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Toxics, Volume 12, Issue 6 (June 2024) – 68 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Concern is emerging over organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs), replacements for brominated flame retardants, for their developmental neurotoxic (DNT) potential due to their ubiquity, structural similarities to organophosphate pesticides and evidence from recent studies. Limited toxicity testing exists on the DNT potential of OPFRs due to challenges accompanying traditional in vivo DNT testing. Here, we employed an integrated approach to testing and assessment (IATA) using an extended battery of DNT in vitro assays and small model organisms that captures cellular processes involved in neurodevelopment and function. DNT potential from OPFRs was then related to human exposure using physiologically based toxicokinetic modeling to provide recommendations for risk assessment. View this paper
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4 pages, 182 KiB  
Opinion
Typical Misconceptions Pertaining to Facepiece Masks against Viral Aerosols
by Byung Uk Lee
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060443 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been debates regarding the transmission modes of contagious viruses, including the influenza virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), along with its variants [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerosols: A Challenge in Environmental Health)
16 pages, 8350 KiB  
Article
The Olfactory Receptor Olfr25 Mediates Sperm Dysfunction Induced by Low-Dose Bisphenol A through the CatSper-Ca2+ Signaling Pathway
by Jing Gu, Ning Zhang, Xiao Jiang, Lei Zhu, Yixia Lou, Shengqi Sun, Li Yin and Jinyi Liu
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060442 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA), a typical endocrine disruptor, is known to have various adverse effects on the male reproductive system. However, the toxic effects and mechanisms of low-dose BPA have not yet been fully explored. In this study, male Kunming mice were orally administered [...] Read more.
Bisphenol A (BPA), a typical endocrine disruptor, is known to have various adverse effects on the male reproductive system. However, the toxic effects and mechanisms of low-dose BPA have not yet been fully explored. In this study, male Kunming mice were orally administered low-dose BPA (0.03, 0.3 and 3 mg/kg/d) for ten consecutive weeks. Pathological sections of testicular tissue showed no significant morphological differences after BPA exposure. An analysis of the functional parameters of sperm revealed that exposure to low-dose BPA significantly decreased sperm motility, chemotaxis, and the acrosome reaction. An in vitro BPA exposure model combined with an omics data analysis showed that the olfactory receptor-related pathway was significantly enriched after BPA treatment. Subsequent experiments verified the reduced mRNA level of a novel olfactory receptor gene, Olfr25, in vivo and in vitro exposure models. Meanwhile, exposure to low-dose BPA reduced the intracellular calcium ion concentration and the mRNA levels of pore-forming subunits of the CatSper channel in sperm. Importantly, the knockdown of Olfr25 inhibited calcium ion levels and CatSper subunit expression in GC-2 cells. Olfr25 overexpression attenuated the BPA-induced downregulation of CatSper subunit expression in GC-2 cells. These findings indicate that Olfr25 might participate in low-dose BPA-induced sperm dysfunction by affecting the CatSper-Ca2+ signaling pathway. This study reveals a new mechanism underlying the effects of low-dose BPA on sperm function and provides a reference for assessing the safety of low-dose BPA exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity)
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15 pages, 7085 KiB  
Article
The GSTP1 rs1695 Polymorphism Is Associated with Mercury Levels and Neurodevelopmental Delay in Indigenous Munduruku Children from the Brazilian Amazon
by Mayara Calixto da Silva, Paulo Cesar Basta, Cristina Barroso Hofer, Mirian Akiko Furutani de Oliveira, Joeseph William Kempton, Rogério Adas Ayres de Oliveira, Ana Claudia Santiago de Vasconcellos and Jamila Alessandra Perini
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060441 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Genetic polymorphisms may influence mercury (Hg) toxicity. The aims of this study were to evaluate individual factors, such as the presence of the GSTP1 rs1695 polymorphism, associated with internal Hg dose and child neurodevelopment in indigenous people from the Brazilian Amazon chronically exposed [...] Read more.
Genetic polymorphisms may influence mercury (Hg) toxicity. The aims of this study were to evaluate individual factors, such as the presence of the GSTP1 rs1695 polymorphism, associated with internal Hg dose and child neurodevelopment in indigenous people from the Brazilian Amazon chronically exposed to Hg. Eighty-two indigenous children were clinically evaluated, hair Hg was measured, and the GSTP1 rs1695 polymorphism was genotyped. The mean age was 4.8 years, the median Hg was 5.5 µg/g, and 93.8% of children exceeded the safe limit (2.0 µg/g). Fish consumption was associated with Hg levels (p = 0.03). The GSTP1 rs1695 A>G polymorphism was in the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium and the highest prevalence of the GSTP1 AA genotype (80%) was found in Sawré Aboy, which had the highest Hg levels (10 µg/g) among the studied villages. The Hg levels tended to increase over the years in males and in carriers of the GSTP1 AA genotype (0.69 µg/g and 0.86 µg/g, respectively). Nine children failed the neurodevelopmental test, all of whom had Hg > 2.0 µg/g, and 88.9% carried the GSTP1 AA or AG genotypes, previously associated with the highest internal Hg doses and neurocognitive disorders. The genetic counseling of this population is important to identify the individuals at greater risk for neurodevelopmental disorders resulting from chronic Hg exposure. Full article
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14 pages, 3123 KiB  
Article
Removal of Aqueous Antimony and Arsenic by Iron-Loaded Coal Gasification Slag Composite
by Zheng Leng, Changzhi Zhou, Hong Hou and Junhuan Wang
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060440 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 537
Abstract
The adsorption of Sb(V) and As(V) onto iron-loaded gasification slag composite material (Fe-GFS), as well as the possible mechanisms, was investigated. Batch experiments showed that in a single system, Fe-GFS sorbed As(V) to a greater extent than Sb(V) with the maximum adsorption capacity [...] Read more.
The adsorption of Sb(V) and As(V) onto iron-loaded gasification slag composite material (Fe-GFS), as well as the possible mechanisms, was investigated. Batch experiments showed that in a single system, Fe-GFS sorbed As(V) to a greater extent than Sb(V) with the maximum adsorption capacity (pH 3.0) of 34.99 mg/g (0.47 mmol/g), while that of Sb(V) was 27.61 mg/g (0.23 mmol/g). In the composite system, the presence of low concentrations of Sb(V) reduced the adsorption efficiency of Fe-GFS for As(V), while the presence of high concentrations of Sb(V) actually promoted the adsorption of As(V). The presence of As(V) consistently inhibited the adsorption of Sb(V) by Fe-GFS. Compared to Fe-GFS, new peaks appeared in the FTIR spectra after adsorption, indicating the presence of Sb-O and As-O bonds on the surface after adsorption. XPS results showed that the adsorption of As(V) and Sb(V) led to a decrease in Fe-OH bonds, with a more significant decrease in Fe-OH bonds observed after the adsorption of As(V), indicating a stronger affinity of Fe-GFS for As(V) compared to Sb(V). Our results suggest that Fe-GFS is an efficient adsorbent with great potential for applications in water containing As(V) and Sb(V). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicity Reduction and Environmental Remediation)
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12 pages, 4162 KiB  
Article
Macroplastic and Microparticle Pollution in Beach Sediments from Urias Coastal Lagoon (Northwest Mexico)
by Daniela Alvarado-Zambrano, José R. Rivera-Hernández and Carlos Green-Ruiz
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060439 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 710
Abstract
This study investigates the occurrence and characteristics of macroplastic and polymer microparticles in the Urias coastal lagoon’s beach sediments, in northwest Mexico. Coastal lagoons, productive and vulnerable ecosystems, are impacted significantly by anthropogenic activities, leadings to their pollution by various contaminants, including plastics. [...] Read more.
