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Toxics, Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 66 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Over the past decade, multiple studies have suggested that the secondary metabolites produced by plants against herbivorous insects could be used as biopesticides. However, as the molecular mechanism of action of these compounds remains unknown, it is difficult to predict how they would affect non-target insects; thus, their innocuity needs to be clarified. Here, we investigate, from the molecular level to the organism, the responses of a useful parasitic insect Nasonia vitripennis (Walker, 1836) being exposed at the pupae stage for 48 h (up to 6 days) to sublethal doses (5 µg/L and 500 µg/L) of 2-Dodecanone. 2-Dodecanone altered the gene expression of genes related to ecdysone-related pathways, biotransformation, and cell homeostasis. View this paper
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15 pages, 1782 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Mercury in Aquifers in Gold Mining Areas in the Ecuadorian Amazon and Its Associated Risk for Human Health
by Irene Passarelli, Michelle Vanessa Villacis Verdesoto, Samantha Jiménez-Oyola, Ana Gabriela Flores Huilcapi, Demmy Mora-Silva, Giorgio Anfuso, Jose Fernando Esparza Parra, Mirian Jimenez-Gutierrez, Luis Santiago Carrera Almendáriz, Victor Gabriel Avalos Peñafiel, Salvatore Straface and Carlos Mestanza-Ramón
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020162 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1234
Abstract
Gold mining activity is a source of supply in many areas of the world, and especially in developing countries, it is practiced illegally and by applying unsafe techniques. Particularly in Ecuador, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is widespread, and it is based [...] Read more.
Gold mining activity is a source of supply in many areas of the world, and especially in developing countries, it is practiced illegally and by applying unsafe techniques. Particularly in Ecuador, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is widespread, and it is based on the use of toxic substances, such as mercury (Hg), in gold recovery. Hg is a heavy metal that is water-insoluble, which, once mobilized, poses a threat to both the environment and human health. This study analyzes Hg concentrations in the six provinces of Napo, Sucumbíos, Orellana, Pastaza, Morona Santiago, and Zamora Chinchipe of the Ecuadorian Amazon region to conduct a human health risk assessment. Significant differences in Hg levels were found between provinces, but concentrations were below MPL imposed by Ecuadorian regulations everywhere. Nevertheless, a worrisome picture emerges, especially with regard to the most vulnerable receptors represented by the child population. There are multiple factors of incidence that may affect the possible future development of the phenomenon, and with reference to the social, economic, and environmental context of the region, it can be concluded that it may be appropriate to plan further investigation to arrive at a more comprehensive assessment. The results of this study can be used by decision makers to plan further investigation and to implement monitoring networks, risk mitigation strategies, and groundwater protection measures. Full article
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22 pages, 5254 KiB  
Article
Particulate Matter Induces Oxidative Stress and Ferroptosis in Human Lung Epithelial Cells
by Yujin Ahn, Yong-Hyeon Yim and Hee Min Yoo
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020161 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1287
Abstract
Numerous toxicological studies have highlighted the association between urban particulate matter (PM) and increased respiratory infections and lung diseases. The adverse impact on the lungs is directly linked to the complex composition of particulate matter, initiating reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and consequent [...] Read more.
Numerous toxicological studies have highlighted the association between urban particulate matter (PM) and increased respiratory infections and lung diseases. The adverse impact on the lungs is directly linked to the complex composition of particulate matter, initiating reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and consequent lipid peroxidation. Excessive ROS, particularly within mitochondria, can destroy subcellular organelles through various pathways. In this study, we confirmed the induction of ferroptosis, an iron-dependent cell death, upon exposure to an urban PM using RT-qPCR and signaling pathway analysis. We used KRISS CRM 109-02-004, the certified reference material for the analysis of particulate matter, produced by the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS). To validate that ferroptosis causes lung endothelial toxicity, we assessed intracellular mitochondrial potential, ROS overproduction, lipid peroxidation, and specific ferroptosis biomarkers. Following exposure to the urban PM, a significant increase in ROS generation and a decrease in mitochondrial potential were observed. Furthermore, it induced hallmarks of ferroptosis, including the accumulation of lipid peroxidation, the loss of antioxidant defenses, and cellular iron accumulation. In addition, the occurrence of oxidative stress as a key feature of ferroptosis was confirmed by increased expression levels of specific oxidative stress markers such as NQO1, CYP1B1, FTH1, SOD2, and NRF. Finally, a significant increase in key ferroptosis markers was observed, including xCT/SLC7A11, NQO1, TRIM16, HMOX-1, FTL, FTH1, CYP1B1, CHAC1, and GPX4. This provides evidence that elevated ROS levels induce oxidative stress, which ultimately triggers ferroptosis. In conclusion, our results show that the urban PM, KRISS CRM, induces cellular and mitochondrial ROS production, leading to oxidative stress and subsequent ferroptosis. These results suggest that it may induce ferroptosis through ROS generation and may offer potential strategies for the treatment of lung diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Pollution and Health)
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14 pages, 2827 KiB  
Article
Embryotoxic Effects of Pesticides in Zebrafish (Danio rerio): Diflubenzuron, Pyriproxyfen, and Its Mixtures
by Júlia Robert de Sousa Teixeira, Augusto Monteiro de Souza, João Vitor de Macedo-Sampaio, Fabiano Peres Menezes, Bruno Fiorelini Pereira, Silvia Regina Batistuzzo de Medeiros and Ana Carolina Luchiari
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020160 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1059
Abstract
Diflubenzuron (DFB) and pyriproxyfen (PPF) are larvicides used in crops to control insect plagues. However, these pesticides are known to impact non-target organisms like fish and mammals. Here, we aimed at assessing the embryotoxicity of purified DFB, PPF, and their mixtures in a [...] Read more.
Diflubenzuron (DFB) and pyriproxyfen (PPF) are larvicides used in crops to control insect plagues. However, these pesticides are known to impact non-target organisms like fish and mammals. Here, we aimed at assessing the embryotoxicity of purified DFB, PPF, and their mixtures in a non-target organism—zebrafish. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to different concentrations for 120 h: 0.025, 0.125, 0.25, 1.25, 2.5, and 10 mg/L of purified PPF and purified DFB, while we used 0.025 mg/L PPF + 10 mg/L DFB (Mix A), 0.125 mg/L PPF + 10 mg/L DFB (Mix B), and 0.25 mg/L PPF + 10 mg/L DFB (Mix C) for the mixtures of PPF + DFB. We observed mortality, teratogenicity, and cardiotoxicity. For the neurotoxicity tests and evaluation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in the brain, embryos were exposed for 120 h to 0.379 and 0.754 mg/L of PPF and 0.025 and 0.125 mg/L of DFB. We established the LC50 for PPF as 3.79 mg/L, while the LC50 for DFB was not determinable. Survival and hatching were affected by PPF concentrations above 0.125 mg/L, DFB concentrations above 1.25 mg/L, and the lower pesticide mixtures. PPF exposure and mixtures induced different types of malformations, while a higher number of malformations were observed for the mixtures, suggesting a potentiating effect. Pesticides diminished avoidance responses and increased the levels of ROS across all concentrations, indicating neurotoxicity. Our findings underscore the detrimental impact of PPF and DFB exposure, spanning from biochemistry to morphology. There is a critical need to reconsider the global use of these pesticides and transition to more ecologically friendly forms of pest control, raising an alarm regarding repercussions on human and animal health and well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotoxicological Effects of Emerging Contaminants on Aquatic Species)
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19 pages, 2084 KiB  
Article
Unveiling Molecular Effects of the Secondary Metabolite 2-Dodecanone in the Model Hymenopteran Nasonia vitripennis
by Rosario Planelló, Mónica Aquilino, Laureen Beaugeard, Lola Llorente, Óscar Herrero, David Siaussat and Charlotte Lécureuil
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020159 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 968
Abstract
Over the past decade, multiple studies have suggested that the secondary metabolites produced by plants against herbivorous insects could be used as biopesticides. However, as the molecular mechanism of action of these compounds remains unknown, it is difficult to predict how they would [...] Read more.
