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Toxics, Volume 11, Issue 11 (November 2023) – 69 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In this study, we grew radish (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus L.) and broad beans (Vicia faba L.) in a greenhouse on soils spiked with a mixture of 15 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and investigated the association between accumulated ∑PFAS concentrations, growth, and hormone levels. Short-chained PFASs dominated aboveground tissues, whereas long-chained PFASs were most abundant in the plant roots. Our results showed that the presence or absence of exodermal Casparian strips, as well as the hydrophobicity and anion exchange capacities of PFASs, could explain the translocation of PFASs within plants. View this paper
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11 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Adiposity Levels on the Relation between Perfluoroalkyl Substances and High Depressive Symptom Scores in Czech Adults
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110946 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 824
Abstract
The extensive use and bioaccumulation of Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) over time raise concerns about their impact on health, including mental issues such as depression. This study aims to evaluate the association between PFAS and depression. In addition, considering the importance of PFAS as [...] Read more.
The extensive use and bioaccumulation of Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) over time raise concerns about their impact on health, including mental issues such as depression. This study aims to evaluate the association between PFAS and depression. In addition, considering the importance of PFAS as an endocrine disruptor and in adipogenesis, the analyses will also be stratified by body fat status. A cross-sectional study with 479 subjects (56.4% women, 25–89 years) was conducted. Four PFAS were measured: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The Poisson regression model was applied using robust error variances. The fully adjusted model included age, sex, educational level, income, smoking, physical activity, body fat percentage, and the questionnaire to assess depression. The prevalence of depression and high body fat was 7.9% and 41.1%, respectively. Only PFOA was significantly associated with depression in the entire sample (prevalence rate (PR): 1.91; confidence interval (CI95%): 1.01–3.65). However, in the group with normal adiposity, PFOA (3.20, CI95%: 1.46–7.01), PFNA (2.54, CI95%: 1.29–5.00), and PFDA (2.09, CI95%: 1.09–4.00) were also significant. Future research should investigate the role of obesity as well as the biological plausibility and possible mechanisms increasing the limited number of evidences between PFAS and depression. Full article
12 pages, 916 KiB  
Article
Effect of Arsenic on Fluoride Tolerance in Microbacterium paraoxydans Strain IR-1
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110945 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 855
Abstract
Fluoride (F) and arsenic (As) are two major contaminants of water and soil systems around the globe, causing potential toxicity to humans, plants, animals, and microbes. These contaminated soil systems can be restored by microorganisms that can tolerate toxic stress and provide rapid [...] Read more.
Fluoride (F) and arsenic (As) are two major contaminants of water and soil systems around the globe, causing potential toxicity to humans, plants, animals, and microbes. These contaminated soil systems can be restored by microorganisms that can tolerate toxic stress and provide rapid mineralization of soil, organic matter, and contaminants, using various tolerance mechanisms. Thus, the present study was undertaken with the arsenic hyper-tolerant bacterium Microbacterium paraoxydans strain IR-1 to determine its tolerance and toxicity to increasing doses of fluoride, either individually or in combination with arsenic, in terms of growth inhibition using a toxicity unit model. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC)and half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values for fluoride increased, from 9 g/L to 11 g/L and from 5.91 ± 0.1 g/L to 6.32 ± 0.028 g/L, respectively, in the combination (F + As) group. The statistical comparison of observed and expected additive toxicities, with respect to toxicity unit (TU difference), using Student’s t-test, was found to be highly significant (p < 0.001). This suggests the antagonistic effect of arsenic on fluoride toxicity to the strain IR-1. The unique stress tolerance of IR-1 ensures its survival as well as preponderance in fluoride and arsenic co-contaminated sites, thus paving the way for its possible application in the natural or artificial remediation of toxicant-exposed degraded soil systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicity Reduction and Environmental Remediation)
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16 pages, 8789 KiB  
Article
Depicting the Profile of METTL3-Mediated lncRNA m6A Modification Variants and Identified SNHG7 as a Prognostic Indicator of MNNG-Induced Gastric Cancer
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110944 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 875
Abstract
As a representative example of an environmental chemical carcinogen, MNNG exposure is closely associated with the onset of gastric cancer (GC) where N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA methylation tends to be the critical epigenetic event. However, the effect of m6A modification on long non-coding RNAs [...] Read more.
As a representative example of an environmental chemical carcinogen, MNNG exposure is closely associated with the onset of gastric cancer (GC) where N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA methylation tends to be the critical epigenetic event. However, the effect of m6A modification on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in MNNG-induced GC onset is still unclear. To address the above issue, based on the Methylated RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeRIP-seq) data of MNNG-induced malignant cells (MCs) and GC cells, we comprehensively analyzed the MNNG exposure-associated vital lncRNAs. MeRIP-seq analysis identified 1432 lncRNA transcripts in the MC cell, and 3520 lncRNA transcripts were found to be m6A modified in the GC cell, respectively. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis revealed that MNNG exposure could spark cellular localization change, which might be the critical cellular note variation for malignant transformation. We demonstrated that METTL3 is responsible for N6 methylation of lncRNAs and identified SNHG7 as a downstream target of METTL3. More importantly, we observed that SNHG7 was progressively up-regulated during gastric carcinogenesis by MNNG exposure. Finally, we investigated SNHG7 expression in different stages of GC malignancies and found that elevated SNHG7 expression correlated with advanced clinical features and poor prognosis in GC. In conclusion, our study found for the first time that METTL3 regulates the m6A methylation level of lncRNA SNHG7 and its expression in MNNG exposure-induced GC, suggesting that SNHG7 as a predictive biomarker or therapeutic target for GC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exposome Analysis and Risk Assessment)
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20 pages, 14427 KiB  
Article
Leaching Behavior of As and Pb in Lead–Zinc Mining Waste Rock under Mine Drainage and Rainwater
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110943 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 883
Abstract
At present, the pollution of arsenic (As) and lead (Pb) is becoming increasingly serious. The pollution caused by the release of As and Pb from lead–zinc mines has seriously affected the water and soil environment and threatened human health. It is necessary to [...] Read more.
