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Toxics, Volume 7, Issue 1 (March 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Particulate matter (PM) exposure and the coexisting high prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Propensity of Tagetes erecta L., a Medicinal Plant Commonly Used in Diabetes Management, to Accumulate Perfluoroalkyl Substances
Received: 26 January 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
It has been extensively demonstrated that plants accumulate organic substances emanating from various sources, including soil and water. This fact suggests the potentiality of contamination of certain vital bioresources, such as medicinal plants, by persistent contaminants, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate [...] Read more.
It has been extensively demonstrated that plants accumulate organic substances emanating from various sources, including soil and water. This fact suggests the potentiality of contamination of certain vital bioresources, such as medicinal plants, by persistent contaminants, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS). Hence, in this study, the propensity of Tagetes erecta L. (a commonly used medicinal plant) to accumulate PFOA, PFOS, and PFBS was determined using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS-8030). From the results, PFOA, PFOS, and PFBS were detected in all the plant samples and concentration levels were found to be 94.83 ng/g, 5.03 ng/g, and 1.44 ng/g, respectively, with bioconcentration factor (BCF) ranges of 1.30 to 2.57, 13.67 to 72.33, and 0.16 to 0.31, respectively. Little evidence exists on the bioaccumulative susceptibility of medicinal plants to these persistent organic pollutants (POPs). These results suggest that these medicinal plants (in particular, Tagetes erecta L., used for the management of diabetes) are also potential conduits of PFOA, PFOS, and PFBS into humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Chemistry)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Versatile Roles of the tRNA Epitranscriptome during Cellular Responses to Toxic Exposures and Environmental Stress
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Living organisms respond to environmental changes and xenobiotic exposures by regulating gene expression. While heat shock, unfolded protein, and DNA damage stress responses are well-studied at the levels of the transcriptome and proteome, tRNA-mediated mechanisms are only recently emerging as important modulators of [...] Read more.
Living organisms respond to environmental changes and xenobiotic exposures by regulating gene expression. While heat shock, unfolded protein, and DNA damage stress responses are well-studied at the levels of the transcriptome and proteome, tRNA-mediated mechanisms are only recently emerging as important modulators of cellular stress responses. Regulation of the stress response by tRNA shows a high functional diversity, ranging from the control of tRNA maturation and translation initiation, to translational enhancement through modification-mediated codon-biased translation of mRNAs encoding stress response proteins, and translational repression by stress-induced tRNA fragments. tRNAs need to be heavily modified post-transcriptionally for full activity, and it is becoming increasingly clear that many aspects of tRNA metabolism and function are regulated through the dynamic introduction and removal of modifications. This review will discuss the many ways that nucleoside modifications confer high functional diversity to tRNAs, with a focus on tRNA modification-mediated regulation of the eukaryotic response to environmental stress and toxicant exposures. Additionally, the potential applications of tRNA modification biology in the development of early biomarkers of pathology will be highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Recent Studies on DNA Adducts Resulting from Human Exposure to Tobacco Smoke
Received: 2 February 2019 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
DNA adducts are believed to play a central role in the induction of cancer in cigarette smokers and are proposed as being potential biomarkers of cancer risk. We have summarized research conducted since 2012 on DNA adduct formation in smokers. A variety of [...] Read more.
DNA adducts are believed to play a central role in the induction of cancer in cigarette smokers and are proposed as being potential biomarkers of cancer risk. We have summarized research conducted since 2012 on DNA adduct formation in smokers. A variety of DNA adducts derived from various classes of carcinogens, including aromatic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, alkylating agents, aldehydes, volatile carcinogens, as well as oxidative damage have been reported. The results are discussed with particular attention to the analytical methods used in those studies. Mass spectrometry-based methods that have higher selectivity and specificity compared to 32P-postlabeling or immunochemical approaches are preferred. Multiple DNA adducts specific to tobacco constituents have also been characterized for the first time in vitro or detected in vivo since 2012, and descriptions of those adducts are included. We also discuss common issues related to measuring DNA adducts in humans, including the development and validation of analytical methods and prevention of artifact formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants)
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Open AccessReview Exploration of Computational Approaches to Predict the Toxicity of Chemical Mixtures
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 10 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Industrial advances have led to generation of multi-component chemicals, materials and pharmaceuticals which are directly or indirectly affecting the environment. Although toxicity data are available for individual chemicals, generally there is no toxicity data of chemical mixtures. Most importantly, the nature of toxicity [...] Read more.