This study investigates the occurrence and characteristics of macroplastic and polymer microparticles in the Urias coastal lagoon’s beach sediments, in northwest Mexico. Coastal lagoons, productive and vulnerable ecosystems, are impacted significantly by anthropogenic activities, leadings to their pollution by various contaminants, including plastics. Our research involved sampling sediments from four sites within the lagoon that were influenced by different human activities such as fishing, aquaculture, thermoelectric power plant operations, industrial operations, and domestic wastewater discharge. Our methodology included collecting macroplastics and beach sediment samples, followed by laboratory analyses to identify the plastic debris’ size, shape, color, and chemical composition. The results indicated a notable presence of macroplastic items (144), predominantly bags, styrofoam, and caps made of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The polymer microparticles were mainly fibers, with cotton and polyester as the most common polymers, suggesting a significant contribution from clothing-related waste. The dominant colors of the microparticles were blue and transparent. High densities were observed in areas with slower water exchange. Our findings highlight the urgent need for better waste management practices to mitigate plastic pollution in coastal lagoons, preserving their ecological and economic functions. Full article
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15 pages, 2925 KiB  
Article
Association between Volatile Organic Compound Exposure and Sex Hormones in Adolescents: The Mediating Role of Serum Albumin
by Xinyao Lian, Jianhui Guo, Yaqi Wang, Shaoguan Wang and Jing Li
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060438 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 572
Abstract
The associations between VOCs and sex hormones in adolescents remain unclear, and the role of serum albumin in these associations deserves to be explored. We conducted cross-sectional analyses using generalized linear models (GLMs), weighted quantile sum (WQS) regression, and mediation analysis, based on [...] Read more.
The associations between VOCs and sex hormones in adolescents remain unclear, and the role of serum albumin in these associations deserves to be explored. We conducted cross-sectional analyses using generalized linear models (GLMs), weighted quantile sum (WQS) regression, and mediation analysis, based on data from 584 adolescents from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The GLM analyses revealed that seven kinds of mVOCs potentially affected sex hormone levels. According to the WQS regression results, 2-aminothiazoline-4-carboxylic acid (ATCA) was the major contributor to the significant associations of mixed mVOC exposure with testosterone, estradiol, and free androgen index in males; N-acetyl-S-(N-methylcarbamoyl)-L-cysteine (AMCC) was the major contributor to the significant associations of mixed mVOC exposure with sex hormone-binding globulin in males; and N-acetyl-S-(benzyl)-L-cysteine (BMA) was the major contributor to the significant associations of mixed mVOC exposure with the ratio of testosterone to estradiol in females. Moreover, serum albumin could mediate up to 9.2% of the associations between mixed exposure to mVOCs and sex hormones. Our findings could provide a reference for studies on the mechanisms underlying the effects of VOCs on sex hormones in adolescents and emphasize the necessity of reducing exposure to ATCA, AMCC, BMA, and their parent compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Health Effects of Volatile Organic Compounds)
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26 pages, 2730 KiB  
Article
Integrated Approach for Testing and Assessment for Developmental Neurotoxicity (DNT) to Prioritize Aromatic Organophosphorus Flame Retardants
by Anna Kreutz, Oluwakemi B. Oyetade, Xiaoqing Chang, Jui-Hua Hsieh, Mamta Behl, David G. Allen, Nicole C. Kleinstreuer and Helena T. Hogberg
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060437 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 907
Abstract
Organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) are abundant and persistent in the environment but have limited toxicity information. Their similarity in structure to organophosphate pesticides presents great concern for developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). However, current in vivo testing is not suitable to provide DNT information on [...] Read more.
Organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) are abundant and persistent in the environment but have limited toxicity information. Their similarity in structure to organophosphate pesticides presents great concern for developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). However, current in vivo testing is not suitable to provide DNT information on the amount of OPFRs that lack data. Over the past decade, an in vitro battery was developed to enhance DNT assessment, consisting of assays that evaluate cellular processes in neurodevelopment and function. In this study, behavioral data of small model organisms were also included. To assess if these assays provide sufficient mechanistic coverage to prioritize chemicals for further testing and/or identify hazards, an integrated approach to testing and assessment (IATA) was developed with additional information from the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE) and the literature. Human biomonitoring and exposure data were identified and physiologically-based toxicokinetic models were applied to relate in vitro toxicity data to human exposure based on maximum plasma concentration. Eight OPFRs were evaluated, including aromatic OPFRs (triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), isopropylated phenyl phosphate (IPP), 2-ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate (EHDP), tricresyl phosphate (TMPP), isodecyl diphenyl phosphate (IDDP), tert-butylphenyl diphenyl phosphate (BPDP)) and halogenated FRs ((Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP), tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP)). Two representative brominated flame retardants (BFRs) (2,2′4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) and 3,3′,5,5′-tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA)) with known DNT potential were selected for toxicity benchmarking. Data from the DNT battery indicate that the aromatic OPFRs have activity at similar concentrations as the BFRs and should therefore be evaluated further. However, these assays provide limited information on the mechanism of the compounds. By integrating information from ICE and the literature, endocrine disruption was identified as a potential mechanism. This IATA case study indicates that human exposure to some OPFRs could lead to a plasma concentration similar to those exerting in vitro activities, indicating potential concern for human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment of Flame Retardants in Consumer Products)
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14 pages, 21149 KiB  
Article
The Legacy of Hg Contamination in a Past Mining Area (Tuscany, Italy): Hg Speciation and Health Risk Assessment
by Simone Arrighi, Fabrizio Franceschini, Riccardo Petrini, Silvia Fornasaro and Lisa Ghezzi
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060436 - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 1183
Abstract
The mercury cell manufacturing process, which has been extensively used in chlor-alkali plants to produce chlorine and caustic soda by electrolysis, represents a major source of Hg environmental pollution. At Saline di Volterra (Tuscany, Italy), solution mining by pumping water into halite deposits [...] Read more.