At present, the pollution of arsenic (As) and lead (Pb) is becoming increasingly serious. The pollution caused by the release of As and Pb from lead–zinc mines has seriously affected the water and soil environment and threatened human health. It is necessary to reveal the release characteristics of As and Pb. The actual scene of mine drainage (MD) and rainwater (RW) leaching waste rocks is the one of the main reasons for the release of As and Pb. However, the leaching behavior of As and Pb in these waste rocks under MD and RW suffered from a lack of in-depth research. In this study, we investigated the occurrence of As and Pb in waste rocks (S1–S6) by using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), and then, the changes in As and Pb concentration and the hydrochemical parameter in leaching solution were systematically studied. Furthermore, the correlation between the release of As and Pb and mineral composition was also evaluated. Results showed that these waste rocks were mainly composed of carbonate and sulfide minerals. As and Pb were mainly bounded or associated with sulfide minerals such as arsenopyrite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, and galena in these waste rocks, and small parts of As and Pb were absorbed or encased by clay minerals such as kaolinite and chlorite. Under MD and RW leaching, the pH, redox potential (Eh), and electric conductivity (EC) of each waste rock tended to be consistent due to their buffering ability; the leachate pH of waste rocks with more carbonate minerals was higher than that of sulfide minerals. Both As and Pb were released most under MD leaching in comparison to RW, reaching 6.57 and 60.32 mg/kg, respectively, due to MD’s low pH and high Eh value. However, As in waste rock released more under alkaline conditions because part of the arsenic was in the form of arsenate. As and Pb release were mainly positively correlated with the proportions of sulfide minerals in these waste rocks. MD leaching significantly promoted the release of As and Pb from waste rocks, which would cause a great threat to the surrounding environment, and control measures were imperative. This paper not only reveals the As and Pb pollution mechanism around the lead–zinc mining area but also provides a theoretical basis for the prevention and control of As and Pb pollution in the future. Full article
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15 pages, 2362 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Different Soil Component Couplings on the Methylation and Bioavailability of Mercury in Soil
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110942 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 752
Abstract
Soil composition can influence the chemical forms and bioavailability of soil mercury (Hg). However, previous studies have predominantly focused on the influence of individual components on the biogeochemical behavior of soil Hg, while the influence of various component interactions among several individual factors [...] Read more.
Soil composition can influence the chemical forms and bioavailability of soil mercury (Hg). However, previous studies have predominantly focused on the influence of individual components on the biogeochemical behavior of soil Hg, while the influence of various component interactions among several individual factors remain unclear. In this study, artificial soil was prepared by precisely regulating its components, and a controlled potted experiment was conducted to investigate the influence of various organic and inorganic constituents, as well as different soil textures resulting from their coupling, on soil Hg methylation and its bioavailability. Our findings show that inorganic components in the soils primarily exhibit adsorption and fixation effects on Hg, thereby reducing the accumulation of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in plants. It is noteworthy that iron sulfide simultaneously resulted in an increase in soil MeHg concentration (277%). Concentrations of THg and MeHg in soil with peat were lower in rice but greater in spinach. A correlation analysis indicated that the size of soil particles was a crucial factor affecting the accumulation of Hg in plants. Consequently, even though fulvic acid activated soil Hg, it significantly increased the proportion of soil particles smaller than 100.8 μm, thus inhibiting the accumulation of Hg in plants, particularly reducing the concentration of THg (93%) and MeHg (85%) in water spinach. These results demonstrate that the interaction of organic and inorganic components can influence the biogeochemical behavior of soil Hg not only through their chemical properties, but also by altering the soil texture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
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16 pages, 2132 KiB  
Article
Contamination Status, Environmental Factor and Risk Assessment of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Hexachlorobutadiene in Greenhouse and Open-Field Agricultural Soils across China
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110941 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 867
Abstract
With the popularization and high-intensity utilization of greenhouse cultivation for crops growth, the pollution of greenhouse soils has been of concern. Therefore, a national-scale survey was conducted to investigate the contamination status, sources, influence factors and the risks of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and [...] Read more.
With the popularization and high-intensity utilization of greenhouse cultivation for crops growth, the pollution of greenhouse soils has been of concern. Therefore, a national-scale survey was conducted to investigate the contamination status, sources, influence factors and the risks of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) in greenhouse and nearby open-field soils. Contents of PCBs ranged from <LOD to 673.78 ng/g (mean: 77.38 ng/g) in greenhouse soils, and <LOD to 552.53 ng/g (mean: 61.90 ng/g) in open-field soils. HCBD was detected in all greenhouse soils with content ranging from 0.85 to 24.18 ng/g (mean: 8.33 ng/g), and a range of <LOD-20.19 ng/g (mean: 6.39 ng/g) in open-field soils. The sources of PCBs were the disposal of electrical equipment, domestic coal, wood burning emissions, etc. Levels of PCBs and HCBD were not correlated with the soil properties but positively correlated with Pseudomonas as the PCBs-degrader in open-field soils. Although the higher values of mean contents were found in greenhouses, the health risks of ΣPCBs in open-field soils were higher than in greenhouse soils due to the higher percentages of high-toxicity PCBs, especially the carcinogenic risks to children (>10−6). This study provided a full insight on the contamination status and risks of PCBs and HCBD when guiding greenhouse agriculture activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil and Water Pollution, Remediation and Ecotoxicity Assessment)
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25 pages, 5017 KiB  
Review
Recent Strategies for the Remediation of Textile Dyes from Wastewater: A Systematic Review
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110940 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1248
Abstract
The presence of dye in wastewater causes substantial threats to the environment, and has negative impacts not only on human health but also on the health of other organisms that are part of the ecosystem. Because of the increase in textile manufacturing, the [...] Read more.
The presence of dye in wastewater causes substantial threats to the environment, and has negative impacts not only on human health but also on the health of other organisms that are part of the ecosystem. Because of the increase in textile manufacturing, the inhabitants of the area, along with other species, are subjected to the potentially hazardous consequences of wastewater discharge from textile and industrial manufacturing. Different types of dyes emanating from textile wastewater have adverse effects on the aquatic environment. Various methods including physical, chemical, and biological strategies are applied in order to reduce the amount of dye pollution in the environment. The development of economical, ecologically acceptable, and efficient strategies for treating dye-containing wastewater is necessary. It has been shown that microbial communities have significant potential for the remediation of hazardous dyes in an environmentally friendly manner. In order to improve the efficacy of dye remediation, numerous cutting-edge strategies, including those based on nanotechnology, microbial biosorbents, bioreactor technology, microbial fuel cells, and genetic engineering, have been utilized. This article addresses the latest developments in physical, chemical, eco-friendly biological and advanced strategies for the efficient mitigation of dye pollution in the environment, along with the related challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies to Decontaminate Pollutants in Water 2.0)
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19 pages, 2272 KiB  
Article
Responses of Mytilus galloprovincialis in a Multi-Stressor Scenario: Effects of an Invasive Seaweed Exudate and Microplastic Pollution under Ocean Warming
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110939 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1411
Abstract
Microplastic pollution, global warming, and invasive species are known threats to marine biota, but the impact of their simultaneous exposure is still not well understood. This study investigated whether the toxic effects posed by the invasive red seaweed Asparagopsis armata exudate (2%) to [...] Read more.
