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Toxics, Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2021) – 25 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The use of neonicotinoid insecticides has been steadily increasing in many countries, despite bans on their use by the European Union and Canada. Among the main concerns have been their impacts on non-target invertebrates, including molluscs. Increasing evidence from studies on terrestrial, freshwater and marine molluscs have demonstrated the detrimental effects of concentrations of neonicotinoids that have been detected in soil, food and water. The accumulation of neonicotinoid residues in the flesh of molluscs can also cause the accidental exposure of other organisms higher in the food chain, including humans. Further studies are required using all commercially available neonicotinoids, across all life stages of a broad range of ecologically and economically valuable molluscs, to comprehensively understand the magnitude of impacts from ongoing neonicotinoid use. View this paper
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Open AccessReview
Microplastics in the Marine Environment: Sources, Fates, Impacts and Microbial Degradation
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020041 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 600
Abstract
The serious global microplastic pollution has attracted public concern in recent years. Microplastics are widely distributed in various environments and their pollution is already ubiquitous in the ocean system, which contributes to exponential concern in the past decade and different research areas. Due [...] Read more.
The serious global microplastic pollution has attracted public concern in recent years. Microplastics are widely distributed in various environments and their pollution is already ubiquitous in the ocean system, which contributes to exponential concern in the past decade and different research areas. Due to their tiny size coupled with the various microbial communities in aquatic habitats capable of accumulating organic pollutants, abundant literature is available for assessing the negative impact of MPs on the physiology of marine organisms and eventually on the human health. This study summarizes the current literature on MPs in the marine environment to obtain a better knowledge about MP contamination. This review contains three sections: (1) sources and fates of MPs in the marine environment, (2) impacts of MPs on marine organisms, and (3) bacteria for the degradation of marine MPs. Some measures and efforts must be taken to solve the environmental problems caused by microplastics. The knowledge in this review will provide background information for marine microplastics studies and management strategies in future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Salinity Changes the Dynamics of Pyrethroid Toxicity in Terms of Behavioral Effects on Newly Hatched Delta Smelt Larvae
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020040 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Salinity can interact with organic compounds and modulate their toxicity. Studies have shown that the fraction of pyrethroid insecticides in the aqueous phase increases with increasing salinity, potentially increasing the risk of exposure for aquatic organisms at higher salinities. In the San Francisco [...] Read more.
Salinity can interact with organic compounds and modulate their toxicity. Studies have shown that the fraction of pyrethroid insecticides in the aqueous phase increases with increasing salinity, potentially increasing the risk of exposure for aquatic organisms at higher salinities. In the San Francisco Bay Delta (SFBD) estuary, pyrethroid concentrations increase during the rainy season, coinciding with the spawning season of Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), an endangered, endemic fish. Furthermore, salinity intrusion in the SFBD is exacerbated by global climate change, which may change the dynamics of pyrethroid toxicity on aquatic animals. Therefore, examining the effect of salinity on the sublethal toxicity of pyrethroids is essential for risk assessments, especially during the early life stages of estuarine fishes. To address this, we investigated behavioral effects of permethrin and bifenthrin at three environmentally relevant concentrations across a salinity gradient (0.5, 2 and 6 PSU) on Delta Smelt yolk-sac larvae. Our results suggest that environmentally relevant concentrations of pyrethroids can perturb Delta Smelt larvae behavior even at the lowest concentrations (<1 ng/L) and that salinity can change the dynamic of pyrethroid toxicity in terms of behavioral effects, especially for bifenthrin, where salinity was positively correlated with anti-thigmotaxis at each concentration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Levels of Mercury, Methylmercury and Selenium in Fish: Insights into Children Food Safety
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020039 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 417
Abstract
Total mercury (THg), methylmercury (MeHg), and selenium (Se) concentrations were measured in various commercially important fish species. The benefit–risk binomial associated with these chemicals was assessed in children through the probability of exceeding the provisional tolerable weekly intakes (PTWIs) of the contaminants and [...] Read more.