The mercury cell manufacturing process, which has been extensively used in chlor-alkali plants to produce chlorine and caustic soda by electrolysis, represents a major source of Hg environmental pollution. At Saline di Volterra (Tuscany, Italy), solution mining by pumping water into halite deposits was applied to produce brines for a mercury-cell chlor-alkali plant. The Hg-contaminated, exhausted brines were pumped back at depth into the rock salt field in order to renew the available resources. Activities ceased in 1994, following the leakage dispersion of highly contaminated Hg(0)-bearing brines into the environment. The mercury content in the soil, measured during a survey conducted in 2000, reached 334 mg/kg, highlighting diffuse contamination in the floodplain. By 2009, the Hg concentration had generally decreased and was mostly confined to the topsoil layer. In order to evaluate the present Hg soil pollution, a geochemical survey was carried out in 2023, almost thirty years after the contamination event. The obtained data indicated the occurrence of legacy Hg, which reached 25.5 mg/kg in some soil samples. Speciation analysis for the most contaminated soil revealed that Hg(0) represented about 17.3% of the total Hg and that water-soluble and organic Hg fractions were negligible. These results suggest that the originally released metallic mercury has volatilized and likely oxidized, becoming practically immobile in the soil. A risk assessment, performed by applying Hg speciation analysis, indicated that the mercury in the soil does not carry a risk of non-cancerous effects for different exposure routes in case of subsequent use of the site and that the formerly contaminated area can now be converted into a leisure area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring and Assessment of Mercury Pollution)
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17 pages, 1861 KiB  
Article
Decontamination of Chlorpyrifos Residue in Soil by Using Mentha piperita (Lamiales: Lamiaceae) for Phytoremediation and Two Bacterial Strains
by Ahmed A. A. Aioub, Mohamed A. Fahmy, Esraa E. Ammar, Mohamed Maher, Heba A. Ismail, Jin Yue, Qichun Zhang and Sarah I. Z. Abdel-Wahab
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060435 - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 1084
Abstract
This study utilizes Mentha piperita (MI) for the first time to investigate the uptake and translocation of chlorpyrifos (CPF; 10 µg g−1) from soil, introducing a new approach to improve the efficacy of this technique, which includes using biosurfactants (Bacillus [...] Read more.
This study utilizes Mentha piperita (MI) for the first time to investigate the uptake and translocation of chlorpyrifos (CPF; 10 µg g−1) from soil, introducing a new approach to improve the efficacy of this technique, which includes using biosurfactants (Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) at 107 CFU/mL to degrade CPF under greenhouse conditions. Moreover, antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (Prx), and oxidative stress due to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in MI roots and leaves were evaluated under CPF stress. Our results demonstrated that amending soil with MI and B. subtilis followed by P. aeruginosa significantly reduced CPF levels in the soil (p > 0.05) and enhanced CPF concentrations in MI roots and leaves after 1, 3, 7, 10, and 14 days of the experiment. Furthermore, CPF showed its longest half-life (t1/2) in soil contaminated solely with CPF, lasting 15.36 days. Conversely, its shortest half-life occurred in soil contaminated with CPF and treated with MI along with B. subtilis, lasting 4.65 days. Soil contaminated with CPF and treated with MI and P. aeruginosa showed a half-life of 7.98 days. The half-life (t1/2) of CPF-contaminated soil with MI alone was 11.41 days. A batch equilibrium technique showed that B. subtilis is better than P. aeruginosa for eliminating CPF from soil in In vitro experiments. Notably, CPF-polluted soil treated with coadministration of MI and the tested bacteria improved the activities of SOD and Prx and reduced H2O2 and MDA compared with CPF-polluted soil treated with MI alone. Our findings demonstrated that using B. subtilis and P. aeruginosa as biosurfactants to augment phytoremediation represents a commendable strategy for enhancing the remediation of CPF contamination in affected sites while reducing the existence of harmful pesticide remnants in crop plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicity Reduction and Environmental Remediation)
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13 pages, 3126 KiB  
Article
Construction of Immobilized Laccase System Based on ZnO and Degradation of Mesotrione
by Wanlei Yue, Xin Wang, Jiale Zhang, Jia Bao and Mengqin Yao
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060434 - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 493
Abstract
Mesotrione (MES) is a new environmental pollutant. Some reports have indicated that microbial enzymes could be utilized for MES degradation. Laccase is a green biocatalyst whose potential use in environmental pollutant detoxification has been considered limited due to its poor stability and reusability. [...] Read more.
Mesotrione (MES) is a new environmental pollutant. Some reports have indicated that microbial enzymes could be utilized for MES degradation. Laccase is a green biocatalyst whose potential use in environmental pollutant detoxification has been considered limited due to its poor stability and reusability. However, these issues may be addressed using enzyme immobilization. In the present study, we sought to optimize conditions for laccase immobilization, to analyze and characterize the characteristics of the immobilized laccase, and to compare its enzymatic properties to those of free laccase. In addition, we studied the ability of laccase to degrade MES, and analyzed the metabolic pathway of MES degradation by immobilized laccase. The results demonstrated that granular zinc oxide material (G-ZnO) was successfully used as the carrier for immobilization. G-ZnO@Lac demonstrated the highest recovery of enzyme activity and exhibited significantly improved stability compared with free laccase. Storage stability was also significantly improved, with the relative enzyme activity of G-ZnO@Lac remaining at about 54% after 28 days of storage (compared with only 12% for free laccase). The optimal conditions for the degradation of MES by G-ZnO@Lac were found to be 10 mg, 6 h, 30 °C, and pH 4; under these conditions, a degradation rate of 73.25% was attained. The findings of this study provide a theoretical reference for the laccase treatment of 4-hy-droxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD)-inhibiting herbicide contamination. Full article
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22 pages, 5645 KiB  
Review
Recent Progress on Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Model: A Review Based on Bibliometrics
by He Huang, Wenjing Zhao, Ning Qin and Xiaoli Duan
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060433 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Physiologically based pharmacokinetic/toxicokinetic (PBPK/PBTK) models are designed to elucidate the mechanism of chemical compound action in organisms based on the physiological, biochemical, anatomical, and thermodynamic properties of organisms. After nearly a century of research and practice, good results have been achieved in the [...] Read more.
Physiologically based pharmacokinetic/toxicokinetic (PBPK/PBTK) models are designed to elucidate the mechanism of chemical compound action in organisms based on the physiological, biochemical, anatomical, and thermodynamic properties of organisms. After nearly a century of research and practice, good results have been achieved in the fields of medicine, environmental science, and ecology. However, there is currently a lack of a more systematic review of progress in the main research directions of PBPK models, especially a more comprehensive understanding of the application in aquatic environmental research. In this review, a total of 3974 articles related to PBPK models from 1996 to 24 March 2024 were collected. Then, the main research areas of the PBPK model were categorized based on the keyword co-occurrence maps and cluster maps obtained by CiteSpace. The results showed that research related to medicine is the main application area of PBPK. Four major research directions included in the medical field were “drug assessment”, “cross-species prediction”, “drug–drug interactions”, and “pediatrics and pregnancy drug development”, in which “drug assessment” accounted for 55% of the total publication volume. In addition, bibliometric analyses indicated a rapid growth trend in the application in the field of environmental research, especially in predicting the residual levels in organisms and revealing the relationship between internal and external exposure. Despite facing the limitation of insufficient species-specific parameters, the PBPK model is still an effective tool for improving the understanding of chemical–biological effectiveness and will provide a theoretical basis for accurately assessing potential risks to ecosystems and human health. The combination with the quantitative structure–activity relationship model, Bayesian method, and machine learning technology are potential solutions to the previous research gaps. Full article
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26 pages, 5196 KiB  
Article
Using the Multicomponent Aerosol FORmation Model (MAFOR) to Determine Improved VOC Emission Factors in Ship Plumes
by Lea Fink, Matthias Karl, Volker Matthias, Andreas Weigelt, Matti Irjala and Pauli Simonen
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060432 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 529
Abstract
International shipping’s particulate matter primary emissions have a share in global anthropogenic emissions of between 3% and 4%. Ship emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can play an important role in the formation of fine particulate matter. Using an aerosol box model for [...] Read more.