Microplastic pollution, global warming, and invasive species are known threats to marine biota, but the impact of their simultaneous exposure is still not well understood. This study investigated whether the toxic effects posed by the invasive red seaweed Asparagopsis armata exudate (2%) to the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis are amplified by a 96 h exposure to increased temperature (24 °C) and polyethylene microplastics (PE-MPs, 1 mg/L). Biochemical (neurotoxicity, energy metabolism, oxidative stress, and damage) and physiological (byssal thread production) responses were evaluated. The number of produced byssus greatly decreased under concomitant exposure to all stressors. The antioxidant defences were depleted in the gills of mussels exposed to temperature rises and PE-MPs, regardless of exudate exposure, preventing oxidative damage. Moreover, the heat shock protein content tended to decrease in all treatments relative to the control. The increased total glutathione in the mussels’ digestive gland exposed to 24 °C, exudate, and PE-MPs avoided oxidative damage. Neurotoxicity was observed in the same treatment. In contrast, the energy metabolism remained unaltered. In conclusion, depending on the endpoint, simultaneous exposure to A. armata exudate, PE-MPs, and warming does not necessarily mean an amplification of their single effects. Studies focusing on the impact of multiple stressors are imperative to better understand the underlying mechanisms of this chronic exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Contaminants in a Changing World)
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18 pages, 5194 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of a New Alcohol-Free Organic Acid-Based Hand Sanitizer against Foodborne Pathogens
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110938 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1571
Abstract
In light of the global health crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous experts have deemed the utilization of hand sanitizers imperative as a precautionary measure against the virus. Consequently, the demand for hand sanitizers has experienced a substantial surge. Since the beginning [...] Read more.
In light of the global health crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous experts have deemed the utilization of hand sanitizers imperative as a precautionary measure against the virus. Consequently, the demand for hand sanitizers has experienced a substantial surge. Since the beginning of 2020, the utilization of alcohol-free hand sanitizers has been increasingly favored due to the potential risks associated with alcohol poisoning, flammability, as well as the adverse effects on skin lipid dissolution, dehydration, and sebum reduction, which can lead to severe cases of eczema and norovirus infections. In this study, we developed an aqueous hand sanitizer that does not contain alcohol. The sanitizer consists of naturally occurring, food-grade organic acids, including lactic, citric, and azelaic acids. Additionally, food-grade ammonium sulfate and a small amount of povidone-iodine (PVPI) were included in the formulation to create a synergistic and potent antibacterial effect. The effectiveness of the hand sanitizer was evaluated against four common foodborne pathogens, namely Clostridium botulinum, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus, via in vitro testing. The organic acids exhibited a synergistic inhibitory function, resulting in a 3-log reduction in CFU/mL. Furthermore, the presence of povidone-iodine and ammonium sulfate enhanced their antibacterial effect, leading to a 4-log reduction in CFU/mL. The hand sanitizer solution remained stable even after 60 days of storage. During this period, the detection of additional triiodide (I3) ions occurred, which have the ability to release broad-spectrum molecular iodine upon penetrating the cell walls. This alcohol-free hand sanitizer may offer extended protection and is anticipated to be gentle on the skin. This is attributed to the presence of citric and lactic acids, which possess cosmetic properties that soften and smoothen the skin, along with antioxidant properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agrochemicals and Food Toxicology)
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16 pages, 3457 KiB  
Article
Toxic Relationships: Prediction of TBT’s Affinity to the Ecdysteroid Receptor of Triops longicaudatus
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110937 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Tributyltin (TBT) is a biocide introduced in the 1960s in antifouling paints. Despite legislation banning its use, its persistence in the environment still causes significant harm to organisms. Tributyltin is a ligand of retinoid X receptors (RXR) and ecdysteroid receptors (EcRs), which in [...] Read more.
Tributyltin (TBT) is a biocide introduced in the 1960s in antifouling paints. Despite legislation banning its use, its persistence in the environment still causes significant harm to organisms. Tributyltin is a ligand of retinoid X receptors (RXR) and ecdysteroid receptors (EcRs), which in arthropods act as homologs of RXR. Focusing on Metazoan species, this study used genomic and proteomic information from different sources to compare their three-dimensional structure, phylogenetic distribution, and amino acid sequence alterations. The objective was to identify possible patterns that relate organisms’ sensitivity to TBT using the species Triops longicaudatus as the basis for the comparisons. The results showed great conservation of this protein across several species when comparing the interaction amino acids described to RXR (an EcR analog) in Homo sapiens. The three-dimensional comparison of RXR showed little conformational variation between different sequences by maintaining the interaction pocket. As for the Species Sensitivity Distribution (SSD) curve, an HC05 = 0.2649 [0.0789–0.7082] µg/L was obtained with no specific distribution between the different taxa. Protein-ligand docking analysis was then used to confirm the SSD curve ranking of species. Still, the results showed an opposite trend that may be related, for example, to differences in the LC50 values used in the calculations. This study serves as the first step for applying bioinformatics techniques to produce information that can be used as an alternative to animal or cellular experimentation. These techniques could be adapted to various chemicals and proteins, allowing for observations in a shorter timeframe and providing information on a broader spectrum. Full article
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18 pages, 4028 KiB  
Article
Quantification and Chemical Characterization of Plastic Additives and Small Microplastics (<100 μm) in Highway Road Dust
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110936 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1115
Abstract
Road dust is one of the environment’s most important microplastic and plastic additive sources. Traffic vehicles and the wear of tires can release these emerging contaminants, which can be resuspended in the air and washed off by stormwater runoff. In this study, a [...] Read more.
Road dust is one of the environment’s most important microplastic and plastic additive sources. Traffic vehicles and the wear of tires can release these emerging contaminants, which can be resuspended in the air and washed off by stormwater runoff. In this study, a concurrent quantification and chemical characterization of additives, plasticizers, natural and non-plastic synthetic fibers (APFs), and small microplastics (SMPs, <100 µm) in samples of highway road dust (HWRD) was performed. The sampling procedure was optimized, as well as pretreatment (extraction, purification, and filtration) and analysis via micro-FTIR. The average length of the SMPs was 88 µm, while the average width was 50 µm. The highest abundance of SMPs was detected in HWRD 7 (802 ± 39 SMPs/g). Among the polymers characterized and quantified, vinyl ester and polytetrafluoroethylene were predominant. APFs’ average particle length was 80 µm and their width was 45 µm, confirming that both of these emerging pollutants are less than 100 µm in size. Their maximum concentration was in RD7, with 1044 ± 45 APFs/g. Lubricants and plasticizers are the two most abundant categories, followed by vulcanizing agents, accelerators, and pre-vulcanizing retarders derived mainly from tires. A potential relationship between APFs and SMPs in the different seasons was observed, as their concentration was lower in summer for both and higher in winter 2022. These results will be significant in investigating the load of these pollutants from highways, which is urgently necessary for more accurate inclusion in emission inventories, receptor modeling, and health protection programs by policymakers, especially in air and water pollution policies, to prevent risks to human health. Full article
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12 pages, 1809 KiB  
Review
(Micro)Plastics Are Toxic Pollutants
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110935 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1503
Abstract
Plastics, including microplastics, have generally been regarded as harmful to organisms because of their physical characteristics. There has recently been a call to understand and regard them as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic. This review elaborates on the reasons that microplastics in particular should [...] Read more.