Over the past decade, multiple studies have suggested that the secondary metabolites produced by plants against herbivorous insects could be used as biopesticides. However, as the molecular mechanism of action of these compounds remains unknown, it is difficult to predict how they would affect non-target insects; thus, their innocuity needs to be clarified. Here, we investigate, from the molecular level to the organism, the responses of a useful parasitic insect Nasonia vitripennis (Walker, 1836) being exposed at the pupae stage for 48 h (up to 6 days) to sublethal doses (5 µg/L and 500 µg/L) of 2-Dodecanone. 2-Dodecanone altered the gene expression of genes related to ecdysone-related pathways, biotransformation, and cell homeostasis. A significant induction of ecdysone response-genes (EcR, usp, E78, Hr4, Hr38) was detected, despite no significant differences in ecdysteroid levels. Regarding the cell homeostasis processes, the gene l(2)efl was differentially altered in both experimental conditions, and a dose-dependent induction of hex81 was observed. 2-Dodecanone also triggered an induction of Cyp6aQ5 activity. Finally, 2-Dodecanone exposure had a significant effect on neither development time, energy reserves, nor egg-laying capacity; no potential genotoxicity was detected. For the first time, this study shows evidence that 2-Dodecanone can modulate gene expression and interfere with the ecdysone signalling pathway in N. vitripennis. This could lead to potential endocrine alterations and highlight the suitability of this organism to improve our general understanding of the molecular effects of plant defences in insects. Our findings provide new insights into the toxicity of 2-Dodecanone that could potentially be explored in other species and under field conditions for plant protection and pest management as a means to reduce reliance on synthetic pesticides. Full article
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14 pages, 1989 KiB  
Article
A Comparison of Health Risks from PM2.5 and Heavy Metal Exposure in Industrial Complexes in Dangjin and Yeosu·Gwangyang
by Jeong-In Jeon, Ji-Yun Jung, Shin-Young Park, Hye-Won Lee, Jeong-Il Lee and Cheol-Min Lee
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020158 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Particulate matter (PM) can cause illness, including respiratory diseases, and PM2.5 compositions are likely to vary according to the emission profiles of industrial complexes. This study analyzed and compared the concentrations and distributions of PM2.5 and heavy metals in two regions [...] Read more.
Particulate matter (PM) can cause illness, including respiratory diseases, and PM2.5 compositions are likely to vary according to the emission profiles of industrial complexes. This study analyzed and compared the concentrations and distributions of PM2.5 and heavy metals in two regions of Republic of Korea: Yeosu·Gwangyang, which houses a massive national industrial complex, and Dangjin, which houses power plants. Further, we conducted a health risk assessment on the residents of the areas near these industrial complexes. Measurements were taken at five different points in each setting over a two-year period from August 2020 to August 2022. We found differences in PM2.5 concentrations and heavy metal composition ratios across the sites. Specifically, PM2.5 concentrations exceeded the standard of 1 at all measurement sites, while the specific heavy metals exceeding the standard varied across the sites. Ultimately, we observed regional differences in PM2.5 composition across measurement sites across and within the two regions and variations in health risks and according health effects due to the absence of PM2.5 toxicity values, and compared the health risks of two industrial complexes with different characteristics. These findings underscore the importance of considering not only PM2.5 but also its composition in exposure and health risk assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Pollution and Health)
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13 pages, 3160 KiB  
Article
The Immobilization Mechanism of Inorganic Amendments on Cu and Cd in Polluted Paddy Soil in Short/Long Term
by Qing Liu, Yuan Ding, Yuqi Lai, Yan Long, Hong Shi and Min Liu
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020157 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 897
Abstract
This study investigated the impact of soil colloidal characteristics on the transfer patterns of different Cu and Cd speciation in contaminated soil treated with three different amendments: lime (L), zero-valent iron (ZVI), and attapulgite (ATP). It seeks to clarify the activation hazards and [...] Read more.
This study investigated the impact of soil colloidal characteristics on the transfer patterns of different Cu and Cd speciation in contaminated soil treated with three different amendments: lime (L), zero-valent iron (ZVI), and attapulgite (ATP). It seeks to clarify the activation hazards and aging processes of these modifications on Cu and Cd. Compared with the control (CK), the available Cu concentrations treated with amendments reduced in the short term (6 months) by 96.49%, 5.54%, and 89.78%, respectively, and Cd declined by 55.43%, 32.31%, and 93.80%, respectively. Over a 12-year period, there was no significant change in the immobile effect with L, while Cu and Cd fell by 19.06% and 40.65% with ZVI and by 7.63% and 40.78% with ATP. Short- and long-term increases in the readily reducible iron and manganese oxide fraction of Cu and Cd were accompanied by a considerable rise in the concentrations of amorphous iron oxide in the soil and colloid after amendment treatment. This suggested that Cu and Cd were immobilized and stabilized in part by amorphous iron oxide. Full article
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16 pages, 4995 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Electrochemical Activation of Self-Generated Persulfate for the Degradation of Endocrine Disruptors: Kinetics, Performances, and Mechanisms
by Xiaofeng Tang, Zhiquan Jin, Rui Zou, Yi Zhu, Xia Yao, Mengxuan Li, Shuang Song, Shuangliu Liu and Tao Zeng
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020156 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 909
Abstract
This study presents an electrolysis system utilizing a novel self-circulation process of sulfate (SO42−) and persulfate (S2O82−) ions based on a boron-doped diamond (BDD) anode and an activated carbon fiber (ACF) cathode, which is designed [...] Read more.