Total mercury (THg), methylmercury (MeHg), and selenium (Se) concentrations were measured in various commercially important fish species. The benefit–risk binomial associated with these chemicals was assessed in children through the probability of exceeding the provisional tolerable weekly intakes (PTWIs) of the contaminants and the Se recommended dietary allowance (RDA). The Se:Hg molar ratios, selenium health benefit values (HBVSe), and monthly consumption rate limits (CRmm) for each species were also calculated. THg and Se were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Shimadzu, Milan, Italy), while MeHg was determined by Trace Ultra gas chromatograph connected with a PolarisQ MS (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA, USA). None of the analyzed fish had Hg levels above the European Community regulatory limits, while most large predators had MeHg levels over the threshold concentration set by US EPA. The estimated weekly intakes of THg and MeHg exceeded in many cases the PTWIs and the Se estimated daily intakes were provided from 0.71% to 2.75% of the RDA. Se:Hg molar ratios above 1 and positive HBVSe index suggested that Se in fish could be enough to alleviate the potential toxic effect of Hg. However, high-risk groups as children should consume fish in moderation because a large consumption pattern, especially of swordfish and tunas, might be of concern for health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Eupatilin Inhibits Reactive Oxygen Species Generation via Akt/NF-κB/MAPK Signaling Pathways in Particulate Matter-Exposed Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020038 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Background: Eupatilin is an active flavon extracted from the Artemisia species and has properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer. We examined the effect of eupatilin using fine particulate matter (FPM) and human bronchial epithelial cell line (BEAS-2B) to confirm the potential of [...] Read more.
Background: Eupatilin is an active flavon extracted from the Artemisia species and has properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer. We examined the effect of eupatilin using fine particulate matter (FPM) and human bronchial epithelial cell line (BEAS-2B) to confirm the potential of eupatilin as a therapeutic agent for respiratory diseases caused by FPM. Methods: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were checked by flow cytometry to identify if FPM and eupatilin affect ROS production. Western blotting was performed to identify the mechanism of action of eupatilin in FPM-exposed BEAS-2B cells. Results: When cells were exposed to FPM above 12.5 μg/mL concentration for 24 h, ROS production increased significantly compared to the control. When eupatilin was added to cells exposed to FPM, the ROS level decreased proportionally with the eupatilin dose. The phosphorylation of Akt, NF-κB p65, and p38 MAPK induced by FPM was significantly reduced by eupatilin, respectively. Conclusion: FPM cause respiratory disease by producing ROS in bronchial epithelial cells. Eupatilin has been shown to inhibit ROS production through altering signaling pathways. The ROS inhibiting property of eupatilin can be exploited in FPM induced respiratory disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis of Air-Pollution-Induced Disease Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
Sequential SEM-EDS, PLM, and MRS Microanalysis of Individual Atmospheric Particles: A Useful Tool for Assigning Emission Sources
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020037 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 435
Abstract
In this work, the particulate matter (PM) from three different monitoring stations in the Monterrey Metropolitan Area in Mexico were investigated for their compositional, morphological, and optical properties. The main aim of the research was to decipher the different sources of the particles. [...] Read more.
In this work, the particulate matter (PM) from three different monitoring stations in the Monterrey Metropolitan Area in Mexico were investigated for their compositional, morphological, and optical properties. The main aim of the research was to decipher the different sources of the particles. The methodology involved the ex situ sequential analysis of individual particles by three analytical techniques: scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), polarized light microscopy (PLM), and micro-Raman spectroscopy (MRS). The microanalysis was performed on samples of total suspended particles. Different morphologies were observed for particles rich in the same element, including prismatic, spherical, spheroidal, and irregular morphologies. The sequential microanalysis by SEM-EDS/PLM/MRS revealed that Fe-rich particles with spherical and irregular morphologies were derived from anthopogenic sources, such as emissions from the metallurgical industry and the wear of automobile parts, respectively. In contrast, Fe-rich particles with prismatic morphologies were associated with natural sources. In relation to carbon (C), the methodology was able to distinguish between the C-rich particles that came from different anthopogenic sources—such as the burning of fossil fuels, biomass, or charcoal—and the metallurgical industry. The optical properties of the Si-rich particles depended, to a greater extent, on their chemical composition than on their morphology, which made it possible to quickly and accurately differentiate aluminosilicates from quartz. The methodology demonstrated in this study was useful for performing the speciation of the particles rich in different elements. This differentiation helped to assign their possible emission sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Chemistry of Air Pollution)
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Open AccessBrief Report
Toxic Blood Hydrogen Cyanide Concentration as a Vital Sign of a Deceased Room Fire Victim—Case Report
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020036 - 16 Feb 2021
Viewed by 382
Abstract
Carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) are two common toxic products of combustion. HCN concentrations of fire victims are not routinely determined in most legal medicine services in Romania. We present the case of a room fire victim in which we evaluated [...] Read more.
Carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) are two common toxic products of combustion. HCN concentrations of fire victims are not routinely determined in most legal medicine services in Romania. We present the case of a room fire victim in which we evaluated the concentrations of HCN and carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), their contribution to the mechanism of death, and the possibility that HCN concentration can be interpreted as vital sign. COHb was determined by spectrophotometry. HCN was spectrophotometrically determined with ninhydrin in postmortem blood samples after its removal with 20% phosphoric acid and uptake into a solution of potassium carbonate. The presence of ethyl alcohol was determined by gas chromatography. The COHb concentration was 6.15%, while the blood HCN concentration was 1.043 µg × mL−1 and the total HCN was 1.904 µg × ml−1. A blood alcohol content of 4.36 g‰ and a urine alcohol content of 5.88 g‰ were also found. Although the fire produced a considerable amount of soot, and there were signs of inhalation of soot particles, the COHb level cannot be interpreted as a vital sign. Toxic concentrations of HCN and total HCN can be interpreted as a vital sign and indicates a contributive effect of HCN in the mechanism of death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Open AccessArticle
Ecological and Health Risks Assessment of Potentially Toxic Metals and Metalloids Contaminants: A Case Study of Agricultural Soils in Qatar
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020035 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 625
Abstract
In recent years, Qatar has witnessed exponential growth in the human population, urbanization, and increased anthropogenic activities, including agriculture. Potentially toxic environmental contaminants, including metals and metalloids, are commonly found in emerging economies. At high concentrations, elements such as As, Cr, and Ni [...] Read more.
In recent years, Qatar has witnessed exponential growth in the human population, urbanization, and increased anthropogenic activities, including agriculture. Potentially toxic environmental contaminants, including metals and metalloids, are commonly found in emerging economies. At high concentrations, elements such as As, Cr, and Ni can be hazardous and may lead to various health problems in humans, including cancer. The current study measured As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn concentrations in agricultural soils. Pollution levels and potential negative impacts on human and environmental health were determined using the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) standard methodologies. According to the study’s findings, the studied element concentrations descended in the following order: Zn > Cr > V > Ni > As > Cu > Pb > Cd. Of these, As (27.6 mg/kg), Cr (85.7 mg/kg), Ni (61.9 mg/kg), and Zn (92.3 mg/kg) concentrations were higher than average world background levels. Each of these elements also had an enrichment factor (EF > 1), indicating their anthropogenic origin. The combined pollution load index (PLI > 1) and geo-accumulation index (Igeo) range values of −0.2–2.5 further indicated that the soil was up to 58% polluted. However, the ecological risk factor (Er ≤ 40.6) and potential ecological risk index (PERI = 79.6) suggested low ecological risk. A human health risk evaluation showed that only As, with a hazard index (HI) of 1.3, posed a noncarcinogenic risk to infants. Additionally, As, Cr, and Ni, with total carcinogenic risk (TCR) values of 1.18 × 10−4 and 2.06 × 10−4 for adults and children, respectively, proved carcinogenic to both age groups. The elements’ carcinogenic risk (CR) potential descended in the following order: Ni > As > Cr. Additionally, for both adults and children, oral ingestion is the most likely exposure pathway. Our findings support the need for closer monitoring of potentially toxic metals and metalloids levels in cultivated soils and farm produce in Qatar. Reducing the elements’ bioavailability in soil and developing innovative remediation technologies is needed to limit potential risks to human health. Further studies on As, Cr, and Ni gastrointestinal bioaccessibilities are needed to fully understand the effects after long-term exposure and the cancer-causing potential of these elements over a lifetime. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Occurrence of Bisphenols and Benzophenone UV Filters in White-Tailed Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) from Smøla, Norway
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020034 - 09 Feb 2021
Viewed by 473
Abstract
There is a growing concern about the occurrence of bisphenols and benzophenone UV filters in natural ecosystems, while data are limited regarding their actual occurrence in wildlife species, especially in raptors. In this study, concentrations of bisphenol and benzophenone UV filter analogues were [...] Read more.
There is a growing concern about the occurrence of bisphenols and benzophenone UV filters in natural ecosystems, while data are limited regarding their actual occurrence in wildlife species, especially in raptors. In this study, concentrations of bisphenol and benzophenone UV filter analogues were determined in liver tissue samples (n = 38) from white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) that were found dead in Smøla (2006–2018), which is a Norwegian municipality that holds one of the densest breeding populations of white-tailed eagles in Europe. Bisphenol AF (BPAF; a fluorinated analogue) was the most ubiquitous contaminant since it was detected in 32 liver samples at concentrations ranging from 1.08 to 6.68 ng/g wet weight (w.w.), followed by bisphenol A (BPA, mean 10.4 ng/g w.w.), benzophenone-1 (BzP-1, mean 3.24 ng/g w.w.), and 4-hydroxybenzophenone (4-OH-BzP, mean 0.62 ng/g w.w.). The concentrations found in livers suggested that white-tailed eagles potentially accumulate bisphenols and benzophenone UV filters, which raises concern, as these plastic and personal care product-related emerging contaminants can show endocrine-disrupting properties. The high detection frequency of the fluorinated BPAF warrants further attention as other fluorinated compounds have proven to be extremely persistent and potentially harmful to wildlife. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Toxicology: An Update on Contaminant Exposure and Effects)
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Urinary Phthalate Metabolites and Markers of Endothelial Dysfunction in Adolescents and Young Adults
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020033 - 06 Feb 2021
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Endothelial function is crucial in the pathogenesis of circulatory and cardiovascular toxicity; epidemiologic research investigating the association between phthalate exposure and endothelial dysfunction remains limited. We examined the associations between exposures to specific phthalates (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, DEHP; di-n-butyl phthalate, DnBP) and circulating endothelial [...] Read more.