Industrial advances have led to generation of multi-component chemicals, materials and pharmaceuticals which are directly or indirectly affecting the environment. Although toxicity data are available for individual chemicals, generally there is no toxicity data of chemical mixtures. Most importantly, the nature of toxicity of these studied mixtures is completely different to the single components, which makes the toxicity evaluation of mixtures more critical and challenging. Interactions of individual chemicals in a mixture can result in multifaceted and considerable deviations in the apparent properties of its ingredients. It results in synergistic or antagonistic effects as opposed to the ideal case of additive behavior i.e., concentration addition (CA) and independent action (IA). The CA and IA are leading models for the assessment of joint activity supported by pharmacology literature. Animal models for toxicity testing are time- and money-consuming as well as unethical. Thus, computational approaches are already proven efficient alternatives for assessing the toxicity of chemicals by regulatory authorities followed by industries. In silico methods are capable of predicting toxicity, prioritizing chemicals, identifying risk and assessing, followed by managing, the risk. In many cases, the mechanism behind the toxicity from species to species can be understood by in silico methods. Until today most of the computational approaches have been employed for single chemical’s toxicity. Thus, only a handful of works in the literature and methods are available for a mixture’s toxicity prediction employing computational or in silico approaches. Therefore, the present review explains the importance of evaluation of a mixture’s toxicity, the role of computational approaches to assess the toxicity, followed by types of in silico methods. Additionally, successful application of in silico tools in a mixture’s toxicity predictions is explained in detail. Finally, future avenues towards the role and application of computational approaches in a mixture’s toxicity are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicity of Chemical Mixtures)
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Open AccessPerspective Aristolochic Acids: Newly Identified Exposure Pathways of this Class of Environmental and Food-Borne Contaminants and its Potential Link to Chronic Kidney Diseases
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Aristolochic acids (AAs) are nitrophenanthrene carboxylic acids naturally produced by Aristolochia plants. These plants were widely used to prepare herbal remedies until AAs were observed to be highly nephrotoxic and carcinogenic to humans. Although the use of AA-containing Aristolochia plants in herbal medicine [...] Read more.
Aristolochic acids (AAs) are nitrophenanthrene carboxylic acids naturally produced by Aristolochia plants. These plants were widely used to prepare herbal remedies until AAs were observed to be highly nephrotoxic and carcinogenic to humans. Although the use of AA-containing Aristolochia plants in herbal medicine is prohibited in countries worldwide, emerging evidence nevertheless has indicated that AAs are the causative agents of Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN), an environmentally derived disease threatening numerous residents of rural farming villages along the Danube River in countries of the Balkan Peninsula. This perspective updates recent findings on the identification of AAs in food as a result of the root uptake of free AAs released from the decayed seeds of Aristolochia clematitis L., in combination with their presence and fate in the environment. The potential link between AAs and the high prevalence of chronic kidney diseases in China is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants)
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Open AccessArticle A Model-to-Monitor Evaluation of 2011 National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA)
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 10 March 2019
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Abstract
Environmental research has widely utilized the ambient concentrations of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) modeled by the National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) program; however, limited studies have evaluated the model’s performance. This study aims to evaluate the model-to-monitor agreement of the 2011 NATA data [...] Read more.
