Effects of Environmental Organic Pollutants on Environment and Human Health: The Latest Updates

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Emerging Contaminants".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 21168

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State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China
Interests: environmental omics; ecotoxicity; water quality criteria; environmental risk assessment; emerging pollutants; environmental DNA
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
Interests: environmental health; environmental toxicology; molecular biology; regulatory mechanism; environmental epidemiology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
College of Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, China
Interests: environmental toxicology; emerging pollutants; organophosphate; ocean acidification and climate changes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The harmful impact of environmental organic pollutants such as VOCs and POPs on human health is a subject of widespread concern. VOCs originate from motor vehicle emissions and various manufactured products, such as building materials, paints, and cleaning agents, which often pollute the atmosphere around us. POPs have an intrinsic resistance to natural degradation processes, and are found in polluted water, soil, atmosphere, sediment, etc. In addition, many emerging organic pollutants are considered potentially harmful to human health, such as PPCPs, and thus they are prioritized in biomonitoring surveillance.

With this in mind, this Special Issue will provide updated insights into the impacts of organic pollutants on human health, from the source of exposure to these contaminants to their toxic effects. Topics to be covered include exposure source identification, acute and cumulative health effects, and the toxicity mechanisms of individual or mixed organic pollutants.

We invite pioneering scientists to share their work in this Special Issue. Research articles, reviews, perspectives, commentary, etc., providing more evidence on how diseases related to organic pollutants may be prevented and formulating environmental standards are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Zhen-Guang Yan
Dr. Zhi-Gang Li
Dr. Jinzhe Du
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • organic pollutants
  • emerging pollutants
  • human and ecosystem health
  • environmental risk assessment
  • endocrine disruptors
  • microplastics
  • POPs
  • VOCs
  • SVOCs
  • PPCPs

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 167 KiB  
Editorial
Effects of Environmental Organic Pollutants on Environment and Human Health: The Latest Updates
by Zhen-Guang Yan, Zhi-Gang Li and Jin-Zhe Du
Toxics 2024, 12(4), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12040231 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 941
Abstract
This editorial introduces the Special Issue “Effects of Environmental Organic Pollutants on Environment and Human Health: The Latest Updates” [...] Full article

Research

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12 pages, 5248 KiB  
Article
Ecological Risk Assessment of Organochlorine Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Coastal Sediments in China
by Jie Wang, Qi Zhao, Fu Gao, Ziye Wang, Mingrui Li, Haiming Li and Yizhe Wang
Toxics 2024, 12(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12020114 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1093
Abstract
Although the ecological risk of emerging contaminants is currently a research hotspot in China and abroad, few studies have investigated the ecological risk of pesticide pollutants in Chinese coastal sediments. In this study, nine pesticide pollutants included in the “List of New Key [...] Read more.
Although the ecological risk of emerging contaminants is currently a research hotspot in China and abroad, few studies have investigated the ecological risk of pesticide pollutants in Chinese coastal sediments. In this study, nine pesticide pollutants included in the “List of New Key Pollutants for Control (2023 Edition)” issued by the Chinese government were used as the research objects, and the environmental exposure of pesticide pollutants in China’s coastal sediments was analyzed. The baseline sediment quality criteria were deduced using the balanced distribution method, and a multi-level ecological risk assessment of pesticides in sediment was performed. The results showed that the nine pesticide pollutants were widespread in Chinese coastal sediments, with concentrations ranging from 0.01 ng·g−1 to 330 ng·g−1. The risk quotient assessment showed that endosulfan and DDT posed medium environmental risks to the Chinese coastal sediment environment, and PCBs posed medium risks in some bays of the East China Sea. The semi-probabilistic, optimized semi-probability evaluation and joint probability curve (JPC) assessments all show that endosulfan and DDT pose a certain degree of risk to the environment. Full article
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13 pages, 3612 KiB  
Article
Effects of BPA Exposure and Recovery on the Expression of Genes Involved in the Hepatic Lipid Metabolism in Male Mice
by Changqing Li, Nan Shen, Shaohua Yang and Hui-Li Wang
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090775 - 12 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1524
Abstract
Exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) has led to an increased risk of obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLDs). However, it is as yet unclear if the damage caused by BPA is able to be repaired sufficiently after exposure has ceased. Therefore, this [...] Read more.
Exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) has led to an increased risk of obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLDs). However, it is as yet unclear if the damage caused by BPA is able to be repaired sufficiently after exposure has ceased. Therefore, this project aims to investigate the effects of BPA on the hepatic lipid metabolism function and its potential mechanisms in mice by comparing the BPA exposure model and the BPA exposure + cessation of drug treatment model. Herein, the male C57BL/6 mice were exposed in the dose of 50 μg/kg/day and 500 μg/kg/day BPA for 8 weeks, and then transferred to a standard chow diet for another 8 weeks to recover. Based on our previous RNA-seq study, we examined the expression patterns of some key genes. The results showed that the mice exposed to BPA manifested NAFLD features. Importantly, we also found that there was a significant expression reversion for SCD1, APOD, ANGPT4, PPARβ, LPL and G0S2 between the exposure and recovery groups, especially for SCD1 and APOD (p < 0.01). Notably, BPA could significantly decrease the level of APOD protein (p < 0.01) whereas there was an extremely significant increase after the exposure ceased. Meanwhile, APOD over-expression suppressed TG accumulation in the AML12 cells. In conclusion, the damage caused by BPA is able to be repaired by the upregulation of APOD and exposure to BPA should be carefully examined in chronic liver metabolic disorders or diseases. Full article
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13 pages, 2055 KiB  
Article
Using a Battery of Bioassays to Assess the Toxicity of Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluents in Industrial Parks
by Bin Yang, Haiyan Cui, Jie Gao, Jing Cao, Göran Klobučar and Mei Li
Toxics 2023, 11(8), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11080702 - 14 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1491
Abstract
Bioassays, as an addition to physico-chemical water quality evaluation, can provide information on the toxic effects of pollutants present in the water. In this study, a broad evaluation of environmental health risks from industrial wastewater along the Yangtze River, China, was conducted using [...] Read more.
Bioassays, as an addition to physico-chemical water quality evaluation, can provide information on the toxic effects of pollutants present in the water. In this study, a broad evaluation of environmental health risks from industrial wastewater along the Yangtze River, China, was conducted using a battery of bioassays. Toxicity tests showed that the wastewater treatment processes were effective at lowering acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition, HepG2 cells’ cytotoxicity, the estrogenic effect in T47D-Kbluc cells, DNA damage of Euglena gracilis and the mutagenicity of Salmonella typhimurium in the analyzed wastewater samples. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were identified as potential major toxic chemicals of concern in the wastewater samples of W, J and T wastewater treatment plants; thus, the potential harm of PAHs to aquatic organisms has been investigated. Based on the health risk assessment model, the risk index of wastewater from the industrial parks along the Yangtze River was below one, indicating that the PAHs were less harmful to human health through skin contact or respiratory exposure. Overall, the biological toxicity tests used in this study provide a good basis for the health risk assessment of industrial wastewater and a scientific reference for the optimization and operation of the treatment process. Full article
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17 pages, 21336 KiB  
Article
Ambient Volatile Organic Compound Characterization, Source Apportionment, and Risk Assessment in Three Megacities of China in 2019
by Zhanshan Wang, Puzhen Zhang, Libo Pan, Yan Qian, Zhigang Li, Xiaoqian Li, Chen Guo, Xiaojing Zhu, Yuanyuan Xie and Yongjie Wei
Toxics 2023, 11(8), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11080651 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1013
Abstract
In order to illustrate pollution characterization, source apportionment, and risk assessment of VOCs in Beijing, Baoding, and Shanghai, field observations of CO, NO, NO2, O3, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were conducted in 2019. Concentrations of VOCs were the highest [...] Read more.
