre-existing insecticide degradates in the beverages, suggesting that caution should be exercised when using urinary insecticide metabolites to assess exposure and risk. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Announcing the 2018 Toxics Travel Award for Post-Doctoral Fellows
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 10; doi:10.3390/toxics6010010 -
Abstract
This year we enjoyed a large number of very highly meritorious applications for our annual Toxics Travel Award. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Toxics in 2017
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 9; doi:10.3390/toxics6010009 -
Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Toxics maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Joint Toxicity of Two Benzophenone-Type UV Filters on the Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with Response Surface Methodology
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 8; doi:10.3390/toxics6010008 -
Abstract
The widespread occurrence of benzophenone-type ultraviolet (UV) filter has raised the public concerns over the ecotoxicological effects of these chemicals. The present study assessed the joint toxicity of two representative benzophenones, benzophenone-1 (BP-1) and benzophenone-3 (BP-3), on the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using
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The widespread occurrence of benzophenone-type ultraviolet (UV) filter has raised the public concerns over the ecotoxicological effects of these chemicals. The present study assessed the joint toxicity of two representative benzophenones, benzophenone-1 (BP-1) and benzophenone-3 (BP-3), on the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using response surface methodologies (RSM). Specific growth rate and photosynthetic pigments were used as endpoints to evaluate the toxic effects. Generally, exposure to the combined BP-1 and BP-3 negatively affected cell growth and pigments production, with higher inhibitions at higher exposure concentrations. The simultaneous reduction in growth rate and pigments contents indicated that BP-1 and BP-3 regulated the growth of the tested alga by affecting the photosynthesis process. Results also showed that second order polynomial regression models fitted well with experimental results for all endpoints. The obtained regression models further indicated that the effects of the combination stemmed significantly from the linear concentration of BP-1 and BP-3. The overall results demonstrated that RSM could be a useful tool in ecotoxicological studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cytotoxic, Apoptotic and Genotoxic Effects of Lipid-Based and Polymeric Nano Micelles, an In Vitro Evaluation
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 7; doi:10.3390/toxics6010007 -
Abstract
Self-assembly systems (SAS) mainly consist of micelles, and liposomes are the classes of Nano Drug Delivery Systems with superior properties compared to traditional therapeutics in targeting cancer tumors. All commercially available nano-formulations of chemotherapeutics currently consist of SAS. According to our knowledge, a
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Self-assembly systems (SAS) mainly consist of micelles, and liposomes are the classes of Nano Drug Delivery Systems with superior properties compared to traditional therapeutics in targeting cancer tumors. All commercially available nano-formulations of chemotherapeutics currently consist of SAS. According to our knowledge, a specific toxicity comparison based on material differences has not yet been performed. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the toxicity of two SAS consisting of Sterically Stabilized Micelles (SSM) made of a lipid-based amphiphilic distearoyl-sn-glycero-phosphatidylethanolamine-polyethylene glycol (PEG)-2000 and a polymeric micelle (PM) consisting of Y-shape amphiphilic block copolymer, synthesized using poly ε-caprolactone and PEG. The mechanism of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of micelles on L-929 healthy mouse fibroblast cells was assessed using Sulforhodamine-B, WST-1, Acridine Orange/Ethidium Bromide and alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis assays. Results showed that SSM in conc. of 40 mg/mL shows very low cytotoxicity at the end of 24, 48 and 72 h. The DNA damage caused by SSM was much lower than PM while the latter one showed significant toxicity by causing apoptosis with the ED50 value of 3 mg/mL. While the DNA damage caused by SSM was ignorable, some DNA chain breaks were detected on cells treated with PM. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
Effects of Cadmium Exposure on Age of Menarche and Menopause
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 6; doi:10.3390/toxics6010006 -
Abstract
Cadmium exposure can cause several adverse health effects. Animal studies have also shown that cadmium exposure can affect menarche or menopause. However, data is limited in humans. We conducted a retrospective study to assess whether cadmium exposure was associated with different ages of
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Cadmium exposure can cause several adverse health effects. Animal studies have also shown that cadmium exposure can affect menarche or menopause. However, data is limited in humans. We conducted a retrospective study to assess whether cadmium exposure was associated with different ages of menarche and menopause in a Chinese population. A total of 429 women living in control (n = 137) and two cadmium-polluted areas (n = 292) were included in this study. A total of 223 and 206 subjects were included in the analysis for menarche and menopause, respectively. The median menarche age of population living in the heavily cadmium-polluted area was significantly younger than those in the control area (14.0 vs. 15.0, p < 0.01). Logistic regression showed that the odds ratio (OR) of early occurrence of menarche (<13 years) in the population living in the heavily polluted area and moderately polluted area was 3.7 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.5–9.7) and 1.3 (95% CI: 0.7–2.6) compared with control, respectively. No significant difference was observed in the age of menopause in the population of these three areas. In conclusion, our data indicated that cadmium exposure may cause early menarche. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Multi-Approach Protocol for the Characterization of Occupational Exposure to Organic Dust—Swine Production Case Study
Toxics 2018, 6(1), 5; doi:10.3390/toxics6010005 -
Abstract
Swine production has been associated with health risks and workers’ symptoms. In Portugal, as in other countries, large-scale swine production involves several activities in the swine environment that require direct intervention, increasing workers’ exposure to organic dust. This study describes an updated protocol
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Swine production has been associated with health risks and workers’ symptoms. In Portugal, as in other countries, large-scale swine production involves several activities in the swine environment that require direct intervention, increasing workers’ exposure to organic dust. This study describes an updated protocol for the assessment of occupational exposure to organic dust, to unveil an accurate scenario regarding occupational and environmental risks for workers’ health. The particle size distribution was characterized regarding mass concentration in five different size ranges (PM0.5, PM1, PM2.5, PM5, PM10). Bioburden was assessed, by both active and passive sampling methods, in air, on surfaces, floor covering and feed samples, and analyzed through culture based-methods and qPCR. Smaller size range particles exhibited the highest counts, with indoor particles showing higher particle counts and mass concentration than outdoor particles. The limit values suggested for total bacteria load were surpassed in 35.7% (10 out of 28) of samples and for fungi in 65.5% (19 out of 29) of samples. Among Aspergillus genera, section Circumdati was the most prevalent (55%) on malt extract agar (MEA) and Versicolores the most identified (50%) on dichloran glycerol (DG18). The results document a wide characterization of occupational exposure to organic dust on swine farms, being useful for policies and stakeholders to act to improve workers’ safety. The methods of sampling and analysis employed were the most suitable considering the purpose of the study and should be adopted as a protocol to be followed in future exposure assessments in this occupational environment. Full article
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