Special Issue "Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Vera Slaveykova Website E-Mail
University of Geneva, Faculty of Sciences, Earth and Environment Sciences, Department F.-A. Forel for Environmental and Aquatic Sciences, Environmental Biogeochemistry and Ecotoxicology, Uni Carl Vogt, 66 Bvd Carl-Vogt CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland, Switzerland
Interests: aquatic toxicology of inorganic contaminants; chemical speciation and bioavailability; system ecotoxicology and adverse outcome pathways; chemical mixtures and combined stressor effects
Guest Editor
Dr. Giulia Cheloni Website E-Mail
University of Geneva, Faculty of Sciences, Earth and Environment Sciences, Department F.-A. Forel for Environmental and Aquatic Sciences, Environmental Biogeochemistry and Ecotoxicology, Uni Carl Vogt, 66 Bvd Carl-Vogt CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland, Switzerland
Interests: multiple stressors and combined action of inorganic contaminants and environmental factors; toxicity of trace metals on aquatic primary producers and associated stress responses; trace metals effects across multiple levels of biological organization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Trace metals have a central role in the functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Both essential and toxic trace metals are involved in different chemical, biological, and physical processes that determine their concentration, speciation, reactivity, and impact on the biota. Despite the recognized hazard associated with the uncontrolled release of metals in the environment and the measures to reduce their input, metals remain an important threat to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Several metals were included on the list of priority substances of environmental concern, while technology-critical metals such are rare-earth metals and platinum group metals emerge as contaminants.  This Special Issue invites critical reviews and research papers providing innovative insights into trace metals in the aquatic and terrestrial environments from an ecotoxicology perspective.

The specific emphasis is on novel approaches in: (i) trace metals speciation and bioavailability assessment; (ii) biouptake and modes-of-action of trace metals; (iii) ecological effects at population and community levels; (iv) combined action of trace metals and environmental stressors; (v) ecotoxicological tools and models supporting environmental risk assessment for trace metals.

We particularly invite contributions concerning various aspects of the environmental toxicology of essential and toxic trace elements of global importance, data-poor and technology-critical elements in natural and engineered environments at different levels of biological organisation.

Prof. Dr. Vera Slaveykova
Dr. Giulia Cheloni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Environments is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Chemical speciation and bioavailability
  • Toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic approaches
  • Modelling approaches
  • Environmental risk assessment
  • Adverse outcome pathways
  • Metal mixture effects
  • Metals and environmental stressors effects

Published Papers (10 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial
Preface: Special Issue on Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals
Environments 2018, 5(12), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5120138 - 18 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Trace metals (TMs) have a central role in the functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle
Spectroscopic and Voltammetric Analysis of Platinum Group Metals in Road Dust and Roadside Soil
Environments 2018, 5(11), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5110120 - 02 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The emission of toxic compounds by increasing anthropogenic activities affects human health and the environment. Heavy road traffic and mining activities are the major anthropogenic activities contributing to the presence of metals in the environment. The release of palladium (Pd), platinum (Pt), and [...] Read more.
The emission of toxic compounds by increasing anthropogenic activities affects human health and the environment. Heavy road traffic and mining activities are the major anthropogenic activities contributing to the presence of metals in the environment. The release of palladium (Pd), platinum (Pt), and rhodium (Rh) into the environment increases the levels of contamination in soils, road sediments, airborne particles, and plants. These Pd, Pt, and Rh in road dusts can be soluble and enter aquatic environment posing a risk to environment and human health. The aim of this study is to determine the levels of Pd, Pt, and Rh with spectroscopy and voltammetric methods. Potential interferences by other metal ions (Na(I), Fe(III), Ni(II), Co(II)) in voltammetric methods have also been investigated in this study. At all the sampling sites very low concentrations of Pd, Pt, and Rh were found at levels that range from 0.48 ± 0.05 to 5.44 ± 0.11 ng/g (dry weight (d.wt)) for Pd(II), with 17.28 ± 3.12 to 81.44 ± 3.07 pg/g (d.wt) for Pt(II), and 14.34 ± 3.08 to 53.35 ± 4.07 pg/g (d.wt) for Rh(III). The instrumental limit of detection for Pd, Pt, and Rh for Inductively Coupled Plasma Quadrupole-based Mass Spectrometry (ICP-QMS) analysis was