This study presents an electrolysis system utilizing a novel self-circulation process of sulfate (SO42−) and persulfate (S2O82−) ions based on a boron-doped diamond (BDD) anode and an activated carbon fiber (ACF) cathode, which is designed to enable electrochemical remediation of environmental contaminants with reduced use of chemical reagents and minimized residues. The production of S2O82− and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on the BDD anode and ACF cathode, respectively, is identified as the source of active radicals for the contaminant degradation. The initiator, sulfate, is identified by comparing the degradation efficiency in NaSO4 and NaNO3 electrolytes. Quenching experiments and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy confirmed that the SO4· and ·OH generated on the ACF cathode are the main reactive radicals. A comparison of the degradation efficiency and the generated S2O82−/H2O2 of the divided/undivided electrolysis system is used to demonstrate the superiority of the synergistic effect between the BDD anode and ACF cathode. This work provides evidence of the effectiveness of the philosophy of “catalysis in lieu of supplementary chemical agents” and sheds light on the mechanism of the generation and transmission of reactive species in the BDD and ACF electrolysis system, thereby offering new perspectives for the design and optimization of electrolysis systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effective Catalytic Processes for Water and Wastewater Treatment)
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15 pages, 13953 KiB  
Article
Discrepancy of Growth Toxicity of Polystyrene Nanoplastics on Soybean (Glycine max) and Mung Bean (Vigna radiata)
by Dan Su, Wangwang Li, Zhaowei Zhang, Hui Cai, Le Zhang, Yuanlong Sun, Xiaoning Liu and Zhiquan Tian
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020155 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1013
Abstract
Nanoplastics, as a hot topic of novel contaminants, lack extensive concern in higher plants; especially the potential impact and mechanism of nanoplastics on legume crops remains elusive. In this study, the toxicity of polystyrene nanoplastics (PS-NPs, 200 nm) with diverse doses (control, 10, [...] Read more.
Nanoplastics, as a hot topic of novel contaminants, lack extensive concern in higher plants; especially the potential impact and mechanism of nanoplastics on legume crops remains elusive. In this study, the toxicity of polystyrene nanoplastics (PS-NPs, 200 nm) with diverse doses (control, 10, 50, 100, 200, 500 mg/L) to soybean and mung bean plants grown hydroponically for 7 d was investigated at both the macroscopic and molecular levels. The results demonstrated that the root length of both plants was markedly suppressed to varying degrees. Similarly, mineral elements (Fe, Zn) were notably decreased in soybean roots, consistent with Cu alteration in mung bean. Moreover, PS-NPs considerably elevated malondialdehyde (MDA) levels only in soybean roots. Enzyme activity data indicated mung bean exhibited significant damage only at higher doses of PS-NPs stress than soybean, implying mung bean is more resilient. Transcriptome analysis showed that PS-NPs stimulated the expression of genes associated with the antioxidant system in plant roots. Furthermore, starch and sucrose metabolism might play a key role in coping with PS-NPs to enhance soybean resistance, but the MAPK pathway was enriched in mung bean. Our findings provide valuable perspectives for an in-depth understanding of the performance of plants growing in waters contaminated by nanoplastics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emerging Contaminants)
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13 pages, 2142 KiB  
Article
Bisphenols in Aquatic Products from South China: Implications for Human Exposure
by Yinhai Chen, Xiurong Chen, Wenchi Lin, Jinghong Chen, Yuejun Zhu and Zhanghong Guo
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020154 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 781
Abstract
In this study, 245 representative samples of aquatic products were selected from local markets in Shenzhen by stochastic sampling. The samples comprised eight species and fell into three aquatic product categories: fish, crustaceans, and bivalves. A total of eight BPs were determined by [...] Read more.
In this study, 245 representative samples of aquatic products were selected from local markets in Shenzhen by stochastic sampling. The samples comprised eight species and fell into three aquatic product categories: fish, crustaceans, and bivalves. A total of eight BPs were determined by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, namely, bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol AF (BPAF), bisphenol AP (BPAP), bisphenol B (BPB), bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol P (BPP), bisphenol Z (BPZ), and bisphenol F (BPF). All BPs were detected in aquatic products, except for BPAF, indicating pervasive contamination by BPs in aquatic products. BPS demonstrated the highest detection rate both before and after enzymatic hydrolysis, whereas BPAP exhibited the lowest detection rate before enzymatic hydrolysis and BPB displayed the lowest detection rate after enzymatic hydrolysis. The concentration difference before and after enzymatic hydrolysis proved to be statistically significant. Moreover, 49–96% of BPs in aquatic products were found in the combined state, underscoring the essentiality of conducting detections on aquatic product samples following enzymatic hydrolysis. While the health risks associated with ingesting BPs residues through aquatic product consumption were found to be minimal for residents at risk of exposure, the results suggest the necessity for more stringent regulations governing the consumption of aquatic products. Full article
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12 pages, 1481 KiB  
Communication
Integration of the Natural Language Processing of Structural Information Simplified Molecular-Input Line-Entry System Can Improve the In Vitro Prediction of Human Skin Sensitizers
by Jae-Hee Kwon, Jihye Kim, Kyung-Min Lim and Myeong Gyu Kim
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020153 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 964
Abstract
Natural language processing (NLP) technology has recently used to predict substance properties based on their Simplified Molecular-Input Line-Entry System (SMILES). We aimed to develop a model predicting human skin sensitizers by integrating text features derived from SMILES with in vitro test outcomes. The [...] Read more.
Natural language processing (NLP) technology has recently used to predict substance properties based on their Simplified Molecular-Input Line-Entry System (SMILES). We aimed to develop a model predicting human skin sensitizers by integrating text features derived from SMILES with in vitro test outcomes. The dataset on SMILES, physicochemical properties, in vitro tests (DPRA, KeratinoSensTM, h-CLAT, and SENS-IS assays), and human potency categories for 122 substances sourced from the Cosmetics Europe database. The ChemBERTa model was employed to analyze the SMILES of substances. The last hidden layer embedding of ChemBERTa was tested with other features. Given the modest dataset size, we trained five XGBoost models using subsets of the training data, and subsequently employed bagging to create the final model. Notably, the features computed from SMILES played a pivotal role in the model for distinguishing sensitizers and non-sensitizers. The final model demonstrated a classification accuracy of 80% and an AUC-ROC of 0.82, effectively discriminating sensitizers from non-sensitizers. Furthermore, the model exhibited an accuracy of 82% and an AUC-ROC of 0.82 in classifying strong and weak sensitizers. In summary, we demonstrated that the integration of NLP of SMILES with in vitro test results can enhance the prediction of health hazard associated with chemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Models and Applications in Predictive Toxicology)
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15 pages, 4094 KiB  
Article
Removal of Chromium (III) and Reduction in Toxicity in a Primary Tannery Effluent Using Two Floating Macrophytes
by Tomás R. López Arias, Deidamia Franco, Leonida Medina, César Benítez, Verónica Villagra, Shaun McGahan, Giselle Mariza Duré and Hajime G. Kurita-Oyamada
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020152 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1516
Abstract
Trivalent chromium (Cr(III)) is a contaminant with toxic activity. Its presence in waters and soils is usually related to industrial activities such as tanneries. The aim of this study was to compare the removal of Cr(III) in hydroponic solutions and tannery effluents using [...] Read more.
