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Toxics, Volume 8, Issue 4 (December 2020) – 49 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Epidemiological studies have linked exposure to ambient particulate matter with gastrointestinal diseases. Ultrafine particles (UFP) are the redox-active sub-fraction of PM2.5, harboring elemental and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from urban environmental sources including diesel and gasoline exhausts. The gut vascular barrier (GVB) regulates paracellular trafficking and systemic disseminations of ingested microbes and toxins. While acute UFP exposure increases both colonic epithelial and endothelial permeability in vitro, the molecular cues whereby UFP ingestion disrupts the embryonic GVB remain elusive. Here, we sought to integrate a genetically tractable embryonic zebrafish system with micro-gavage and optical imaging techniques to visualize disruption of GVB, hoping to unravel epigenetic and genetic cues underlying UFP-mediated disruption of the GVB for therapeutic implications. View this paper
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Article
Comparison of the Zebrafish Embryo Toxicity Assay and the General and Behavioral Embryo Toxicity Assay as New Approach Methods for Chemical Screening
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040126 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 986
Abstract
The movement away from mammalian testing of potential toxicants and new chemical entities has primarily led to cell line testing and protein-based assays. However, these assays may not yet be sufficient to properly characterize the toxic potential of a chemical. The zebrafish embryo [...] Read more.
The movement away from mammalian testing of potential toxicants and new chemical entities has primarily led to cell line testing and protein-based assays. However, these assays may not yet be sufficient to properly characterize the toxic potential of a chemical. The zebrafish embryo model is widely recognized as a potential new approach method for chemical testing that may provide a bridge between cell and protein-based assays and mammalian testing. The Zebrafish Embryo Toxicity (ZET) model is increasingly recognized as a valuable toxicity testing platform. The ZET assay focuses on the early stages of embryo development and is considered a more humane model compared to adult zebrafish testing. A complementary model has been developed that exposes larvae to toxicants at a later time point during development where body patterning has already been established. Here we compare the toxicity profiles of 20 compounds for this General and Behavioral Toxicity (GBT) assay to the ZET assay. The results show partially overlapping toxicity profiles along with unique information provided by each assay. It appears from this work that these two assays applied together can strengthen the use of zebrafish embryos/larvae as standard toxicity testing models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Zebrafish Model for Environmental Health Sciences Research)
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Article
The Confounder-Mediator Dilemma: Should We Control for Obesity to Estimate the Effect of Perfluoroalkyl Substances on Health Outcomes?
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040125 - 20 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1203
Abstract
Confounding adjustment is important for observational studies to derive valid effect estimates for inference. Despite the theoretical advancement of confounding selection procedure, it is often challenging to distinguish between confounders and mediators due to the lack of information about the time-ordering and latency [...] Read more.
Confounding adjustment is important for observational studies to derive valid effect estimates for inference. Despite the theoretical advancement of confounding selection procedure, it is often challenging to distinguish between confounders and mediators due to the lack of information about the time-ordering and latency of each variable in the data. This is also the case for the studies of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of synthetic chemicals used in industry and consumer products that are persistent and have endocrine-disrupting properties on health outcomes. In this article, we used directed acyclic graphs to describe potential biases introduced by adjusting for or stratifying by the measure of obesity as an intermediate variable in PFAS exposure analyses. We compared results with or without adjusting for body mass index in two cross-sectional data analyses: (1) PFAS levels and maternal thyroid function during early pregnancy using the Danish National Birth Cohort and (2) PFAS levels and cardiovascular disease in adults using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In these examples, we showed that the potential heterogeneity observed in stratified analyses by overweight or obese status needs to be interpreted cautiously considering collider stratification bias. This article highlights the complexity of seemingly simple adjustment or stratification analyses, and the need for careful consideration of the confounding and/or mediating role of obesity in PFAS studies. Full article
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Article
Bird Feces as Indicators of Metal Pollution: Pitfalls and Solutions
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040124 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
Bird feces are commonly used as a proxy for measuring dietary metal exposure levels in wild populations. Our study aims to improve the reliability and repeatability of fecal metal measurements and gives some recommendations for sampling. First, we studied levels of variation in [...] Read more.
Bird feces are commonly used as a proxy for measuring dietary metal exposure levels in wild populations. Our study aims to improve the reliability and repeatability of fecal metal measurements and gives some recommendations for sampling. First, we studied levels of variation in metallic element (arsenic, calcium, cadmium, cobalt, copper, nickel, lead) concentrations: temporal variation within an individual, among siblings in a brood and among-brood/spatial variation. Second, we explored the variation caused by dual composition (urate vs. feces) of bird droppings. Two sets of fresh fecal samples were collected from pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) nestlings living in a metal polluted area in summers 2017 (dataset 1) and 2018 (dataset 2). We found a great deal of temporal intra-individual variation in metal levels, suggesting that dietary exposure varied markedly in a short time scale (within a day). A sample from only one nestling per brood did not well describe the brood mean value, and we recommend that at least four siblings should be sampled. Brood level samples give relatively good temporal repeatability for most metals. For all the metals, the levels in the fecal portion were more than double to those in the urate portion. Since the mass proportion of urate in the bird droppings varied a great deal among samples, standardizing sampling, e.g., by collecting only the fecal part, would markedly reduce the variation due to composition. Alternatively, urate portion could be used for biomonitoring of internally circulated bioavailable metal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Toxicology: An Update on Contaminant Exposure and Effects)
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Article
Influence of Glyphosate Formulations on the Behavior of Sulfentrazone in Soil in Mixed Applications
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040123 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 812
Abstract
The selection of weed biotypes that are resistant to glyphosate has increased the demand for its use mixed with other herbicides, such as sulfentrazone. However, when chemical molecules are mixed, interactions may occur, modifying the behavior of these molecules in the environment, such [...] Read more.