Environmental research has widely utilized the ambient concentrations of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) modeled by the National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) program; however, limited studies have evaluated the model’s performance. This study aims to evaluate the model-to-monitor agreement of the 2011 NATA data with the monitoring data reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Quality System (AQS). Concentrations of 27 representative HAPs measured at 274 sites in the U.S. in 2011 were merged with NATA data by census tract. The comparison consisted of two steps for each HAP: first, the model-monitor difference at each site was compared with the limit of quantitation (LOQ); second, the modeled annual average was compared to the 95% confidence interval of the monitored annual average. Nationally, NATA could predict national medians of most HAPs well; however, it was unable to capture high concentrations. At individual sites, a large portion of model-monitor differences was below the LOQs, indicating they were unquantifiable. Model-to-monitor agreement displayed inconsistent patterns in terms of chemical groups or EPA regions and was strongly impacted by the comparison methods. The substantial non-agreements of NATA predictions with monitoring data require caution in environmental epidemiology and justice studies that are based on NATA data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Risk Management)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of AgNPs on the Snail Biomphalaria glabrata: Survival, Reproduction and Silver Accumulation
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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Abstract
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are used intensively in medical and industrial applications. Environmental concerns have arisen from the potential release of this material into aquatic ecosystems. The aims of this research were to evaluate the potential accumulation of silver in the whole body of [...] Read more.
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are used intensively in medical and industrial applications. Environmental concerns have arisen from the potential release of this material into aquatic ecosystems. The aims of this research were to evaluate the potential accumulation of silver in the whole body of organisms and analyze the effects of AgNPs on the survival and reproduction of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata. Results show slow acute toxicity with a 10-day LC50 of 18.57 mg/L and an effective decrease in the eggs and egg clutches per organism exposed to tested concentrations. Based on these data, the No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC) observed was <1 mg/L for snail reproduction. For silver accumulation, we observed that uptake was faster than elimination, which was very slow and still incomplete 35 days after the end of the experiment. However, the observed accumulation was not connected with a concentration/response relationship, since the amount of silver was not equivalent to a higher reproductive effect. The data observed show that AgNPs are toxic to B. glabrata, and suggest that the snail has internal mechanisms to combat the presence of Ag in its body, ensuring survival and reduced reproduction and showing that the species seems to be a potential indicator for Ag presence in contaminated aquatic ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles Toxicity and Impacts on Biodiversity)
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Open AccessReview Environmental Contaminants Exposure and Preterm Birth: A Systematic Review
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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Abstract
Preterm birth is an obstetric condition associated with a high risk of infant mortality and morbidities in both the neonatal period and later in life, which has also a significant public health impact because it carries an important societal economic burden. As in [...] Read more.
Preterm birth is an obstetric condition associated with a high risk of infant mortality and morbidities in both the neonatal period and later in life, which has also a significant public health impact because it carries an important societal economic burden. As in many cases the etiology is unknown, it is important to identify environmental factors that may be involved in the occurrence of this condition. In this review, we report all the studies published in PubMed and Scopus databases from January 1992 to January 2019, accessible as full-text articles, written in English, including clinical studies, original studies, and reviews. We excluded articles not written in English, duplicates, considering inappropriate populations and/or exposures or irrelevant outcomes and patients with known risk factors for preterm birth (PTB). The aim of this article is to identify and summarize the studies that examine environmental toxicants exposure associated with preterm birth. This knowledge will strengthen the possibility to develop strategies to reduce the exposure to these toxicants and apply clinical measures for preterm birth prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Exposure to Toxics and Risks in Infants)
Open AccessArticle Magnesium Fluoride Forms Unique Protein Corona for Efficient Delivery of Doxorubicin into Breast Cancer Cells
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
Background: The efficacy of chemotherapy is undermined by adverse side effects and chemoresistance of target tissues. Developing a drug delivery system can reduce off-target side effects and increase the efficacy of drugs by increasing their accumulation in target tissues. Inorganic salts have several [...] Read more.