Plastics, including microplastics, have generally been regarded as harmful to organisms because of their physical characteristics. There has recently been a call to understand and regard them as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic. This review elaborates on the reasons that microplastics in particular should be considered as “toxic pollutants”. This view is supported by research demonstrating that they contain toxic chemicals within their structure and also adsorb additional chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, metals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), from the environment. Furthermore, these chemicals can be released into tissues of animals that consume microplastics and can be responsible for the harmful effects observed on biological processes such as development, physiology, gene expression, and behavior. Leachates, weathering, and biofilm play important roles in the interactions between microplastics and biota. Global policy efforts by the United Nations Environmental Assembly via the international legally binding treaty to address global plastic pollution should consider the designation of harmful plastics (e.g., microplastics) with associated hazardous chemicals as toxic pollutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The 10th Anniversary of Toxics)
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16 pages, 1865 KiB  
Article
Expression Profiling of Adipogenic and Anti-Adipogenic MicroRNA Sequences following Methylmercury Exposure in Caenorhabditis elegans
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110934 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 804
Abstract
MicroRNA (miRNA) are important regulators of gene expression that respond not only to developmental and pathological cues, but also to environmental stimuli. Dyslipidemia is a hallmark of metabolic conditions and has been shown to significantly affect the expression of circulating miRNA sequences. Recently, [...] Read more.
MicroRNA (miRNA) are important regulators of gene expression that respond not only to developmental and pathological cues, but also to environmental stimuli. Dyslipidemia is a hallmark of metabolic conditions and has been shown to significantly affect the expression of circulating miRNA sequences. Recently, our lab has shown that the environmental toxicant methylmercury (MeHg) causes dyslipidemia in the Caenorhabditis elegans model organism. While 10 and 20 μM MeHg increases the expression of adipogenic transcription factors and lipid-binding proteins in worms, there is limited information on how the toxicant affects the miRNA regulators of these genes. We hypothesized that MeHg would increase the expression of adipogenic miRNA sequences and/or decrease the expression of anti-adipogenic miRNA sequences. We further hypothesized that the target mRNA sequences for the miRNAs affected by MeHg would be consequently altered. We selected three potentially adipogenic (mir-34, mir-124, and mir-355) and three potentially anti-adipogenic (mir-240, mir-786, and let-7) miRNA sequences homologous to known human miRNA sequences altered in obesity, and quantified their levels 24 h and 48 h post MeHg treatment. At 24 h post exposure, MeHg significantly increased expression of both the adipogenic and anti-adipogenic miRNA sequences 1.5–3x above untreated control. By 48 h post exposure, only the adipogenic miRNA sequences were elevated, while the anti-adipogenic miRNA sequences were decreased by 50% compared to untreated control. These data suggest that there are developmental changes in miRNA expression over time following MeHg exposure. We next selected one target mRNA sequence for each miRNA sequence based on miRNA–mRNA relationships observed in humans. MeHg altered the gene expression of all the target genes assayed. Except for mir-34, all the tested miRNA–mRNA sequences showed a conserved relationship between nematode and humans. To determine whether the selected miRNA sequences were involved in lipid accumulation in response to MeHg, lipid storage was investigated in transgenic worm strains that lacked the specific miRNA strains. Of the six strains investigated, only the mir-124 and let-7 mutant worms had lipid storage levels that were statistically different from wild type, suggesting that these two sequences can be potential mediators of MeHg-induced lipid dysregulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Exposure to Heavy Metals and Health Risks)
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19 pages, 4684 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Contamination by Indoor Dust in Dubai
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110933 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 896
Abstract
Nowadays, people spend most of their time indoors. Despite constantly cleaning these spaces, dust apparition cannot be avoided. Since dust can contain chemical elements that negatively impact people’s health, we propose the analysis of the metals from the indoor dust component collected in [...] Read more.
Nowadays, people spend most of their time indoors. Despite constantly cleaning these spaces, dust apparition cannot be avoided. Since dust can contain chemical elements that negatively impact people’s health, we propose the analysis of the metals from the indoor dust component collected in different locations in Dubai, UAE. Multivariate statistics (correlation matrix, clustering) and quality indicators (QI)—Igeo, PI, EF, PLI, Nemerow—were used to assess the contamination level with different metals in the dust. We proposed two new QIs (CPI and AQI) and compared the results with those provided by the most used indices—PLI and Nemerow. It is shown that high concentrations of some elements (Ca in this case) can significantly increase the values of the Nemerow index, CPI, and AQI. In contrast, the existence of low concentrations leads to the decrement of the PLI. Full article
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29 pages, 37050 KiB  
Article
Determination of the Spatial Distribution of Air Pollutants in Bucheon, Republic of Korea, in Winter Using a GIS-Based Mobile Laboratory
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110932 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 723
Abstract
Driven by industrialization and urbanization, urban air pollution can increase respiratory, heart, and cerebrovascular diseases, and thus mortality rates; as such, it is necessary to improve air quality through the consideration of individual pollutants and emission sources. In Republic of Korea, national and [...] Read more.
Driven by industrialization and urbanization, urban air pollution can increase respiratory, heart, and cerebrovascular diseases, and thus mortality rates; as such, it is necessary to improve air quality through the consideration of individual pollutants and emission sources. In Republic of Korea, national and local governments have installed urban and roadside air quality monitoring systems. However, stations are lacking outside metropolitan regions, and roadside stations are sparsely distributed, limiting comparisons of pollutant concentrations with vehicle traffic and floating population levels. Local governments have begun using mobile laboratories (MLs) to supplement the fixed measurement network and investigate road pollution source characteristics based on their spatiotemporal distribution; however, the collected data cannot be used effectively if they are not visualized. Here, we propose a method to collect and visualize global information system (GIS)-based air quality data overlayed with environmental variables to support air quality management measures. Spatiotemporal analyses of ML-derived data from Bucheon, Korea, confirmed that particulate and gaseous pollutant concentrations were high during typical commuting hours, at intersections, and at a specially managed road. During commuting hours, the maximum PM10 concentration reached 200.7 µg/m3 in the Nae-dong, Gyeongin-ro, and Ojeong-dong ready-mix concrete complex areas, and the maximum PM2.5 concentration was 161.7 µg/m3. The maximum NOx, NO2, and NO levels of 1.34 ppm, 0.18 ppm, and 1.18 ppm, respectively, were also detected during commuting hours. These findings support the need for targeted management of air pollution in this region, and highlight the benefit of comprehensively comparing road levels, driving speed, and traffic levels when identifying hotspots of air pollution. Such analyses will contribute to the development of air quality management measures customized to regional characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Pollution and Human Health)
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16 pages, 3912 KiB  
Article
Strategies for Effective Management of Indoor Air Quality in a Kindergarten: CO2 and Fine Particulate Matter Concentrations
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110931 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 997
Abstract
The educational and play-related activities of children proceed mainly indoors in a kindergarten. High concentrations of indoor PM2.5 and CO2 have been linked to various harmful effects on children, considerably impacting their educational outcomes in kindergarten. In this study, we explore [...] Read more.