Trivalent chromium (Cr(III)) is a contaminant with toxic activity. Its presence in waters and soils is usually related to industrial activities such as tanneries. The aim of this study was to compare the removal of Cr(III) in hydroponic solutions and tannery effluents using two floating macrophytes: Salvinia auriculata and Eichhornia crassipes. First, to determine the chromium removal capacity in solution and the bioaccumulation factor (BAF) in tissues of each plant, experiments were set up with contaminated solutions with Cr(III) concentrations of 2, 5, 10, 20, and 40 mg/L. Subsequently, both plant species were exposed to a primary tannery effluent contaminated with 12 mg/L of Cr(III) in order to study the removal capacity of organic and inorganic matter, as well as the acute toxicity in the water flea (Daphnia magna) and genotoxicity in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Tests carried out on nutrient solutions revealed that both plants have a high capacity for removing Cr(III) in solution. The BAF in tissues was higher in E. crassipes compared to S. auriculata. In the experiments with a tannery effluent, both species presented low nutrient and organic matter removal efficiency, but they showed good Cr(III) removal capacity, with average reduction values of 57% for S. auriculata and 54% for E. crassipes after 72 h of exposure. E. crassipes contributed most to the reduction in acute toxicity in D. magna, while S. auriculata did not show a similar effect. However, both plant species managed to reduce the genotoxicity marker in D. rerio when compared with the initial effluent and the control. Full article
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3 pages, 182 KiB  
Editorial
Pesticides in Formulations: New Revolutionary Findings
by Gilles-Eric Seralini
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020151 - 15 Feb 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2502
Abstract
Everything began with the discovery that pesticides have long had unintended side effects on non-target species, which is illustrated by Ponepal et al [...] Full article
15 pages, 6443 KiB  
Article
Developmental Toxicity of PEDOT:PSS in Zebrafish: Effects on Morphology, Cardiac Function, and Intestinal Health
by Guan Yang, Dongzhi Gou, Ling-Kang Bu, Xing-Yi Wei, Huan Hu, Wen-Bo Huo, Marriya Sultan and De-Sheng Pei
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020150 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 886
Abstract
Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) is a conductive polymer commonly used in various technological applications. However, its impact on aquatic ecosystems remains largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated the toxicity effects of PEDOT:PSS on zebrafish. We first determined the lethal concentration (LC50) of [...] Read more.
Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) is a conductive polymer commonly used in various technological applications. However, its impact on aquatic ecosystems remains largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated the toxicity effects of PEDOT:PSS on zebrafish. We first determined the lethal concentration (LC50) of PEDOT:PSS in zebrafish and then exposed AB-type zebrafish embryos to different concentrations of PEDOT:PSS for 120 h. Our investigation elucidated the toxicity effects of zebrafish development, including morphological assessments, heart rate measurements, behavioral analysis, transcriptome profiling, and histopathological analysis. We discovered that PEDOT:PSS exhibited detrimental effects on the early developmental stages of zebrafish, exacerbating the oxidative stress level, suppressing zebrafish activity, impairing cardiac development, and causing intestinal cell damage. This study adds a new dimension to the developmental toxicity of PEDOT:PSS in zebrafish. Our findings contribute to our understanding of the ecological repercussions of PEDOT:PSS and highlight the importance of responsible development and application of novel materials in our rapidly evolving technological landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data Calculation and New Findings for Aquatic Toxicology)
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17 pages, 2482 KiB  
Article
Effects of PM10 Airborne Particles from Different Regions of a Megacity on In Vitro Secretion of Cytokines by a Monocyte Line during Different Seasons
by Noemi Meraz-Cruz, Natalia Manzano-León, Daniel Eduardo Sandoval-Colin, María del Carmen García de León Méndez, Raúl Quintana-Belmares, Laura Sevilla Tapia, Alvaro R. Osornio-Vargas, Miatta A. Buxton, Marie S. O’Neill and Felipe Vadillo-Ortega
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020149 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
Several epidemiological studies have demonstrated that particulate matter (PM) in air pollution can be involved in the genesis or aggravation of different cardiovascular, respiratory, perinatal, and cancer diseases. This study assessed the in vitro effects of PM10 on the secretion of cytokines [...] Read more.
Several epidemiological studies have demonstrated that particulate matter (PM) in air pollution can be involved in the genesis or aggravation of different cardiovascular, respiratory, perinatal, and cancer diseases. This study assessed the in vitro effects of PM10 on the secretion of cytokines by a human monocytic cell line (THP-1). We compared the chemotactic, pro-inflammatory, and anti-inflammatory cytokines induced by PM10 collected for two years during three different seasons in five different Mexico City locations. MIP-1α, IP-10, MCP-1, TNF-α, and VEGF were the main secretion products after stimulation with 80 μg/mL of PM10 for 24 h. The THP-1 cells showed a differential response to PM10 obtained in the different sites of Mexico City. The PM10 from the north and the central city areas induced a higher pro-inflammatory cytokine response than those from the south. Seasonal pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion always exceeded anti-inflammatory secretion. The rainy-season-derived particles caused the lowest pro-inflammatory effects. We concluded that toxicological assessment of airborne particles provides evidence supporting their potential role in the chronic exacerbation of local or systemic inflammatory responses that may worsen the evolution of some chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Pollution Exposure and Human Health)
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13 pages, 1584 KiB  
Article
Using QuEChERS and HPLC Method to Monitor the Background Concentration of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Commercial Black Tea Leaves and Infusions in Taiwan
by Drewyan Minelly Harrison, Wei-Chung Chang and Hsin-Tang Lin
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020148 - 14 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
Tea is an integral part of Taiwanese culture and is a popular drink as it contains many beneficial compounds. However, during the processing of tea, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may form. This study investigated the concentrations of PAH4 in different black tea leaves [...] Read more.
Tea is an integral part of Taiwanese culture and is a popular drink as it contains many beneficial compounds. However, during the processing of tea, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may form. This study investigated the concentrations of PAH4 in different black tea leaves and tea infusions based on the origin of the tea. The samples were extracted using QuEChERS, while the content of PAH4 was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to a fluorescence detector (HPLC-FLD). The content of PAH4 in the tea leaves ranged from 2.88 µg/kg to 218.2 µg/kg (dry weight), with the highest concentration being found in teas from Vietnam. The concentration of BaP ranged from ND to 47.92 µg/kg. The release of PAH4 from tea leaves to tea infusions was significantly low, with the highest transfer being 25.8%. In this study, all PAH4 compounds in commercial black tea leaves can be detected by QuEChERS extraction with a simple HPLC method. Full article
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22 pages, 4631 KiB  
Article
The Exposure Peaks of Traffic-Related Ultrafine Particles Associated with Inflammatory Biomarkers and Blood Lipid Profiles
by Cheng Lin, Kevin J. Lane, Virginia R. Chomitz, Jeffrey K. Griffiths and Doug Brugge
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020147 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 974
Abstract
In this article, we explored the effects of ultrafine particle (UFP) peak exposure on inflammatory biomarkers and blood lipids using two novel metrics—the intensity of peaks and the frequency of peaks. We used data previously collected by the Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure [...] Read more.