Endothelial function is crucial in the pathogenesis of circulatory and cardiovascular toxicity; epidemiologic research investigating the association between phthalate exposure and endothelial dysfunction remains limited. We examined the associations between exposures to specific phthalates (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, DEHP; di-n-butyl phthalate, DnBP) and circulating endothelial and platelet microparticles (EMPs and PMPs) in adolescents and young adults. Of the 697 participants recruited, anthropometric measurements and health-related behaviors relevant to cardiovascular risks were collected and assessed. Urine and serum were collected and analyzed with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and flow cytometry. Multiple linear regression indicated that increases in urinary concentrations of ΣDEHP and MnBP (mono-n-butyl phthalate), across quartiles, were positively associated with serum EMPs level (p for trend <0.001 and <0.001; β = 0.798 and 0.007; standard error = 0.189 and 0.001, respectively). Moreover, female and overweight subjects had higher MnBP, and males were more vulnerable to DnBP exposure compared to females. In conclusion, our results demonstrate a dose-response relationship between exposures to phthalates (ΣDEHP and MnBP) and microparticle formation (EMPs and PMPs) in adolescents and young adults. The findings indicate that exposures to phthalates of both low and high-molecular weight are positively associated with microparticle production, and might contribute to endothelial dysfunction; such damage might manifest in the form of atherosclerotic-related vascular diseases. Future in vivo and in vitro studies are warranted to elucidate whether a causal relationship exists between phthalate exposure and EMPs and PMPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasticizer Exposure: Harmful Impact on Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation on Combined Inhalation Exposure Scenarios to Biocidal Mixtures: Biocidal and Household Chemical Products in South Korea
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020032 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 448
Abstract
Global regulations of biocides have been continuously enhanced for protecting human health and the environment from potentially harmful biocidal products. Such regulations consider the combined toxicity caused by mixture components in a biocidal product of which approval and authorization are to be enhanced. [...] Read more.
Global regulations of biocides have been continuously enhanced for protecting human health and the environment from potentially harmful biocidal products. Such regulations consider the combined toxicity caused by mixture components in a biocidal product of which approval and authorization are to be enhanced. Although the combined exposure scenarios of components in mixtures are firstly needed to conduct the mixture risk assessment, systematic combined exposure scenarios are still lacking. In this study, combined inhalation exposure scenarios of biocides in household chemical and biocidal products marketed in South Korea were investigated based on the European Union (EU) and Korean chemical product databases and various data sources integration. The information of 1058 biocidal products and 675 household chemical products that are likely to cause inhalation exposure with two or more biocides was collected, and mixture combination patterns were investigated. Binary mixtures occupied 72% in biocidal products. The most frequently appearing binary mixture was phthalthrin and d-phenothrin. Based on the frequency of use, we suggested a priority list of biocide mixture combinations which need to be firstly evaluated for identifying their combined toxicity for the mixture risk assessment. This study highlights that the derived combined inhalation exposure scenarios can support and facilitate further studies on priority settings for mixture risk assessment and management of potentially inhalable biocides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
First Assessment of Plasticizers in Marine Coastal Litter-Feeder Fauna in the Mediterranean Sea
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020031 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 688
Abstract
Micro and nanoplastics are harmful to marine life due to their high level of fragmentation and resistance to degradation. Over the past two decades, marine coastal sediment has shown an increasing amount of microplastics being a sort of trap for debris wastes or [...] Read more.
Micro and nanoplastics are harmful to marine life due to their high level of fragmentation and resistance to degradation. Over the past two decades, marine coastal sediment has shown an increasing amount of microplastics being a sort of trap for debris wastes or chemicals. In such an environment some species may be successful candidates to be used as monitors of environmental and health hazards and can be considered a mirror of threats of natural habitats. Such species play a key role in the food web of littoral systems since they are litter-feeders, and are prey for fishes or higher trophic level species. A preliminary investigation was conducted on five species of small-sized amphipod crustaceans, with the aim to understand if such an animal group may reflect the risk to ecosystems health in the central Mediterranean area, recently investigated for seawater and fish contamination. This study intended to gather data related to the accumulation of plasticizers in such coast dwelling fauna. In order to detect the possible presence of xenobiotics in amphipods, six analytes were scored (phthalic acid esters and non-phthalate plasticizers), identified and quantified by the gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method. The results showed that among all the monitored contaminants, DEP and DiBP represented the most abundant compounds in the selected amphipods. The amphipod crustaceans analyzed were a good tool to detect and monitor plasticizers, and further studies of these invertebrates will help in developing a more comprehensive knowledge of chemicals spreading over a geographical area. The results are herein presented as a starting point to develop baseline data of plasticizer pollution in the Mediterranean Sea. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Disturbance in Mammalian Cognition Caused by Accumulation of Silver in Brain
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020030 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 468
Abstract
The influence of daily prolonged administration of silver nanoparticles on the cognitive functions of a model mammal was studied. The accumulation of silver in the whole brain and the hippocampus, cerebellum, cortex and residual brain tissue of the mouse was investigated by highly [...] Read more.
The influence of daily prolonged administration of silver nanoparticles on the cognitive functions of a model mammal was studied. The accumulation of silver in the whole brain and the hippocampus, cerebellum, cortex and residual brain tissue of the mouse was investigated by highly precise and representative neutron activation analysis, and histological studies were conducted. Here, we show that long-term memory impairments were caused by the accumulation of silver nanoparticles in the brain and its subregions, such as the hippocampus, cerebellum and cortex, in a step-like manner by disturbance of hippocampal cell integrity. Three different approaches allowed us to observe this phenomenon and discover the reasons it occurred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Environmental and Health Risks of Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle
Local Toxicity of Biocides after Direct and Aerosol Exposure on the Human Skin Epidermis and Airway Tissue Models
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020029 - 03 Feb 2021
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Biocides are commonly used as spray- or trigger-type formulations, thus dermal and respiratory exposure to biocide aerosol is unavoidable. However, little is known about the impact of aerosolization on the local toxicity of biocides on the skin or the airway. We compared the [...] Read more.
Biocides are commonly used as spray- or trigger-type formulations, thus dermal and respiratory exposure to biocide aerosol is unavoidable. However, little is known about the impact of aerosolization on the local toxicity of biocides on the skin or the airway. We compared the local toxicity of biocides after direct or aerosol exposure on reconstructed human skin epidermis and upper airway models. Three biocides, 1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one (BIT), 2-phenoxyethanol (PE), and 2-phenylphenol (OPP), most widely used in the market were selected. When the biocide was treated in aerosols, toxicity to the skin epidermis and upper airway tissue became significantly attenuated compared with the direct application as determined by the higher tissue viabilities. This was further confirmed in histological examination, wherein the tissue damages were less pronounced. LC-MS/MS and GC/MS analysis revealed that concentrations of biocides decreased during aerosolization. Importantly, the toxicity of biocides treated in 3 μm (median mass aerodynamic diameter (MMAD)) aerosols was stronger than that of 5 μm aerosol, suggesting that the aerosol particle size may affect biocide toxicity. Collectively, we demonstrated that aerosolization could affect the local toxicity of biocides on the skin epidermis and the upper airway. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Sub-Lethal Doses of Selenium Nanoparticles on the Health Status of Rats
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020028 - 03 Feb 2021
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) are fast becoming a key instrument in several applications such as medicine or nutrition. Questions have been raised about the safety of their use. Male rats were fed for 28 days on a monodiet containing 0.5, 1.5, 3.0 and 5.0 [...] Read more.
Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) are fast becoming a key instrument in several applications such as medicine or nutrition. Questions have been raised about the safety of their use. Male rats were fed for 28 days on a monodiet containing 0.5, 1.5, 3.0 and 5.0 mg Se/kg. Se content in blood and liver, liver panel tests, blood glucose, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were analysed. Liver and duodenum were subjected to histopathology examination. The weight gain of rats showed no differences between tested groups. Se content in blood was higher in all treated groups compared to the control group. The liver concentration of Se in the treated groups varied in the range from 222 to 238 ng/g. No differences were observed in the activity of AST (aspartate aminotransferase), ALP (alkaline phosphatase) and TAS (total antioxidant status). A significant decrease in ALT activity compared to the control group was observed in the treated groups. GPx activity varied from 80 to 88 U/mL through tested groups. SOD activity in liver was decreased in the SeNP-treated group with 5 mg Se/kg (929 ± 103 U/mL). Histopathological examination showed damage to the liver parenchyma and intestinal epithelium in a dose-dependent manner. This study suggests that short-term SeNP supplementation can be safe and beneficial in Se deficiency or specific treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Environmental and Health Risks of Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of In Vitro Bioaccessibility and In Vivo Oral Bioavailability as Complementary Tools to Better Understand the Effect of Cooking on Methylmercury, Arsenic, and Selenium in Tuna
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020027 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 550
Abstract
Fish consumption is the main exposure pathway of the neurotoxicant methylmercury (MeHg) in humans. The risk associated with exposure to MeHg may be modified by its interactions with selenium (Se) and arsenic (As). In vitro bioaccessibility studies have demonstrated that cooking the fish [...] Read more.