The selection of weed biotypes that are resistant to glyphosate has increased the demand for its use mixed with other herbicides, such as sulfentrazone. However, when chemical molecules are mixed, interactions may occur, modifying the behavior of these molecules in the environment, such as the sorption and desorption in soil. In this study, we hypothesized that the presence of glyphosate-formulated products might increase the sorption or decrease the desorption of sulfentrazone, thereby increasing the risk of the contamination of water resources. Therefore, our work aimed to evaluate the sorption, desorption, and leaching of sulfentrazone in the soil in an isolated and mixed application with different glyphosate formulations. The sorption coefficients (Kfs) for the sulfentrazone, sulfentrazone + Roundup Ready, sulfentrazone + Roundup Ultra, and sulfentrazone + Zapp Qi foram were 1.3, 2.1, 2.3, and 1.9, respectively. The desorption coefficients (Kfd) for the sulfentrazone, sulfentrazone + Roundup Ready, sulfentrazone + Roundup Ultra, and sulfentrazone + Zapp Qi foram were 65.7, 125.2, 733.3 and 239.8, respectively. The experiments demonstrated that the sorption and desorption of sulfentrazone in combination with the other formulated glyphosate products are altered, supporting the hypothesis suggested by this work, i.e., that the presence of other molecules is a factor that affects the behavior of herbicides in the soil. This phenomenon altered the vertical mobility of sulfentrazone. Situations involving mixtures of pesticides should be evaluated in order to improve our understanding of the dynamics of these molecules and thus avoid environmental contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
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Article
Evaluation of the Skin Sensitization Potential of Carbon Nanotubes Using Alternative In Vitro and In Vivo Assays
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040122 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 939
Abstract
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are one of the major types of nanomaterials that have various industrial and biomedical applications. However, there is a risk of accidental exposure to CNTs in individuals involved in their large-scale production and in individuals who use products containing CNTs. [...] Read more.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are one of the major types of nanomaterials that have various industrial and biomedical applications. However, there is a risk of accidental exposure to CNTs in individuals involved in their large-scale production and in individuals who use products containing CNTs. This study aimed to evaluate the skin sensitization induced by CNTs using two alternative tests. We selected single-wall carbon nanotubes and multi-walled carbon nanotubes for this study. First, the physiochemical properties of the CNTs were measured, including the morphology, size, and zeta potential, under various conditions. Thereafter, we assessed the sensitization potential of the CNTs using the ARE-Nrf2 Luciferase KeratinoSens™ assay, an in vitro alternative test method. In addition, the CNTs were evaluated for their skin sensitization potential using the LLNA: BrdU-FCM in vivo alternative test method. In this study, we report for the first time the sensitization results of CNTs using the KeratinoSens™ and LLNA: BrdU-FCM test methods in this study. This study found that both CNTs do not induce skin sensitization. These results suggest that the KeratinoSens™ and LLNA: BrdU-FCM assay may be useful as alternative assays for evaluating the potential of some nanomaterials that can induce skin sensitization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Article
Hunting for Toxic Industrial Chemicals: Real-Time Detection of Carbon Disulfide Traces by Means of Ion Mobility Spectrometry
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040121 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 743
Abstract
Sensitive real-time detection of vapors produced by toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) represents a stringent priority nowadays. Carbon disulfide (CS2) is such a chemical, being widely used in manufacturing synthetic textile fibers and as a solvent. CS2 is simultaneously a very [...] Read more.
Sensitive real-time detection of vapors produced by toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) represents a stringent priority nowadays. Carbon disulfide (CS2) is such a chemical, being widely used in manufacturing synthetic textile fibers and as a solvent. CS2 is simultaneously a very reactive, highly flammable, irritant, corrosive, and highly toxic compound, affecting the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, eyes, kidneys, liver, skin, and reproductive system. This study was directed towards quick detection and quantification of CS2 in air, using time-of-flight ion mobility spectrometry (IMS); photoionization detection (PID) was also used as confirmatory technique. Results obtained indicated that IMS can detect CS2 at trace levels in air. The ion mobility spectrometric response was in the negative ion mode and presented one product ion, at a reduced ion mobility (K0) of 2.25 cm2 V−1 s−1. Our study demonstrated that by using a portable, commercial IMS system (model Mini IMS, I.U.T. GmbH Berlin Germany) one can easily measure CS2 at concentrations of 0.1 ppmv (0.3 mg m−3) in the negative ion mode, which is below the lowest threshold value of 1 ppmv given for industrial hygiene. A limit of detection (LOD) of ca. 30 ppbv (0.1 mg m−3) was also estimated. Full article
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Review
Radon—The Element of Risk. The Impact of Radon Exposure on Human Health
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040120 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
Lung cancer is a heterogeneous group of diseases with multifactorial aetiology. Smoking has been undeniably recognized as the main aetiological factor in lung cancer, but it should be emphasized that it is not the only factor. It is worth noting that a number [...] Read more.
Lung cancer is a heterogeneous group of diseases with multifactorial aetiology. Smoking has been undeniably recognized as the main aetiological factor in lung cancer, but it should be emphasized that it is not the only factor. It is worth noting that a number of nonsmokers also develop this disease. Radon exposure is the second greatest risk factor for lung cancer among smokers—after smoking—and the first one for nonsmokers. The knowledge about this element amongst specialist oncologists and pulmonologists seems to be very superficial. We discuss the impact of radon on human health, with particular emphasis on respiratory diseases, including lung cancer. A better understanding of the problem will increase the chance of reducing the impact of radon exposure on public health and may contribute to more effective prevention of a number of lung diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Communication
Does External Exposure of Glycidol-Related Chemicals Influence the Forming of the Hemoglobin Adduct, N-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)valine, as a Biomarker of Internal Exposure to Glycidol?
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040119 - 13 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1004
Abstract
Glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE) are constituents of edible oils and fats, and are converted into glycidol, a genotoxic substance, in vivo. N-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)valine (diHOPrVal), a hemoglobin adduct of glycidol, is used as a biomarker of glycidol and GE exposure. However, high background [...] Read more.
Glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE) are constituents of edible oils and fats, and are converted into glycidol, a genotoxic substance, in vivo. N-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)valine (diHOPrVal), a hemoglobin adduct of glycidol, is used as a biomarker of glycidol and GE exposure. However, high background levels of diHOPrVal are not explained by daily dietary exposure to glycidol and GE. In the present study, several glycidol-related chemicals (glycidol, (±)-3-chloro-1,2-propanediol, glycidyl oleate, epichlorohydrin, propylene oxide, 1-bromopropane, allyl alcohol, fructose, and glyceraldehyde) that might be precursors of diHOPrVal, were administered to mice, and diHOPrVal formation from each substance was examined with LC-MS/MS. DiHOPrVal was detected in animals treated with glycidol and glycidyl oleate but not in mice treated with other chemicals (3-MCPD, epichlorohydrin, propylene oxide, 1-bromopropane, allyl alcohol, fructose, and glyceraldehyde). The amount of diHOPrVal per administered dose produced from other chemicals was negligible compared to the amounts associated with dietary glycidol and GE. The present study provides important knowledge for exploring other sources for internal exposure to glycidol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Review
Not Only Toxic but Repellent: What Can Organisms’ Responses Tell Us about Contamination and What Are the Ecological Consequences When They Flee from an Environment?
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040118 - 12 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
The ability of aquatic organisms to sense the surrounding environment chemically and interpret such signals correctly is crucial for their ecological niche and survival. Although it is an oversimplification of the ecological interactions, we could consider that a significant part of the decisions [...] Read more.
The ability of aquatic organisms to sense the surrounding environment chemically and interpret such signals correctly is crucial for their ecological niche and survival. Although it is an oversimplification of the ecological interactions, we could consider that a significant part of the decisions taken by organisms are, to some extent, chemically driven. Accordingly, chemical contamination might interfere in the way organisms behave and interact with the environment. Just as any environmental factor, contamination can make a habitat less attractive or even unsuitable to accommodate life, conditioning to some degree the decision of organisms to stay in, or move from, an ecosystem. If we consider that contamination is not always spatially homogeneous and that many organisms can avoid it, the ability of contaminants to repel organisms should also be of concern. Thus, in this critical review, we have discussed the dual role of contamination: toxicity (disruption of the physiological and behavioral homeostasis) vs. repellency (contamination-driven changes in spatial distribution/habitat selection). The discussion is centered on methodologies (forced exposure against non-forced multi-compartmented exposure systems) and conceptual improvements (individual stress due to the toxic effects caused by a continuous exposure against contamination-driven spatial distribution). Finally, we propose an approach in which Stress and Landscape Ecology could be integrated with each other to improve our understanding of the threat contaminants represent to aquatic ecosystems. Full article
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Article
Chironomus riparius Proteome Responses to Spinosad Exposure
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040117 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 801
Abstract
The potential of proteome responses as early-warning indicators of insecticide exposure was evaluated using the non-biting midge Chironomus riparius (Meigen) as the model organism. Chironomus riparius larvae were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of the neurotoxic pesticide spinosad to uncover molecular events that [...] Read more.
The potential of proteome responses as early-warning indicators of insecticide exposure was evaluated using the non-biting midge Chironomus riparius (Meigen) as the model organism. Chironomus riparius larvae were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of the neurotoxic pesticide spinosad to uncover molecular events that may provide insights on the long-term individual and population level consequences. The iTRAQ labeling method was performed to quantify protein abundance changes between exposed and non-exposed organisms. Data analysis revealed a general dose-dependent decrease in the abundance of globin proteins as a result of spinosad exposure. Additionally, the downregulation of actin and a larval cuticle protein was also observed after spinosad exposure, which may be related to previously determined C. riparius life-history traits impairment and biochemical responses. Present results suggest that protein profile changes can be used as early warning biomarkers of pesticide exposure and may provide a better mechanistic interpretation of the toxic response of organisms, aiding in the assessment of the ecological effects of environmental contamination. This work also contributes to the understanding of the sublethal effects of insecticides in invertebrates and their molecular targets. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Smoking on the Association between Perfluoroalkyl Acids (PFAS) and Thyroid Hormones: A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Analysis
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040116 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAS) are known endocrine disrupting chemicals, potentially affecting thyroid function. Smoking has been associated with PFAS levels as well as with thyroid function. The impact of smoking on the association between PFAS and thyroid function remains to be elucidated, so the [...] Read more.
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAS) are known endocrine disrupting chemicals, potentially affecting thyroid function. Smoking has been associated with PFAS levels as well as with thyroid function. The impact of smoking on the association between PFAS and thyroid function remains to be elucidated, so the objective was to assess the effect of PFAS exposure on thyroid function in the general population, stratified by smoking status, using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES adult participants who were part of the 2011–2012 laboratory subsample and had PFAS and thyroid function measured were included (n = 1325). Adjusted linear regression models and stratified analyses were performed. There was a significant positive association between perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) (p = 0.003), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) (p = 0.014), total PFAS (p = 0.004) concentrations and free T4 (FT4). No significant associations were found between perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), PFOS, perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), PFNA, total PFAS and total T4 (TT4) or thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). In non-smokers, a significant positive association was found between PFOS (p = 0.003), PFHxS (p = 0.034), PFNA (p = 0.012), total PFAS (p = 0.003) and FT4 while no significant associations were found in smokers. The present study showed that increased PFAS exposure was associated with increased FT4 in non-smokers, while no association was found in smokers. These results confirm that smoking modifies the association between PFAS exposure and thyroid function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Exposures Contributing to Thyroid Cancer Risk)
Article
Endocrine Disruption: Structural Interactions of Androgen Receptor against Di(2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate and Its Metabolites
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040115 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 889
Abstract
Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is a commonly used plasticizer in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride plastics for household and commercial use. DEHP is a ubiquitous ecocontaminant and causes developmental and reproductive problems in children and adults. After exposure, DEHP is metabolized by endogenous hydrolysis [...] Read more.
Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is a commonly used plasticizer in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride plastics for household and commercial use. DEHP is a ubiquitous ecocontaminant and causes developmental and reproductive problems in children and adults. After exposure, DEHP is metabolized by endogenous hydrolysis and oxidation into the primary metabolite, mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), and the secondary metabolites, mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydroxhexyl)phthalate (5-OH-MEHP), mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (5-oxo-MEHP), mono-(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalate (5-cx-MEPP), and mono-[(2-carboxymethyl)hexyl] phthalate (2-cx-MMHP). Very few studies have been reported on the adverse effects of DEHP metabolites, and the available information indicates that the metabolites might also be equally or more active as compared to the parent compound. In the present study, induced fit docking was used for structural binding characterization of the above five DEHP metabolites with androgen receptor (AR) to predict the potential endocrine-disrupting effects of these metabolites in AR signaling. All the DEHP metabolites interacted with the ligand-binding pocket of AR forming amino-acid residue interactions, hydrogen bonding, and pi-pi interactions. The binding energy of DEHP with AR was similar to that of native ligand testosterone. The amino-acid residue interactions of DEHP metabolites had 91–100% similarity compared to that of testosterone. In addition, all the DEHP metabolites and testosterone showed a common hydrogen bonding interaction with amino-acid Arg-752 of AR. Taken together, the structural binding data in the present study suggested the potential for DEHP metabolites to disrupt AR signaling, which may lead to androgen-related reproductive dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Brief Report
Effects of Fluoride Exposure on Primary Human Melanocytes from Dark and Light Skin
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040114 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 911
Abstract
Fluoride exposure has adverse effects on human health that have been studied in vitro in cell culture systems. Melanocytes are the melanin pigment-producing cells that have a significant role in the regulation of the process of melanogenesis, which provides several health benefits. Melanocytes [...] Read more.
Fluoride exposure has adverse effects on human health that have been studied in vitro in cell culture systems. Melanocytes are the melanin pigment-producing cells that have a significant role in the regulation of the process of melanogenesis, which provides several health benefits. Melanocytes are present in the oral cavity, skin, brain, lungs, hair, and eyes. However, to date, there has been no study on the effects of fluoride exposure on melanocytes. Hence, in the current study, we have studied the effects of sodium fluoride (NaF) exposure on neonatal human epidermal melanocytes (HEMn) derived from two different skin phototypes, lightly pigmented (LP) and darkly pigmented (DP). We have assessed the impact of a 24 h and 72 h NaF exposure on metabolic activity and membrane integrity of these cells. In addition, we have evaluated whether NaF exposure might have any impact on the physiological functions of melanocytes associated with the production of melanin, which is regulated by activity of the enzyme tyrosinase. We have also assessed if NaF exposure might induce any oxidative stress in LP and DP melanocytes, by evaluation of production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and measurement of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) levels. Our results showed that HEMn-LP cells showed a higher sensitivity to NaF cytotoxicity than HEMn-DP cells, with significant cytotoxicity at concentrations >1 mM, while concentration range 0.25–1 mM were nontoxic and did not lead to oxidative stress, and also did not alter the levels of intracellular melanin or cellular tyrosinase activity, indicating that treatment up to 1 mM NaF is generally safe to melanocytes from both pigmentation phototypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Article
Assessment of the Toxic Metals Pollution of Soil and Sediment in Zarafshon Valley, Northwest Tajikistan (Part II)
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040113 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 885
Abstract
This study discusses contamination of soils and sediments with trace elements such as Mn, Ba, W, V, Co, Cr, Zn, Ni, As, Sb Hg as well as Th and U, the influence of natural and anthropogenic factors on the distribution of elements and [...] Read more.
This study discusses contamination of soils and sediments with trace elements such as Mn, Ba, W, V, Co, Cr, Zn, Ni, As, Sb Hg as well as Th and U, the influence of natural and anthropogenic factors on the distribution of elements and the ecological state of the Zarafshon Valley. The elemental composition of 116 soil and sediment samples were analyzed by the neutron activation analysis. The calculation of the geoaccumulation index (Igeo), contamination factor (CF) and pollution load index (PLI) showed that some places in the investigated region with developed the industrial zones (around mining and processing plants of “Anzob”, “Konchoch”, “Kumargi bolo” and “Mogiyon”) are mostly polluted by As, Sb, Hg, and in rare cases, the high concentration of W and V were determined. In addition, they were considered the distribution of radioactive elements–thorium and uranium and their ratio in the soil and sediments. Moreover, in the investigated area, strong anomalies of Th and U were not found. It turned out that the content of Th and U are local in nature and do not have a noticeable effect on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Management)
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Article
Epigenetic Modifications, and Alterations in Cell Cycle and Apoptosis Pathway in A549 Lung Carcinoma Cell Line upon Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040112 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1371
Abstract
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of human-made compounds with strong C-F bonds, and have been used in various manufacturing industries for decades. PFAS have been reported to deleterious effect on human health, which has led to studies identifying the possible [...] Read more.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of human-made compounds with strong C-F bonds, and have been used in various manufacturing industries for decades. PFAS have been reported to deleterious effect on human health, which has led to studies identifying the possible toxicity and toxicity routes of these compounds. We report that these compounds have the potential to cause epigenetic modifications, and to induce dysregulation in the cell proliferation cycle as well as apoptosis in A549 lung cancer cells when exposed to 10-, 200- and 400 μM concentrations of each compound. Our studies show that exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) may cause hypomethylation in the epigenome, but changes in the epigenetic makeup are not evident upon exposure to GenX. We establish that exposure to lower doses of these compounds causes the cells’ balance to shift to cell proliferation, whereas exposure to higher concentrations shifts the balance more towards apoptosis. Furthermore, the apoptosis pathway upon exposure to GenX, PFOA, and PFOS has also been identified. Our findings suggest that exposure to any of these compounds may have profound effects in patients with pre-existing lung conditions or could trigger lung cancinogenesis. Full article
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Article
Trends of Polychlorinated Compounds in the Surroundings of a Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator in Mataró (Catalonia, Spain): Assessing Health Risks
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040111 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 867
Abstract
Since 2008, the environmental levels of polychlorinated compounds near a municipal solid waste incinerator in Mataró (Catalonia, Spain) have been periodically monitored. The present study aimed at updating the data regarding the temporal changes occurred between 2015 and 2017, when air and soil [...] Read more.