In order to illustrate pollution characterization, source apportionment, and risk assessment of VOCs in Beijing, Baoding, and Shanghai, field observations of CO, NO, NO2, O3, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were conducted in 2019. Concentrations of VOCs were the highest in Beijing (105.4 ± 52.1 ppb), followed by Baoding (97.1 ± 47.5 ppb) and Shanghai (91.1 ± 41.3 ppb). Concentrations of VOCs were the highest in winter (120.3 ± 61.5 ppb) among the three seasons tested, followed by summer (98.1 + 50.8 ppb) and autumn (75.5 + 33.4 ppb). Alkenes were the most reactive VOC species in all cities, accounting for 56.0%, 53.7%, and 39.4% of ozone formation potential in Beijing, Baoding, and Shanghai, respectively. Alkenes and aromatics were the reactive species, particularly ethene, propene, 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene, and m/p-xylene. Vehicular exhaust was the principal source in all three cities, accounting for 27.0%, 30.4%, and 23.3% of VOCs in Beijing, Baoding, and Shanghai, respectively. Industrial manufacturing was the second largest source in Baoding (23.6%) and Shanghai (21.3%), and solvent utilization was the second largest source in Beijing (25.1%). The empirical kinetic modeling approach showed that O3 formation was limited by both VOCs and nitric oxides at Fangshan (the suburban site) and by VOCs at Xuhui (the urban site). Acrolein was the only substance with an average hazard quotient greater than 1, indicating significant non-carcinogenic risk. In Beijing, 1,2-dibromoethane had an R-value of 1.1 × 10−4 and posed a definite carcinogenic risk. Full article
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13 pages, 3554 KiB  
Article
The Distribution Characteristics and Ecological Risks of Alkylphenols and the Relationships between Alkylphenols and Different Types of Land Use
by Yajun Hong, Miao Chen, Ziwei Zhu, Wei Liao, Chenglian Feng, Zhenfei Yan, Yu Qiao, Yaru Mei and Dayong Xu
Toxics 2023, 11(7), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11070579 - 3 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 900
Abstract
In this study, the spatial distribution characteristics of nine alkylphenols (APs) in the Yongding River and Beiyun River were analyzed. The differences in the concentrations and spatial distribution patterns of nine APs were systematically evaluated using principal component analysis (PCA). The relationships between [...] Read more.
In this study, the spatial distribution characteristics of nine alkylphenols (APs) in the Yongding River and Beiyun River were analyzed. The differences in the concentrations and spatial distribution patterns of nine APs were systematically evaluated using principal component analysis (PCA). The relationships between the concentration distribution patterns and the risks associated with nine APs were investigated under various categories of land use conditions in the region. The results demonstrated that the APs were widely present in both rivers, and the pollution risks associated with the APs were more severe in the Yongding River than in the Beiyun River. The results show that the contamination risks associated with 4-NP were the most serious in the two rivers, with detection percentages of 100% and 96.3%, respectively. In the Yongding River, the APs showed a tendency of low concentration levels in the upper reaches and high levels in the middle and lower regions. Meanwhile, the overall concentration levels of the APs in the Beiyun River were relatively high. However, despite the differences between the upper and middle regions of the Yongding River, the distribution pattern of the APs in the Beiyun River was basically stable. The concentration levels and risk quotient of the APs were negatively correlated with the vegetation cover land use type and positively correlated with the cropland and unused land use types within 500 m, 1 km, and 2 km. The purpose of this study was to provide theoretical data support and a basis for AP pollution risk evaluations in the Yongding River and Beiyun River. Full article
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16 pages, 4829 KiB  
Article
Molecular Toxicity Mechanism Induced by the Antibacterial Agent Triclosan in Freshwater Euglena gracilis Based on the Transcriptome
by Ting Lu, Tong Zhang, Weishu Yang, Bin Yang, Jing Cao, Yang Yang and Mei Li
Toxics 2023, 11(5), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11050414 - 27 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1659
Abstract
Triclosan (TCS), a commonly used antibacterial preservative, has been demonstrated to have high toxicological potential and adversely affects the water bodies. Since algae are one of the most significant primary producers on the planet, understanding the toxicological processes of TCS is critical for [...] Read more.
Triclosan (TCS), a commonly used antibacterial preservative, has been demonstrated to have high toxicological potential and adversely affects the water bodies. Since algae are one of the most significant primary producers on the planet, understanding the toxicological processes of TCS is critical for determining its risk in aquatic ecosystems and managing the water environment. The physiological and transcriptome changes in Euglena gracilis were studied in this study after 7 days of TCS treatment. A distinct inhibition ratio for the photosynthetic pigment content in E. gracilis was observed from 2.64% to 37.42% at 0.3–1.2 mg/L, with TCS inhibiting photosynthesis and growth of the algae by up to 38.62%. Superoxide dismutase and glutathione reductase significantly changed after exposure to TCS, compared to the control, indicating that the cellular antioxidant defense responses were induced. Based on transcriptomics, the differentially expressed genes were mainly enriched in biological processes involved in metabolism pathways and microbial metabolism in diverse environments. Integrating transcriptomics and biochemical indicators found that changed reactive oxygen species and antioxidant enzyme activities stimulating algal cell damage and the inhibition of metabolic pathways controlled by the down-regulation of differentially expressed genes were the main toxic mechanisms of TCS exposure to E. gracilis. These findings establish the groundwork for future research into the molecular toxicity to microalgae induced by aquatic pollutants, as well as provide fundamental data and recommendations for TCS ecological risk assessment. Full article
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11 pages, 1256 KiB  
Article
Distribution and Characterization of Typical Antibiotics in Water Bodies of the Yellow River Estuary and Their Ecological Risks
by Jindong Wang, Zhenfei Yan, Yu Qiao, Daqing Liu, Chenglian Feng and Yingchen Bai
Toxics 2023, 11(5), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11050400 - 23 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1514
Abstract
A total of 34 antibiotics from five major classes of antibiotics, including macrolides, sulfonamides, quinolones, tetracyclines and chloramphenicol, were considered as contaminants, considering the Yellow River Estuary as the study area. The distribution, sources and ecological risks of typical antibiotics in the Yellow [...] Read more.