Fish consumption is the main exposure pathway of the neurotoxicant methylmercury (MeHg) in humans. The risk associated with exposure to MeHg may be modified by its interactions with selenium (Se) and arsenic (As). In vitro bioaccessibility studies have demonstrated that cooking the fish muscle decreases MeHg solubility markedly and, as a consequence, its potential absorption by the consumer. However, this phenomenon has yet to be validated by in vivo models. Our study aimed to test whether MeHg bioaccessibility can be used as a surrogate to assess the effect of cooking on MeHg in vivo availability. We fed pigs raw and cooked tuna meals and collected blood samples from catheters in the portal vein and carotid artery at: 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240, 300, 360, 420, 480 and 540 min post-meal. In contrast to in vitro models, pig oral bioavailability of MeHg was not affected by cooking, although the MeHg kinetics of absorption was faster for the cooked meal than for the raw meal. We conclude that bioaccessibility should not be readily used as a direct surrogate for in vivo studies and that, in contrast with the in vitro results, the cooking of fish muscle did not decrease the exposure of the consumer to MeHg. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Lysimeter Experiments Carried Out on Municipal Landfill Waste
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020026 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 358
Abstract
The groundwater risk assessment in the vicinity of landfill sites requires, among others, representative monitoring and testing for pollutants leaching from the waste. Lysimeter studies can serve as an example of dynamic leaching tests. However, due to the bacteriological composition of the municipal [...] Read more.
The groundwater risk assessment in the vicinity of landfill sites requires, among others, representative monitoring and testing for pollutants leaching from the waste. Lysimeter studies can serve as an example of dynamic leaching tests. However, due to the bacteriological composition of the municipal waste, they are rarely carried out. These tests allow for the proper design of the landfill protection system against migration of pollutants into the ground, assessment of bacteriological, biochemical and chemical risk for the groundwater, determination of the water balance of leachate as well as examination of the course of processes taking place in the waste landfill with a diversified access to oxygen. This paper addresses the issue of performing lysimeter studies on a sample of municipal waste in various scientific centers. It analyzes the size of lysimeters, their construction, the method of water supply, the duration of the experiment, the scope of research, and the purpose of lysimeter studies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Benzodiazepines: Their Use either as Essential Medicines or as Toxics Substances
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020025 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 470
Abstract
This review highlights the nature, characteristics, properties, pharmacological differences between different types of benzodiazepines, the mechanism of action in the central nervous system, and the degradation of benzodiazepines. In the end, the efforts to reduce the benzodiazepines’ adverse effects are shown and a [...] Read more.
This review highlights the nature, characteristics, properties, pharmacological differences between different types of benzodiazepines, the mechanism of action in the central nervous system, and the degradation of benzodiazepines. In the end, the efforts to reduce the benzodiazepines’ adverse effects are shown and a reflection is made on the responsible uses of these medications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Epidemiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Cytotoxicity of Seaweed Compounds, Alone or Combined to Reference Drugs, against Breast Cell Lines Cultured in 2D and 3D
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020024 - 31 Jan 2021
Viewed by 626
Abstract
Seaweed bioactive compounds have shown anticancer activities in in vitro and in vivo studies. However, tests remain limited, with conflicting results, and effects in combination with anticancer drugs are even scarcer. Here, the cytotoxic effects of five seaweed compounds (astaxanthin, fucoidan, fucosterol, laminarin, [...] Read more.
Seaweed bioactive compounds have shown anticancer activities in in vitro and in vivo studies. However, tests remain limited, with conflicting results, and effects in combination with anticancer drugs are even scarcer. Here, the cytotoxic effects of five seaweed compounds (astaxanthin, fucoidan, fucosterol, laminarin, and phloroglucinol) were tested alone and in combination with anticancer drugs (cisplatin—Cis; and doxorubicin—Dox), in breast cell lines (three breast cancer (BC) subtypes and one non-tumoral). The combinations revealed situations where seaweed compounds presented potentiation or inhibition of the drugs’ cytotoxicity, without a specific pattern, varying according to the cell line, concentration used for the combination, and drug. Fucosterol was the most promising compound, since: (i) it alone had the highest cytotoxicity at low concentrations against the BC lines without affecting the non-tumoral line; and (ii) in combination (at non-cytotoxic concentration), it potentiated Dox cytotoxicity in the triple-negative BC cell line. Using a comparative approach, monolayer versus 3D cultures, further investigation assessed effects on cell viability and proliferation, morphology, and immunocytochemistry targets. The cytotoxic and antiproliferative effects in monolayer were not observed in 3D, corroborating that cells in 3D culture are more resistant to treatments, and reinforcing the use of more complex models for drug screening and a multi-approach that should include histological and ICC analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Open AccessReview
Cognitive Impairment Induced by Lead Exposure during Lifespan: Mechanisms of Lead Neurotoxicity
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020023 - 28 Jan 2021
Viewed by 510
Abstract
Lead (Pb) is considered a strong environmental toxin with human health repercussions. Due to its widespread use and the number of people potentially exposed to different sources of this heavy metal, Pb intoxication is recognized as a public health problem in many countries. [...] Read more.