In this article, we explored the effects of ultrafine particle (UFP) peak exposure on inflammatory biomarkers and blood lipids using two novel metrics—the intensity of peaks and the frequency of peaks. We used data previously collected by the Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health project from participants in the Greater Boston Area. The UFP exposure data were time-activity-adjusted hourly average concentration, estimated using land use regression models based on mobile-monitored ambient concentrations. The outcome data included C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptor 2 (TNF-RII), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglycerides and total cholesterol. For each health indicator, multivariate regression models were used to assess their associations with UFP peaks (N = 364–411). After adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, smoking status and education level, an increase in UFP peak exposure was significantly (p < 0.05) associated with an increase in TNF-RII and a decrease in HDL and triglycerides. Increases in UFP peaks were also significantly associated with increased IL-6 and decreased total cholesterol, while the same associations were not significant when annual average exposure was used. Our work suggests that analysis using peak exposure metrics could reveal more details about the effect of environmental exposures than the annual average metric. Full article
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14 pages, 2860 KiB  
Article
Enantioselective Toxicity of Tetramethrin to Different Developmental Stages of Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
by Jiqin Feng, Xintong Xu, Wenfei Huang, Honghong Gong, Xiaohui Sun, Jinsong Liu, Chao Xu and Weiping Liu
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020146 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 939
Abstract
Chiral pesticides exhibit enantioselective differences in processes such as biological absorption, metabolism, and toxic effects. Organisms have different physiological characteristics at different developmental stages. Therefore, conducting enantiomeric toxicity studies at different developmental stages of organisms can help deepen the understanding of the ecological [...] Read more.
Chiral pesticides exhibit enantioselective differences in processes such as biological absorption, metabolism, and toxic effects. Organisms have different physiological characteristics at different developmental stages. Therefore, conducting enantiomeric toxicity studies at different developmental stages of organisms can help deepen the understanding of the ecological effects of chiral pesticides. This study focused on trans-tetramethrin (Tet) and investigated the enantioselectivity in bioconcentration, developmental toxicity, estrogenic effects, and immunotoxicity of Tet’s racemate ((±)-Tet) and its two enantiomers ((+)-Tet and (−)-Tet) in three developmental stages of zebrafish: embryos, yolk sac larvae, and juveniles. The results showed that Tet exhibited different enantioselectivity in lethal, bioconcentration, and teratogenic effects on zebrafish at different developmental stages. The LC50 value was (+)-Tet > (±)-Tet > (−)-Tet, with embryos being the most sensitive, followed by juveniles and yolk sac larvae. The enantioselective bioconcentration was (±)-Tet > (+)-Tet > (−)-Tet, and the bioconcentration effect was greater in embryos than that in yolk sac larvae and juveniles. Developmental toxicity indicated that (+)-Tet and (±)-Tet had higher teratogenic effects on yolk sac larvae than on embryos. Tet exhibited different enantioselective effects on the expression of zebrafish estrogen-related genes and innate immune-related genes at different developmental stages. These results will contribute to a more comprehensive assessment of the aquatic toxicity and environmental risks of chiral pesticides. Full article
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18 pages, 15708 KiB  
Article
Adsorption Behavior and Kinetics of 1,4-Dioxane by Carbon Aerogel
by Tianyu Lu, Huihui Huang, Guifen Lv, Fei Li, Ren-jie Song and Yuting Cai
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020145 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 913
Abstract
1,4-dioxane is a potential carcinogen in water and is difficult to deal with due to its robust cycloether bond and complete miscibility with water. To remove 1,4-dioxane in an economically viable and environmentally friendly way, a series of carbon aerogels were synthesized as [...] Read more.
1,4-dioxane is a potential carcinogen in water and is difficult to deal with due to its robust cycloether bond and complete miscibility with water. To remove 1,4-dioxane in an economically viable and environmentally friendly way, a series of carbon aerogels were synthesized as adsorbents for 1,4-dioxane. The experiment results showed that adsorption performances were closely related to the preparation conditions of carbon aerogels, such as the molar ratio, heating rate, pyrolysis temperature and residence time, which were carefully controlled. Scanning electron microscope analysis revealed the presence of a three-dimensional porous network structure in carbon aerogels. Brunauer–Emmett–Teller analysis results demonstrated an increase in specific surface area (673.89 m2/g) and total pore volume after carbonization, with an increase in mesoporous porosity and a decrease in microporosity. When considering each variable individually, the highest specific surface area of prepared carbon aerogels was achieved at a pyrolysis temperature of 800 °C, a holding time of 1 h, and a heating rate of 2 °C/min. Under optimal experimental conditions, the adsorption removal of 1,4-dioxane by carbon aerogels exceeded 95%, following quasi-second-order kinetics and Langmuir isothermal adsorption isotherms, indicating that monolayer adsorption on the surface of carbon aerogels occurred. The maximum adsorption capacity obtained was 67.28 mg/g at a temperature of 318 K, which was attributed to the presence of a large proportion of mesopores and abundant micropores simultaneously in carbon aerogels. Furthermore, with the interference of chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethylene (TCE), the removal efficiency of 1,4-dioxane had no obvious inhibition effect. Regeneration experiments showed that after five continuous cycles, the carbon aerogels still kept a comparable adsorption capacity, which illustrates its potential application in 1,4-dioxane-polluted water purification. Full article
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12 pages, 2396 KiB  
Article
A 35-Year Record (1987–2022) of Hg Concentrations in Two of the Fish Species Most Consumed by People Living in the Upper Madeira River Basin, Brazilian Amazon Region
by Luiz Drude de Lacerda, Ronaldo de Almeida and Wanderley Rodrigues Bastos
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020144 - 10 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1098
Abstract
This study presents a 35-year record of total mercury (Hg) concentrations in the detritivore fish Prochilodus nigricans (Curimatã) and the carnivore Cichla pleiozona (Tucunaré), two of the most widely distributed, ecologically important and consumed fish species in the upper Madeira River Basin in [...] Read more.