A total of 34 antibiotics from five major classes of antibiotics, including macrolides, sulfonamides, quinolones, tetracyclines and chloramphenicol, were considered as contaminants, considering the Yellow River Estuary as the study area. The distribution, sources and ecological risks of typical antibiotics in the Yellow River Estuary were investigated using an optimized solid-phase extraction pre-treatment and an Agilent 6410B tandem triple-quadrupole liquid chromatography–mass spectrometer for antibiotic detection. The results show that antibiotics were widely present in the water bodies of the Yellow River Estuary, with 14 antibiotics detected to varying degrees, including a high detection rate for lincomycin hydrochloride. Farming wastewater and domestic sewage were the primary sources of antibiotics in the Yellow River Estuary. The distribution characteristics of antibiotics in the study area were linked to the development of farming and social activities. The ecological risk evaluation of 14 antibiotics in the Yellow River Estuary watershed showed that clarithromycin and doxycycline hydrochloride were present at medium-risk levels, and lincomycin hydrochloride, sulfamethoxazole, methomyl, oxifloxacin, enrofloxacin, sulfadiazine, roxithromycin, sulfapyridine, sulfadiazine and ciprofloxacin were present at low-risk levels in the samples collected from water bodies of the Yellow River Estuary. This study provides novel, beneficial information for the assessment of the ecological risk presented by antibiotics in the Yellow River Estuary water bodies and provides a scientific basis for future antibiotic pollution control in the Yellow River Basin. Full article
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10 pages, 763 KiB  
Article
The Application of Reference Dose Prediction Model to Human Health Water Quality Criteria and Risk Assessment
by Shu-Hui Men, Xin Xie, Xin Zhao, Quan Zhou, Jing-Yi Chen, Cong-Ying Jiao and Zhen-Guang Yan
Toxics 2023, 11(4), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11040318 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1513
Abstract
Oral reference dose (RfD) is a key parameter for deriving the human health ambient water quality criteria (AWQC) for non-carcinogenic substances. In this study, a non-experimental approach was used to calculate the RfD values, which explore the potential correlation between toxicity and physicochemical [...] Read more.
Oral reference dose (RfD) is a key parameter for deriving the human health ambient water quality criteria (AWQC) for non-carcinogenic substances. In this study, a non-experimental approach was used to calculate the RfD values, which explore the potential correlation between toxicity and physicochemical characteristics and the chemical structure of pesticides. The molecular descriptors of contaminants were calculated using T.E.S.T software from EPA, and a prediction model was developed using a stepwise multiple linear regression (MLR) approaches. Approximately 95% and 85% of the data points differ by less than 10-fold and 5-fold between predicted values and true values, respectively, which improves the efficiency of RfD calculation. The model prediction values have certain reference values in the absence of experimental data, which is beneficial to the advancement of contaminant health risk assessment. In addition, using the prediction model constructed in this manuscript, the RfD values of two pesticide substances in the list of priority pollutants are calculated to derive human health water quality criteria. Furthermore, an initial assessment of the health risk was performed by the quotient value method based on the human health water quality criteria calculated by the prediction model. Full article
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16 pages, 2540 KiB  
Article
Risk Assessment of Phthalate Esters in Baiyangdian Lake and Typical Rivers in China
by Yin Hou, Mengchen Tu, Cheng Li, Xinyu Liu, Jing Wang, Chao Wei, Xin Zheng and Yihong Wu
Toxics 2023, 11(2), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11020180 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
Phthalate esters (PAEs) are frequently tracked in water environments worldwide. As a typical class of endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs), PAEs posed adverse effects on aquatic organisms at low concentration. Thus, they have attracted wide attention in recent years. In the present study, the [...] Read more.