The educational and play-related activities of children proceed mainly indoors in a kindergarten. High concentrations of indoor PM2.5 and CO2 have been linked to various harmful effects on children, considerably impacting their educational outcomes in kindergarten. In this study, we explore different scenarios involving the operation of mechanical ventilation systems and air purifiers in kindergartens. Using numerical models to analyze indoor CO2 and PM2.5 concentration, we aim to optimize strategies that effectively reduce these harmful pollutants. We found that the amount of ventilation required to maintain good air quality, per child, was approximately 20.4 m3/h. However, we also found that as the amount of ventilation increased, so did the concentration of indoor PM2.5; we found that this issue can be resolved using a high-grade filter (i.e., a MERV 13 grade filter with a collection efficiency of 75%). This study provides a scientific basis for reducing PM2.5 concentrations in kindergartens, while keeping CO2 levels low. Full article
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14 pages, 1172 KiB  
Article
Alcohol Consumption Assessed by a Biomarker and Self-Reported Drinking in a Sample of Pregnant Women in the South of Europe: A Comparative Study
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110930 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 949
Abstract
(1) Background: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a major concern, particularly in Europe and North America. Its prevalence has so far been under-researched. In most studies, the determination of this consumption may be underestimated, as it is based on the information obtained from [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a major concern, particularly in Europe and North America. Its prevalence has so far been under-researched. In most studies, the determination of this consumption may be underestimated, as it is based on the information obtained from questionnaires rather than from biomarkers, which will provide a much more reliable approach. The main objective of this study was to compare the prevalence of consumption during pregnancy as assessed by a questionnaire and a hair biomarker. (2) Method: A cross-sectional study with a random sample of 425 pregnant women treated in public hospital consultations in Seville (Spain) and in the 20th week of their pregnancy, orally interviewed using an elaborated ad hoc questionnaire that evaluated variables of sociodemographic, obstetric, and alcohol consumption. Furthermore, the ethyl glucuronide metabolite (EtG) was tested on a hair sample in 252 pregnant women who agreed to facilitate it. Once the data obtained through the questionnaire and hair test were analyzed, the level of metabolites and self-reported alcohol consumption were compared. (3) Results: The prevalence of self-reported alcohol consumption (questionnaire) was 20.7%, and the real consumption (metabolite analysis) was 20.2%. In 16.8% of pregnant women who declared not consuming alcohol during their pregnancy, noticeable consumption was detected according to the metabolite test. No relevant level of variability in estimated alcohol consumption was detected in the biomarker with respect to the sociodemographic and obstetric variables studied. (4) Conclusions: The prevalence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy obtained through both questionnaires and metabolite analyses was similar and high. There is no association between consumption and sociodemographic factors in this sample. The determination of consumption through biomarkers allows for a more accurate approximation of the prevalence of consumption than estimated through questionnaires. Larger sample-sized studies are needed to determine consumption patterns and thus guide the adoption of more precise policies fostering abstinence from alcohol consumption since the preconception period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Toxicology and Epidemiology)
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15 pages, 1251 KiB  
Article
The Uptake of Rare Trace Elements by Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110929 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 631
Abstract
Technological development has increased the use of chemical elements that have hitherto received scant scientific attention as environmental contaminants. Successful management of these rare trace elements (RTEs) requires elucidation of their mobility in the soil–plant system. We aimed to determine the capacity of [...] Read more.
Technological development has increased the use of chemical elements that have hitherto received scant scientific attention as environmental contaminants. Successful management of these rare trace elements (RTEs) requires elucidation of their mobility in the soil–plant system. We aimed to determine the capacity of Lolium perenne (a common pasture species) to tolerate and accumulate the RTEs Be, Ga, In, La, Ce, Nd, and Gd in a fluvial recent soil. Cadmium was used as a reference as a well-studied contaminant that is relatively mobile in the soil–plant system. Soil was spiked with 2.5–283 mg kg−1 of RTE or Cd salts, representing five, 10, 20, and 40 times their background concentrations in soil. For Be, Ce, In, and La, there was no growth reduction, even at the highest soil concentrations (76, 1132, 10.2, and 874 mg kg−1, respectively), which resulted in foliar concentrations of 7.1, 12, 0.11, and 50 mg kg−1, respectively. The maximum no-biomass reduction foliar concentrations for Cd, Gd, Nd, and Ga were 0.061, 0.1, 7.1, and 11 mg kg−1, respectively. Bioaccumulation coefficients ranged from 0.0030–0.95, and increased Ce < In < Nd ≅ Gd < La ≅ Be ≅ Ga < Cd. Beryllium and La were the RTEs most at risk of entering the food chain via L. perenne, as their toxicity thresholds were not reached in the ranges tested, and the bioaccumulation coefficient (plant/soil concentration quotient) trends indicated that uptake would continue to increase at higher soil concentrations. In contrast, In and Ce were the elements least likely to enter the food chain. Further research should repeat the experiments in different soil types or with different plant species to test the robustness of the findings. Full article
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15 pages, 7415 KiB  
Article
Suppressed Histone H3 Lysine 18 Acetylation Is Involved in Arsenic-Induced Liver Fibrosis in Rats by Triggering the Dedifferentiation of Liver Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110928 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 961
Abstract
Arsenic pollution is a global environmental concern. Arsenic-induced chronic liver injury and its irreversible outcomes, including liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, threaten the health of residents in arsenic-contaminated areas. Liver fibrosis is a reversible pathological stage in the progression of arsenic-induced chronic liver [...] Read more.