International shipping’s particulate matter primary emissions have a share in global anthropogenic emissions of between 3% and 4%. Ship emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can play an important role in the formation of fine particulate matter. Using an aerosol box model for the near-plume scale, this study investigated how the changing VOC emission factor (EF) for ship engines impacts the formation of secondary PM2.5 in ship exhaust plumes that were detected during a measurement campaign. The agreement between measured and modeled particle number size distribution was improved by adjusting VOC emissions, in particular of intermediate-, low-, and extremely low-volatility compounds. The scaling of the VOC emission factor showed that the initial emission factor, based on literature data, had to be multiplied by 3.6 for all VOCs. Information obtained from the box model was integrated into a regional-scale chemistry transport model (CTM) to study the influence of changed VOC ship emissions over the Mediterranean Sea. The regional-scale CTM run with adjusted ship emissions indicated a change in PM2.5 of up to 5% at the main shipping routes and harbor cities in summer. Nevertheless, overall changes due to a change in the VOC EF were rather small, indicating that the size of grid cells in CTMs leads to a fast dilution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Pollution and Health)
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17 pages, 3145 KiB  
Article
Citric Acid Inhibits Cd Absorption and Transportation by Improving the Antagonism of Essential Elements in Rice Organs
by Kexin Chen, Bozhen Yu, Weijie Xue, Yuebing Sun, Changbo Zhang, Xusheng Gao, Xiaojia Zhou, Yun Deng, Jiarun Yang and Boqian Zhang
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060431 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 568
Abstract
Excessive cadmium (Cd) in rice is a global environmental problem. Therefore, reducing Cd content in rice is of great significance for ensuring food security and human health. A field experiment was conducted to study the effects of foliar application of citric acid (CA) [...] Read more.
Excessive cadmium (Cd) in rice is a global environmental problem. Therefore, reducing Cd content in rice is of great significance for ensuring food security and human health. A field experiment was conducted to study the effects of foliar application of citric acid (CA) on Cd absorption and transportation in rice under high Cd-contaminated soils (2.04 mg·kg−1). This study revealed that there was a negative correlation between Cd content in vegetative organs and CA content, and that foliar spraying of CA (1 mM and 5 mM) significantly increased CA content and reduced Cd content in vegetative organs. The Cd reduction effect of 5 mM CA was better than that of 1 mM, and 5 mM CA reduced Cd content in grains and spikes by 52% and 37%, respectively. CA significantly increased Mn content in vegetative organs and increased Ca/Mn ratios in spikes, flag leaves, and roots. CA significantly reduced soluble Cd content in vegetative organs and promoted the transformation of Cd into insoluble Cd, thus inhibiting the transport of Cd from vegetative organs to grains. The foliar field application of 1 mM and 5 mM CA could inhibit Cd absorption and transportation by reducing Cd bioactivity and increasing the antagonistic of essential elements in rice vegetative organs. These results provide technical support and a theoretical basis for solving the problem of excessive Cd in rice. Full article
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14 pages, 1411 KiB  
Article
Associations of Urinary Heavy Metal Mixtures with High Remnant Cholesterol among US Adults: Evidence from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1998–2018)
by Hui Li, Bei-Jing Cheng, Pei-Yan Yang, Chun Wang, Ke Meng, Tian-Lin Li, Jia Wang and Ran Liu
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060430 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 841
Abstract
The main objective of our study is to explore the associations between combined exposure to urinary heavy metals and high remnant cholesterol (HRC), a known cardiovascular risk factor. Utilizing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2018, [...] Read more.
The main objective of our study is to explore the associations between combined exposure to urinary heavy metals and high remnant cholesterol (HRC), a known cardiovascular risk factor. Utilizing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2018, we conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 5690 participants, assessing urinary concentrations of ten heavy metals. Ten heavy metals in urine were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Fasting residual cholesterol ≥0.8 mmol/L was defined as HRC (using blood samples). Statistical analyses included weighted multivariable logistic regression, weighted quantile sum (WQS) regression, quantile g-computation (qgcomp), and Bayesian kernel machine regression (BKMR) to evaluate the associations of heavy metal exposure with HRC. Stratified analyses based on individual characteristics were also conducted. Multivariable logistic regression found that the four metals (OR Q4 vs. Q1: 1.33, 95% CI: 1.01–1.75 for barium (Ba); OR Q4 vs. Q1: 1.50, 95% CI: 1.16–1.94 for cadmium (Cd); OR Q4 vs. Q1: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.15–2.01 for mercury (Hg); OR Q4 vs. Q1: 1.35, 95% CI: 1.06–1.73 for lead (Pb)) were positively correlated with the elevated risk of HRC after adjusting for covariates. In addition, all three mixed models, including WQS (OR: 1.25; 95% CI: 1.07–1.46), qgcomp (OR: 1.17; 95% CI: 1.03–1.34), and BKMR, consistently showed a significant positive correlation between co-exposure to heavy metal mixtures and HRC, with Ba and Cd being the main contributors within the mixture. These associations were more pronounced in younger adults (20 to 59 years), males, and those with a higher body mass index status (≥25 kg/m2). Our findings reveal a significant relationship between exposure to the mixture of heavy metals and HRC among US adults, with Ba and Cd being the major contributors to the mixture’s overall effect. Public health efforts aimed at reducing heavy metal exposure can help prevent HRC and, in turn, cardiovascular disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exposome Analysis and Risk Assessment)
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14 pages, 1445 KiB  
Article
Navigating a Microplastic Sea: How the Pacific Cupped Oyster (Magallana gigas) Respond to Microplastic Pollution in Lagoons
by Gianluca De Rinaldis, Paolo Pastorino, Tommaso Scirocco, Claudia Sacchetti, Serena Anselmi, Francesca Provenza, Monia Renzi and Antonietta Specchiulli
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060429 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 841
Abstract
Microplastic pollution poses an escalating concern, particularly in coastal lagoons rich in biodiversity. This study delved into the occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in Magallana gigas (formerly Crassostrea gigas) from the Orbetello and Varano coastal lagoons (Italy), also investigating the response of these [...] Read more.
