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Toxics, Volume 7, Issue 3 (September 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The patch approach to skin exposure assessment in pesticide-exposed workers is sensitive to [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Risk of Lead Exposure from Transport Stations to Human Health: A Case Study in the Highland Province of Vietnam
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030048 - 19 Sep 2019
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Lead (Pb) is a heavy metal that negatively affects human health. Many studies have shown the relationship between lead exposure and various human activities, of which automobile service stations with gasoline emissions are considered the main cause. However, a limited number of studies [...] Read more.
Lead (Pb) is a heavy metal that negatively affects human health. Many studies have shown the relationship between lead exposure and various human activities, of which automobile service stations with gasoline emissions are considered the main cause. However, a limited number of studies have specifically considered lead exposure from automobile stations in Vietnam, as well as its impact on human activities and the surrounding natural resources. The objective of this study was to assess the possible risks of lead exposure to the surrounding agricultural and non-agricultural farms of a bus station located in the center of Dalat city, Lamdong province, Vietnam. To address this objective, 45 samples were collected from the soil, irrigated water resources, and vegetable crops of areas both close to and far away from the bus station. These samples were tested using the atomic absorption spectrometry technique. Our findings demonstrated higher lead concentration levels from all three types of samples collected from areas near the bus station. Of which, soil and water samples showed higher than normal exposure values of lead, but these were still under the allowed limits established by the Vietnam standard. Different from the soil and water, vegetable samples surrounding the bus station presented greater lead contamination than the permitted limit. High risk quotient (RQ) indexes were detected to point out that accumulative consumption of leaded vegetables over time could cause lead poisoning and harm human health. This study not only provides significant inferential evidence of the risk of lead exposure to agricultural activities and human health in Vietnam, but also delivers a real-life example for a real-world context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Risk Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study on Fluorine Release from Photovoltaic Backsheet Materials Containing PVF and PVDF during Pyrolysis and Incineration in a Technical Lab-Scale Reactor at Various Temperatures
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030047 - 18 Sep 2019
Viewed by 391
Abstract
With a sharp increase in photovoltaic (PV) installations across the world, PV waste is now a relatively new addition to the e-waste category. From 45,000 tonnes in 2016, the PV waste stream is rapidly increasing and is projected to reach 60 million tonnes [...] Read more.
With a sharp increase in photovoltaic (PV) installations across the world, PV waste is now a relatively new addition to the e-waste category. From 45,000 tonnes in 2016, the PV waste stream is rapidly increasing and is projected to reach 60 million tonnes by 2050. Backsheets are composite structures made from several material layers of polymer, adhesive, and primer. Widely used PV backsheets can be classified into three core types: (a) KPK (Kynar®/polyethylene terephthalate (PET)/Kynar®), (b) TPT (Tedlar®/PET/Tedlar®), and (c) PPE (PET/PET/ethylvinylacetate). Kynar® and Tedlar® are based on polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and polyvinyl fluoride (PVF), respectively. PPE backsheets are fluorine-free composites made primarily from PET. With increasing focus on the end-of-life (EoL) handling of PV waste, the handling of fluoropolymers, which is largely unexplored, requires closer examination to avoid environmental damage. The aim of this study was to obtain information on the fluorine released from PV backsheet materials into the gas phase during combustion and pyrolysis as EoL pathways. Therefore, several experimental trials were conducted to measure fluorine transfer into the gas phase at 300 °C, 400 °C, 500 °C, and 900 °C (for pyrolysis) and at 750 °C, 850 °C, and 950 °C (for incineration). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Risk Management)
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Open AccessReview
Dietary Contaminants and Their Effects on Zebrafish Embryos
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030046 - 07 Sep 2019
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Dietary contaminants are often an over-looked factor in the health of zebrafish. Typically, water is considered to be the source for most contaminants, especially within an aquatic environment. For this reason, source water for zebrafish recirculating systems is highly regulated and monitored daily. [...] Read more.
Dietary contaminants are often an over-looked factor in the health of zebrafish. Typically, water is considered to be the source for most contaminants, especially within an aquatic environment. For this reason, source water for zebrafish recirculating systems is highly regulated and monitored daily. Most facilities use reverse osmosis or de-ionized water filtration systems to purify incoming water to ensure that contaminants, as well as pathogens, do not enter their zebrafish housing units. However, diets are rarely tested for contaminants and, in the case of manufactured zebrafish feeds, since the product is marketed for aquaculture or aquarium use it is assumed that the feed is acceptable for animals used for research. The following provides examples as to how contaminants could lead to negative effects on development and behavior of developing zebrafish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contaminant Effects on Zebrafish Embryos)
Open AccessArticle
Real-Time Assessment of E-Cigarettes and Conventional Cigarettes Emissions: Aerosol Size Distributions, Mass and Number Concentrations
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030045 - 30 Aug 2019
Viewed by 1111
Abstract
Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of chemical compounds which are emitted during the processes of tobacco combustion. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are expected to produce less harmful compounds due to the absence of tobacco leaf combustion. However, potential risks of the passive exposure [...] Read more.
Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of chemical compounds which are emitted during the processes of tobacco combustion. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are expected to produce less harmful compounds due to the absence of tobacco leaf combustion. However, potential risks of the passive exposure to the aerosol exhaled by e-cig users have been raised in the last decade. In this study, the aerosols with diameter less than 1 μm (PM1) produced by vaping of various e-cig liquids were compared to those generated by smoking conventional cigarettes in real time. The mass and number concentration along with the number size distribution were measured in a closed room of 35 m3 volume. Our results showed that aerosols emitted from e-cig liquids had a different profile compared to those from conventional cigarettes. Although e-cigs initially produced higher particle mass and number concentrations, their emissions had much shorter lifetime of approximately 10–20 s, in comparison with the conventional and hand-rolling cigarette particulate emissions which had a dissipation time of approximately 1.4 h in a 35 m3 room. E-cigs emitted aerosols which volatilized rapidly, as they probably consisted almost only of propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current knowledge of E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products)
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Open AccessArticle
Toxicity of Aqueous L-Selenomethionine and Tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide Exposure to Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Embryos Following Tert-Butyl Hydroquinone Treatment
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030044 - 29 Aug 2019
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Aqueous L-selenomethionine (SeMet) embryo exposures represent a rapid and simplified method for investigating the embryotoxic effects of SeMet. Using zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model organism, the objective of the present study was to characterize the effects of waterborne exposure to [...] Read more.
Aqueous L-selenomethionine (SeMet) embryo exposures represent a rapid and simplified method for investigating the embryotoxic effects of SeMet. Using zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model organism, the objective of the present study was to characterize the effects of waterborne exposure to both SeMet and tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBOOH) to early life stages of zebrafish pre-treated with the antioxidant tert-butyl hydroquinone (tBHQ) in an attempt to investigate the mechanism of Se toxicity as it relates to oxidative stress. During the initial concentration range finding experiment, recently fertilized embryos were exposed for five days to 5, 25, 125, and 625 µg Se/L (as SeMet). These exposures informed the second experiment in which embryos were exposed to two concentrations of SeMet (25 and 125 µg Se/L) and 75 mg/L tBOOH either with (tBOOH-t, 25-t, 125-t) or without (tBOOH, 25, 125) a 4 h 100 µg/L tBHQ pre-treatment. Survival, hatchability, time to hatch, the frequency and severity of deformities (total and type), and changes in the expression of seven antioxidant-associated genes were determined. Exposures to SeMet and tBOOH reduced hatchability, increased time to hatch, decreased survival, increased the incidence and severity of deformities, and increased glutathione-disulfide reductase (gsr) expression in the pre-treated tBOOH treatment group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contaminant Effects on Zebrafish Embryos)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Environmentally Relevant Concentrations of Bisphenol A Interact with Doxorubicin Transcriptional Effects in Human Cell Lines
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030043 - 29 Aug 2019
Viewed by 612
Abstract
The worldwide production of synthetic chemicals, including endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs), such as Bisphenol A (BPA) has increased significantly in the last two decades. Human exposure to BPA, particularly through ingestion, is continuous and ubiquitous. Although, considered a weak environmental estrogen, BPA can [...] Read more.
The worldwide production of synthetic chemicals, including endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs), such as Bisphenol A (BPA) has increased significantly in the last two decades. Human exposure to BPA, particularly through ingestion, is continuous and ubiquitous. Although, considered a weak environmental estrogen, BPA can induce divergent biological responses through several signaling pathways, including carcinogenesis in hormone-responsive organs. However, and despite the continuous increase of tumor cell-resistance to therapeutic drugs, such as doxorubicin (DOX), information regarding BPA drug interactions is still scarce, although its potential role in chemo-resistance has been suggested. This study aims to assess the potential interactions between environmentally relevant levels of BPA and DOX at a therapeutic dosage on Hep-2 and MRC-5 cell lines transciptome. Transcriptional effects in key-player genes for cancer biology, namely c-fos, p21, and bcl-xl, were evaluated through qRT-PCR. The cellular response was analyzed after exposure to BPA, DOX, or co-exposure to both chemicals. Transcriptional analysis showed that BPA exposure induces upregulation of bcl-xl and endorses an antagonistic non-monotonic response on DOX transcriptional effects. Moreover, the BPA interaction with DOX on c-fos and p21 expression emphasize its cellular specificity and divergent effects. Overall, Hep-2 was more susceptible to BPA effects in a dose-dependent manner while MRC-5 transcriptional levels endorsed a non-monotonic response. Our data indicate that BPA environmental exposure may influence chemotherapy outcomes, which emphasize the urgency for a better understanding of BPA interactions with chemotherapeutic agents, in the context of risk assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Damage Response to Harmful Anthropogenic Substances)
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Open AccessArticle
Health Impact Assessment of Sulfolane on Embryonic Development of Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030042 - 23 Aug 2019
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Sulfolane is a widely used polar, aprotic solvent that has been detected by chemical analysis in groundwater and creeks around the world including Alberta, Canada (800 µg/mL), Louisiana, USA (2900 µg/mL) and Brisbane, Australia (4344 µg/mL). Previous research provided information on adverse effects [...] Read more.