Phthalate esters (PAEs) are frequently tracked in water environments worldwide. As a typical class of endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs), PAEs posed adverse effects on aquatic organisms at low concentration. Thus, they have attracted wide attention in recent years. In the present study, the concentrations of seven typical PAEs from 30 sampling sites in Baiyangdian Lake were measured, and the environmental exposure data of PAEs were gathered in typical rivers in China. Then, based on the aquatic life criteria (ALCs) derived from the reproductive toxicity data of aquatic organisms, two risk assessment methods, including hazard quotient (HQ) and probabilistic ecological risk assessment (PERA), were adopted to evaluate the ecological risks of PAEs in water. The sediment quality criteria (SQCs) of DEHP, DBP, BBP, DIBP and DEP were deduced based on the equilibrium partitioning method. Combined with the gathered environmental exposure data of seven PAEs in sediments from typical rivers in China, the ecological risk assessments of five PAEs in sediment were conducted only by the HQ method. The results of ecological risk assessment showed that in terms of water, DBP and DIBP posed low risk, while the risk of DEHP in Baiyangdian Lake cannot be ignored and should receive attention. In typical rivers in China, BBP and DEP posed no risk, while DIBP and DBP posed potential risk. Meanwhile, DEHP posed a high ecological risk. As far as sediment is concerned, DBP posed a high risk in some typical rivers in China, and the other rivers had medium risk. DEHP posed a high risk only in a few rivers and low to medium risk in others. This study provides an important reference for the protection of aquatic organisms and the risk management of PAEs in China. Full article
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16 pages, 1989 KiB  
Article
Substantial Changes in Selected Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Associations with Health Risk Assessments in Industrial Areas during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Bhupendra Pratap Singh, Sayed Sartaj Sohrab, Mohammad Athar, Thamir A. Alandijany, Saumya Kumari, Arathi Nair, Sweety Kumari, Kriti Mehra, Khyati Chowdhary, Shakilur Rahman and Esam Ibraheem Azhar
Toxics 2023, 11(2), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11020165 - 9 Feb 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2260
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments in many countries worldwide, including India, imposed several restriction measures, including lockdowns, to prevent the spread of the infection. COVID-19 lockdowns led to a reduction in gaseous and particulate pollutants in ambient air. In the present study, we [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments in many countries worldwide, including India, imposed several restriction measures, including lockdowns, to prevent the spread of the infection. COVID-19 lockdowns led to a reduction in gaseous and particulate pollutants in ambient air. In the present study, we investigated the substantial changes in selected volatile organic compounds (VOCs) after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and associations with health risk assessments in industrial areas. VOC data from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021 were collected from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website, to identify percentage changes in VOC levels before, during, and after COVID-19. The mean TVOC levels at all monitoring stations were 47.22 ± 30.15, 37.19 ± 37.19, and 32.81 ± 32.81 µg/m3 for 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively. As a result, the TVOC levels gradually declined in consecutive years due to the pandemic in India. The mean TVOC levels at all monitoring stations declined from 9 to 61% during the pandemic period as compared with the pre-pandemic period. In the current study, the T/B ratio values ranged from 2.16 (PG) to 26.38 (NL), which indicated that the major pollutant contributors were traffic and non-traffic sources during the pre-pandemic period. The present findings indicated that TVOC levels had positive but low correlations with SR, BP, RF, and WD, with correlation coefficients (r) of 0.034, 0.118, 0.012, and 0.007, respectively, whereas negative correlations were observed with AT and WS, with correlation coefficients (r) of −0.168 and −0.150, respectively. The lifetime cancer risk (LCR) value for benzene was reported to be higher in children, followed by females and males, for the pre-pandemic, pandemic, and post-pandemic periods. A nationwide scale-up of this study’s findings might be useful in formulating future air pollution reduction policies associated with a reduction in health risk factors. Furthermore, the present study provides baseline data for future studies on the impacts of anthropogenic activities on the air quality of a region. Full article
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Review

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27 pages, 979 KiB  
Review
Emerging Contaminants: An Emerging Risk Factor for Diabetes Mellitus
by Huixia Niu, Manjin Xu, Pengcheng Tu, Yunfeng Xu, Xueqing Li, Mingluan Xing, Zhijian Chen, Xiaofeng Wang, Xiaoming Lou, Lizhi Wu and Shengzhi Sun
Toxics 2024, 12(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12010047 - 8 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
Emerging contaminants have been increasingly recognized as critical determinants in global public health outcomes. However, the intricate relationship between these contaminants and glucose metabolism remains to be fully elucidated. The paucity of comprehensive clinical data, coupled with the need for in-depth mechanistic investigations, [...] Read more.
Emerging contaminants have been increasingly recognized as critical determinants in global public health outcomes. However, the intricate relationship between these contaminants and glucose metabolism remains to be fully elucidated. The paucity of comprehensive clinical data, coupled with the need for in-depth mechanistic investigations, underscores the urgency to decipher the precise molecular and cellular pathways through which these contaminants potentially mediate the initiation and progression of diabetes mellitus. A profound understanding of the epidemiological impact of these emerging contaminants, as well as the elucidation of the underlying mechanistic pathways, is indispensable for the formulation of evidence-based policy and preventive interventions. This review systematically aggregates contemporary findings from epidemiological investigations and delves into the mechanistic correlates that tether exposure to emerging contaminants, including endocrine disruptors, perfluorinated compounds, microplastics, and antibiotics, to glycemic dysregulation. A nuanced exploration is undertaken focusing on potential dietary sources and the consequential role of the gut microbiome in their toxic effects. This review endeavors to provide a foundational reference for future investigations into the complex interplay between emerging contaminants and diabetes mellitus. Full article
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12 pages, 574 KiB  
Review
Advancements, Challenges, and Future Directions in Aquatic Life Criteria Research in China
by Chen Liu, Zhaomei Geng, Jiayin Xu, Qingwei Li, Heng Zhang and Jinfen Pan
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100862 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1436
Abstract
Aquatic life criteria (ALC) serve as the scientific foundation for establishing water quality standards, and in China, significant strides have been made in the development of freshwater ALC. This comprehensive review traces the evolution of China’s WQC, focusing on the methodological advancements and [...] Read more.
Aquatic life criteria (ALC) serve as the scientific foundation for establishing water quality standards, and in China, significant strides have been made in the development of freshwater ALC. This comprehensive review traces the evolution of China’s WQC, focusing on the methodological advancements and challenges in priority pollutants selection, test organism screening, and standardized ecotoxicity testing protocols. It also provides a critical evaluation of quality assurance measures, data validation techniques, and minimum data requirements essential for ALC assessments. The paper highlights China’s technical guidelines for deriving ALC, and reviews the published values for typical pollutants, assessing their impact on environmental quality standards. Emerging trends and future research avenues are discussed, including the incorporation of molecular toxicology data and the development of predictive models for pollutant toxicity. The review concludes by advocating for a tiered WQC system that accommodates China’s diverse ecological regions, thereby offering a robust scientific basis for enhanced water quality management. Full article
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16 pages, 1576 KiB  
Review
Research Progress and New Ideas on the Theory and Methodology of Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms
by Chenglian Feng, Wenjie Huang, Yu Qiao, Daqing Liu and Huixian Li
Toxics 2023, 11(7), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11070557 - 25 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1234
Abstract
Water quality criteria (WQC) for the protection of aquatic organisms mainly focus on the maximum threshold values of the pollutants that do not have harmful effects on aquatic organisms. The WQC value is the result obtained based on scientific experiments in the laboratory [...] Read more.
Water quality criteria (WQC) for the protection of aquatic organisms mainly focus on the maximum threshold values of the pollutants that do not have harmful effects on aquatic organisms. The WQC value is the result obtained based on scientific experiments in the laboratory and data fitting extrapolation and is the limit of the threshold value of pollutants or other harmful factors in the water environment. Until now, many studies have been carried out on WQC for the protection of aquatic organisms internationally, and several countries have also issued their own relevant technical guidelines. Thus, the WQC method for the protection of aquatic organisms has been basically formed, with species sensitivity distribution (SSD) as the main method and the assessment factor (AF) as the auxiliary method. In addition, in terms of the case studies on WQC, many scholars have conducted relevant case studies on various pollutants. At the national level, several countries have also released WQC values for typical pollutants. This study systematically discusses the general situation, theoretical methodology and research progress of WQC for the protection of aquatic organisms, and deeply analyzes the key scientific issues that need to be considered in the research of WQC. Furthermore, combined with the specific characteristics of the emerging pollutants, some new ideas and directions for future WQC research for the protection of aquatic organisms are also proposed. Full article
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