Since 2008, the environmental levels of polychlorinated compounds near a municipal solid waste incinerator in Mataró (Catalonia, Spain) have been periodically monitored. The present study aimed at updating the data regarding the temporal changes occurred between 2015 and 2017, when air and soil samples were collected again, and the concentrations of the same chemical pollutants (i.e., polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)) were analysed. Furthermore, the health risks associated with their human exposure were also evaluated. The levels of all the contaminants in soil were far below the threshold established by regional and national legislations, also being lower than those observed in previous surveys. A similar trend was also noted for PCDD/Fs in air samples, while airborne PCBs were the only group of chemicals whose levels significantly increased. In any case, the global assessment of the data regarding the different pollutants and matrices indicates that there has not been a general increase in the environmental pollution around the facility. In addition, the environmental exposure to PCDD/Fs and PCBs by the population living nearby is still clearly lower than the dietary intake of these same chemical pollutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Human Health Risk Assessment of POPs)
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Article
Associations between Urinary, Dietary, and Water Fluoride Concentrations among Children in Mexico and Canada
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040110 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1704
Abstract
Fluoride, which may be toxic to the developing brain, is added to salt in Mexico and drinking water in Canada to prevent dental caries. We compared childhood urinary fluoride (CUF) concentrations in Mexico City and Canada to characterize patterns of fluoride exposure in [...] Read more.
Fluoride, which may be toxic to the developing brain, is added to salt in Mexico and drinking water in Canada to prevent dental caries. We compared childhood urinary fluoride (CUF) concentrations in Mexico City and Canada to characterize patterns of fluoride exposure in these two populations. We also examined associations of CUF with dietary and water fluoride levels in Mexico City and Canada respectively. We included 561 children (ages 4–6; mean age 4.8 years) from the Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment, and Social Stress (PROGRESS) cohort in Mexico City, and 645 children (ages 2–6; mean age 3.7 years) from the Maternal–Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) cohort in Canada. We applied Spearman correlations, T-tests, ANOVA or covariate-adjusted linear regression to examine associations of CUF (mg/L; adjusted for specific gravity) with demographics and dietary or water fluoride concentrations. We used Welch equivalence testing to compare means across cohorts. Mean (SD) CUF was equivalent (t = 4.26, p < 0.001) in PROGRESS: 0.74 (0.42) and fluoridated Canadian communities: 0.66 (0.47), but lower in non-fluoridated Canadian communities: 0.42 (0.31) (t = −6.37, p < 0.001). Water fluoride concentrations were significantly associated with CUF after covariate adjustment for age and sex in MIREC (B = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.30, 0.59, p < 0.001). In contrast, daily food and beverage fluoride intake was not associated with CUF in PROGRESS (p = 0.82). We found that CUF levels are comparable among children in Mexico City and fluoridated Canadian communities, despite distinct sources of exposure. Community water fluoridation is a major source of fluoride exposure for Canadian children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Article
Tris(2-chloroethyl) Phosphate (TCEP) Elicits Hepatotoxicity by Activating Human Cancer Pathway Genes in HepG2 Cells
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040109 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 932
Abstract
Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) is one of the organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) used in consumer commodities and have been detected in human body fluids. Research on TCEP-induced transcriptomic alterations and toxicological consequences in liver cells is still lacking. Herein, human hepatocellular (HepG2) cells were [...] Read more.
Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) is one of the organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) used in consumer commodities and have been detected in human body fluids. Research on TCEP-induced transcriptomic alterations and toxicological consequences in liver cells is still lacking. Herein, human hepatocellular (HepG2) cells were treated with 100, 200, and 400 μM TCEP for 3 days to quantify hepatotoxicity by MTT, NRU, and comet assays. Apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), oxidative stress, and Ca2+ influx were measured by flow cytometry. A qPCR array was employed for transcriptomic analysis. MTT and NRU data showed 70.92% and 75.57% reduction in cell survival at 400 μM. In addition, 20-fold greater DNA damage was recorded at 400 μM. Cell cycle data showed 65.96% subG1 apoptotic peak in 400 μM treated cells. An elevated level of oxidative stress, esterase, Ca2+ influx, and ΔΨm dysfunction were recorded in TCEP-treated cells. Out of 84 genes, the qPCR array showed upregulation of 17 genes and downregulation of 10 key genes belonging to human cancer pathways. Our study endorses the fact that TCEP possesses hepatotoxic potential at higher concentrations and prolonged exposure. Hence, TCEP may act as a cancer-inducing entity by provoking the gene network of human cancer pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Persistent Organic Pollutants and Human Health)
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Article
Amikacin Suppresses Human Breast Cancer Cell MDA-MB-231 Migration and Invasion
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040108 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 951
Abstract
(1) Background: Amikacin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic used for treating gram-negative bacterial infections in cancer patients. In this study, our aims are to investigate the migratory inhibition effects of amikacin in human MDA-MB-231 cells. (2) Methods: We used a wound-healing assay, trans-well analysis, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Amikacin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic used for treating gram-negative bacterial infections in cancer patients. In this study, our aims are to investigate the migratory inhibition effects of amikacin in human MDA-MB-231 cells. (2) Methods: We used a wound-healing assay, trans-well analysis, Western blotting, immunostaining and siRNA knockdown approaches to investigate how amikacin influenced MDA-MB-231 cell migration and invasion. (3) Results: Wound healing showed that the MDA-MB-231 cell migration rates decreased to 44.4% in the presence of amikacin. Trans-well analysis showed that amikacin treatment led to invasion inhibition. Western blotting demonstrated that amikacin induced thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) up-regulation. TXNIP was knocked down using siRNA in MDA-MB-231 cell. Using immunostaining analysis, we found that inhibition of TXNIP expression led to MDA-MB-231 pseudopodia extension; however, amikacin treatment attenuated the cell extension formation. (4) Conclusions: We observed inhibition of migration and invasion in MDA-MB-231 cells treated with amikacin. This suggests inhibition might be mediated by up-regulation of TXNIP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Article
An Embryonic Zebrafish Model to Screen Disruption of Gut-Vascular Barrier upon Exposure to Ambient Ultrafine Particles
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040107 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1161
Abstract
Epidemiological studies have linked exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) with gastrointestinal (GI) diseases. Ambient ultrafine particles (UFP) are the redox-active sub-fraction of PM2.5, harboring elemental and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from urban environmental sources including diesel and gasoline exhausts. The gut-vascular barrier (GVB) [...] Read more.