Sulfolane is a widely used polar, aprotic solvent that has been detected by chemical analysis in groundwater and creeks around the world including Alberta, Canada (800 µg/mL), Louisiana, USA (2900 µg/mL) and Brisbane, Australia (4344 µg/mL). Previous research provided information on adverse effects of sulfolane on mammals, but relatively little information is available on aquatic organisms. This study tested the effects of sulfolane (0–5000 µg/mL) on early development of zebrafish larvae, using various morphometric (survival, hatching, yolk sac and pericardial oedema, haemorrhaging, spinal malformations, swim bladder inflation), growth (larval length, eye volume, yolk sac utilisation), behavioural (touch response, locomotor activity and transcript abundance parameters (ahr1a, cyp1a, thraa, dio1, dio2, dio3, 11βhsd2, gr, aqp3a, cyp19a1b, ddc, gria2b and hsp70) for 120 h. Embryos were chronically exposed to sulfolane throughout the experimental period. For locomotor activity, however, we also investigated acute response to 2-h sulfolane treatment. Sulfolane sensitivity causing significant impairment in the observed parameters were different depending on parameters measured, including survival (concentrations greater than 800 µg/mL), morphometric and growth (800–1000 µg/mL), behaviour (500–800 µg/mL) and transcript abundance (10 µg/mL). The overall results provide novel information on the adverse health impacts of sulfolane on an aquatic vertebrate species, and an insight into developmental impairments following exposure to environmental levels of sulfolane in fish embryos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contaminant Effects on Zebrafish Embryos)
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Open AccessReview
Towards Mass Spectrometry-Based Chemical Exposome: Current Approaches, Challenges, and Future Directions
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030041 - 18 Aug 2019
Viewed by 602
Abstract
The proposal of the “exposome” concept represents a shift of the research paradigm in studying exposure-disease relationships from an isolated and partial way to a systematic and agnostic approach. Nevertheless, exposome implementation is facing a variety of challenges including measurement techniques and data [...] Read more.
The proposal of the “exposome” concept represents a shift of the research paradigm in studying exposure-disease relationships from an isolated and partial way to a systematic and agnostic approach. Nevertheless, exposome implementation is facing a variety of challenges including measurement techniques and data analysis. Here we focus on the chemical exposome, which refers to the mixtures of chemical pollutants people are exposed to from embryo onwards. We review the current chemical exposome measurement approaches with a focus on those based on the mass spectrometry. We further explore the strategies in implementing the concept of chemical exposome and discuss the available chemical exposome studies. Early progresses in the chemical exposome research are outlined, and major challenges are highlighted. In conclusion, efforts towards chemical exposome have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg, and further advancement in measurement techniques, computational tools, high-throughput data analysis, and standardization may allow more exciting discoveries concerning the role of exposome in human health and disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants)
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Open AccessArticle
Real-Time Measurement of Herbicides in the Atmosphere: A Case Study of MCPA and 2,4-D during Field Application
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030040 - 06 Aug 2019
Viewed by 505
Abstract
Atmospheric sources of herbicides enable short- and long-range transport of these compounds to off-target areas but the concentrations and mechanisms are poorly understood due, in part, to the challenge of detecting these compounds in the atmosphere. We present chemical ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry [...] Read more.
