Special Issue "Toxicology and Public Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Toxicology and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 January 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Paul B. Tchounwou
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Guest Editor
Department of Biology, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Jackson State University, 1400 Lynch Street, Box 18750, Jackson, MS 39217, USA
Tel. 6019790777
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The dramatic increase in industrialization over the past century has led to significant increases in both organic and inorganic chemicals in the environment. Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury; organochloride and organophosphorus pesticides and carbamates; herbicides such as 2,4D and 2,4,5T; volatile organics such as benzene, toluene and chloroform; air contaminants such as carbon monoxide, ozone, and particulate matter; and persistent organic pollutants, such as TCDD, PCBs, and PAHs, are ubiquitous in the environment. Many of these compounds possess physico-chemical properties that allow them to be persistent in the environment and accumulate in biological systems.

Scientific evidence has demonstrated that such environmental chemicals can cause a broad spectrum of adverse effects on humans; depending on the dose, route of exposure, exposure/environmental conditions, and susceptibility factors such as age, gender, genotype, hormonal, and nutritional status. Chemical exposure can occur via ingestion of food and water contaminants, inhalation of air contaminants, and/or absorption through dermal contacts of chemicals in various environmental media.

A variety of systemic and/or carcinogenic effects on various organ systems including the dermatologic, cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal, hematologic, developmental and reproductive, renal, and respiratory systems, have been reported. It is also known that underrepresented minority groups and other vulnerable populations, such as children and the elderly suffer a disproportionally higher burden of diseases associated with chemical exposures.

Although the roles played by certain chemicals in the development of human diseases are well-known, research has also identified many areas where further investigations are needed to fully elucidate their mechanisms of toxic action and potential health effects. There exist many scientific gaps related to the combined effect of chemical mixtures, the biological/health effects associated with chronic/low dose exposure, the specific targets of toxicity, the technical difficulty of ascertaining the exposure dose, and the extrapolation of data from animal studies to human populations.

The overarching goal of the Toxicology and Public Health section of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is to present the recent advances and new discoveries on the health effects of environmental chemicals. We are especially interested in research that has practical applications in understanding the nature and role played by environmental chemicals in the development of human diseases. Equally important is research on innovative strategies to prevent/reduce and/or eliminate chemical exposures and reduce the burden of diseases. We welcome original research, systematic review, or meta-analysis articles focusing on public health and the toxicological sciences, including clinical, biochemical, mechanistic, industrial, and regulatory toxicology. Topics of research interest include the following:

  • Systemic effects of environmental chemicals on humans
  • Carcinogenic effects of environmental chemicals on humans
  • Toxicokinetics and mechanisms of toxic action of environmental chemicals
  • Biomarkers, biochemical and physiological effects of human exposures to environmental chemicals
  • Human health risk assessment of exposure to environmental chemicals
  • Gene-environment interactions in human diseases
  • Bioinformatics and computational modeling of toxic chemicals
  • Socio-environmental determinants of health disparities

Prof. Dr. Paul B. Tchounwou
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Exposure of Arsenic in Groundwater Associated to Carcinogenic Risk in Underweight Children Exposed to Fluorides
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030724 - 22 Jan 2020
Abstract
Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the concentration of inorganic arsenic (As) in the potable water available to the population to be able to estimate the non-carcinogenic risks for underweight children and the carcinogenic risk for adults exposed to As [...] Read more.
Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the concentration of inorganic arsenic (As) in the potable water available to the population to be able to estimate the non-carcinogenic risks for underweight children and the carcinogenic risk for adults exposed to As intake who live in the Mezquital municipality, Durango, Mexico. Methods: The As content was quantifed in the water supply sources for human use and its intake was estimated in Mezquital population, southern Durango. With the data obtained, the hazard quotient (HQ) was calculated to determine the non-carcinogenic risk to develop chronic systemic effects in underweight children. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reference health values estimating As exposure risk are from 0.0003 mg/kg/day (non-carcinogenic) to 1.5 mg/kg/day (carcinogenic risk). Results: The analyzed waters presented as concentrations that varied from 0.3 to 10.2 µg/L, with a mean of 7.35 µg/L (CI 95% 6.27–8.38). The exposure dose was 0.4 to 1.36, and the HQ was 1.90 to 6.48 mg/kg/day, the estimated carcinogenic risk from adults varied from 1.28 to 4.37E−4, with values of 3.74–4.37E−4 mg/kg/day in central area. Conclusions: The children are at risk to develop chronic systemic effects due to ingestion of As from water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Oxidative Stress Status in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Liver Induced by Three Typical Organic UV Filters (BP-4, PABA and PBSA)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020651 - 19 Jan 2020
Abstract
Organic UV filters are a kind of emerging pollutants, which have been widely used in personal care products (PCPs). This study evaluated the effects of benzophenone-4 (BP-4), 4-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), and 2-phenylbenzimidazole-5-sulfonic acid (PBSA) on the selected indices of antioxidative responses in zebrafish [...] Read more.
Organic UV filters are a kind of emerging pollutants, which have been widely used in personal care products (PCPs). This study evaluated the effects of benzophenone-4 (BP-4), 4-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), and 2-phenylbenzimidazole-5-sulfonic acid (PBSA) on the selected indices of antioxidative responses in zebrafish (Danio rerio) liver. Zebrafish were exposed to two different doses (i.e., 0.5 and 5 mg L−1) of semi-static water with three individual compounds. Liver samples were collected on 7 and 14 days to analyze biochemical indicators, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST), reduced glutathione (GSH), and malondialdehyde (MDA). Oxidative stress occurred in zebrafish liver with significantly changed indicators during the whole exposure period. Different experimental groups could induce or inhibit the activity of antioxidant enzymes with varying degrees. With a prolonged exposure time and increased exposure dose, the hepatic lipid peroxidation was also obviously observed. Moreover, the toxicity order of three organic UV filters was analyzed using the integrated biomarker response (IBR) index and the results indicate that exposure to PABA for 7 days at 0.5 mg L−1 and PBSA for 7 days at 5 mg L−1 induced the most severe oxidative stress in the liver of zebrafish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Italy: Retrospective Validation of a Data Collection Tool for the Italian Registry of Carbon Monoxide Poisonings (IRCOP)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020574 - 16 Jan 2020
Abstract
Background: Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is a frequent cause of intoxication. However, CO poisoning incidence is globally underreported, as well as its features, especially in Italy. The aim of this study was to investigate such characteristics of CO intoxication and foster the [...] Read more.
Background: Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is a frequent cause of intoxication. However, CO poisoning incidence is globally underreported, as well as its features, especially in Italy. The aim of this study was to investigate such characteristics of CO intoxication and foster the creation of the Italian Registry of Carbon Monoxide Poisonings. Methods: A data collection tool was developed and organized in five sections: Patient’s characteristics; CO intoxication modality; emergency medical service and emergency department; hyperbaric facility; outcomes. The tool was validated through a retrospective analysis, including CO intoxicated patients treated in 14 Italian hyperbaric facilities between 2015 and 2016. Results: A total of 1383 patients were included. The high completion ratio (85%) of the collection tool suggests its feasibility in practical terms. CO intoxications were mostly accidental (93.64%) and caused by solid fuel (48.59%). There was not a uniform application of hyperbaric oxygen treatment protocols, but most of the patients were adequately treated at least at 2.5 ATA for more than 60 min (44.97%). Conclusion: This analysis provided new information that was previously unavailable in this country. Furthermore, this tool proved to be a valid base for future registry aiming to consolidate the body of knowledge about CO intoxications in Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Acute and Subchronic Oral Toxicity Study of Gardenia Yellow E500 in Sprague-Dawley Rats
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020531 - 14 Jan 2020
Abstract
Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the acute and subchronic toxicity of gardenia yellow, a natural colorant widely used in China and other Asian countries. An acute toxicity test was performed in S-D rats of both genders and the lethal dose (LD [...] Read more.
Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the acute and subchronic toxicity of gardenia yellow, a natural colorant widely used in China and other Asian countries. An acute toxicity test was performed in S-D rats of both genders and the lethal dose (LD50) of per oral gardenia yellow was estimated to be more than 15.0 g/kg·bw. In the subchronic study, gardenia yellow was orally administered to rats by gavage at doses of 0, 0.50, 1.50 and 4.50 g/kg·bw/day for 90 days followed by a recovery period of 28 days. No appreciable toxic-related changes were observed in the 0.50 g/kg·bw/day group. When the animals received gardenia yellow at 1.50 g/kg·bw/day or more, body weight loss was observed, and pigments began to deposit in several vital organs, resulting in significant changes of several hematological and biochemical indicators related to the nutritional status of the body, liver and kidney function, more severe in the high dose group. In the recovery period, the alterations of the clinical symptoms and parameters were relieved a lot. Based on the results of the current study, the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of gardenia yellow E500 in rats was set to be 0.50 g/kg·bw/day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Cross Sectional Study on Exposure to BPA and Phthalates and Semen Parameters in Men Attending a Fertility Center
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020489 - 13 Jan 2020
Abstract
Among the possible risk factors for male reproduction, exposure to phthalates and alkylphenols is widely documented. This study evaluated the possible association between chemical exposure and the quality of the seminal fluid of 105 subjects in a fertility clinic. The urinary levels of [...] Read more.
Among the possible risk factors for male reproduction, exposure to phthalates and alkylphenols is widely documented. This study evaluated the possible association between chemical exposure and the quality of the seminal fluid of 105 subjects in a fertility clinic. The urinary levels of seven phthalate metabolites (monoethylphthalate, MEP; monobenzylphthalate, MBzP; mono n-butylphthalate, MnBP; mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, MEHP; mono(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate, MEHHP; mono-n-octylphthalate, MnOP; mono-isononylphthalate, MiNP) and bisphenol A (BPA), were analysed by high performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry HPLC/MS/MS. The regression analysis showed that the semen volume was positively associated with MnBP, MnOP and BPA levels while was negatively associated with MiNP levels. The sperm concentration had a significant inverse relationship with MEP levels. A negative association was found between the use of plastic containers for food storage (p = 0.037) and semen volume (3.06 vs. 2.30 mL as average values, never vs daily). A significant positive correlation emerged (p < 0.005) between the consumption of canned food and the levels of BPA (2.81 vs. 0.14 µg/g creat as average values, daily vs. never) and between the use of perfumes and levels of MEP (389.86 vs. 48.68 µg/g creat, as average values, daily vs. never). No further statistically significant associations were found, even considering the working activity. Some evidence emerged about the possible link between exposure and seminal fluid quality: further case/control or prospective studies will allow us to confirm this causality hypothesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessCommunication
Characteristics of a Nationwide Voluntary Antibiotic Resistance Awareness Campaign in India; Future Paths and Pointers for Resource Limited Settings/Low and Middle Income Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 5141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16245141 - 16 Dec 2019
Abstract
Antibiotic resistance has reached alarming proportions globally, prompting the World Health Organization to advise nations to take up antibiotic awareness campaigns. Several campaigns have been taken up worldwide, mostly by governments. The government of India asked manufacturers to append a ‘redline’ to packages [...] Read more.
Antibiotic resistance has reached alarming proportions globally, prompting the World Health Organization to advise nations to take up antibiotic awareness campaigns. Several campaigns have been taken up worldwide, mostly by governments. The government of India asked manufacturers to append a ‘redline’ to packages of antibiotics as identification marks and conducted a campaign to inform the general public about it and appropriate antibiotic use. We investigated whether an antibiotic resistance awareness campaign could be organized voluntarily in India and determined the characteristics of the voluntarily organized campaign by administering a questionnaire to the coordinators, who participated in organizing the voluntary campaign India. The campaign characteristics were: multiple electro–physical pedagogical and participatory techniques were used, 49 physical events were organized in various parts of India that included lectures, posters, booklet/pamphlet distribution, audio and video messages, competitions, and mass contact rallies along with broadcast of messages in 11 local languages using community radio stations (CRS) spread all over India. The median values for campaign events were: expenditure—3000 Indian Rupees/day (US$~47), time for planning—1 day, program spread—4 days, program time—4 h, direct and indirect reach of the message—respectively 250 and 500 persons/event. A 2 min play entitled ‘Take antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor’ was broadcast 10 times/day for 5 days on CRS with listener reach of ~5 million persons. More than 85%ofcoordinators thought that the campaign created adequate awareness about appropriate antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance. The voluntary campaign has implications for resource limited settings/low and middle income countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessCommunication
Toxicity of Thallium at Low Doses: A Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4732; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234732 - 27 Nov 2019
Abstract
A mini review of the toxicity of Thallium (Tl) at low doses is herein presented. Thallium has severe toxicity. Although its acute biological effects have been widely investigated and are well known, its biological effects on human health and in cell cultures at [...] Read more.