found to be 3 × 10−6 µg/g, 3 × 10−6 µg/g and 1 × 10−6 µg/g, respectively. In the case of voltammetric analysis the instrumental limit of detection for Pd(II), Pt(II), and Rh(III) for differential pulse adsorptive stripping voltammetry was found to be 7 × 10−8 µg/g, 6 × 10−8 µg/g, and 2 × 10−7 µg/g, respectively. For the sensor application, good precision was obtained due to consistently reproduced the measurements with a reproducibility of 6.31% for Pt(II), 7.58% for Pd(II), and 5.37% for Rh(III) (n = 10). The reproducibility for ICP-QMS analysis were 1.58% for Pd(II), 1.12% for Pt(II), and 1.37% for Rh(III) (n = 5). In the case of repeatability for differential pulse adsorptive stripping voltammetry (DPAdSV) and ICP-QMS, good standard deviations of 0.01 for Pd(II); 0.02 for Pt(II), 0.009 for Rh(III) and 0.011 for Pd, 0.019 for Pt and 0.013 for Rh, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Voltammetric and Spectroscopic Determination of Rare Earth Elements in Fresh and Surface Water Samples
Environments 2018, 5(10), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5100112 - 09 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The increasing demand for rare earth elements in green technology, electronic components, petroleum refining, and agricultural activities has resulted in their scattering and accumulation in the environment. This study determined cerium, lanthanum and praseodymium in environmental water samples with the help of adsorptive [...] Read more.
The increasing demand for rare earth elements in green technology, electronic components, petroleum refining, and agricultural activities has resulted in their scattering and accumulation in the environment. This study determined cerium, lanthanum and praseodymium in environmental water samples with the help of adsorptive differential pulse stripping voltammetry (AdDPSV) and inductive coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). A comparison of the results of these two analytical techniques was also made. The accuracy and precision of the methods were evaluated by spiking water samples with a known amount of REEs. The detection limit obtained for the stripping analysis was 0.10 μg/L for Ce(III), and 2.10 μg/L for combined La(III) and Pr(III). The spectroscopic method of determination by ICP-OES was applied to the same samples to evaluate the effectiveness of the voltammetry procedure. The ICP-OES detection limit obtained was 2.45, 3.12 and 3.90 μg/L for Ce(III), La(III) and Pr(III), respectively. The results obtained from the two techniques showed low detection limits in voltammetry; the ICP-OES method achieved better simultaneous analysis. This sensor has been successfully applied for the determination of cerium, lanthanum, and praseodymium in environmental water samples, offering good results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Cytosolic Distribution of Metals (Cd, Cu) and Metalloids (As, Se) in Livers and Gonads of Field-Collected Fish Exposed to an Environmental Contamination Gradient: An SEC-ICP-MS Analysis
Environments 2018, 5(9), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5090102 - 05 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The distribution of As, Cd, Cu and Se among biomolecules of different molecular weight (MW) in the heat-treated cytosolic fraction of livers and gonads of white suckers (WS; Catostomus commersonii) collected in a reference lake and in a lake subject to multi-metal [...] Read more.
The distribution of As, Cd, Cu and Se among biomolecules of different molecular weight (MW) in the heat-treated cytosolic fraction of livers and gonads of white suckers (WS; Catostomus commersonii) collected in a reference lake and in a lake subject to multi-metal contamination was investigated. Distribution profiles were obtained by separation of the heat-stable protein and peptide (HSP) fractions using size-exclusion high performance-liquid chromatography, coupled online to an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, to quantify the associated metals. Metal-handling strategies did not vary between the reference and exposed fish, with the exception of As. Cadmium and Cu appeared associated with the heat-stable peptides metallothioneins (MTs), indicating their reasonable detoxification and regulation in WS. In contrast, Se and As were not bound to MTs, but rather, to biomolecules of lower MW (<2 kDa). Arsenic was found associated with the same biomolecules in fish from both lakes, but their proportions changed between reference and exposed fish. For future work, the identification of the Se and As binding biomolecules would be of great interest to determine if these metalloids are detoxified or if, conversely, the biomolecules are metal-sensitive and their binding to Se or As represents a threat for the health of these fish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Ratio of Mercury Concentration to PCB Concentration Varies with Sex of White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii)
Environments 2018, 5(9), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5090094 - 24 Aug 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The whole-fish total mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined in 25 mature female and 26 mature male white suckers (Catostomus commersonii) caught during their spawning run in the Kewaunee River, a tributary to Lake Michigan. The age of each fish was estimated [...] Read more.