Atmospheric sources of herbicides enable short- and long-range transport of these compounds to off-target areas but the concentrations and mechanisms are poorly understood due, in part, to the challenge of detecting these compounds in the atmosphere. We present chemical ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry as a sensitive, real-time technique to detect chlorinated phenoxy acid herbicides in the atmosphere, using measurements during and after application over a field at Colorado State University as a case study. Gas-phase 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) mixing ratios were greatest during application (up to 20 pptv), consistent with rapid volatilization from spray droplets. In contrast, atmospheric concentrations of 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) increased for several hours after the initial application, indicative of a slower source than 2,4-D. The maximum observed gas-phase MCPA was 60 pptv, consistent with a post-application volatilization source to the atmosphere. Exposure to applied pesticides in the gas-phase can thus occur both during and at least several hours after application. Spray droplet volatilization and direct volatilization from surfaces may both contribute pesticides to the atmosphere, enabling pesticide transport to off-target and remote regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Antibiotic and Pesticides Residues in Breast Milk of Syrian Refugee Lactating Mothers
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030039 - 31 Jul 2019
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Occupational exposures and current diet are both sources of environmental contaminants that can be transferred in the mother’s body. These chemicals can definitely penetrate to the developing foetus and the nursing infant from contaminated breast milk during the lactation period. Nowadays, one of [...] Read more.
Occupational exposures and current diet are both sources of environmental contaminants that can be transferred in the mother’s body. These chemicals can definitely penetrate to the developing foetus and the nursing infant from contaminated breast milk during the lactation period. Nowadays, one of the special interests is the exposure of new-borns to toxic chemicals such as pesticides and antibiotics reported in human milk due to their potential harms, especially developmental deficits in early childhood. The aim of our current study was to assess the occurrence of pesticide residues and antibiotic residues contamination in breast milk collected from Syrian refugee lactating mothers residing in North Lebanon Camps. A total of 120 breast milk samples (40 in triplicate) were collected from camps in Akkar, North Lebanon using an electrical pump. A survey was administrated to determine socio-demographic characteristics, dietary and smoking habits and medical history of participating lactating mothers. The milk samples were analysed for the presence of antibiotic residues and pesticide residues using liquid and gas chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS) and Gas Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). This study reported the absence of antibiotic residues in 96.66% of our samples (n = 120) and the presence of pesticides residues in only 5% of our total breast milk sample. Our results considered the breast milk collected from Syrian refugee lactating mothers as safe from chemical contamination. It is worth conducting more studies on other Syrian refugee camps to test the effect of camp living conditions on breast milk safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Roundup®, but Not Roundup-Ready® Corn, Increases Mortality of Drosophila melanogaster
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030038 - 31 Jul 2019
Viewed by 853
Abstract
Genetically modified foods have become pervasive in diets of people living in the US. By far the most common genetically modified foods either tolerate herbicide application (HT) or produce endogenous insecticide (Bt). To determine whether these toxicological effects result from genetic modification per [...] Read more.
Genetically modified foods have become pervasive in diets of people living in the US. By far the most common genetically modified foods either tolerate herbicide application (HT) or produce endogenous insecticide (Bt). To determine whether these toxicological effects result from genetic modification per se, or from the increase in herbicide or insecticide residues present on the food, we exposed fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, to food containing HT corn that had been sprayed with the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup®, HT corn that had not been sprayed with Roundup®, or Roundup® in a variety of known glyphosate concentrations and formulations. While neither lifespan nor reproductive behaviors were affected by HT corn, addition of Roundup® increased mortality with an LC50 of 7.1 g/L for males and 11.4 g/L for females after 2 days of exposure. Given the many genetic tools available, Drosophila are an excellent model system for future studies about genetic and biochemical mechanisms of glyphosate toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Methods for the Identification of Outliers and Their Influence on Exposure Assessment in Agricultural Pesticide Applicators: A Proposed Approach and Validation Using Biological Monitoring
Toxics 2019, 7(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7030037 - 12 Jul 2019
Viewed by 721
Abstract
The “patch” approach for skin exposure assessment can easily be combined with biological monitoring in real-life pesticide studies. Nevertheless, this approach is sensitive to outliers, with values markedly deviating from other members of the sample, which can result in a gross overestimation of [...] Read more.
The “patch” approach for skin exposure assessment can easily be combined with biological monitoring in real-life pesticide studies. Nevertheless, this approach is sensitive to outliers, with values markedly deviating from other members of the sample, which can result in a gross overestimation of exposure. This study aimed at developing methods for outlier identification and validating them while using biological monitoring. Twenty-seven workers applying mancozeb in Italian vineyards participated in this study. Their skin exposure was estimated while using the patch methodology, while ethylene-thiourea (ETU) was measured in the 24-h post-exposure urine as a biomarker of exposure. The outliers were detected using methods that were based on the multiplication of the median, the median absolute deviation, and boxplots. The detection rate varied between 2.3% and 17.3%. The estimated median skin exposure of 3.2 μg was reduced to 1.2 μg when the modified Z score was used. The highest reduction in the skin exposure was above 54 μg. The use of the modified Z score for outlier detection resulted in an increase in the correlation coefficient between the skin exposure and the urine ETU levels from 0.46 to 0.71, which suggested the validity of the approach. Future studies should standardize and improve the methods for pesticide exposure and risk assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology and Public Health)
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