This study presents a 35-year record of total mercury (Hg) concentrations in the detritivore fish Prochilodus nigricans (Curimatã) and the carnivore Cichla pleiozona (Tucunaré), two of the most widely distributed, ecologically important and consumed fish species in the upper Madeira River Basin in the Western Brazilian Amazon. Fish samples from the major Madeira River and marginal lakes and tributaries were compared. Irrespective of site, Hg concentrations were higher in the carnivore fish compared to the detritivore. Hg concentrations increased 5-fold in C. pleiozona in the past three decades, whereas they remained relatively constant in P. nigricans when analyzing the entire 35-year period. When analyzed separately, fish in the main river and marginal lake and tributaries presented the same pattern of Hg variation, with a significant increase in Hg concentrations in the carnivore and in the detritivore in marginal lakes and tributaries but not in the main river. This was in line with the increase in methyl-Hg production in tributaries, mostly associated with deforestation in the past decade in the basin. Although an increase in direct emissions from artisanal gold mining also occurred in the past decade, this caused virtually no impact on fish Hg concentrations, suggesting atmospheric emission and deposition in forests and further export to water systems as an intermediate link with fish Hg concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mercury Cycling and Health Effects)
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15 pages, 1037 KiB  
Article
Migration of Melamine and Its Derivatives from Melamine/Bamboo/Wheat Straw-Made Tableware Purchased from Internet Markets or Retail Shops in China
by Shaojie Liu, Yifei Wang, Zhanren Liu, Zhiping Yang, Liang Chen and Bo Chen
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020143 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Objectives: The ecofriendly and sustainable concept of bamboo- and wheat straw-made tableware has gained attention in recent years. However, it is necessary to note that these kinds of tableware are composed of melamine (MEL)–formaldehyde resin with the addition of bamboo fibers or wheat [...] Read more.
Objectives: The ecofriendly and sustainable concept of bamboo- and wheat straw-made tableware has gained attention in recent years. However, it is necessary to note that these kinds of tableware are composed of melamine (MEL)–formaldehyde resin with the addition of bamboo fibers or wheat straw. This study aims to explore the potential migration of MEL and its derivatives from the tableware and conduct a risk assessment. Methods: The study involved 46 bowls or cups purchased from Internet markets or retail shops in China, whose raw materials included MEL, bamboo, and wheat straw. There were four pieces of glass- or ceramic-made tableware used as the control group. Migration testing was performed according to the test conditions selected from the European Union Reference Laboratory for Food Contact Materials. Considering the realistic worst-case scenario, we measured the concentrations of MEL and its derivatives in food simulants using ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry and estimated the exposure risks for adults and 1-year-old infants. Results: MEL and its derivatives could migrate from MEL-, bamboo-, and wheat straw-made tableware with varying concentrations. The total migration was ranked as follows: bamboo-made tableware > MEL-made tableware > wheat straw-made tableware > glass- or ceramic-made tableware (p < 0.001). The primary contributor to the total concentration for MEL- and bamboo-made tableware was MEL, whereas cyanuric acid (CYA) was the main contributor for wheat straw-made tableware. Based on the total concentration of MEL and its derivatives and the strictest TDI value, the proportions of the calculated hazard quotient ≥1 for MEL-, bamboo-, and wheat straw-made tableware in adults were 53.50%, 92.30%, and 1.90%; and the proportions in 1-year-old infants increased to 86.00%, 100.00%, and 7.40%. Conclusion: The utilization of MEL-, bamboo-, and wheat straw-made tableware could be regarded as a significant source of human exposure to MEL and its derivatives. It is advisable for both adults and infants to refrain from using tableware manufactured with MEL and bamboo fiber, as it may increase the susceptibility to MEL-related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Exposure to Chemicals in Consumer Products)
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20 pages, 1870 KiB  
Article
Toxic Effects of Different Coating-Related Functionalized Nanoparticles on Aquatic Organisms
by David Hernández-Moreno, Marta Fernández-Díaz, Isabel Rucandio, José María Navas and María Luisa Fernández-Cruz
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020142 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 924
Abstract
The peculiar physico-chemical characteristics of nanomaterials (NMs) and the use of different coatings to improve their expected properties result in a huge amount of nanoforms, which vary in chemical composition, size, shape and surface characteristics. This makes it almost impossible to test all [...] Read more.
The peculiar physico-chemical characteristics of nanomaterials (NMs) and the use of different coatings to improve their expected properties result in a huge amount of nanoforms, which vary in chemical composition, size, shape and surface characteristics. This makes it almost impossible to test all the nanoforms available, and efforts have been made to establish grouping or read-across strategies. The aim of this work was to find a behavior pattern of effect among nanoforms of different metallic core nanoparticles (NPs) (TiO2, CeO2 and Ag NP) with the same coatings (sodium citrate, poly (ethylene glycol), dodecylphosphonic acid or oleylamine). Daphnia magna, rainbow trout and two fish cell lines (PLHC-1 and RTH-149) were exposed to a range of concentrations (up to 100 mg/L) of the uncoated or coated NPs. Ag NPs were the most toxic, followed by CeO2 NPs and finally by TiO2 NPs. The results show that a clear pattern of toxicity in the studied species could not be established related to the coatings. However, it was possible to confirm different inter-species sensitivities. RTH-149 was the most sensitive cell line, and Daphnia magna was more sensitive than fish. Moreover, some differences in coating-core interactions were found between the metal oxide and the metal NPs in Daphnia magna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emerging Contaminants)
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19 pages, 1873 KiB  
Article
Induction of Oxidative Stress by Waterborne Copper and Arsenic in Larvae of European Seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.): A Comparison with Their Effects as Nanoparticles
by Rafael Torronteras, Margarita Díaz-de-Alba, María Dolores Granado-Castro, Estrella Espada-Bellido, Francisco Córdoba García, Antonio Canalejo and María Dolores Galindo-Riaño
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020141 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
The aim of this work was to compare the potential induction of oxidative stress and the antioxidant enzymatic response after a short-term waterborne exposure to copper (Cu) and arsenic (As) with that of the nanoparticles (NPs) of these elements (Cu-NPs and As-NPs) in [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to compare the potential induction of oxidative stress and the antioxidant enzymatic response after a short-term waterborne exposure to copper (Cu) and arsenic (As) with that of the nanoparticles (NPs) of these elements (Cu-NPs and As-NPs) in fish larvae of the species Dicentrarchus labrax. Larvae were grouped in several tanks and exposed to different concentrations of contaminants (0 to 10 mg/L) for 24 or 96 h under laboratory conditions. Copper and arsenic concentrations were analysed in larval tissues using ICP-MS. A set of oxidative stress biomarkers, including the levels of hydroperoxides (HPs), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities were assessed. The trace element concentrations (mg/kg d.w.) in larvae ranged as follows: 3.28–6.67 (Cu at 24 h) and 2.76–3.42 (Cu at 96 h); 3.03–8.31 (Cu-NPs at 24 h) and 2.50–4.86 (Cu-NPs at 96 h); 1.92–3.45 (As at 24 h) and 2.22–4.71 (As at 96 h); and 2.19–8.56 (As-NPs at 24 h) and 1.75–9.90 (As-NPs at 96 h). In Cu tests, the oxidative damage (ROOH levels) was induced from 0.1 mg/L at both exposure times, while for Cu-NPs, this damage was not observed until 1 mg/L, which was paralleled by concomitant increases in SOD activity. The CAT activity was also increased but at lower metal concentrations (0.01 mg/L and 0.1 mg/L for both chemical forms). No oxidative damage was observed for As or As-NPs after 24 h, but it was observed for As after 96 h of treatment with 0.01 mg/L. A decrease in SOD activity was observed for As after 24 h, but it turned out to be increased after 96 h. However, As-NPs did not alter SOD activity. The CAT activity was stimulated only at 96 h by As and at 24 h by As-NPs. Therefore, the two chemical forms of Cu exhibited a higher bioaccumulation and toxicity potential as compared to those of As. Importantly, the association of both Cu and As in NPs reduced the respective trace metal bioaccumulation, resulting also in a reduction in the toxic effects (mortality and biochemical). Furthermore, the assessment of oxidative stress-related biomarkers in seabass larvae appears to be a useful tool for biomonitoring environmental-occurring trace elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicity of Contaminants on Aquatic Organisms II)
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29 pages, 5057 KiB  
Article
The Release and Migration of Cr in the Soil under Alternating Wet–Dry Conditions
by Zhe Chen, Ying Chen, Jing Liang, Zhiyu Sun, Haoren Zhao and Yi Huang
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020140 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 901
Abstract
In recent decades, chromium contamination in soil has emerged as a serious environmental issue, demanding an exploration of chromium’s behavioral patterns in different soil conditions. This study aims to simulate the release, migration, and environmental impact of chromium (Cr) in contaminated soils under [...] Read more.