A mini review of the toxicity of Thallium (Tl) at low doses is herein presented. Thallium has severe toxicity. Although its acute biological effects have been widely investigated and are well known, its biological effects on human health and in cell cultures at low doses (<100 μg/L) due, for example, to Tl chronic exposure via consumption of contaminated water or foods, have often been overlooked or underestimated. Relatively few papers have been published on this topic and are herein reviewed to provide a focused scientific opinion in the light of current worldwide regulatory issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Dyeing Performance of Disperse Dyes on Polyester Fabrics Using Eco-Friendly Carrier and Their Antioxidant and Anticancer Activities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4603; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234603 - 20 Nov 2019
Abstract
Both non eco- and eco-friendly carriers were utilized for accelerating the dyeing rate of polyethylene terephthalate fabrics (PET) dyed with disperse dyes at 100 °C. Fastness properties of the dyed fabrics showed good and excellent results. Finally, the prepared disperse dyes 1 and [...] Read more.
Both non eco- and eco-friendly carriers were utilized for accelerating the dyeing rate of polyethylene terephthalate fabrics (PET) dyed with disperse dyes at 100 °C. Fastness properties of the dyed fabrics showed good and excellent results. Finally, the prepared disperse dyes 1 and 2 showed potent anti-tumor cytotoxic activity in vitro using MCF-7 cells (human breast cancer cell line), HepG-2 cells (human Hepatocellular carcinoma), HCT-116 (colon carcinoma), A-549 cells (Lung carcinoma cell line), and anti-oxidant activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Groundwater Quality and Human Health Risk (HHR) Evaluation of Nitrate in the Central-Western Guanzhong Basin, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4246; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214246 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
To investigate the quality of domestic groundwater and assess its risk to inhabitants of the Guanzhong Basin, China, 191 groundwater samples were collected to analyze major ions, nitrate, pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), total hardness (TH), and electrical conductivity (EC). The physiochemical parameters, [...] Read more.
To investigate the quality of domestic groundwater and assess its risk to inhabitants of the Guanzhong Basin, China, 191 groundwater samples were collected to analyze major ions, nitrate, pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), total hardness (TH), and electrical conductivity (EC). The physiochemical parameters, hydrochemical facies, and sources of major ions were analyzed using Durov diagrams, bivariate diagrams, and chloro-alkaline indices (CAI-I and CAI-II). The suitability of groundwater for drinking, the nitrate distribution, and human health risk (HHR) for different age groups were evaluated. The results showed that the relative abundance of cations in the groundwater samples was K++Na+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+, while that of anions was HCO3 > SO42− > Cl > NO3. Groundwater samples mainly contained HCO3-Na and HCO3-Ca, which were introduced mainly by rock weathering and ion exchange. The groundwater in the Guanzhong Basin contained mainly good and medium water, and the groundwater in the southern part of the Wei River was better than that north of the Wei River. Areas containing high nitrate concentrations were mainly located in the central and western parts of the Guanzhong Basin. The percentages of low risk (<45 mg/L), high risk (45–100 mg/L), and very high risk (>100 mg/L) of nitrate pollution in the study area were 90.58%, 8.9%, and 0.52%, respectively. The HHR assessment results indicated that people in the 6–12 month age group were more likely to suffer from health complications due to a higher nitrate concentration, followed by 6–11 years, 21–65 years, 18–21 years, ≥65 years, 11–16 years, and 16–18 years age groups, which was mainly due to the different exposure parameters. The results of this study will be useful in regional groundwater management and protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Analysis of Bifenox and Dichlobenil Toxicity in Selected Microorganisms and Human Cancer Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214137 - 27 Oct 2019
Abstract
Bifenox and Dichlobenil belong to the commonly used in Poland in agriculture group of herbicides and their residues are often detected in the environment. They are poorly known regarding their possible carcinogenic and antibacterial effect at the cellular level. Therefore, we decided to [...] Read more.