Lead (Pb) is considered a strong environmental toxin with human health repercussions. Due to its widespread use and the number of people potentially exposed to different sources of this heavy metal, Pb intoxication is recognized as a public health problem in many countries. Exposure to Pb can occur through ingestion, inhalation, dermal, and transplacental routes. The magnitude of its effects depends on several toxicity conditions: lead speciation, doses, time, and age of exposure, among others. It has been demonstrated that Pb exposure induces stronger effects during early life. The central nervous system is especially vulnerable to Pb toxicity; Pb exposure is linked to cognitive impairment, executive function alterations, abnormal social behavior, and fine motor control perturbations. This review aims to provide a general view of the cognitive consequences associated with Pb exposure during early life as well as during adulthood. Additionally, it describes the neurotoxic mechanisms associated with cognitive impairment induced by Pb, which include neurochemical, molecular, and morphological changes that jointly could have a synergic effect on the cognitive performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Acid-Base Status on Mortality in Patients with Acute Pesticide Poisoning
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020022 - 23 Jan 2021
Viewed by 452
Abstract
We investigated clinical impacts of various acid-base approaches (physiologic, base excess (BE)-based, and physicochemical) on mortality in patients with acute pesticide intoxication and mutual intercorrelated effects using principal component analysis (PCA). This retrospective study included patients admitted from January 2015 to December 2019 [...] Read more.
We investigated clinical impacts of various acid-base approaches (physiologic, base excess (BE)-based, and physicochemical) on mortality in patients with acute pesticide intoxication and mutual intercorrelated effects using principal component analysis (PCA). This retrospective study included patients admitted from January 2015 to December 2019 because of pesticide intoxication. We compared parameters assessing the acid-base status between two groups, survivors and non-survivors. Associations between parameters and 30-days mortality were investigated. A total of 797 patients were analyzed. In non-survivors, pH, bicarbonate concentration (HCO3), total concentration of carbon dioxide (tCO2), BE, and effective strong ion difference (SIDe) were lower and apparent strong ion difference (SIDa), strong ion gap (SIG), total concentration of weak acids, and corrected anion gap (corAG) were higher than in survivors. In the multivariable logistic analysis, BE, corAG, SIDa, and SIDe were associated with mortality. PCA identified four principal components related to mortality. SIDe, HCO3, tCO2, BE, SIG, and corAG were loaded to principal component 1 (PC1), referred as total buffer bases to receive and handle generated acids. PC1 was an important factor in predicting mortality irrespective of the pesticide category. PC3, loaded mainly with pCO2, suggested respiratory components of the acid-base system. PC3 was associated with 30-days mortality, especially in organophosphate or carbamate poisoning. Our study showed that acid-base abnormalities were associated with mortality in patients with acute pesticide poisoning. We reduced these variables into four PCs, resembling the physicochemical approach, revealed that PCs representing total buffer bases and respiratory components played an important role in acute pesticide poisoning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Epidemiology)
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Open AccessReview
Impacts of Neonicotinoids on Molluscs: What We Know and What We Need to Know
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020021 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 885
Abstract
The broad utilisation of neonicotinoids in agriculture has led to the unplanned contamination of adjacent terrestrial and aquatic systems around the world. Environmental monitoring regularly detects neonicotinoids at concentrations that may cause negative impacts on molluscs. The toxicity of neonicotinoids to some non-target [...] Read more.