Arsenic pollution is a global environmental concern. Arsenic-induced chronic liver injury and its irreversible outcomes, including liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, threaten the health of residents in arsenic-contaminated areas. Liver fibrosis is a reversible pathological stage in the progression of arsenic-induced chronic liver injury to cirrhosis and liver cancer. The aim of this study is to identify the epigenetic mechanism of arsenic-induced liver fibrosis based on the dedifferentiation of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs). Rats were treated with 0.0, 2.5, 5.0, or 10.0 mg/kg sodium arsenite for 36 weeks. Marked fibrotic phenotypes were observed in the rat livers, manifested by hepatic stellate cell activation and an increased extracellular matrix, as well as the deposition of collagen fibers. The reduced fenestrations on the cells’ surface and the increased expression of the dedifferentiation marker CD31 corroborated the LSECs’ dedifferentiation in the liver tissue, which was also found to be significantly associated with fibrotic phenotypes. We further revealed that arsenic exposure could inhibit the enrichment of histone H3 lysine 18 acetylation (H3K18ac) in the promoters of Fcgr2b and Lyve1, two key genes responsible for maintaining the differentiation phenotype of LSECs. This inhibition subsequently suppressed the genes’ expression, promoting LSEC dedifferentiation and subsequent liver fibrosis. In conclusion, arsenic can trigger liver fibrosis by inhibiting H3K18ac-dependent maintenance of LSEC differentiation. These findings uncover a novel mechanism of arsenic-induced liver fibrosis based on a new insight into epigenetically dependent LSEC dedifferentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exposome Analysis and Risk Assessment)
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14 pages, 8578 KiB  
Review
Simulating Microscale Urban Airflow and Pollutant Distributions Based on Computational Fluid Dynamics Model: A Review
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110927 - 13 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 935
Abstract
Urban surfaces exert profound influences on local wind patterns, turbulence dynamics, and the dispersion of air pollutants, underscoring the critical need for a thorough understanding of these processes in the realms of urban planning, design, construction, and air quality management. The advent of [...] Read more.
Urban surfaces exert profound influences on local wind patterns, turbulence dynamics, and the dispersion of air pollutants, underscoring the critical need for a thorough understanding of these processes in the realms of urban planning, design, construction, and air quality management. The advent of advanced computational capabilities has propelled the computational fluid dynamics model (CFD) into becoming a mature and widely adopted tool to investigate microscale meteorological phenomena in urban settings. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of CFD-based microscale meteorological simulations, offering insights into their applications, influential factors, and challenges. Significant variables such as the aspect ratio of street canyons, building geometries, ambient wind directions, atmospheric boundary layer stabilities, and street tree configurations play crucial roles in influencing microscale physical processes and the dispersion of air pollutants. The integration of CFD with mesoscale meteorological models and cutting-edge machine learning techniques empowers high-resolution, precise simulations of urban meteorology, establishing a robust scientific basis for sustainable urban development, the mitigation of air pollution, and emergency response planning for hazardous substances. Nonetheless, the broader application of CFD in this domain introduces challenges in grid optimization, enhancing integration with mesoscale models, addressing data limitations, and simulating diverse weather conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Pollution and Human Health)
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13 pages, 1164 KiB  
Article
Exposure Profile and Characteristics of Parabens and Alkylphenols in Plasma among Rural Adults in Central China
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110926 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Parabens and alkylphenols pose serious hazards to human health, yet there are few studies on their exposure profiles and health risks in rural Chinese populations. In this study, 804 participants were selected from the Henan Rural Cohort in mid-eastern China. The plasma levels [...] Read more.
Parabens and alkylphenols pose serious hazards to human health, yet there are few studies on their exposure profiles and health risks in rural Chinese populations. In this study, 804 participants were selected from the Henan Rural Cohort in mid-eastern China. The plasma levels of parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben (BuP)) and alkylphenols (4-tert-butylphenol (4-t-BP), 4-tert-octylphenol (4-t-OP)) were analyzed via liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Linear regression models were used to investigate factors that may influence pollutant exposure levels. The correlation between contaminants was assessed using Spearman’s correlation. The human contaminant intake was estimated using the estimated daily intake (EDI). The health risk was assessed using the hazard quotient (HQ). The detection frequency of four parabens and two alkylphenols exceeded 75%, with median concentrations of 0.444, 0.067, 0.078, 0.053, 8.810, and 6.401 ng/mL, respectively. Significant correlations were observed between parabens, as well as between 4-t-BP and 4-t-OP. Regarding gender, paraben concentrations were higher in women than in men, except for BuP. The EDI for pollutants except 4-t-OP was lower than their respective tolerable/acceptable daily intake. In total, 85.70% of participants had 4-t-OP HQ > 1. A widespread exposure to parabens and alkylphenols among the rural population was found. The high health risks of alkylphenol exposure indicate that alkylphenols should be used with caution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors Exposure, Toxicity and Health Risk Assessment)
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15 pages, 3854 KiB  
Article
Endogenous FGF1 Deficiency Aggravates Doxorubicin-Induced Hepatotoxicity
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110925 - 12 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
Doxorubicin (DOX) is a broad-spectrum antineoplastic agent that widely used in clinic. However, its application is largely limited by its toxicity in multiple organs. Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) showed protective potential in various liver diseases, but the role of endogenous FGF1 in [...] Read more.
Doxorubicin (DOX) is a broad-spectrum antineoplastic agent that widely used in clinic. However, its application is largely limited by its toxicity in multiple organs. Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) showed protective potential in various liver diseases, but the role of endogenous FGF1 in DOX-induced liver damage is currently unknown. Both wild-type (WT) and FGF1 knockout (FGF1-KO) mice were treated with DOX. DOX induced loss of body weight and liver weight and elevation of ALT and AST in WT mice, which were aggravated by FGF1 deletion. FGF1 deletion exacerbated hepatic oxidative stress mirrored by further elevated 3-nitrosative modification of multiple proteins and malondialdehyde content. These were accompanied by blunted compensatively antioxidative responses indicated by impaired upregulation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 and its downstream antioxidant gene expression. The aggravated oxidative stress was coincided with exacerbated cell apoptosis in DOX-treated FGF1-KO mice reflected by further increased TUNEL positive cell staining and BCL-2-associated X expression and caspase 3 cleavage. These detrimental changes in DOX-treated FGF1-KO mice were associated with worsened intestinal fibrosis and increased upregulation fibrotic marker connective tissue growth factor and α-smooth muscle actin expression. However, DOX-induced hepatic inflammatory responses were not further affected by FGF1 deletion. These results demonstrate that endogenous FGF1 deficiency aggravates DOX-induced liver damage and FGF1 is a potential therapeutic target for treatment of DOX-associated hepatoxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drugs Toxicity)
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16 pages, 4875 KiB  
Article
Polystyrene Nanoplastics in Aquatic Microenvironments Affect Sperm Metabolism and Fertilization of Mytilus galloprovincialis (Lamark, 1819)
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110924 - 11 Nov 2023
Viewed by 813
Abstract
The continuous and unregulated discharge of wastes and pollutants into the aquatic environment has required constant monitoring of the risks incurred by aquatic ecosystems. Alarmism arises from plastic pollution as larger artifacts release nanoscale fragments that can contact free-living stages such as gametes, [...] Read more.