In recent decades, chromium contamination in soil has emerged as a serious environmental issue, demanding an exploration of chromium’s behavioral patterns in different soil conditions. This study aims to simulate the release, migration, and environmental impact of chromium (Cr) in contaminated soils under natural rainfall conditions (wet–dry cycles). Clean soils sourced from Panzhihua were used to cultivate chromium-containing soils. Simulated rainfall, prepared in the laboratory, was applied to the cultivated chromium-containing soils in indoor simulated leaching experiments. The experiments simulated three years of rainfall in Panzhihua. The results indicate that soils with higher initial Cr contents result in higher Cr concentrations in the leachate, but all soils exhibit a low cumulative Cr release. The leachate shows similar patterns in total organic carbon (TOC), pH, electrical conductivity, and Cr content changes. An analysis of the speciation of Cr in the soil after leaching reveals a significant decrease in the exchangeable fraction for each Cr species, while the residual and oxidizable Cr fractions exhibit notable increases. The wet–dry cycle has the following effects on the soil: it induces internal reduction reactions in the soil, leading to the reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III); it alters the binding of Cr ions to the soil, affecting the migration of chromium; and it involves microorganisms in chemical processes that consume organic matter in the soil. After three years of rainwater leaching, chromium-containing soils released a relatively low cumulative amount of total chromium, resulting in a reduced potential risk of groundwater system contamination. Most of the chromium in the chromium-containing soil is fixed within the soil, leading to less biotoxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Metals and Radioactive Substances)
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11 pages, 4855 KiB  
Case Report
Benzalkonium Chloride Poisoning in Pediatric Patients: Report of Case with a Severe Clinical Course and Literature Review
by Viorela Nițescu, Andreea Lescaie, Dora Boghițoiu and Coriolan Ulmeanu
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020139 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1181
Abstract
The use of disinfectants, particularly those containing quaternary ammonium compounds (QUACs), has dramatically escalated globally since the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. We report a case that highlights the risks associated with ingesting low-concentration QUAC solutions and emphasize the importance of effective management in [...] Read more.
The use of disinfectants, particularly those containing quaternary ammonium compounds (QUACs), has dramatically escalated globally since the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. We report a case that highlights the risks associated with ingesting low-concentration QUAC solutions and emphasize the importance of effective management in resolving severe lesions without sequelae. A 17-month-old boy experienced severe respiratory failure after ingesting a disinfectant containing benzalkonium chloride (BAC). The child was initially treated at a local emergency department and was subsequently transferred to a pediatric poison center. Upon evaluation, the child was found to have grade III-A corrosive esophageal lesions and chemical pneumonitis. Several complications, including massive pneumothorax and candidemia, occurred during the clinical course of the disease. However, with timely medical intervention and appropriate supportive care, the patient completely recovered without any long-term sequelae. The properties of BAC and the comprehensive management approach may have been responsible for the patient’s full recovery, despite the potentially life-threatening effects of ingesting disinfectants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Toxicology and Epidemiology)
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18 pages, 1487 KiB  
Article
Sequential Treatment by Ozonation and Biodegradation of Pulp and Paper Industry Wastewater to Eliminate Organic Contaminants
by Jessica Amacosta, Tatyana Poznyak, Sergio Siles and Isaac Chairez
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020138 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 962
Abstract
In this research, the decomposition of toxic organics from pulp and paper mill effluent by the sequential application of ozonation and biodegradation was studied. Ozonation, as a pre-treatment, was executed to transform the initial pollutants into less toxic compounds (such as organic acids [...] Read more.
In this research, the decomposition of toxic organics from pulp and paper mill effluent by the sequential application of ozonation and biodegradation was studied. Ozonation, as a pre-treatment, was executed to transform the initial pollutants into less toxic compounds (such as organic acids of low molecular weights). Biodegradation was executed during three days with acclimated microorganisms that were able to complete the decomposition of the initial organic mixture (raw wastewater) and to achieve a higher degree of mineralization (85–90%). Experiments were performed under three different conditions: (a) only ozonation of the initial contaminants, (b) only biodegradation of residual water without previous treatment by ozone and (c) ozonation followed by biodegradation performed by acclimated microorganisms. In the case of 72 h of biodegradation, the mineralization efficiency reached 85% and 89% after 30 and 60 min of ozonation, respectively. The no significant difference in this parameter coincided with the calculated generalized microorganisms’ consortia specific growing rate μmax that was reduced from 2.08 × 10−3 h−1 to 6.05 × 10−4 h−1 when the ozonation time was longer. The identification of the organics composition by gas chromatography with mass detector (GC-MS) before and after treatments confirmed that the proposed combined process served as a more efficient alternative to secondary and tertiary treatments (mineralization degree between 60 and 80% in average) of the paper industry wastewater. Full article
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21 pages, 5513 KiB  
Article
Toxicity Risk Assessment Due to Particulate Matter Pollution from Regional Health Data: Case Study from Central Romania
by Carmen Maftei, Ashok Vaseashta and Ionut Poinareanu
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020137 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1020
Abstract
Air pollution poses one of the greatest dangers to public well-being. This article outlines a study conducted in the Central Romania Region regarding the health risks associated with particulate matter (PM) of two sizes, viz., PM10 and PM2.5. The methodology [...] Read more.
