Special Issue "Oxidative Potential of Atmospheric Aerosols"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Aerosols".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Stefano Decesari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Interests: aerosol geochemistry; atmospheric composition and air quality; organic aerosols
Prof. Dr. Maria Rachele Guascito
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Diparimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche Ambientali (DiSTeBA). Università del Salento. Via per Monteroni, Lecce 73100, Italy
Interests: Analitical Chemistry; Electrochemical (Bio)-sensors; XPS Spectroscopy; Atmospheric Particulate; Hybrid (Bio)-materials; nano/microstructures
Prof. Dr. Maria Chiara Pietrogrande
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science, University of Ferrara, Via Luigi Borsari 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: analytical environmental chemistry; aerosol chemical characterization; development of analytical procedure for environmental matrices
Dr. Daniele Contini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC), National Research Council (CNR), Str. Prv. Lecce-Monteroni km 1.2, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: atmosphere composition; aerosol sources; receptor models; turbulent fluxes; particle deposition; nucleation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, oxidative stress has been proposed as an important mechanism of toxicity of atmospheric aerosols. This is caused by the oxidative potential (OP) of particulate matter (PM) that measures the capacity of inhaled particulate matter (PM) to induce a redox imbalance generated through the consumption of antioxidants and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The OP is evaluated through acellular or in vitro assays, and an issue in current research is the comparability of different assays and protocols as well as the correlation between acellular OP and in vitro (or in vivo) toxicity. There is a lack of long-term studies of PM oxidative potential in Europe, even though several studies have been done worldwide, suggesting that smaller size fractions are generally associated with higher specific (intrinsic) OP compared with larger PM size fractions. An increasing number of studies, in different sites and for different particle sizes, have attempted to associate OP with specific chemical components in the aerosol, like, for instance, water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) and water-soluble transition metals. Current studies suggest that the main sources that drive PM oxidative potential are combustion sources (like biomass burning, and road traffic); instead, particles due to natural sources (like soil/desert dust) seem to have lower specific OP. Moreover, recent studies show that photochemical aging increases the oxidative potential of atmospheric aerosol. However, several aspects regarding the specific chemical species, aerosol sources, and atmospheric processes that affect OP are not well established, and further research is needed. Another topic that needs extensive research is the characterization of the OP of indoor aerosols. In this Special Issue, we promote the publication of papers dealing broadly with the topic of characterization of the oxidative potential of atmospheric particles addressing several different perspectives. These include laboratory studies and measurement protocols, a comparison of acellular and in vitro or in vivo approaches, the influence of chemical composition and sources on oxidative potential, indoor and outdoor measurements, source apportionment results, as well as the assessment of health effects related to oxidative stress and population exposure.

Dr. Stefano Decesari
Prof. Dr. Maria Rachele Guascito
Prof. Dr. Maria Chiara Pietrogrande
Dr. Daniele Contini
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • reactive oxygen species
  • oxidative potential
  • chemical composition of aerosols
  • natural and anthropogenic sources of aerosols
  • toxicity of aerosols
  • impact on health and the environment

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Oxidative Potential Associated with Urban Aerosol Deposited into the Respiratory System and Relevant Elemental and Ionic Fraction Contributions
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010006 - 19 Dec 2019
Abstract
Size-segregated aerosol measurements were carried out at an urban and at an industrial site. Soluble and insoluble fractions of elements and inorganic ions were determined. Oxidative potential (OP) was assessed on the soluble fraction of Particulate Matter (PM) by ascorbic acid (AA), dichlorofluorescein [...] Read more.
Size-segregated aerosol measurements were carried out at an urban and at an industrial site. Soluble and insoluble fractions of elements and inorganic ions were determined. Oxidative potential (OP) was assessed on the soluble fraction of Particulate Matter (PM) by ascorbic acid (AA), dichlorofluorescein (DCFH) and dithiothreitol (DTT) assays. Size resolved elemental, ion and OP doses in the head (H), tracheobronchial (TB) and alveolar (Al) regions were estimated using the Multiple-Path Particle Dosimetry (MPPD) model. The total aerosol respiratory doses due to brake and soil resuspension emissions were higher at the urban than at the industrial site. On the contrary, the doses of anthropic combustion tracers were generally higher at the industrial site. In general, the insoluble fraction was more abundantly distributed in the coarse than in the fine mode and vice versa for the soluble fraction. Consequently, for the latter, the percent of the total respiratory dose deposited in TB and Al regions increased. Oxidative potential assay (OPAA) doses were distributed in the coarse region; therefore, their major contribution was in the H region. The contribution in the TB and Al regions increased for OPDTT and OPDCFH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Potential of Atmospheric Aerosols)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of DPPH Assay for Assessment of Particulate Matter Reducing Properties
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120816 - 16 Dec 2019
Abstract
Different acellular assays were developed to measure particulate matter’s (PM) oxidative potential (OP), a metric used to predict the ability of PM in generating oxidative stress in living organisms. However, there are still fundamental open issues regarding the complex redox equilibria among the [...] Read more.
Different acellular assays were developed to measure particulate matter’s (PM) oxidative potential (OP), a metric used to predict the ability of PM in generating oxidative stress in living organisms. However, there are still fundamental open issues regarding the complex redox equilibria among the involved species which could include reducing compounds. The aim of this study was the pilot application of the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay to PM in order to evaluate the presence of reducing species. The assay, commonly applied to biological matrices, was adapted to PM and showed good analytical performances. It allowed the analysis of conventional 24 h airborne PM samples with suitable sensitivity and good repeatability of the measurements. The assay was applied to seven samples representing possible PM contributes (certified urban dust NIST1648a; brake dust; Saharan dust; coke dust; calcitic soil dust; incinerator dust; and diesel particulate matter certified material NIST1650b) and to PM2.5 field filters. The same samples were also analyzed for elements. Preliminary results indicated that the assay gave a linear response and that detectable amounts of reducing species were present in PM samples. The combined application of DPPH and conventional OP assays could then permit, in the future, to gain more knowledge about the reaction and/or competition between oxidative and reducing processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Potential of Atmospheric Aerosols)
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Open AccessArticle
Source Apportionment of PM2.5 and of its Oxidative Potential in an Industrial Suburban Site in South Italy
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120758 - 29 Nov 2019
Abstract
Some studies suggested a role of the atmospheric particulate matter (PM) and of its oxidative potential (OP) in determining adverse health effects. Several works have focused on characterisation of source contributions to PM OP, mainly using three approaches: correlation between OP and chemical [...] Read more.
Some studies suggested a role of the atmospheric particulate matter (PM) and of its oxidative potential (OP) in determining adverse health effects. Several works have focused on characterisation of source contributions to PM OP, mainly using three approaches: correlation between OP and chemical markers of specific sources; use of OP as input variable in source apportionment with receptor models; and multi-linear regression (MLR) between OP and source contributions to PM obtained from receptor models. Up to now, comparison of results obtained with different approaches on the same dataset is scarce. This work aims to perform a OP study of PM2.5 collected in an industrial site, located near a biogas production and combustion plant (in southern Italy), comparing different approaches to investigate the contributions of the different sources to OP. The PM2.5 samples were analysed for determining ions, metals, carbonaceous components, and OP activity with the DTT (dithiotreitol) assay. Results showed that OP normalised in volume (DTTV) is correlated with carbonaceous components and some ions (NO3, and Ca2+) indicating that PM of combustion, secondary, and crustal origin could contribute to the OP activity. The source apportionment, done with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF5.0) model, identified six sources: secondary sulphate; biomass burning; industrial emissions; crustal; vehicle traffic and secondary nitrate; and sea spray. A MLR analysis between the source’s daily contributions and the daily DTTV values showed a reasonable agreement of the two approaches (PMF and MLR), identifying the biomass burning and the vehicle traffic and secondary nitrate as the main sources contributing to DTTV activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Potential of Atmospheric Aerosols)
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Open AccessArticle
Correlation of Oxidative Potential with Ecotoxicological and Cytotoxicological Potential of PM10 at an Urban Background Site in Italy
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120733 - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Exposure to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) has detrimental effects on health, but specific mechanisms of toxicity are still not fully understood. In recent years, there has been a growing evidence that oxidative stress is an important mechanism of toxicity; however, when acellular oxidative [...] Read more.
Exposure to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) has detrimental effects on health, but specific mechanisms of toxicity are still not fully understood. In recent years, there has been a growing evidence that oxidative stress is an important mechanism of toxicity; however, when acellular oxidative potential (OP) data are correlated with the outcomes of in vitro (or in vivo) toxicological tests there are contrasting results. In this work, an analysis of PM10 health effect indicators was done, using the acellular Dithiotreitol (DTT) assay to retrieve OPDTT, the Microtox® test on Vibrio fischeri bacterium to assess the ecotoxicological potential, and the in vitro MTT assay on the human cell line A549 to estimate the cytotoxicological potential. The objective was to evaluate the correlation among acellular OPDTT and the results from toxicological and ecotoxicological bioassays and how these health-related indicators are correlated with atmospheric PM10 concentrations collected at an urban background site in Southern Italy. Results indicated that both bioassays showed time-dependent and dose-dependent outcomes. Some samples presented significant ecotoxic and cytotoxic response and the correlation with PM10 concentration was limited suggesting that these health endpoints depend on PM10 chemical composition and not only on exposure concentrations. OPDTT showed a statistically significant correlation with PM10 concentrations. MTT and Microtox outcomes were not correlated suggesting that the two toxicological indicators are sensitive to different physical-chemical properties of PM10. Intrinsic oxidative potential OPDTTM (DTT activity normalised with PM10 mass) was correlated with mortality observed with MTT test (normalized with PM10 mass); however, it was not correlated with Microtox outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Potential of Atmospheric Aerosols)
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Open AccessArticle
Seasonal Variations and Chemical Predictors of Oxidative Potential (OP) of Particulate Matter (PM), for Seven Urban French Sites
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10110698 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Epidemiological studies suggest that the main part of chronic effects from air pollution is likely to be linked with particulate matter (PM). Oxidative potential (OP) of PM is gaining strong interest as a promising health exposure metric. This study combined atmospheric detailed composition [...] Read more.