The continuous and unregulated discharge of wastes and pollutants into the aquatic environment has required constant monitoring of the risks incurred by aquatic ecosystems. Alarmism arises from plastic pollution as larger artifacts release nanoscale fragments that can contact free-living stages such as gametes, embryos, and larvae. Specifically, the interaction between spermatozoa, released in water in externally fertilizing species, and the surrounding microenvironment is essential for successful fertilization. Activation and kinematics of movement, proper maintenance of ionic balance, and chemotactism are processes highly sensitive to even minimal perturbations caused by pollutants such as polystyrene nanoplastics. Spermatozoa of Mytilus galloprovincialis (M. galloprovincialis), an excellent ecotoxicological model, undergo structural (plasma membrane ruptures, DNA damage) and metabolic (reduced motility, fertilizing capacity) damage upon exposure to 50 nm amino-modified polystyrene nanoplastics (nPS-NH2). Nanoplastics of larger diameter (100 nm) did not affect sperm parameters. The findings highlighted the negative impact that plastic pollution, related to nanoparticle diameter and concentration, could have on sperm quality and reproductive potential of organisms, altering the equilibrium of aquatic ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spotlight on the Ecotoxicological Impacts of Plastic Pollution)
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14 pages, 3880 KiB  
Article
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine Ameliorates BPAF-Induced Porcine Sertoli Cell Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Arrest via Inhibiting the ROS Level
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110923 - 11 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1019
Abstract
Bisphenol AF (BPAF) is a newly identified contaminant in the environment that has been linked to impairment of the male reproductive system. However, only a few studies have systematically studied the mechanisms underlying BPAF-induced toxicity in testicular Sertoli cells. Hence, this study primarily [...] Read more.
Bisphenol AF (BPAF) is a newly identified contaminant in the environment that has been linked to impairment of the male reproductive system. However, only a few studies have systematically studied the mechanisms underlying BPAF-induced toxicity in testicular Sertoli cells. Hence, this study primarily aims to explore the toxic mechanism of BPAF on the porcine Sertoli cell line (ST cells). The effects of various concentrations of BPAF on ST cell viability and cytotoxicity were evaluated using the Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay. The results demonstrated that exposure to a high concentration of BPAF (above 50 μM) significantly inhibited ST cell viability due to marked cytotoxicity. Flow cytometry analysis further confirmed that BPAF facilitated apoptosis and induced cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase. Moreover, BPAF exposure upregulated the expression of pro-apoptotic markers BAD and BAX while downregulating anti-apoptotic and cell proliferation markers BCL-2, PCNA, CDK2, and CDK4. BPAF exposure also resulted in elevated intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA), alongside reduced activities of the antioxidants glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Furthermore, the ROS scavenger N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) effectively blocked BPAF-triggered apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Therefore, this study suggests that BPAF induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in ST cells by activating ROS-mediated pathways. These findings enhance our understanding of BPAF’s role in male reproductive toxicity and provide a foundation for future toxicological assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Exposure and Reproductive Health)
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16 pages, 3751 KiB  
Article
Growth Hormones in Broad Bean (Vicia faba L.) and Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus L.) Are Associated with Accumulated Concentrations of Perfluoroalkyl Substances
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110922 - 11 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1018
Abstract
In this study, we grew radish (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus L.) and broad beans (Vicia faba L.) in a greenhouse on soils spiked with a mixture of 15 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and investigated the association between accumulated ∑PFAS concentrations, [...] Read more.
In this study, we grew radish (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus L.) and broad beans (Vicia faba L.) in a greenhouse on soils spiked with a mixture of 15 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and investigated the association between accumulated ∑PFAS concentrations, growth, and hormone levels. Short-chained PFASs dominated aboveground tissues, whereas long-chained PFASs were most abundant in the plant roots. Our results showed that the presence or absence of exodermal Casparian strips, as well as the hydrophobicity and anion exchange capacities of PFASs, could explain the translocation of PFASs within plants. Significant associations found between accumulated PFAS concentrations and levels of gibberellins (GA1 and GA15), methionine, and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) imply potential effects of PFASs on plant development and growth. This study provides the first evidence of associations between PFAS accumulation in plants and growth hormone levels, possibly leading to growth reduction of the apical dome and effects on the cell cycle in pericycle cells and methionine metabolism in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotoxicology and Ecological Risks of PFAS)
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10 pages, 1649 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical Characterization and Oxidative Potential of Iron-Containing Particles Emitted from Xuanwei Coal Combustion
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110921 - 11 Nov 2023
Viewed by 788
Abstract
Respiratory diseases have been proven to be directly related to air pollutants. Xuanwei, located in South China, has been known to have the highest mortality rate for lung cancer in China because of the air pollutants emitted through local coal combustion. However, the [...] Read more.
Respiratory diseases have been proven to be directly related to air pollutants. Xuanwei, located in South China, has been known to have the highest mortality rate for lung cancer in China because of the air pollutants emitted through local coal combustion. However, the mechanism of lung cancer induced by air pollutants is not clear. Based on the fact that a large number of iron-bearing mineral particles was found in Xuanwei coal combustion particles, the iron-containing particles were hypothesized to play important roles in the pathogenesis of the high incidence rate of lung cancer in this area. In this study, raw coal samples were collected from a coal mine in the Xuanwei area. Size-resolved particles emitted from the raw coal samples were collected using an Anderson high-volume sampler. Mineralogical characterization and an assessment of the oxidative potential of the iron-containing particles were conducted using cutting-edge technologies, and the biological activity of the particles were evaluated via DTT assay. Our data showed that the iron-containing minerals accounted for more than 10% of the measured particles emitted from Xuanwei coal combustion samples. The content analysis of ·OH generated from Xuanwei coal combustion particles showed that ·OH content was dependent on the size of particles in the surrogated lung fluid. The concentration of ·OH increased as the particle size decreased. The DTT assay data further demonstrated that when the mass concentration of dissolved irons increased, the oxidation potential of the particles increased. The highest proportion of divalent iron in the total dissolved iron was found in the submicron particles in low pH solution(pH = 1), which indicated that the oxidative potential induced by submicron particles was stronger than that induced by coarse particles and fine particles. Armed with the above data, the toxicological mechanism of the iron-containing mineral particles can be investigated further. Full article
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10 pages, 1114 KiB  
Article
Aluminum Concentrations in Male and Female Football Players during the Season
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 920; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110920 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Aluminum (Al) is one of the most abundant trace mineral elements in the earth’s crust. Al is considered a potent neurotoxicant. Physical exercise could cause modifications in some trace mineral elements. On the other hand, there could be sex differences in the exposure [...] Read more.