Epidemiological studies have linked exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) with gastrointestinal (GI) diseases. Ambient ultrafine particles (UFP) are the redox-active sub-fraction of PM2.5, harboring elemental and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from urban environmental sources including diesel and gasoline exhausts. The gut-vascular barrier (GVB) regulates paracellular trafficking and systemic dissemination of ingested microbes and toxins. Here, we posit that acute UFP ingestion disrupts the integrity of the intestinal barrier by modulating intestinal Notch activation. Using zebrafish embryos, we performed micro-gavage with the fluorescein isothiocynate (FITC)-conjugated dextran (FD10, 10 kDa) to assess the disruption of GVB integrity upon UFP exposure. Following micro-gavage, FD10 retained in the embryonic GI system, migrated through the cloaca. Conversely, co-gavaging UFP increased transmigration of FD10 across the intestinal barrier, and FD10 fluorescence occurred in the venous capillary plexus. Ingestion of UFP further impaired the mid-intestine morphology. We performed micro-angiogram of FD10 to corroborate acute UFP-mediated disruption of GVB. Transient genetic and pharmacologic manipulations of global Notch activity suggested Notch regulation of the GVB. Overall, our integration of a genetically tractable embryonic zebrafish and micro-gavage technique provided epigenetic insights underlying ambient UFP ingestion disrupts the GVB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Zebrafish Model for Environmental Health Sciences Research)
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Article
Development of a Larval Zebrafish Model for Acute Organophosphorus Nerve Agent and Pesticide Exposure and Therapeutic Evaluation
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040106 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 816
Abstract
Organophosphorus compound exposure remains a present threat through agricultural accidents, warfare, or terrorist activity. The primary mechanism of organophosphorus toxicity is through inhibition of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, with current emergency treatment including anticholinergics, benzodiazepines, and oxime reactivators. However, a need for more effective [...] Read more.
Organophosphorus compound exposure remains a present threat through agricultural accidents, warfare, or terrorist activity. The primary mechanism of organophosphorus toxicity is through inhibition of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, with current emergency treatment including anticholinergics, benzodiazepines, and oxime reactivators. However, a need for more effective and broadly acting countermeasures remains. This study aimed to develop larval zebrafish as a high-throughput model for evaluating novel therapeutics against acute organophosphorus exposure. Larval zebrafish at six days post-fertilization were exposed to acute concentrations of seven organophosphorus compounds and treated with one of three oximes. Lethality studies indicated similar relative toxicity to that seen in the established rodent model, with chemical warfare agents proving more lethal than organophosphorus pesticides. Additionally, the organophosphorus-specific response for oxime reactivation of acetylcholinesterase was comparable to what has been previously reported. Behavioral studies measuring the visual motor response demonstrated greater efficacy for centrally acting oxime compounds than for those that are contained to the peripheral tissue. Overall, these results support the use of this larval zebrafish model as a high-throughput screening platform for evaluating novel treatments following acute organophosphorus exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Zebrafish Model for Environmental Health Sciences Research)
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Review
Electronic Cigarette Use and Metabolic Syndrome Development: A Critical Review
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040105 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1316
Abstract
The metabolic syndrome is a combination of several metabolic disorders, such as cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle modifications, including quitting smoking, are recommended to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and its associated complications. Not much research has been conducted [...] Read more.
The metabolic syndrome is a combination of several metabolic disorders, such as cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle modifications, including quitting smoking, are recommended to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and its associated complications. Not much research has been conducted in the field of e-cigarettes and the risk of metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, taking into account the influence of e-cigarettes vaping on the individual components of metabolic syndrome, i.e, abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and elevated arterial blood pressure, the results are also ambiguous. This article is a review and summary of existing reports on the impact of e-cigarettes on the development of metabolic syndrome as well as its individual components. A critical review for English language articles published until 30 June 2020 was made, using a PubMed (including MEDLINE), Cochrane, CINAHL Plus, and Web of Science data. The current research indicated that e-cigarettes use does not affect the development of insulin resistance, but could influence the level of glucose and pre-diabetic state development. The lipid of profile an increase in the TG level was reported, while the influence on the level of concentration of total cholesterol, LDL fraction, and HDL fraction differed. In most cases, e-cigarettes use increased the risk of developing abdominal obesity or higher arterial blood pressure. Further research is required to provide more evidence on this topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Knowledge of E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products)
Review
Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Pyriproxyfen on Apis and Non-Apis Bees
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040104 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1009
Abstract
Pyriproxyfen is a juvenile hormone mimic used extensively worldwide to fight pests in agriculture and horticulture. It also has numerous applications as larvicide in vector control. The molecule disrupts metamorphosis and adult emergence in the target insects. The same types of adverse effects [...] Read more.
Pyriproxyfen is a juvenile hormone mimic used extensively worldwide to fight pests in agriculture and horticulture. It also has numerous applications as larvicide in vector control. The molecule disrupts metamorphosis and adult emergence in the target insects. The same types of adverse effects are expected on non-target insects. In this context, the objective of this study was to evaluate the existing information on the toxicity of pyriproxyfen on the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and non-Apis bees (bumble bees, solitary bees, and stingless bees). The goal was also to identify the gaps necessary to fill. Thus, whereas the acute and sublethal toxicity of pyriproxyfen against A. mellifera is well-documented, the information is almost lacking for the non-Apis bees. The direct and indirect routes of exposure of the non-Apis bees to pyriproxyfen also need to be identified and quantified. More generally, the impacts of pyriproxyfen on the reproductive success of the different bee species have to be evaluated as well as the potential adverse effects of its metabolites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Management)
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Article
Zebrafish Embryonic Exposure to BPAP and Its Relatively Weak Thyroid Hormone-Disrupting Effects
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040103 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 956
Abstract
Safe endocrine-disrupting alternatives for bisphenol A (BPA) are needed because its adverse health effects have become a public concern. Some bisphenol analogues (bisphenol F and S) have been applied, but their endocrine-disrupting potential is either not negligible or weaker than that of BPA. [...] Read more.