Background: The efficacy of chemotherapy is undermined by adverse side effects and chemoresistance of target tissues. Developing a drug delivery system can reduce off-target side effects and increase the efficacy of drugs by increasing their accumulation in target tissues. Inorganic salts have several advantages over other drug delivery vectors in that they are non-carcinogenic and less immunogenic than viral vectors and have a higher loading capacity and better controlled release than lipid and polymer vectors. Methods: MgF2 crystals were fabricated by mixing 20 mM MgCl2 and 10 mM NaF and incubating for 30 min at 37 °C. The crystals were characterized by absorbance, dynamic light scattering, microscopic observance, pH sensitivity test, SEM, EDX and FTIR. The binding efficacy to doxorubicin was assessed by measuring fluorescence intensity. pH-dependent doxorubicin release profile was used to assess the controlled release capability of the particle-drug complex. Cellular uptake was assessed by fluorescence microscopy. Cytotoxicity of the particles and the drug-particle complex were assessed using MTT assay to measure cell viability of MCF-7 cells. Results and Discussion: Particle size on average was estimated to be <200 nm. The crystals were cubic in shape. The particles were pH-sensitive and capable of releasing doxorubicin in increasing acidic conditions. MgF2 nanocrystals were safe in lower concentrations, and when bound to doxorubicin, enhanced its uptake. The protein corona formed around MgF2 nanoparticles lacks typical opsonins but contains some dysopsonins. Conclusion: A drug delivery vector in the form of MgF2 nanocrystals has been developed to transport doxorubicin into breast cancer cells. It is pH-sensitive (allowing for controlled release), size-modifiable, simple and cheap to produce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessReview Opioid Use in Pregnant Women and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome—A Review of the Literature
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 16 February 2019
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Abstract
Opiate use during pregnancy has been an increasing problem over the last two decades, making it an important social and health concern. The use of such substances may have serious negative outcomes in the newborn, and clinical and cognitive conditions have been reported, [...] Read more.
Opiate use during pregnancy has been an increasing problem over the last two decades, making it an important social and health concern. The use of such substances may have serious negative outcomes in the newborn, and clinical and cognitive conditions have been reported, including neonatal abstinence syndrome, developmental problems, and lower cognitive performance. These conditions are common when opiates are used during pregnancy, making the prescription of these kinds of drugs problematic. Moreover, the mother may develop opiate addiction, thus, increasing the likelihood of the infant being born with any of those conditions. This paper reviews the use of opiates during pregnancy and focuses mainly on the neonatal abstinence syndrome. First, the commonly prescribed opiates will be identified, namely those usually involved in cases of addiction and/or neonatal abstinence syndrome. Second, published approaches to deal with those problems will be presented and discussed, including the treatment of both the mother and the infant. Finally, we will outline the treatments that are safest and most efficient, and will define future goals, approaches, and research directions for the scientific community regarding this problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Exposure to Toxics and Risks in Infants)
Open AccessArticle Magnetic Stirring Assisted Demulsification Dispersive Liquid–Liquid Microextraction for Preconcentration of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Grilled Pork Samples
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
A simple microextraction method, magnetic stirring assisted demulsification dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction, for preconcentration of five polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthrene, and pyrene) was investigated prior to analysis by high performance liquid chromatography. In this method, a mixture of extraction solvent and [...] Read more.
A simple microextraction method, magnetic stirring assisted demulsification dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction, for preconcentration of five polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthrene, and pyrene) was investigated prior to analysis by high performance liquid chromatography. In this method, a mixture of extraction solvent and disperser solvent was rapidly injected into sample solution. The magnetic stirrer agitator aided the dispersion of the extraction solvent into the sample solution. After the formation of an emulsion, the demulsifier was added, resulting in the rapid separation of the mixture into two phases. No centrifugation step was required. Several parameters affecting the extraction efficiency of the proposed method were studied, including addition of salt, kind and volume of extraction solvent, volume of demulsifier solvent, and extraction times. Under the optimum conditions, high enrichment factor, low limit of detections (LODs) and good precision were gained. The proposed method was successfully applied to analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon residues in grilled pork samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Food)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Internal Doses of Glycidol in Children and Estimation of Associated Cancer Risk
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
The general population is exposed to the genotoxic carcinogen glycidol via food containing refined edible oils where glycidol is present in the form of fatty acid esters. In this study, internal (in vivo) doses of glycidol were determined in a cohort of 50 [...] Read more.