Microplastic pollution poses an escalating concern, particularly in coastal lagoons rich in biodiversity. This study delved into the occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in Magallana gigas (formerly Crassostrea gigas) from the Orbetello and Varano coastal lagoons (Italy), also investigating the response of these filter-feeding organisms to various colors (P = pink; B = blue; W = white) of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) MP fragments. Oysters were exposed for 7 days under controlled conditions. Subsequently, the oysters underwent analysis for both MP presence and biochemical markers of oxidative stress. Diverse ingestion rates of HDPE were noted among oysters from the two lagoons, eliciting antioxidant responses and modifying baseline activity. The two-way ANOVA revealed the significant effects of treatment (control; HDPE_B; HDPE_P; HDPE_W), site, and the interaction between treatment and site on all biomarkers. Non-metric multidimensional scaling showed a divergent effect of HDPE color on biomarkers. Further investigation is warranted to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the influence of MP color, dose-dependent effects, and the long-term impacts of exposure. Comprehending these intricacies is imperative for devising effective strategies to mitigate plastic pollution and safeguard marine health. Full article
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17 pages, 2688 KiB  
Article
Health Impacts of Natural Background Radiation in High Air Pollution Area of Thailand
by Narongchai Autsavapromporn, Chutima Kranrod, Rawiwan Kritsananuwat, Phachirarat Sola, Pitchayaponne Klunklin, Imjai Chitapanarux, Churdsak Jaikang, Tawachai Monum, Masahiro Hosoda and Shinji Tokonami
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060428 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Chiang Mai province of Thailand is known for having the highest natural background radiation in the country, as well as being recognized as one of the world’s most polluted cities for air quality. This represents the major contributor to the development of lung [...] Read more.
Chiang Mai province of Thailand is known for having the highest natural background radiation in the country, as well as being recognized as one of the world’s most polluted cities for air quality. This represents the major contributor to the development of lung cancer. This research aims to estimate the comprehensive dose of both internal and external exposure due to natural background radiation and related health perspectives in the highly polluted area of Chiang Mai. The average values of indoor radon and thoron concentrations in 99 houses over 6 months were 40.8 ± 22.6 and 17.8 ± 16.3 Bq/m3, respectively. These results exceed the worldwide value for indoor radon and thoron (40 and 10 Bq/m3), respectively. During burning season, the average values of indoor radon (56.7 ± 20 Bq/m3) and thoron (20.8 ± 20.4 Bq/m3) concentrations were higher than the world-wide averages. The radon concentration in drinking water (56 samples) varied from 0.1 to 91.9 Bq/L, with an average value of 9.1 ± 22.8 Bq/L. Most of the drinking water samples (87%) fell below the recommended maximum contamination limit of 11.1 Bq/L. The average values of natural radionuclide (226Ra, 232Th and 40K) in 48 soil samples were 47 ± 20.9, 77.9 ± 29.7 and 700.1 ± 233 Bq/kg, respectively. All values were higher than the worldwide average of 35, 30 and 400 Bq/kg, respectively. The average value of outdoor absorbed gamma dose rate (98 ± 32.5 nGy/h) exceeded the worldwide average of 59 nGy/h. Meanwhile, the average activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in 25 plant food samples were 2.7 ± 0.1, 3.2 ± 1.6 and 1000.7 ± 1.9 Bq/kg, respectively. The 40K concentration was the most predominant in plant foods. The highest concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K were found in Chinese cabbage, celery and cilantro, respectively. The total annual effective dose for residents in the study area varied from 0.6 to 4.3 mSv, with an average value of 1.4 mSv. This indicates a significant long-term public health hazard due to natural background radiation and suggests a heightened radiation risk for the residents. The excess lifetime cancer risk value (5.4) associated with natural background radiation was found to be higher than the recommended value. Moreover, the number of lung cancer cases per year per million average of 25.2 per million persons per year was in the limit range 170–230 per million people. Overall, our results will be used for future decision making in the prevention of lung cancer risk associated with natural background radiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation: Occurrence, Transport and Effect)
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14 pages, 3138 KiB  
Article
Esketamine Exposure Impairs Cardiac Development and Function in Zebrafish Larvae
by Shuo Huang, Jingyi Wang, Tingting Lin, Chengyong He and Zhiyuan Chen
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060427 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Esketamine is a widely used intravenous general anesthetic. However, its safety, particularly its effects on the heart, is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of esketamine exposure on zebrafish embryonic heart development. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to esketamine at [...] Read more.
Esketamine is a widely used intravenous general anesthetic. However, its safety, particularly its effects on the heart, is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of esketamine exposure on zebrafish embryonic heart development. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to esketamine at concentrations of 1, 10, and 100 mg/L from 48 h post-fertilization (hpf) to 72 hpf. We found that after exposure, zebrafish embryos had an increased hatching rate, decreased heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac output. When we exposed transgenic zebrafish of the Tg(cmlc2:EGFP) strain to esketamine, we observed ventricular dilation and thickening of atrial walls in developing embryos. Additionally, we further discovered the abnormal expression of genes associated with cardiac development, including nkx2.5, gata4, tbx5, and myh6, calcium signaling pathways, namely ryr2a, ryr2b, atp2a2a, atp2a2b, slc8a3, slc8a4a, and cacna1aa, as well as an increase in acetylcholine concentration. In conclusion, our findings suggest that esketamine may impair zebrafish larvae’s cardiac development and function by affecting acetylcholine concentration, resulting in weakened cardiac neural regulation and subsequent effects on cardiac function. The insights garnered from this research advocate for a comprehensive safety assessment of esketamine in clinical applications. Full article
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10 pages, 1028 KiB  
Communication
Exploring Heavy Metal and Metalloid Exposure in Children: A Pilot Biomonitoring Study near a Sugarcane Mill
by Oliver Mendoza-Cano, Agustin Lugo-Radillo, Mónica Ríos-Silva, Irma Elizabeth Gonzalez-Curiel, Jaime Alberto Bricio-Barrios, Arlette A. Camacho-delaCruz, María Fernanda Romo-García, Herguin Benjamín Cuevas-Arellano, Ana Luz Quintanilla-Montoya, Ramón Solano-Barajas, Juan Manuel Uribe-Ramos, Luis A. García-Solórzano, Ángel Gabriel Hilerio-López, Alma Alejandra Solano-Mendoza, Rogelio Danis-Romero and Efrén Murillo-Zamora
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060426 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Sugarcane production has been linked to the release of heavy metals and metalloids (HM/MTs) into the environment, raising concerns about potential health risks. This study aimed to assess the levels of 19 HM/MTs in children living near a sugarcane mill through a pilot [...] Read more.