The whole-fish total mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined in 25 mature female and 26 mature male white suckers (Catostomus commersonii) caught during their spawning run in the Kewaunee River, a tributary to Lake Michigan. The age of each fish was estimated using thin-sectioned otoliths, and total length (TL) and weight were determined for each fish. When adjusted for the effect of age, males were found to be 7% higher in Hg concentration than females. Nearly all (about 98%) of the Hg found in the white suckers was determined to be methylmercury. In an earlier study on the same 51 white suckers from the Kewaunee River spawning run, males were found to be 18% higher than females in polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentration. We determined that the ratio of Hg concentration to PCB concentration in females was significantly higher than that in males. Thus, sex significantly interacted with contaminant type (Hg or PCBs) in determining contaminant concentrations. The most plausible explanation for this interaction was that males eliminated Hg at a faster rate than females, most likely due to the boosting of the Hg-elimination rate by certain androgens such as testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone. Hg concentrations in the white suckers were well below federal guidelines for fish consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Pronounced Antagonism of Zinc and Arsenate on Toxicity to Barley Root Elongation in Soil
Environments 2018, 5(7), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5070083 - 17 Jul 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Zinc (Zn) and arsenic (As) occur as mixed contaminants in soil and the interactions between them remain unclear. Here, we investigated a Zn2+ and H2AsO4 mixture interaction and their effects on plant growth. Three different soils were spiked [...] Read more.
Zinc (Zn) and arsenic (As) occur as mixed contaminants in soil and the interactions between them remain unclear. Here, we investigated a Zn2+ and H2AsO4 mixture interaction and their effects on plant growth. Three different soils were spiked with ZnCl2 and NaH2AsO4, each dosed singly or in combination. The soils were leached to remove excessive salt and were aged (>7 days), before toxicity testing using a 5-day root elongation of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). In the single treatments, the 50% inhibitory effect concentrations in the soil (EC50, total measured concentration) were 2000–3800 mg Zn kg−1 and 96–620 mg As kg−1, depending on the soils. The mixture analyses based on the total concentrations showed overall and significant Zn–As antagonism in two soils, either based on the concentration addition (CA) or independent action (IA) model, whereas no significant interactions (either CA or IA) were found in one soil, which had the lowest content of Fe-oxides. The soil solution composition showed a decreased As concentration upon the addition of ZnCl2 at an equal soil As total concentration; however, the reverse was not found, in line with the cation–anion electrostatic interaction or formation of ternary surface complexes on Fe-oxides. The data revealed that the Zn–As antagonisms (total concentrations) are partially related to the increased Zn immobilizing As in soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Landfill Leachates and Sediments in Major Cities of Indochina Peninsular Countries—Heavy Metal Partitioning in Municipal Solid Waste Leachate
Environments 2018, 5(6), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5060065 - 03 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
In this study, leachate and sediment samples were collected from the leachate drains, ponds and waste pits of three landfills in the Indochina peninsula to investigate the level of contamination of biochemical parameters, especially heavy metals. In-situ and laboratory measurements were conducted, together [...] Read more.
In this study, leachate and sediment samples were collected from the leachate drains, ponds and waste pits of three landfills in the Indochina peninsula to investigate the level of contamination of biochemical parameters, especially heavy metals. In-situ and laboratory measurements were conducted, together with site surveys to discuss the effects of site characteristics on leachate qualities. It was confirmed from the investigation that the changes in leachate qualities are mainly caused by the landfill site conditions, e.g., soil cover, the waste compaction level, waste thickness, dumping method, and leachate storage, and that these conditions lead to different levels of dilution and biochemical reaction of the leachate. Most of the biochemical parameters of the fresh leachates were greater than the effluent standards, and showed higher concentrations than those measured for the leachate in large storage ponds. The concentrations of the parameters were higher in the dry season than the wet season for all fresh leachate samples, but no significant seasonal difference was observed in the large leachate storage ponds. The majority of heavy metals were partitioned in the suspended solids, and no clear seasonal change of heavy metal contents was contained in the suspended solids and sediment samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Trace Metal Modelling of a Complex River Basin Using the Suite of Models Integrated in the OpenMI Platform
Environments 2018, 5(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5040048 - 13 Apr 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Modelling trace metal dynamics is essential in an integrated modelling framework as trace metals have the potential to be fatal, even when present at low concentrations. Since the degree of bioavailability of a metal depends on its presence in the dissolved phase, it [...] Read more.