Safe endocrine-disrupting alternatives for bisphenol A (BPA) are needed because its adverse health effects have become a public concern. Some bisphenol analogues (bisphenol F and S) have been applied, but their endocrine-disrupting potential is either not negligible or weaker than that of BPA. However, the endocrine-disrupting potential of bisphenol AP (BPAP), another BPA alternative, has not yet been fully assessed. Hence, we evaluated the thyroid hormone (TH)-disrupting potency of BPAP because THs are essential endocrine hormones. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to BPAP (0, 18.2, 43.4, or 105.9 μg/L) for 120 h, and TH levels, the transcription of 16 TH-related genes, the transcriptome, development, and behavior were evaluated. In our study, a decrease in T4 level was observed only at the maximum nonlethal concentration, but significant changes in the T3 and TSHβ levels were not detected. BPAP did not cause significant changes in transcription and gene ontology enrichment related to the TH system. Developmental and behavioral changes were not observed. Despite T4 level reduction, other markers were not significantly affected by BPAP. These might indicate that BPAP has weak or negligible potency regarding TH disruption as a BPA alternative. This study might provide novel information on the TH-disrupting potential of BPAP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fish Models for Human Toxicology)
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Article
Effects of Soil Amendments on Heavy Metal Immobilization and Accumulation by Maize Grown in a Multiple-Metal-Contaminated Soil and Their Potential for Safe Crop Production
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040102 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 937
Abstract
Soil amendments have been proposed for immobilizing metallic contaminants, thus reducing their uptake by plants. For the safe production of crops in contaminated soil, there is a need to select suitable amendments that can mitigate heavy metal uptake and enhance crop yield. The [...] Read more.
Soil amendments have been proposed for immobilizing metallic contaminants, thus reducing their uptake by plants. For the safe production of crops in contaminated soil, there is a need to select suitable amendments that can mitigate heavy metal uptake and enhance crop yield. The present experiment compared the effects of three amendments, hydroxyapatite (HAP), organic manure (OM), and biochar (BC), on plant growth and heavy metal accumulation by maize in an acidic soil contaminated with Cd, Pb, and Zn, and their potential for safe crop production. Toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) tests, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis were used to evaluate the effectiveness and mechanisms of heavy metal immobilization by the amendments. The results showed that shoot and root biomass was significantly increased by HAP and 1% OM, with an order of 1% HAP > 0.1% HAP > 1% OM, but not changed by 0.1% OM and BC (0.1% and 1%). HAP significantly decreased Cd, Pb, and Zn concentrations in both shoots and roots, and the effects were more pronounced at the higher doses. OM decreased the shoot Cd and Pb concentrations and root Zn concentrations, but only 1% OM decreased the shoot Zn and root Pb concentrations. BC decreased the shoot Cd and Pb concentrations, but decreased the shoot Zn and root Pb concentrations only at 1%. HAP decreased the translocation factors (TFs) of Cd, Pb, and Zn (except at the 0.1% dose). OM and BC decreased the TFs of Cd and Zn, respectively, at the 1% dose but showed no significant effects in other cases. Overall, plant P, K, Fe, and Cu nutrition was improved by HAP and 1% OM, but not by 0.1 OM and BC. Soil pH was significantly increased by HAP, 1% OM, and 1% BC, following an order of 1% HAP > 1% OM > 0.1% HAP > 1% BC. The TCLP levels for Cd, Pb, and Zn were significantly reduced by HAP, which can be partly attributed to its liming effects and the formation of sparingly soluble Cd-, Pb-, and Zn-P-containing minerals in the HAP-amended soils. To some extent, all the amendments positively influenced plant and soil traits, but HAP was the optimal one for stabilizing heavy metals, reducing heavy metal uptake, and promoting plant growth in the contaminated soil, suggesting its potential for safe crop production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Management)
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Review
Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewaters: A Challenge from Current Treatment Methods to Nanotechnology Applications
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040101 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
Removing heavy metals from wastewaters is a challenging process that requires constant attention and monitoring, as heavy metals are major wastewater pollutants that are not biodegradable and thus accumulate in the ecosystem. In addition, the persistent nature, toxicity and accumulation of heavy metal [...] Read more.
Removing heavy metals from wastewaters is a challenging process that requires constant attention and monitoring, as heavy metals are major wastewater pollutants that are not biodegradable and thus accumulate in the ecosystem. In addition, the persistent nature, toxicity and accumulation of heavy metal ions in the human body have become the driving force for searching new and more efficient water treatment technologies to reduce the concentration of heavy metal in waters. Because the conventional techniques will not be able to keep up with the growing demand for lower heavy metals levels in drinking water and wastewaters, it is becoming increasingly challenging to implement technologically advanced alternative water treatments. Nanotechnology offers a number of advantages compared to other methods. Nanomaterials are more efficient in terms of cost and volume, and many process mechanisms are better and faster at nanoscale. Although nanomaterials have already proved themselves in water technology, there are specific challenges related to their stability, toxicity and recovery, which led to innovations to counteract them. Taking into account the multidisciplinary research of water treatment for the removal of heavy metals, the present review provides an updated report on the main technologies and materials used for the removal of heavy metals with an emphasis on nanoscale materials and processes involved in the heavy metals removal and detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Chemistry)
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Article
A Relevant Screening of Organic Contaminants Present on Freshwater and Pre-Production Microplastics
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040100 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
Microplastics (MPs) have recently been discovered as considerable pollutants of all environmental matrices. They can contain a blend of chemicals, some of them added during the manufacture of plastic to improve their quality (additives) and others adsorbed from the surrounding environment. In light [...] Read more.