Sugarcane production has been linked to the release of heavy metals and metalloids (HM/MTs) into the environment, raising concerns about potential health risks. This study aimed to assess the levels of 19 HM/MTs in children living near a sugarcane mill through a pilot biomonitoring investigation. We investigated sex-related differences in these element levels and their correlations. A cross-sectional study was conducted, analyzing data from 20 children in the latter part of 2023. Spearman correlation coefficients with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the relationships between urinary HM/MT levels. Detectable levels of 17 out of the 19 HM/MTs were found across the entire study sample, with arsenic and copper detectable in 95% of the children. Titanium exhibited higher levels in boys compared to girls (p = 0.017). We identified 56 statistically significant correlations, with 51 of them being positive, while the remaining coefficients indicated negative relationships. This study characterized HM/MT levels in school-aged children residing near a sugarcane mill through a pilot biomonitoring investigation. Further research employing larger sample sizes and longitudinal assessments would enhance our understanding of the dynamics and health impacts of HM/MT exposure in this vulnerable population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Metals and Radioactive Substances)
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9 pages, 943 KiB  
Article
Models for the No-Observed-Effect Concentration (NOEC) and Maximal Half-Effective Concentration (EC50)
by Nadia Iovine, Alla P. Toropova, Andrey A. Toropov, Alessandra Roncaglioni and Emilio Benfenati
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060425 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Typical in silico models for ecotoxicology focus on a few endpoints, but there is a need to increase the diversity of these models. This study proposes models using the NOEC for the harlequin fly (Chironomus riparius) and EC50 for swollen duckweed [...] Read more.
Typical in silico models for ecotoxicology focus on a few endpoints, but there is a need to increase the diversity of these models. This study proposes models using the NOEC for the harlequin fly (Chironomus riparius) and EC50 for swollen duckweed (Lemna gibba) for the first time. The data were derived from the EFSA OpenFoodTox database. The models were based on the correlation weights of molecular features used to calculate the 2D descriptor in CORAL software. The Monte Carlo method was used to calculate the correlation weights of the algorithms. The determination coefficients of the best models for the external validation set were 0.74 (NOAEC) and 0.85 (EC50). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Models and Applications in Predictive Toxicology)
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9 pages, 1180 KiB  
Communication
The Development of a Rapid, Cost-Effective, and Green Analytical Method for Mercury Speciation
by Patrícia Cristina Costa Ladeira, Caroline Cristine Augusto, Bruno Alves Rocha, Jairo Lisboa Rodrigues, Giovanna de Fátima Moreno Aguiar and Bruno Lemos Batista
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060424 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 475
Abstract
Mercury is a naturally occurring metal found in various inorganic and organic forms within the environment. Due to its high toxicity, there is global concern regarding human exposure to this element. The combination of high-performance liquid chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry [...] Read more.
Mercury is a naturally occurring metal found in various inorganic and organic forms within the environment. Due to its high toxicity, there is global concern regarding human exposure to this element. The combination of high-performance liquid chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) is commonly used to analyze the different forms of mercury in a sample due to its high sensitivity and ability to selectively detect mercury. However, the traditional HPLC-ICP-MS methods are often criticized for their lengthy analysis times. In this study, we have refined the conventional approach by transitioning to ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (UHPLC-ICP-MS). This modification has resulted in significant reductions in runtime as well as reagent and argon usage, thereby offering a more rapid, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective method. We successfully adapted an HPLC-ICP-MS method to UHPLC-ICP-MS, achieving the analysis of Hg2+ and MeHg+ within 1 min with a mobile phase consumption of only 0.5 mL and a sample volume of 5.0 µL; this is a major advance compared to HPLC analysis with run times generally between 5 and 10 min. The method’s performance was assessed by analyzing muscle and liver tissue samples (serving as reference material) from fish, demonstrating the versatility of the method in relation to different complex matrices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Novel Methods in Toxicology Research)
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14 pages, 3734 KiB  
Article
Shift in Bacterial Community Structure in the Biodegradation of Benzene and Toluene under Sulfate-Reducing Condition
by Zhengwei Liu, Xiaoyu Lin, Xinzhe Wang, Mingbo Sun, Shici Ma and Shucai Zhang
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060423 - 10 Jun 2024
Viewed by 467
Abstract
Groundwater contaminated by benzene and toluene is a common issue, posing a threat to the ecosystems and human health. The removal of benzene and toluene under sulfate-reducing condition is well known, but how the bacterial community shifts during this process remains unclear. This [...] Read more.
Groundwater contaminated by benzene and toluene is a common issue, posing a threat to the ecosystems and human health. The removal of benzene and toluene under sulfate-reducing condition is well known, but how the bacterial community shifts during this process remains unclear. This study aims to evaluate the shift in bacterial community structure during the biodegradation of benzene and toluene under sulfate-reducing condition. In this study, groundwater contaminated with benzene and toluene were collected from the field and used to construct three artificial samples: Control (benzene 50 mg/L, toluene 1.24 mg/L, sulfate 470 mg/L, and HgCl2 250 mg/L), S1 (benzene 50 mg/L, toluene 1.24 mg/L, sulfate 470 mg/L), and S2 (benzene 100 mg/L, toluene 2.5 mg/L, sulfate 940 mg/L). The contaminants (benzene and toluene), geochemical parameters (sulfate, ORP, and pH), and bacterial community structure in the artificial samples were monitored over time. By the end of this study (day 90), approximately 99% of benzene and 96% of toluene could be eliminated in both S1 and S2 artificial samples, while in the Control artificial sample the contaminant levels remained unchanged due to microbial inactivation. The richness of bacterial communities initially decreased but subsequently increased over time in both S1 and S2 artificial samples. Under sulfate-reducing condition, key players in benzene and toluene degradation were identified as Pseudomonas, Janthinobacterium, Novosphingobium, Staphylococcus, and Bradyrhizobium. The results could provide scientific basis for remediation and risk management strategies at the benzene and toluene contaminated sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Transport and Transformation of Pollutants)
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22 pages, 2910 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Wildland Firefighters’ Exposure to Coarse, Fine, and Ultrafine Particles; Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons; and Metal(loid)s, and Estimation of Associated Health Risks
by Joana Teixeira, Gabriel Sousa, Rui Azevedo, Agostinho Almeida, Cristina Delerue-Matos, Xianyu Wang, Alice Santos-Silva, Francisca Rodrigues and Marta Oliveira
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060422 - 10 Jun 2024
Viewed by 806
Abstract
Firefighters’ occupational activity causes cancer, and the characterization of exposure during firefighting activities remains limited. This work characterizes, for the first time, firefighters’ exposure to (coarse/fine/ultrafine) particulate matter (PM) bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metal(loid)s during prescribed fires, Fire 1 and Fire [...] Read more.