The general population is exposed to the genotoxic carcinogen glycidol via food containing refined edible oils where glycidol is present in the form of fatty acid esters. In this study, internal (in vivo) doses of glycidol were determined in a cohort of 50 children and in a reference group of 12 adults (non-smokers and smokers). The lifetime in vivo doses and intakes of glycidol were calculated from the levels of the hemoglobin (Hb) adduct N-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)valine in blood samples from the subjects, demonstrating a fivefold variation between the children. The estimated mean intake (1.4 μg/kg/day) was about two times higher, compared to the estimated intake for children by the European Food Safety Authority. The data from adults indicate that the non-smoking and smoking subjects are exposed to about the same or higher levels compared to the children, respectively. The estimated lifetime cancer risk (200/105) was calculated by a multiplicative risk model from the lifetime in vivo doses of glycidol in the children, and exceeds what is considered to be an acceptable cancer risk. The results emphasize the importance to further clarify exposure to glycidol and other possible precursors that could give a contribution to the observed adduct levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants)
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Open AccessReview Metabolic Syndrome and Air Pollution: A Narrative Review of Their Cardiopulmonary Effects
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
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Abstract
Particulate matter (PM) exposure and metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) are both significant global health burdens. PM exposure has been implicated in the pathogenesis of MetSyn and cardiopulmonary diseases. Individuals with pre-existing MetSyn may be more susceptible to the detrimental effects of PM exposure. Our [...] Read more.
Particulate matter (PM) exposure and metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) are both significant global health burdens. PM exposure has been implicated in the pathogenesis of MetSyn and cardiopulmonary diseases. Individuals with pre-existing MetSyn may be more susceptible to the detrimental effects of PM exposure. Our aim was to provide a narrative review of MetSyn/PM-induced systemic inflammation in cardiopulmonary disease, with a focus on prior studies of the World Trade Center (WTC)-exposed Fire Department of New York (FDNY). We included studies (1) published within the last 16-years; (2) described the epidemiology of MetSyn, obstructive airway disease (OAD), and vascular disease in PM-exposed individuals; (3) detailed the known mechanisms of PM-induced inflammation, MetSyn and cardiopulmonary disease; and (4) focused on the effects of PM exposure in WTC-exposed FDNY firefighters. Several investigations support that inhalation of PM elicits pulmonary and systemic inflammation resulting in MetSyn and cardiopulmonary disease. Furthermore, individuals with these preexisting conditions are more sensitive to PM exposure-related inflammation, which can exacerbate their conditions and increase their risk for hospitalization and chronic disease. Mechanistic research is required to elucidate biologically plausible therapeutic targets of MetSyn- and PM-induced cardiopulmonary disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessReview Comparative Overview of the Mechanisms of Action of Hormones and Endocrine Disruptor Compounds
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 24 January 2019
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Abstract
Endocrine Disruptor Compounds (EDCs) are synthetic or natural molecules in the environment that promote adverse modifications of endogenous hormone regulation in humans and/or in wildlife animals. In the present paper, we review the potential mechanisms of EDCs and point out the similarities and [...] Read more.
Endocrine Disruptor Compounds (EDCs) are synthetic or natural molecules in the environment that promote adverse modifications of endogenous hormone regulation in humans and/or in wildlife animals. In the present paper, we review the potential mechanisms of EDCs and point out the similarities and differences between EDCs and hormones. There was only one mechanism, out of nine identified, in which EDCs acted like hormones (i.e., binding and stimulated hormone receptor activity). In the other eight identified mechanisms of action, EDCs exerted their effects either by affecting endogenous hormone concentration, or its availability, or by modifying hormone receptor turn over. This overview is intended to classify the various EDC mechanisms of action in order to better appreciate when in vitro tests would be valid to assess their risks towards humans and wildlife. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessCase Report Trends in the Use of Glyphosate Herbicide and Its Relevant Regulations in Taiwan: A Water Contaminant of Increasing Concern
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
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Abstract
In Taiwan and other countries, glyphosate has been used widely as a non-selective herbicide over 40 years in crop lands and non-crop lands. However, public concerns about its environmental and health risks have increased rapidly because the International Agency for Research on Cancer [...] Read more.