Microplastics (MPs) have recently been discovered as considerable pollutants of all environmental matrices. They can contain a blend of chemicals, some of them added during the manufacture of plastic to improve their quality (additives) and others adsorbed from the surrounding environment. In light of this, a detailed study about the identification and quantification of target organic pollutants and qualitative screening of non-target compounds present on MPs was carried out in different types of samples: environmental MPs, collected from an Italian river, and pre-production MPs, taken from the plastic industry. Polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were chosen as target compounds to be quantified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC–MS), while the non-target screening was carried out by High Resolution Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (HRGC–MS). The target analysis revealed concentrations of 16 priority Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA-PAHs) in the range of 29.9–269.1 ng/g; the quantification of 31 PCBs showed values from 0.54 to 15.3 ng/g, identifying CB-138, 153, 180, 52, and 101 primarily; and the detected OCPs (p,p’-DDT and its metabolites) ranged between 14.5 and 63.7 ng/g. The non-target screening tentatively identified 246 compounds (e.g., phthalates, antioxidants, UV-stabilizers), including endocrine disruptors, toxic and reprotoxic substances, as well as chemicals subjected to risk assessment and authorisation. The large assortment of plastic chemicals associated with MPs showed their role as a presumable source of pollutants, some of which might have high bioaccumulation potential, persistence, and toxicity. Full article
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Article
Ecotoxicity of Plastics from Informal Waste Electric and Electronic Treatment and Recycling
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040099 - 08 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
Plastic materials account for about 20% of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The recycling of this plastic fraction is a complex issue, heavily conditioned by the content of harmful additives, such as brominated flame retardants. Thus, the management and reprocessing of WEEE [...] Read more.
Plastic materials account for about 20% of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The recycling of this plastic fraction is a complex issue, heavily conditioned by the content of harmful additives, such as brominated flame retardants. Thus, the management and reprocessing of WEEE plastics pose environmental and human health concerns, mainly in developing countries, where informal recycling and disposal are practiced. The objective of this study was twofold. Firstly, it aimed to investigate some of the available options described in the literature for the re-use of WEEE plastic scraps in construction materials, a promising recycling route in the developing countries. Moreover, it presents an evaluation of the impact of these available end-of-life scenarios on the environment by means of the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. In order to consider worker health and human and ecological risks, the LCA analysis focuses on ecotoxicity more than on climate change. The LCA evaluation confirmed that the plastic re-use in the construction sector has a lower toxicity impact on the environment and human health than common landfilling and incineration practices. It also shows that the unregulated handling and dismantling activities, as well as the re-use practices, contribute significantly to the impact of WEEE plastic treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic-Waste: Management and Challenges)
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Article
Temporal Persistence of Bromadiolone in Decomposing Bodies of Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040098 - 07 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1316
Abstract
Bromadiolone is a second generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGAR) used to control pest rodents worldwide. SGARs are frequently involved in secondary poisoning in rodent predators due to their persistence and toxicity. This study aims to evaluate the persistence of bromadiolone in liver at different [...] Read more.
Bromadiolone is a second generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGAR) used to control pest rodents worldwide. SGARs are frequently involved in secondary poisoning in rodent predators due to their persistence and toxicity. This study aims to evaluate the persistence of bromadiolone in liver at different stages of carcass decomposition in experimentally-dosed common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) to understand the possibility of detecting bromadiolone in cases of wildlife poisoning and the potential risk of tertiary poisoning. Twelve individuals were divided into the bromadiolone-dose group (dosed with 55 mg/kg b.w) and the control group. Hepatic bromadiolone concentrations found in each stage of decomposition were: 3000, 2891, 4804, 4245, 8848, and 756 ng/g dry weight at 1–2 h (fresh carcass), 24 h (moderate decomposition), 72 h, 96 h (advanced decomposition), seven days (very advanced decomposition), and 15 days (initial skeletal reduction) after death, respectively. Liver bromadiolone concentrations in carcasses remained relatively stable over the first four days and raised on day 7 of decomposition under the specific conditions of this experiment, presenting a risk of causing tertiary poisoning. However, at the initial skeletal reduction stage, liver bromadiolone concentration declined, which should be considered to interpret toxicological analyses and for proper diagnosis. This experimental study provides for the first time some light to better understand the degradation of SGARs in carcasses in the wild. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Toxicology: An Update on Contaminant Exposure and Effects)
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Article
Morpho-Functional Alterations in the Gills of a Seawater Teleost, the Ornate Wrasse (Thalassoma pavo L.), after Short-Term Exposure to Chlorpyrifos
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040097 - 07 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 740
Abstract
Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is an organophosphorus insecticide commonly used for domestic and agricultural purposes. The risk posed by environmental contamination from CPF is well acknowledged, and it has been detected worldwide in aquatic habitats and coastal areas. In addition, due to its slower degradation [...] Read more.
Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is an organophosphorus insecticide commonly used for domestic and agricultural purposes. The risk posed by environmental contamination from CPF is well acknowledged, and it has been detected worldwide in aquatic habitats and coastal areas. In addition, due to its slower degradation in seawater compared to freshwater, CPF is of particular concern for marine environments. Here, we investigated for the first time the morpho-functional alterations induced by CPF on the gills of Thalassoma pavo, a widespread species in the Mediterranean Sea. We tested the effects of two sublethal concentrations (4 and 8 µg/L) after 48 and 96 h. Our study demonstrates that the alterations induced by CPF are dose and time-dependent and highlight the harmful properties of this insecticide. After exposure to the low tested concentration, the more frequent alteration is an intense proliferation of the primary epithelium, whereas after exposure to the high concentration, the primary epithelium proliferation is less extensive, and the most evident effects are the thinning of secondary lamellae and the ectopia of chloride and goblet cells. CPF also modulated the expression of Na+/K+-ATPase. Dilation of lamellar apical tips, pillar cell degeneration, and appearance of aneurysms are often observed. Full article
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