Firefighters’ occupational activity causes cancer, and the characterization of exposure during firefighting activities remains limited. This work characterizes, for the first time, firefighters’ exposure to (coarse/fine/ultrafine) particulate matter (PM) bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metal(loid)s during prescribed fires, Fire 1 and Fire 2 (210 min). An impactor collected 14 PM fractions, the PM levels were determined by gravimetry, and the PM-bound PAHs and metal(loid)s were determined by chromatographic and spectroscopic methodologies, respectively. Firefighters were exposed to a total PM level of 1408.3 and 342.5 µg/m3 in Fire 1 and Fire 2, respectively; fine/ultrafine PM represented more than 90% of total PM. Total PM-bound PAHs (3260.2 ng/m3 in Fire 1; 412.1 ng/m3 in Fire 2) and metal(loid)s (660.8 ng/m3 versus 262.2 ng/m3), distributed between fine/ultrafine PM, contained 4.57–24.5% and 11.7–12.6% of (possible/probable) carcinogenic PAHs and metal(loid)s, respectively. Firefighters’ exposure to PM, PAHs, and metal(loid)s were below available occupational limits. The estimated carcinogenic risks associated with the inhalation of PM-bound PAHs (3.78 × 10−9 − 1.74 × 10−6) and metal(loid)s (1.50 × 10−2 − 2.37 × 10−2) were, respectively, below and 150–237 times higher than the acceptable risk level defined by the USEPA during 210 min of firefighting activity and assuming a 40-year career as a firefighter. Additional studies need to (1) explore exposure to (coarse/fine/ultrafine) PM, (2) assess health risks, (3) identify intervention needs, and (4) support regulatory agencies recommending mitigation procedures to reduce the impact of fire effluents on firefighters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Firefighters’ Occupational Exposures and Health Risks)
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13 pages, 717 KiB  
Review
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Therapies and Acute Liver Injury
by Roberto Catanzaro, Francesco Marotta, Azam Yazdani and Morena Sciuto
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060421 - 8 Jun 2024
Viewed by 872
Abstract
Drug-induced liver disease (DILI) represents one of the main problems in the therapeutic field. There are several non-modifiable risk factors, such as age and sex, and all drugs can cause hepatotoxicity of varying degrees, including those for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases [...] Read more.
Drug-induced liver disease (DILI) represents one of the main problems in the therapeutic field. There are several non-modifiable risk factors, such as age and sex, and all drugs can cause hepatotoxicity of varying degrees, including those for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The aim of this review is to illustrate the adverse effects on the liver of the various drugs used in the treatment of IBD, highlighting which drugs are safest to use based on current knowledge. The mechanism by which drugs cause hepatotoxicity is not fully understood. A possible cause is represented by the formation of toxic metabolites, which in some patients may be increased due to alterations in the enzymatic apparatus involved in drug metabolism. Various studies have shown that the drugs that can most frequently cause hepatotoxicity are immunosuppressants, while mesalazine and biological drugs are, for the most part, less associated with such complications. Therefore, it is possible to assume that in the future, biological therapies could become the first line for the treatment of IBD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Toxicology and Metabolic Disease with Exposure to Drugs)
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13 pages, 2505 KiB  
Article
Transgenerational Response of Germline Nuclear Hormone Receptor Genes to Nanoplastics at Predicted Environmental Doses in Caenorhabditis elegans
by Zhengying Liu, Yuxing Wang, Qian Bian and Dayong Wang
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060420 - 7 Jun 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
Transgenerational nanoplastic toxicity could be detected in Caenorhabditis elegans after exposure at the parental generation (P0-G); however, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unclear. We aimed to examine the role of germline nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs) in controlling the transgenerational toxicity of polystyrene nanoparticles [...] Read more.
Transgenerational nanoplastic toxicity could be detected in Caenorhabditis elegans after exposure at the parental generation (P0-G); however, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unclear. We aimed to examine the role of germline nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs) in controlling the transgenerational toxicity of polystyrene nanoparticles (PS-NPs) based on gene expression screening and functional analysis. Among germline NHR genes, daf-12, nhr-14, and nhr-47 expressions were increased and nhr-12 expression was decreased by PS-NPs (1 and 10 μg/L). Transgenerational alterations in expressions of these four NHR genes were also induced by PS-NPs (1 and 10 μg/L). RNAi of daf-12, nhr-14, and nhr-47 caused resistance, whereas RNAi of nhr-12 conferred susceptibility to transgenerational PS-NP toxicity. After PS-NP exposure, expressions of ins-3, daf-28, and ins-39 encoding insulin ligands, efn-3 encoding Ephrin ligand, and lin-44 encoding Wnt ligand, as well as expressions of their receptor genes (daf-2, vab-1, and/or mig-1), were dysregulated by the RNAi of daf-12, nhr-14, nhr-47, and nhr-12. Therefore, alteration in certain germline NHRs could mediate the induction of transgenerational nanoplastic toxicity by affecting secreted ligands and their receptors in the offspring of exposed organisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exposome Analysis and Risk Assessment)
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17 pages, 4254 KiB  
Article
Effective Technique and Mechanism for Simultaneous Adsorption of As(III/V) from Wastewater by Fe-ZIF-8@MXene
by Shuyan Zang, Qing Zhang, Baoli Hu, Yaqian Zhang, Jaan H. Pu and Meiheng Lv
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060419 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 430
Abstract
Arsenic (As) contamination of surface water has become a global concern, especially for the third world countries, and it is imperative to develop advanced materials and an effective treatment method to address the issue. In this paper, iron doped ZIF-8@MXene (Fe-ZIF-8@MXene) was prepared [...] Read more.
Arsenic (As) contamination of surface water has become a global concern, especially for the third world countries, and it is imperative to develop advanced materials and an effective treatment method to address the issue. In this paper, iron doped ZIF-8@MXene (Fe-ZIF-8@MXene) was prepared as a potential adsorbent to effectively and simultaneously remove As(III/V) from wastewater. To investigate this, Fe-ZIF-8@MXene was characterized before and after the removal of mixed As(III/V). The results of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), specific surface area (BET) and point of zero charge (pHpzc) showed that Fe-ZIF-8@MXene was prepared successfully and kept a stable structure after As(III) and As(V) adsorption. The particle size of Fe-ZIF-8@MXene was in the range of 0.5 μm to 2.5 μm, where its BET was 531.7 m2/g. For both contaminants, adsorption was found to follow pseudo-second-order kinetics and was best-fitted by the Langmuir adsorption model with correlation coefficients (R2) of 0.998 and 0.997, for As(III) and As(V), respectively. The adsorbent was then applied to remove As from two actual water samples, giving maximum removal rates of 91.07% and 98.96% for As(III) and As(V), respectively. Finally, removal mechanisms for As(III/V) by Fe-ZIF-8@MXene were also explored. During the adsorption, multiple complexes were formed under the effect of its abundant surface functional groups involving multiple mechanisms, which included Van der Waals force, surface adsorption, chemical complexation and electrostatic interactions. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that Fe-ZIF-8@MXene was an advanced and reusable material for simultaneous removal of As(III/V) in wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicity Reduction and Environmental Remediation)
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12 pages, 2845 KiB  
Article
Effects of Foliar Spraying of Dicarboxylicdimethylammonium Chloride on Cadmium and Arsenic Accumulation in Rice Grains
by Lin Fu, Jiawei Deng, Dayliana Ruiz Lao, Changbo Zhang, Weijie Xue, Yun Deng and Xin Luo
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060418 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 449
Abstract
A field experiment with double cropping rice was carried out to study the foliar application effects of dicarboxylicdimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) on cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) accumulation in rice grains. The results showed that the spraying of DDAC could significantly reduce the accumulation [...] Read more.