Epidemiological studies suggest that the main part of chronic effects from air pollution is likely to be linked with particulate matter (PM). Oxidative potential (OP) of PM is gaining strong interest as a promising health exposure metric. This study combined atmospheric detailed composition results obtained for seven different urban background environments over France to examine any possible common feature in OP seasonal variations obtained using two assays (acid ascorbic (AA) and dithiothreitol (DTT)) along a large set of samples ( N > 700 ). A remarkable homogeneity in annual cycles was observed with a higher OP activity in wintertime at all investigated sites. Univariate correlations were used to link the concentrations of some major chemical components of PM and their OP. Four PM components were identified as OP predictors: OC, EC, monosaccharides and Cu. These species are notably emitted by road transport and biomass burning, targeting main sources probably responsible for the measured OP activity. The results obtained confirm that the relationship between OP and atmospheric pollutants is assay- and location-dependent and, thus, the strong need for a standardized test, or set of tests, for further regulation purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Potential of Atmospheric Aerosols)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Review of PM Oxidative Potential Measured with Acellular Assays in Urban and Rural Sites across Italy
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100626 - 16 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This work is an overview of the oxidative potential (OP) values up to date measured in Italy, with the aim to provide a picture of the spatial and seasonal variability of OP in the various geographical areas across Italy. The summarized works used [...] Read more.
This work is an overview of the oxidative potential (OP) values up to date measured in Italy, with the aim to provide a picture of the spatial and seasonal variability of OP in the various geographical areas across Italy. The summarized works used the common acellular assays-based dithiothreitol (OPDTT), ascorbic acid (OPAA), glutathione (OPGSH), and 2′,7′-dichlorodfluorescein (OPDCFH) assays. The paper describes the association of OP responses with PM chemical composition, the sensitivity of various acellular OP assays to PM components and emission sources, and PM size distribution of the measured OP values. Our synthesis indicates that crustal and transition metals (e.g., Fe, Ni, Cu, Cr, Mn, Zn, and V), secondary ions and carbonaceous components (elemental carbon, EC, organic carbon, OC and water soluble carbon, WSOC) show significant correlations with OP across different urban and rural areas and size ranges. These chemical species are mainly associated with various PM sources, including residual/fuel oil combustion, traffic emissions, and secondary organic aerosol formation. Although the OP assays are sensitive to the same redox-active species, they differ in the association with PM chemical components. The DDT assay is mainly sensitive to the organic compounds that are mostly accumulated in the fine PM fraction, i.e., tracers of burning sources, and redox active organics associated with other markers of photochemical aging. In contrast, OPAA and OPGSH were mostly responsive to metals, mainly those related to non-exhaust traffic emissions (Cu, Zn, Cr, Fe, Ni, Mn, Sn, Cd, Pb), that are mainly accumulated in the coarse PM. Among the investigated sites, our synthesis shows larger OP values in Trentino region and the Po Valley, that may be explained by the high density of anthropogenic sources, and the orographic and meteorological characteristics, that favor the pollutants accumulation and aerosol photo-oxidative aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Potential of Atmospheric Aerosols)
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Open AccessReview
Use of Dithiothreitol Assay to Evaluate the Oxidative Potential of Atmospheric Aerosols
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100571 - 22 Sep 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Oxidative potential (OP) has been proposed as a useful descriptor for the ability of particulate matter (PM) to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and consequently induce oxidative stress in biological systems, which has been recognized as one of the most important mechanisms responsible [...] Read more.
Oxidative potential (OP) has been proposed as a useful descriptor for the ability of particulate matter (PM) to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and consequently induce oxidative stress in biological systems, which has been recognized as one of the most important mechanisms responsible for PM toxicity. The dithiothreitol (DTT) assay is one of the most frequently used techniques to quantify OP because it is low-cost, easy-to-operate, and has high repeatability. With two thiol groups, DTT has been used as a surrogate of biological sulfurs that can be oxidized when exposed to ROS. Within the DTT measurement matrix, OP is defined as the DTT consumption rate. Often, the DTT consumption can be attributed to the presence of transition metals and quinones in PM as they can catalyze the oxidation of DTT through catalytic redox reactions. However, the DTT consumption by non-catalytic PM components has not been fully investigated. In addition, weak correlations between DTT consumption, ROS generation, and cellular responses have been observed in several studies, which also reveal the knowledge gaps between DTT-based OP measurements and their implication on health effects. In this review, we critically assessed the current challenges and limitations of DTT measurement, highlighted the understudied DTT consumption mechanisms, elaborated the necessity to understand both PM-bound and PM-induced ROS, and concluded with research needs to bridge the existing knowledge gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Potential of Atmospheric Aerosols)
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