Air pollution poses one of the greatest dangers to public well-being. This article outlines a study conducted in the Central Romania Region regarding the health risks associated with particulate matter (PM) of two sizes, viz., PM10 and PM2.5. The methodology used consists of the following: (i) an analysis of the effects of PM pollutants, (ii) an analysis of total mortality and cardiovascular-related mortality, and (iii) a general health risk assessment. The Central Region of Romania is situated in the Carpathian Mountains’ inner arch (consisting of six counties). The total population of the region under investigation is about 2.6 million inhabitants. Health risk assessment is calculated based on the relative risk (RR) formula. During the study period, our simulations show that reducing these pollutants’ concentrations below the new WHO guidelines (2021) will prevent over 172 total fatalities in Brasov alone, as an example. Furthermore, the potential benefit of reducing annual PM2.5 levels on total cardiovascular mortality is around 188 persons in Brasov. Although health benefits may also depend upon other physiological parameters, all general health indicators point towards a significant improvement in overall health by a general reduction in particulate matter, as is shown by the toxicity assessment of the particulate matter in the region of interest. The modality can be applied to other locations for similar studies. Full article
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12 pages, 1564 KiB  
Article
Short-Term Exposure to PM2.5 Chemical Components and Depression Outpatient Visits: A Case-Crossover Analysis in Three Chinese Cities
by Zitong Zhuang, Dan Li, Shiyu Zhang, Zhaoyang Hu, Wenfeng Deng and Hualiang Lin
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020136 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 852
Abstract
Background: The association between specific chemical components of PM2.5 and depression remains largely unknown. Methods: We conducted a time-stratified case-crossover analysis with a distributed lag nonlinear model (DLNM) to evaluate the relationship of PM2.5 and its chemical components, including black carbon [...] Read more.
Background: The association between specific chemical components of PM2.5 and depression remains largely unknown. Methods: We conducted a time-stratified case-crossover analysis with a distributed lag nonlinear model (DLNM) to evaluate the relationship of PM2.5 and its chemical components, including black carbon (BC), organic matter (OM), sulfate (SO42−), nitrate (NO3), and ammonium (NH4+), with the depression incidence. Daily depression outpatients were enrolled from Huizhou, Shenzhen, and Zhaoqing. Results: Among 247,281 outpatients, we found the strongest cumulative effects of PM2.5 and its chemical components with the odd ratios (ORs) of 1.607 (95% CI: 1.321, 1.956) and 1.417 (95% CI: 1.245, 1.612) at the 50th percentile of PM2.5 and OM at lag 21, respectively. Furthermore, the ORs with SO42− and NH4+ at the 75th percentile on the same lag day were 1.418 (95% CI: 1.247, 1.613) and 1.025 (95% CI: 1.009, 1.140). Relatively stronger associations were observed among females and the elderly. Conclusions: Our study suggests that PM2.5 and its chemical components might be important risk factors for depression. Reducing PM2.5 emissions, with a particular focus on the major sources of SO42− and OM, might potentially alleviate the burden of depression in South China. Full article
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18 pages, 1478 KiB  
Article
Difference of Microbial Community in the Stream Adjacent to the Mixed Antibiotic Effluent Source
by Jin-Wook Kim, Young-Kyu Hong, Oh-Kyung Kwon and Sung-Chul Kim
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020135 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 876
Abstract
Released antibiotics from source to stream can influence bacterial communities and potentially alter the ecosystem. This research provides a comprehensive examination of the sources, distribution, and bacterial community dynamics associated with varied antibiotic release sources adjacent to the stream. The residual of antibiotics [...] Read more.
Released antibiotics from source to stream can influence bacterial communities and potentially alter the ecosystem. This research provides a comprehensive examination of the sources, distribution, and bacterial community dynamics associated with varied antibiotic release sources adjacent to the stream. The residual of antibiotics from different sources was determined, and the bacterial community structure was examined to reveal the differences in the bacteria community in the stream. The residual of antibiotics was quantified with liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), and the Illumina MiSeq platform was utilized to sequence bacterial 16S rRNA genes, providing comprehensive insights into the bacterial community structure in the sediment across five different sites. Results indicated that the presence and distribution of antibiotics were significantly influenced by released sources. In the case of the bacterial community, the Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were the most dominant phyla in the sediment, and especially, the Firmicutes showed higher abundance in sites mostly affected by livestock sources. Additionally, livestock gut bacteria such as Clostridium saudiense, Proteiniclasticum ruminis, and Turicibacter sanguinis were prevalent in antibiotic-contaminated sites adjacent to livestock facilities. Overall, this study provides critical insights into the effect of antibiotic contamination by verifying the relationship between the occurrence of antibiotic residuals and the alteration in the bacterial community in the stream. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
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12 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
Dietary Exposure and Health Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Black Tea Consumed in Taiwan
by Drewyan Minelly Harrison, Wei-Chung Chang and Hsin-Tang Lin
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020134 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are organic compounds found in many foods and drinks, and there have been some concerns over these compounds due to their carcinogenic nature. This study evaluated the concentrations of PAH4 (BaP, BaA, BbF, and CHR) in different black tea [...] Read more.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are organic compounds found in many foods and drinks, and there have been some concerns over these compounds due to their carcinogenic nature. This study evaluated the concentrations of PAH4 (BaP, BaA, BbF, and CHR) in different black tea infusions and drinks based on the origin of the tea. The release of PAH4 from tea leaves to tea infusions was significantly low, with the highest transfer being 25.81%. The mean concentrations of BaP and PAH4 in tea infusions were used to conduct a risk assessment for the Taiwanese population, which showed that the 19–65 age group had the highest estimated intake of PAH4 and BaP among all age groups. These results, however, also showed margin of exposure (MOE) values well above the benchmark of 10,000. This indicated that PAH exposure from black tea consumption for the Taiwanese population constitutes a low-level health concern. Full article
15 pages, 7276 KiB  
Article
Facile Synthesis of a Novel AgIO3/CTF Heterojunction and Its Adsorption–Photocatalytic Performance with Organic Pollutants
by Liqiang Shen, Tingting Ye, Yehui Chen, Bei Chu, Hui Chen, Jinxing Hu and Yan Yu
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020133 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 911
Abstract
With the development of modern industry, the issue of water pollution has garnered increasing attention. Photocatalysis, as a novel green environmental technology that is resource-efficient, environmentally friendly, and highly promising, has found extensive applications in the field of organic pollutant treatment. However, common [...] Read more.
With the development of modern industry, the issue of water pollution has garnered increasing attention. Photocatalysis, as a novel green environmental technology that is resource-efficient, environmentally friendly, and highly promising, has found extensive applications in the field of organic pollutant treatment. However, common semiconductor materials exhibit either a relatively low photocatalytic efficiency in the visible light range or an inefficient separation of photogenerated charges, resulting in their limited ability to harness solar energy effectively. Consequently, the development of new photocatalysts has become a pivotal focus in current photocatalysis research to enhance solar energy utilization. This research provides a brief explanation of the photocatalytic mechanism of the AgIO3/CTF heterojunction photocatalyst. Due to the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) effect, the Ag nanoparticles demonstrate significant absorption in the visible light region, playing a crucial role in the highly efficient photocatalytic reduction of organic pollutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effective Catalytic Processes for Water and Wastewater Treatment)
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