Bifenox and Dichlobenil belong to the commonly used in Poland in agriculture group of herbicides and their residues are often detected in the environment. They are poorly known regarding their possible carcinogenic and antibacterial effect at the cellular level. Therefore, we decided to study their activity in bacterial strains Aliivibrio fisheri, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, and C. albicans (yeast) and human cancer ZR-75-1 cells. Compounds under study exhibit stimulatory effect on analyzed bacterial strains. The study performed on mammalian cells better reflects the influence of environmental pollutants on human organism, therefore we evaluated the effect of herbicides on ZR-75-1 cells. Cells viability, apoptosis and selected oxidative stress parameters in ZR-75-1 cells were investigated. Both analyzed substances exhibit stimulatory effects on analyzed parameters, however they do not stimulate apoptosis which correlate positively with the induction of oxidative stress. Bifenox and Dichlobenil enhance oxidative stress parameters by the generation of high levels of ROS, which can lead to their adaptation and resistance to the standard treatment regimen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Association of Serum TNF-α Levels and Blood Multi-Elements Modified by TNF-α Gene Polymorphisms in Metal Industrial Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214079 - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
Health of the metal industrial workers should be a noteworthy issue due to the hazard of chronic exposure to metals or toxic elements. The interactions among multiple elements are sophisticated and may differ from person to person. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) [...] Read more.
Health of the metal industrial workers should be a noteworthy issue due to the hazard of chronic exposure to metals or toxic elements. The interactions among multiple elements are sophisticated and may differ from person to person. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) gene polymorphisms were supposed to be involved with the interactions because TNF-α plays an important role in inflammation, a mechanism by which toxic elements cause threats to human health. This research aimed to analyze the influence of TNF-α gene polymorphisms and multi-elements on serum TNF-α level. Blood multi-elements concentrations (lead, cadmium, arsenic, selenium, cobalt, copper, and zinc), serum TNF-α level, and TNF-α single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including −238G > A (rs361525), −308G > A (rs1800629), −857C > T (rs1799724), −863C > A (rs1800630), and −1031T > C (rs1799964), were measured in 462 metal industrial workers. We applied mixed-effect models to analyze the interactions among multi-elements and TNF-α SNPs. Blood concentration of all elements were positively associated with serum TNF-α level, and the effects may be modified by TNF-α gene polymorphisms. Our study revealed that TNF-α −308A/A and −1031C/C may be susceptible genotypes, and thus we suggest that those workers should take preventive measures against metal toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Chemical Forms and Health Risk of Cadmium in Water Spinach Grown in Contaminated Soil with An Increased Level of Phosphorus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3322; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183322 - 09 Sep 2019
Abstract
(1) Background: Even in croplands with a low concentration of cadmium (Cd), there is still a risk for planting crops because of the high accumulation capacity of some leafy vegetables. (2) Methods: In this study, water spinach was planted in four main soil [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Even in croplands with a low concentration of cadmium (Cd), there is still a risk for planting crops because of the high accumulation capacity of some leafy vegetables. (2) Methods: In this study, water spinach was planted in four main soil series (Wa, Eh, Tk, and Yu) in central Taiwan, which were spiked with Cd. The soil available phosphorous content was increased to 10–17 mg/kg, and the accumulation and developed chemical forms of Cd were analyzed. (3) Results: The experimental results showed that addition of phosphorous to Wa and Eh promoted the growth of water spinach. Accumulation and upward translocation of Cd were also increased in the phosphorus treatment compared with the control. The addition of phosphorus increased the percentage of Cd compartmentalized in undissolved Cd phosphate, which revealed that the mobility and toxicity of Cd were reduced in the phosphorus treatment. However, most of the water spinach was not edible because the vegetable-induced hazard quotient, which was calculated using three methods, showed hazardous potential in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Co-Exposure to SiO2 Nanoparticles and Arsenic Induced Augmentation of Oxidative Stress and Mitochondria-Dependent Apoptosis in Human Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3199; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173199 - 01 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Widespread application of silica nanoparticles (nSiO2) and ubiquitous metalloid arsenic (As) may increase their chances of co-exposure to human beings in daily life. Nonetheless, studies on combined effects of nSiO2 and As in human cells are lacking. We investigated the [...] Read more.