Modelling trace metal dynamics is essential in an integrated modelling framework as trace metals have the potential to be fatal, even when present at low concentrations. Since the degree of bioavailability of a metal depends on its presence in the dissolved phase, it is necessary to keep track of both the dissolved and particulate phase of metals. In general, the well-known partitioning coefficient approach is widely used for trace metal speciation. As such, we applied a parametric approach to relate the partitioning coefficient to several environmental variables. These environmental variables are made available by a suite of physically based models (a hydrologic and diffuse pollution model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT); a hydraulic model, Storm Water Management Model (SWMM); a stream temperature model; an in-stream water quality conversion model; and a sediment transport model) integrated using the Open Modelling Interface (OpenMI). For trace metal speciation, two regression techniques, (a) the multi-linear regression (MLR) and (b) the principle component regression (PCR), were used. It is then tested in the Zenne river basin, Belgium, to simulate four trace metals (copper, cadmium, zinc and lead) dynamics. We demonstrated the usefulness of the OpenMI platform to link different model components for integrated trace metal transport modelling of a complex river basin. It was found that the integrated model simulated different metals with ‘satisfactory’ accuracy. The MLR- and PCR-based model results were also comparable. From a management perspective, the river is not heavily polluted except for the level of dissolved zinc. We believe that the availability of such a model will allow for a better understanding of trace metal dynamics, which could be utilized to improve the present condition of the river. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Freshwater Diatoms as Indicators of Combined Long-Term Mining and Urban Stressors in Junction Creek (Ontario, Canada)
Environments 2018, 5(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5020030 - 21 Feb 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Sudbury (Ontario, Canada) has a long mining history that has left the region with a distinctive legacy of environmental impacts. Several actions have been undertaken since the 1970s to rehabilitate this deteriorated environment, in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Despite a marked increase [...] Read more.
Sudbury (Ontario, Canada) has a long mining history that has left the region with a distinctive legacy of environmental impacts. Several actions have been undertaken since the 1970s to rehabilitate this deteriorated environment, in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Despite a marked increase in environmental health, we show that the Junction Creek system remains under multiple stressors from present and past mining operations, and from urban-related pressures such as municipal wastewater treatment plants, golf courses and stormwater runoff. Water samples have elevated metal concentrations, with values reaching up to 1 mg·L−1 Ni, 40 μg·L−1 Zn, and 0.5 μg·L−1 Cd. The responses of diatoms to stressors were observed at the assemblage level (metal tolerant species, nutrient-loving species), and at the individual level through the presence of teratologies (abnormal diatom frustules). The cumulative criterion unit (CCU) approach was used as a proxy for metal toxicity to aquatic life and suggested elevated potential for toxicity at certain sites. Diatom teratologies were significantly less frequent at sites with CCU values <1, suggesting “background” metal concentrations as compared to sites with higher CCU values. The highest percentages of teratologies were observed at sites presenting multiple types of environmental pressures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview
Combined Effects of Trace Metals and Light on Photosynthetic Microorganisms in Aquatic Environment
Environments 2018, 5(7), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5070081 - 12 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
In the present review, we critically examine the state-of-the-art of the research on combined effects of trace metals and light on photosynthetic microorganisms in aquatic environment. Light of different intensity and spectral composition affects the interactions between trace metals and photosynthetic microorganisms directly, [...] Read more.
In the present review, we critically examine the state-of-the-art of the research on combined effects of trace metals and light on photosynthetic microorganisms in aquatic environment. Light of different intensity and spectral composition affects the interactions between trace metals and photosynthetic microorganisms directly, by affecting vital cellular functions and metal toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics, and indirectly, by changing ambient medium characteristics. Light radiation and in particular, the ultraviolet radiation component (UVR) alters the structure and reactivity of dissolved organic matter in natural water, which in most of the cases decreases its metal binding capacity and enhances metal bioavailability. The increase of cellular metal concentrations is generally associated with increasing light intensity, however further studies are necessary to better understand the underlying mechanisms. Studies on the combined exposures of photosynthetic microorganisms to metals and UVR reveal antagonistic, additive or synergistic interactions depending on light intensity, spectral composition or light pre-exposure history. Among the light spectrum components, most of the research was performed with UVR, while the knowledge on the role of high-intensity visible light and environmentally relevant solar light radiation is still limited. The extent of combined effects also depends on the exposure sequence and duration, as well as the species-specific sensitivity of the tested microorganisms and the activation of stress defense responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop