Current Knowledge of Early-Life Exposure to Toxic Metal(loid)s

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 8425

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Center for Health and Environmental Risk Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
Interests: toxic metals and essential elements; child health; exposome; placental transfer

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA
Interests: environmental exposures; endogenous biomarkers; molecular mechanisms; metarnal–fetal interactions; congenital birth defects

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Toxic metal(loid)s are naturally occurring elements; their multiple industrial, domestic, medical, and technological applications have led to their wide distribution in the environment. Toxic metals have no known benefit for human physiology (e.g., lead, mercury, cadmium), otherwise, both excessive intake and low blood levels of essential trace elements have been associated with adverse effects (e.g., zinc, copper, iron, manganese). We are exposed to them through water, air, food, house dust, and/or soil.  In this Special Issue, we focus on the growing worldwide concern surrounding exposure to toxic metal(loid)s especially concerning vulnerable people (fetus, neonate, infant and child), and on the knowledge about exposure source, pharmacokinetics/toxicokinetics, biomarkers such as metalloproteins and the long-term exposure history/trajectories.

The aim of this Special Issue in Toxics, entitled “Current Knowledge of Early-Life Exposure to Toxic Metal(loid)s”, is to highlight timely research addressing scientific, methodological, and epidemiological studies, human biomonitoring, and animal studies.

Studies may include, but are not limited to, original articles, expert reviews and short communications, aimed at advancing scientific knowledge of the early lifetime exposure of toxic metal(loid)s. Authors are invited and welcome to submit original research papers, reviews, and short communications.

Dr. Miyuki Iwai-Shimada
Dr. Srujana Kola-Golla
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Toxics 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 2600 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

  • toxic metals (metalloids)
  • essential elements
  • placental transfer
  • early-life exposure
  • human biomonitoring
  • exposure source
  • exposome

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 1018 KiB  
Article
Global DNA Methylation in Cord Blood as a Biomarker for Prenatal Lead and Antimony Exposures
by Yoshinori Okamoto, Miyuki Iwai-Shimada, Kunihiko Nakai, Nozomi Tatsuta, Yoko Mori, Akira Aoki, Nakao Kojima, Tatsuyuki Takada, Hiroshi Satoh and Hideto Jinno
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10040157 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2589
Abstract
DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism for gene expression modulation and can be used as a predictor of future disease risks. A prospective birth cohort study was performed to clarify the effects of neurotoxicants on child development, namely, the Tohoku Study of Child [...] Read more.
DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism for gene expression modulation and can be used as a predictor of future disease risks. A prospective birth cohort study was performed to clarify the effects of neurotoxicants on child development, namely, the Tohoku Study of Child Development, in Japan. This study aimed to evaluate the association of prenatal exposure to five toxic metals—arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead (Pb), antimony (Sb), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, N = 166)—with global DNA methylation in umbilical cord blood DNA. DNA methylation markers, 5-methyl-2′-deoxycytidine (mC) and 5-hydroxymethyl-2′-deoxycytidine (hmC), were determined using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The mC content in cord blood DNA was positively correlated with Pb and Sb levels (r = 0.435 and 0.288, respectively) but not with cord blood PCBs. We also observed significant positive correlations among Pb levels, maternal age, and hmC content (r = 0.155 and 0.243, respectively). The multiple regression analysis among the potential predictors demonstrated consistent positive associations between Pb and Sb levels and mC and hmC content. Our results suggest that global DNA methylation is a promising biomarker for prenatal exposure to Pb and Sb. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Knowledge of Early-Life Exposure to Toxic Metal(loid)s)
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14 pages, 639 KiB  
Article
Intra- and Inter-Day Element Variability in Human Breast Milk: Pilot Study
by Kenta Iwai, Miyuki Iwai-Shimada, Kaname Asato, Kunihiko Nakai, Yayoi Kobayashi, Shoji F. Nakayama and Nozomi Tatsuta
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10030109 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2109
Abstract
For infants in the first months of life, breast milk is a complete source of nutrition; however, it can also contain elements that are harmful to the infant. It is therefore critical for infant health to characterize breast milk. The aim of this [...] Read more.
For infants in the first months of life, breast milk is a complete source of nutrition; however, it can also contain elements that are harmful to the infant. It is therefore critical for infant health to characterize breast milk. The aim of this study was to determine the intra- and inter-day variation of elements in breast milk, for which there is currently limited information, as a pilot study for a larger study. Firstly, we developed a simple and robust analytical method for the determination of multiple elements in breast milk. It was accurate (accuracy ranged from 98% to 107%) for measurement of 26 elements in breast milk by quadrupole inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Intra- and inter-day variation of elements, protein, and fat in breast milk was determined by analyzing breast milk collected from 11 women at 12 sampling points over three days and calculating intraclass correlation coefficients. Intraclass correlation coefficients showed that while some elements were consistent across time points (e.g., Sr, Ca, and Cu), others showed very high variability (e.g., As, Cd, and Ni). Correlation analyses between elements in breast milk showed strong relationships between those including Fe and Mo, Ca and Sr, and Cd and Fe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Knowledge of Early-Life Exposure to Toxic Metal(loid)s)
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14 pages, 2115 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Simultaneous Quantitative Analysis of Methylmercury and Inorganic Mercury in Cord Blood Using LC-ICP-MS and LC-CVAFS: The Pilot Study of the Japan Environment and Children’s Study
by Miyuki Iwai-Shimada, Yayoi Kobayashi, Tomohiko Isobe, Shoji F. Nakayama, Makiko Sekiyama, Yu Taniguchi, Shin Yamazaki, Takehiro Michikawa, Masako Oda, Hiroshi Mitsubuchi, Masafumi Sanefuji, Shouichi Ohga, Nathan Mise, Akihiko Ikegami, Reiko Suga and Masayuki Shimono
Toxics 2021, 9(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9040082 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2791
Abstract
Prenatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) affects child development after birth. However, many epidemiological studies have evaluated total mercury levels without analyzing speciation. Biomonitoring of MeHg and inorganic mercury (IHg) is essential to reveal each exposure level. In this study, we compared a high-throughput [...] Read more.
Prenatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) affects child development after birth. However, many epidemiological studies have evaluated total mercury levels without analyzing speciation. Biomonitoring of MeHg and inorganic mercury (IHg) is essential to reveal each exposure level. In this study, we compared a high-throughput analysis for mercury speciation in blood using liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LC-ICP-MS) and liquid chromatography-cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry (LC-CVAFS). The validated LC-ICP-MS method was applied to 101 maternal blood and 366 cord blood samples in the pilot study of the Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS). The accuracy of the LC-CVAFS method ranged 90–115% determined by reference material analysis. To evaluate the reliability of 366 cord blood samples, fifty cord blood samples were randomly selected and analyzed using LC-CVAFS. The median (5th–95th percentile) concentrations of MeHg and IHg were 5.4 (1.9–15) and 0.33 (0.12–0.86) ng/mL, respectively, in maternal blood, and 6.3 (2.5–15) and 0.21 (0.08–0.49) ng/mL, respectively, in cord blood. Inter-laboratory comparison showed a relatively good agreement between LC-ICP-MS and LC-CVAFS. The median cord blood:maternal blood ratios of MeHg and IHg were 1.3 and 0.5, respectively. By analyzing speciation, we could focus on the health effects of each chemical form. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Knowledge of Early-Life Exposure to Toxic Metal(loid)s)
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