Widespread application of silica nanoparticles (nSiO2) and ubiquitous metalloid arsenic (As) may increase their chances of co-exposure to human beings in daily life. Nonetheless, studies on combined effects of nSiO2 and As in human cells are lacking. We investigated the co-exposure effects of nSiO2 and As in human liver (HepG2) and human fibroblast (HT1080) cells. Results showed that nSiO2 did not cause cytotoxicity. However, exposure of As caused oxidative stress and apoptosis in both types of cells. Interesting results were that co-exposure of a non-cytotoxic concentration of nSiO2 significantly augmented the As induced toxicity in both cells. Intracellular level of As was higher in the co-exposure group (nSiO2 + As) than the As group alone, suggesting that nSiO2 facilitates the cellular uptake of As. Co-exposure of nSiO2 and As potentiated oxidative stress indicated by pro-oxidants generation (reactive oxygen species, hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxidation) and antioxidants depletion (glutathione level, and glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase and catalase activities). In addition, co-exposure of nSiO2 and As also potentiated mitochondria-mediated apoptosis suggested by increased expression of p53, bax, caspase-3 and caspase-9 genes (pro-apoptotic) and decreased expression of bcl-2 gene (anti-apoptotic) along with depleted mitochondrial membrane potential. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing that co-exposure of nSiO2 and As induced augmentation of oxidative stress and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in HepG2 and HT1080 cells. Hence, careful attention is required for human health assessment following combined exposure to nSiO2 and As. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Risk of Seizures in Patients with Organophosphate Poisoning: A Nationwide Population-Based Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173147 - 29 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Objective: Previous research has demonstrated that patients with a history of organophosphate poisoning tend to have a higher risk of neurological disorder. However, research on the rate of seizure development in patients after organophosphate poisoning is lacking. This study examined whether individuals with [...] Read more.
Objective: Previous research has demonstrated that patients with a history of organophosphate poisoning tend to have a higher risk of neurological disorder. However, research on the rate of seizure development in patients after organophosphate poisoning is lacking. This study examined whether individuals with organophosphate poisoning have an increased risk of seizures through several years of follow-up. Patients and Methods: We conducted a retrospective study on a cohort of 45,060 individuals (9012 patients with a history of organophosphate poisoning and 36,048 controls) selected from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. The individuals were observed for a maximum of 12 years to determine the rate of new-onset seizure disorder. We selected a comparison cohort from the general population that was randomly frequency-matched by age, sex, and index year and further analyzed the risk of seizures using a Cox regression model adjusted for sex, age, and comorbidities. Results: During the study period, the risk of seizure development was 3.57 times greater in patients with organophosphate poisoning compared with individuals without, after adjustments for age, sex, and comorbidities. The absolute incidence of seizures was highest in individuals aged 20 to 34 years in both cohorts (adjusted hazard ratio = 13.0, 95% confidence interval = 5.40−31.4). A significantly higher seizure risk was also observed in patients with organophosphate poisoning and comorbidities other than cirrhosis. Conclusions: This nationwide retrospective cohort study demonstrates that seizure risk is significantly increased in patients with organophosphate poisoning compared with the general population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Oxidative Stress Levels Induced by Mercury Exposure in Amazon Juvenile Populations in Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2682; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152682 - 27 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Oxidative stress can be induced by mercury (Hg) exposure, including through fish consumption (diet), leading to health risks. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between oxidative stress biomarkers and dietary Hg exposure levels in riverine children and adolescents at [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress can be induced by mercury (Hg) exposure, including through fish consumption (diet), leading to health risks. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between oxidative stress biomarkers and dietary Hg exposure levels in riverine children and adolescents at Madeira River (RO/Brazil). Population from three riverine local communities presenting different fish consumption frequencies was sampled. Hg was determined in blood (ICP-MS) and glutathione (GSH); glutathione S-transferases (GST) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were determined in serum (spectrophotometry). Statistical analyses were performed using parametric and non-parametric tests. Multiple linear regression models and generalized additives models were also used to estimate the relationships between oxidative stress biomarkers and blood Hg. The juvenile riverine population from Cuniã RESEX presented the highest levels of oxidative stress and Hg levels in blood (GST = 27.2 (4.93) U/L, MDA = 1.69 (0.27) µmol/L, Hg = 20.6 (18.0) µg/L). This population also presented the highest frequency of fish consumption. The positive relation between Hg and GST and MDA, adjusted for individual characteristics, suggests an oxidative effect. This study shows the importance of oxidative stress biomarkers in the evaluation of dietary Hg exposure since initial and reversible metabolic changes were observed, enriching health risk assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Nickel: Human Health and Environmental Toxicology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030679 - 21 Jan 2020
Abstract
Nickel is a transition element extensively distributed in the environment, air, water, and soil. It may derive from natural sources and anthropogenic activity. Although nickel is ubiquitous in the environment, its functional role as a trace element for animals and human beings has [...] Read more.
Nickel is a transition element extensively distributed in the environment, air, water, and soil. It may derive from natural sources and anthropogenic activity. Although nickel is ubiquitous in the environment, its functional role as a trace element for animals and human beings has not been yet recognized. Environmental pollution from nickel may be due to industry, the use of liquid and solid fuels, as well as municipal and industrial waste. Nickel contact can cause a variety of side effects on human health, such as allergy, cardiovascular and kidney diseases, lung fibrosis, lung and nasal cancer. Although the molecular mechanisms of nickel-induced toxicity are not yet clear, mitochondrial dysfunctions and oxidative stress are thought to have a primary and crucial role in the toxicity of this metal. Recently, researchers, trying to characterize the capability of nickel to induce cancer, have found out that epigenetic alterations induced by nickel exposure can perturb the genome. The purpose of this review is to describe the chemical features of nickel in human beings and the mechanisms of its toxicity. Furthermore, the attention is focused on strategies to remove nickel from the environment, such as phytoremediation and phytomining. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)

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Open AccessProtocol
Association Between Mycotoxin Exposure and Dietary Habits in Colorectal Cancer Development Among a Polish Population: A Study Protocol
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030698 - 21 Jan 2020
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and lethal types of cancer worldwide. The developing of this disease includes many factors such as genetic, socioeconomic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, and nutrition habits. The aim of the study is the determination of [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and lethal types of cancer worldwide. The developing of this disease includes many factors such as genetic, socioeconomic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, and nutrition habits. The aim of the study is the determination of zearalenone and its metabolite level in the biological samples of participants at risk of CRC, in relation to the nutrition data and information on the quality of life dependent on health. In the cohort clinical trial, 150 participants aged between 50 and 65 will be studied. The participants will be assigned into two groups depending on the colonoscopy result. Participants will be tested at dietary intake, quality of life, sleep time and quality, stress level as well as biochemical parameters of the blood. Moreover, in the biological samples, concentration of zearalenone and its metabolites (α-zearalenol and β-zearalenol) as well as the characteristics of gastrointestinal bacterial will be determined, and the end of the trial for both groups and their results will be compared. Taking into account the possible effect of mycotoxins and nutrition habits on the development of cancer, the results obtained may allow the formulation of new nutritional recommendations and reduce the development and occurrence of CRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology and Public Health)
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