The broad utilisation of neonicotinoids in agriculture has led to the unplanned contamination of adjacent terrestrial and aquatic systems around the world. Environmental monitoring regularly detects neonicotinoids at concentrations that may cause negative impacts on molluscs. The toxicity of neonicotinoids to some non-target invertebrates has been established; however, information on mollusc species is limited. Molluscs are likely to be exposed to various concentrations of neonicotinoids in the soil, food and water, which could increase their vulnerability to other sources of mortality and cause accidental exposure of other organisms higher in the food chain. This review examines the impacts of various concentrations of neonicotinoids on molluscs, including behavioural, physiological and biochemical responses. The review also identifies knowledge gaps and provides recommendations for future studies, to ensure a more comprehensive understanding of impacts from neonicotinoid exposure to molluscs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sublethal Effects of Chlorantraniliprole on Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Moth: Implication for Attract-And-Kill Strategy
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020020 - 22 Jan 2021
Viewed by 525
Abstract
The integrated use of plant-derived volatile attractants and synthetic insecticides in attract-and-kill programs is a useful tool for integrated pest management programs reducing pesticide input. Efficient alternative insecticides are critically needed to replace methomyl, which has been banned on cruciferous vegetables in China [...] Read more.
The integrated use of plant-derived volatile attractants and synthetic insecticides in attract-and-kill programs is a useful tool for integrated pest management programs reducing pesticide input. Efficient alternative insecticides are critically needed to replace methomyl, which has been banned on cruciferous vegetables in China because it is also highly toxic to nontarget organisms. In the present study, among 15 commonly used insecticides were screened for toxicity against S. litura moths, where chlorantraniliprole, flubendiamide, and emamectin benzoate was found to have the highest levels of toxicity (LC50 of 0.56, 3.85, and 6.03 mg a.i. L−1 respectively). After exposure to the low lethal concentration LC50 of chlorantraniliprole, fecundity of the moths was substantially reduced. Egg-hatching was lower for LC20- and LC50-treated moth pairs than for untreated control pairs. Net reproductive rate (R0), intrinsic rate of increase (r), and finite rate of increase (λ) were significantly reduced in LC50♀ × LC50♂ cohorts. Larval mortality was significantly higher in subsequent generations in pairs of LC50-treated moths. Chlorantraniliprole, which was most toxic and had significant sublethal effects on moths, can be used as an alternative insecticide to methomyl in the attracticide for controlling S. litura moths, and the LC50 indicated a high potential for efficacy in the control S. litura through attract-and-kill schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazard Assessment of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Invertebrates)
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Open AccessArticle
Coordination Properties of the Fungal Metabolite Harzianic Acid Toward Toxic Heavy Metals
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020019 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 380
Abstract
Some Trichoderma strains are known for their capacity to produce harzianic acid, a metabolite belonging to the tetramic acid derivatives. Harzianic acid has interesting biological properties, such as antimicrobial activities against phytopathogenic fungi and promotion of plant growth. It also possesses remarkable chemical [...] Read more.
Some Trichoderma strains are known for their capacity to produce harzianic acid, a metabolite belonging to the tetramic acid derivatives. Harzianic acid has interesting biological properties, such as antimicrobial activities against phytopathogenic fungi and promotion of plant growth. It also possesses remarkable chemical properties, including the chelating properties toward essential transition metals, which might be related to the biological activities. Increasing knowledge on chelating properties might be relevant for understanding the various beneficial effects of harzianic acid in the interaction between the producer fungi and plants. In this work, the coordination capacity of harzianic acid was studied to evaluate the formation and stability of complexes formed with toxic heavy metals (i.e., Cd2+, Co2+, Ni2+, and Pb2+), which might have a crucial role in the tolerance of plants growing in metal-contaminated soils and in abiotic stress. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mechanistic Implications of Biomass-Derived Particulate Matter for Immunity and Immune Disorders
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020018 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 739
Abstract
Particulate matter (PM) is a major and the most harmful component of urban air pollution, which may adversely affect human health. PM exposure has been associated with several human diseases, notably respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. In particular, recent evidence suggests that exposure to [...] Read more.
Particulate matter (PM) is a major and the most harmful component of urban air pollution, which may adversely affect human health. PM exposure has been associated with several human diseases, notably respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. In particular, recent evidence suggests that exposure to biomass-derived PM associates with airway inflammation and can aggravate asthma and other allergic diseases. Defective or excess responsiveness in the immune system regulates distinct pathologies, such as infections, hypersensitivity, and malignancies. Therefore, PM-induced modulation of the immune system is crucial for understanding how it causes these diseases and highlighting key molecular mechanisms that can mitigate the underlying pathologies. Emerging evidence has revealed that immune responses to biomass-derived PM exposure are closely associated with the risk of diverse hypersensitivity disorders, including asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and allergen sensitization. Moreover, immunological alteration by PM accounts for increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Evidence-based understanding of the immunological effects of PM and the molecular machinery would provide novel insights into clinical interventions or prevention against acute and chronic environmental disorders induced by biomass-derived PM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis of Air-Pollution-Induced Disease Risk)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Toxics in 2020
Toxics 2021, 9(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9020017 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Toxics maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
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