A field experiment with double cropping rice was carried out to study the foliar application effects of dicarboxylicdimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) on cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) accumulation in rice grains. The results showed that the spraying of DDAC could significantly reduce the accumulation of Cd and As in rice grains. The highest reductions in Cd and As content were observed when 1.5 mmol L−1 DDAC was sprayed, with 49.1% and 27.4% reductions in Cd and As content in early rice grains and 56.5% and 28.1% reductions in Cd and As content in late rice grains, respectively. In addition, the content of calcium (Ca) in rice grains increased significantly after DDAC foliar application, which was also conducive to the synthesis of amino acids such as glutamate (Glu), glycine (Gly) and cysteine (Cys) in rice grains. The results indicated that the foliar spraying of DDAC can inhibit the absorption, transport, accumulation and toxicity of Cd and As in rice grains by increasing amino acid synthesis and regulating the absorption and transport of essential elements. Full article
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11 pages, 1187 KiB  
Article
Mercury Dynamics in the Sea of Azov: Insights from a Mass Balance Model
by Christoph Gade, Rebecca von Hellfeld, Lenka Mbadugha and Graeme Paton
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060417 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 595
Abstract
The Sea of Azov, an inland shelf sea bounding Ukraine and Russia, experiences the effects of ongoing and legacy pollution. One of the main contaminants of concern is the heavy metal mercury (Hg), which is emitted from the regional coal industry, former Hg [...] Read more.
The Sea of Azov, an inland shelf sea bounding Ukraine and Russia, experiences the effects of ongoing and legacy pollution. One of the main contaminants of concern is the heavy metal mercury (Hg), which is emitted from the regional coal industry, former Hg refineries, and the historic use of mercury-containing pesticides. The aquatic biome acts both as a major sink and source in this cycle, thus meriting an examination of its environmental fate. This study collated existing Hg data for the SoA and the adjacent region to estimate current Hg influxes and cycling in the ecosystem. The mercury-specific model “Hg Environmental Ratios Multimedia Ecosystem Sources” (HERMES), originally developed for Canadian freshwater lakes, was used to estimate anthropogenic emissions to the sea and regional atmospheric Hg concentrations. The computed water and sediment concentrations (6.8 ng/L and 55.7 ng/g dw, respectively) approximate the reported literature values. The ongoing military conflict will increase environmental pollution in the region, thus further intensifying the existing (legacy) anthropogenic pressures. The results of this study provide a first insight into the environmental Hg cycle of the Sea of Azov ecosystem and underline the need for further emission control and remediation efforts to safeguard environmental quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring and Assessment of Mercury Pollution)
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12 pages, 1257 KiB  
Article
The Concentration of Benzo[a]pyrene in Food Cooked by Air Fryer and Oven: A Comparison Study
by Xiaoxin Chen, Yingxin Liao, Baiwen Lin, Xing He, Sibei Li, Chenghui Zhong, Saifeng Li, Yun Zhou and Lieyang Fan
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060416 - 6 Jun 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 644
Abstract
The air fryer utilizes heated air rather than hot oil to achieve frying, eliminating the need for cooking oil, rendering it a healthier cooking method than traditional frying and baking. However, there is limited evidence supporting that the air fryer could effectively reduce [...] Read more.
The air fryer utilizes heated air rather than hot oil to achieve frying, eliminating the need for cooking oil, rendering it a healthier cooking method than traditional frying and baking. However, there is limited evidence supporting that the air fryer could effectively reduce the level of food-derived carcinogen. In this study, we compared the concentration of Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a typical carcinogen, in beef patties cooked using an air fryer and an oven, under different cooking conditions, including temperatures (140 °C, 160 °C, 180 °C, and 200 °C), times (9, 14, and 19 min), and oil added or not. The adjusted linear regression analysis revealed that the BaP concentration in beef cooked in the air fryer was 22.667 (95% CI: 15.984, 29.349) ng/kg lower than that in beef cooked in the oven. Regarding the air fryer, the BaP concentration in beef cooked without oil brushing was below the detection limit, and it was significantly lower than in beef cooked with oil brushing (p < 0.001). Therefore, cooking beef in the air fryer can effectively reduce BaP concentration, particularly due to the advantage of oil-free cooking, suggesting that the air fryer represents a superior option for individuals preparing meat at high temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Pollution and Health)
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29 pages, 1627 KiB  
Review
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in the Aquatic Environment and Bivalves: The State of the Art
by Pedro Pires, André M. P. T. Pereira, Angelina Pena and Liliana J. G. Silva
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060415 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 482
Abstract
In recent years, contaminants of emerging concern have been reported in several environmental matrices due to advances in analytical methodologies. These anthropogenic micropollutants are detected at residual levels, representing an ecotoxicological threat to aquatic ecosystems. In particular, the pharmacotherapeutic group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories [...] Read more.
In recent years, contaminants of emerging concern have been reported in several environmental matrices due to advances in analytical methodologies. These anthropogenic micropollutants are detected at residual levels, representing an ecotoxicological threat to aquatic ecosystems. In particular, the pharmacotherapeutic group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) is one of the most prescribed and used, as well as one of the most frequently detected in the aquatic environment. Bivalves have several benefits as a foodstuff, and also as an environment bioindicator species. Therefore, they are regarded as an ideal tool to assess this issue from both ecotoxicological and food safety perspectives. Thus, the control of these residues in bivalves is extremely important to safeguard environmental health, also ensuring food safety and public health. This paper aims to review NSAIDs in bivalves, observing their consumption, physicochemical characteristics, and mechanisms of action; their environmental occurrence in the aquatic environment and aquatic biota; and their effects on the ecosystem and the existent legal framework. A review of the analytical methodologies for the determination of NSAIDs in bivalves is also presented. Full article
11 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
Biogas Digestate and Sewage Sludge as Suitable Feeds for Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae
by Jana Kofroňová, Abir Melliti and Radek Vurm
Toxics 2024, 12(6), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12060414 - 5 Jun 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 692
Abstract
Hermetia illucens larvae can use organic wastes as a substrate, which makes them an interesting potential feed. However, waste may contain heavy metals, which are limited in feed. Here, we investigated the ability of H. illucens to grow on organic wastes and measured [...] Read more.
Hermetia illucens larvae can use organic wastes as a substrate, which makes them an interesting potential feed. However, waste may contain heavy metals, which are limited in feed. Here, we investigated the ability of H. illucens to grow on organic wastes and measured their heavy metal bioaccumulation. The larvae were fed with food waste, biogas digestates, and sewage sludge. When the first adult fly was visible, the tests were stopped and the larvae immediately processed. The samples (wastes before use, larvae after feeding) were analysed for mineral nutrient and heavy metal content using AAS and ICP-OES, respectively. The results show that the weight of the larvae fed with food waste increased sevenfold, which was broadly in line with expectations. Those fed with sewage sludge and digestate from biogas station increased threefold. While the larvae fed with sewage sludge exceeded the limits for heavy metals, particularly Cd and Pb, in feedstock, those fed with biogas digestate and food waste did not. These findings add to the literature showing the suitability of different wastes as H. illucens feed, and the importance of excluding waste contaminated with heavy metals from larvae intended for use as animal feed, or else diverting these larvae to non-feed uses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioremediation of Pollutants in Sewage Sludge)
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