In Taiwan and other countries, glyphosate has been used widely as a non-selective herbicide over 40 years in crop lands and non-crop lands. However, public concerns about its environmental and health risks have increased rapidly because the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reclassified it as Group 2A (probably carcinogenic to humans) in 2015. From the viewpoints of environmental quality, food security and human health, it is necessary to regulate the release of glyphosate into the environment due to its massive use. The purpose of this case study was to analyze the historical consumption of glyphosate in Taiwan and also summarize its current regulatory measures through multi-ministerial levels. It showed that the sales quantities of glyphosate in Taiwan can be grouped into three stages, which include a ramping period (1984–1992), a stable period (1992–2007), and a declining period (2007–2016). These variations can be correlated with the annual price, manufacturers’ promotion and other non-selective herbicide competitors (i.e., paraquat and glufosinate), as well as the excellent action features of glyphosate. It should be noted that its sales quantities significantly increased from 3200 metric tons in 2015 to 4535 metric tons in 2016 mainly due to the official announcement of paraquat ban effective in February 2019. The core regulations for protecting food security and water quality from the use of glyphosate are based on its residual limits and standards under the authorization of the Food Sanitation Management Act (FSMA) and the Water Pollution Control Act (WPCA), respectively. More importantly, there are occasional reports of contamination by herbicides (including glyphosate) in drinking water sources. Unfortunately, glyphosate is not yet considered among chemical items when evaluating drinking water quality standards in Taiwan. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Trace Element Uptake by Herbaceous Plants from the Soils at a Multiple Trace Element-Contaminated Site
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
The uptake of trace elements by wild herbaceous plants in a multiple trace element-contaminated site was investigated. The bioaccumulation factor (BF) of trace elements was markedly variable among the different plant species. On average, the BF for various trace elements was in the [...] Read more.
The uptake of trace elements by wild herbaceous plants in a multiple trace element-contaminated site was investigated. The bioaccumulation factor (BF) of trace elements was markedly variable among the different plant species. On average, the BF for various trace elements was in the following decreasing order: Zn > Cu > Mn > Ni > As > Pb > Cr. The translocation factor among the investigated plant species was also considerably variable and showed the following decreasing order: Mn > Zn > Ni > Cu > Cr > As > Pb. Several hyperaccumulating plants were identified: Artemisia vulgaris for As, Mn and Zn, Phalaris arundinacea for Mn and Ni, Heracleum sphondylium for Cr and Zn, and Bistorta officinalis for Mn and Zn. The marked accumulation of trace elements in the plant tissue suggests that the site may not be suitable for urban agricultural production. The plant tissue-borne trace elements could affect microbial activities and consequently interfere with the ecosystem functioning in the affected areas. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Toxics in 2018
Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Potential Antagonistic Effects of Acrylamide Mitigation during Coffee Roasting on Furfuryl Alcohol, Furan and 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
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Abstract
The four heat-induced coffee contaminants—acrylamide, furfuryl alcohol (FA), furan and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)—were analyzed in a collective of commercial samples as well as in Coffea arabica seeds roasted under controlled conditions from very light Scandinavian style to very dark Neapolitan style profiles. Regarding acrylamide, [...] Read more.
The four heat-induced coffee contaminants—acrylamide, furfuryl alcohol (FA), furan and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)—were analyzed in a collective of commercial samples as well as in Coffea arabica seeds roasted under controlled conditions from very light Scandinavian style to very dark Neapolitan style profiles. Regarding acrylamide, average contents in commercial samples were lower than in a previous study in 2002 (195 compared to 303 µg/kg). The roasting experiment confirmed the inverse relationship between roasting degree and acrylamide content, i.e., the lighter the coffee, the higher the acrylamide content. However, FA, furan and HMF were inversely related to acrylamide and found in higher contents in darker roasts. Therefore, mitigation measures must consider all contaminants and not be focused isolatedly on acrylamide, specifically since FA and HMF are contained in much higher contents with lower margins of exposure compared to acrylamide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Food)
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