Aluminum (Al) is one of the most abundant trace mineral elements in the earth’s crust. Al is considered a potent neurotoxicant. Physical exercise could cause modifications in some trace mineral elements. On the other hand, there could be sex differences in the exposure and deposits of toxic mineral elements. The aim of the present study was to compare sex and seasonal differences in extracellular and intracellular Al concentrations in football players. The study involved 22 male and 24 female football players from the fifth and second national category, respectively. Three assessments were carried out during the season (beginning, middle and end). Al concentrations in plasma, urine, erythrocytes and platelets were determined. Male football players ingested more Al (p < 0.05). Higher plasma Al concentrations were reported in male football players (p < 0.01). On the other hand, in both groups, increases and decreases in Al in the plasma and urine were observed in the second and third assessment, respectively (p < 0.01). There were sex differences in platelet Al concentrations (p < 0.05). Plasma and platelet Al concentrations may be different between the sexes. Al concentrations may change over the course of a season in football players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Metals and Radioactive Substances)
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19 pages, 5267 KiB  
Article
Study on Dynamic Column Behavior and Complexation Mechanism of DBS-Modified Crown Ether-Based Silica to 90Sr
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110919 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 742
Abstract
A crown ether-loaded hybrid adsorbent suitable for the separation and enrichment of strontium from high-level liquid waste was synthesized. 4′,4′(5″)-di(tert-butylcyclohexano)-18-crown-6 (DtBuCH18C6) and its modifiers dodecyl benzenesulfonic acid (DBS) and 1-dodecanol were impregnated into silica-based polymer support. The hybrid adsorbent exhibited excellent Sr(II) selectivity [...] Read more.
A crown ether-loaded hybrid adsorbent suitable for the separation and enrichment of strontium from high-level liquid waste was synthesized. 4′,4′(5″)-di(tert-butylcyclohexano)-18-crown-6 (DtBuCH18C6) and its modifiers dodecyl benzenesulfonic acid (DBS) and 1-dodecanol were impregnated into silica-based polymer support. The hybrid adsorbent exhibited excellent Sr(II) selectivity ability, and effective chromatographic separation and recovery of Sr(II) from simulated high-level liquid waste could be achieved with a (DtBuCH18C6 + DBS + dodec)/SiO2-P packed column. The recovery rate of Sr(II) calculated based on the mass balance was approximately 99% and over 80% for the other coexisting metal ions. An appropriate increase in the concentration of Na-DTPA eluent was favorable to improve the efficiency of the elution process because of the increased complexation capacity of [DTPA]5− to Sr(II). The developed theoretical model can simulate the dynamic breakthrough curves of the material on the basis of short column data, thereby predicting the scale-up column of the practical operation. Density functional theory calculation was used to explore the action mechanism of DBS modifiers on the Sr(II) complexation process of crown ether groups. Two Sr(II) complexation isomeric models of DtBuCH18C6 were established, and the calculation results revealed a similar complexation ability. DtBuCH18C6 could form a stable Sr(II) complexation structure with DBS coordination, which further indicated that DBS could be a ligand to promote the Sr(II) adsorption ability of crown ether materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Adsorbents and Adsorption Methods for Pollutants Removal Ⅱ)
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15 pages, 2081 KiB  
Article
Daphnia magna Multigeneration Exposure to Carbendazim: Gene Transcription Responses
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110918 - 10 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
The world population is experiencing colossal growth and thus demand for food, leading to an increase in the use of pesticides. Persistent pesticide contamination, such as carbendazim, remains a pressing environmental concern, with potentially long-term impacts on aquatic ecosystems. In the present study, [...] Read more.
The world population is experiencing colossal growth and thus demand for food, leading to an increase in the use of pesticides. Persistent pesticide contamination, such as carbendazim, remains a pressing environmental concern, with potentially long-term impacts on aquatic ecosystems. In the present study, Daphnia magna was exposed to carbendazim (5 µg L−1) for 12 generations, with the aim of assessing gene transcription alterations induced by carbendazim (using a D. magna custom microarray). The results showed that carbendazim caused changes in genes involved in the response to stress, DNA replication/repair, neurotransmission, ATP production, and lipid and carbohydrate metabolism at concentrations already found in the environment. These outcomes support the results of previous studies, in which carbendazim induced genotoxic effects and reproduction impairment (increasing the number of aborted eggs with the decreasing number of neonates produced). The exposure of daphnids to carbendazim did not cause a stable change in gene transcription between generations, with more genes being differentially expressed in the F0 generation than in the F12 generation. This could show some possible daphnid acclimation after 12 generations and is aligned with previous multigenerational studies where few ecotoxicological effects at the individual and populational levels and other subcellular level effects (e.g., biochemical biomarkers) were found. Full article
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9 pages, 262 KiB  
Case Report
Biodetoxification Using Intravenous Lipid Emulsion, a Rescue Therapy in Life-Threatening Quetiapine and Venlafaxine Poisoning: A Case Report
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110917 - 09 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1106
Abstract
The administration of intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) is a proven antidote used to reverse local anesthetic-related systemic toxicity. Although the capacity of ILE to generate blood tissue partitioning of lipophilic drugs has been previously demonstrated, a clear recommendation for its use as an [...] Read more.
The administration of intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) is a proven antidote used to reverse local anesthetic-related systemic toxicity. Although the capacity of ILE to generate blood tissue partitioning of lipophilic drugs has been previously demonstrated, a clear recommendation for its use as an antidote for other lipophilic drugs is still under debate. Venlafaxine (an antidepressant acting as a serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)) and quetiapine (a second-generation atypical antipsychotic) are widely used in the treatment of psychotic disorders. Both are lipophilic drugs known to induce cardiotoxicity and central nervous depression. We report the case of a 33-year-old man with a medical history of schizoaffective disorder who was admitted to the emergency department (ED) after having been found unconscious due to a voluntary ingestion of 12 g of quetiapine and 4.5 g of venlafaxine. Initial assessment revealed a cardiorespiratory stable patient but unresponsive with a GCS of 4 (M2 E1 V1). In the ED, he was intubated, and gastric lavage was performed. Immediately after the admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), his condition quickly deteriorated, developing cardiovascular collapse refractory to crystalloids and vasopressor infusion. Junctional bradycardia occurred, followed by spontaneous conversion to sinus rhythm. Subsequently, frequent ventricular extrasystoles, as well as patterns of bigeminy, trigeminy, and even episodes of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, occurred. Additionally, generalized tonic–clonic seizures were observed. Alongside supportive therapy, antiarrhythmic and anticonvulsant therapy, intravenous lipid emulsion bolus, and continuous infusion were administered. His condition progressively improved over the following hours, and 24 h later, he was tapered off the vasopressor. On day 2, the patient repeated the cardiovascular collapse and a second dose of ILE was administered. Over the next few days, the patient’s clinical condition improved, and he was successfully weaned off ventilator and vasopressor support. ILE has the potential to become a form of rescue therapy in cases of severe lipophilic drug poisoning and should be considered a viable treatment for severe cardiovascular instability that is refractory to supportive therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical and Post-Mortem Toxicology)
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