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Toxics, Volume 11, Issue 6 (June 2023) – 75 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Airborne particulate matter (PM) is a vector of many toxic pollutants, including polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their derivatives. The smallest PM fraction penetrates deep into the lungs during inhalation and causes various diseases, depending on the size and chemical composition of the particles. However, knowledge on nitrated PAH components (NPAHs) with toxic potential is still rudimentary. Citotoxicity of four selected NPAHs has been tested on a human kidney cell line. Despite low airborne concentrations measured in an urban atmosphere, NPAHs are potentially harmful to human health and their systematic toxicological assessment at different levels is necessary in order to accurately evaluate their threat and adopt appropriate abatement strategies. View this paper
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17 pages, 774 KiB  
Article
Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Mutagenic Activity and Safety Evaluation of Antrocin
by Yi-Hui Su, Jia-Shuan Wu, Yan-Zhen Dai, Yng-Tay Chen, Yan-Xiu Lin, Yew-Min Tzeng and Jiunn-Wang Liao
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060547 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1311
Abstract
Antrocin is a novel compound isolated from Antrodia cinnamomea, and is classified as a sesquiterpene lactone. The therapeutic efficacy of antrocin has been studied, and it has shown an antiproliferative effect on various cancers. The aim of this study was to evaluate [...] Read more.
Antrocin is a novel compound isolated from Antrodia cinnamomea, and is classified as a sesquiterpene lactone. The therapeutic efficacy of antrocin has been studied, and it has shown an antiproliferative effect on various cancers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-oxidant activity, potential genotoxicity, and oral toxicity of antrocin. Ames tests with five different strains of Salmonella typhimurium, chromosomal aberration tests in CHO-K1 cells, and micronucleus tests in ICR mice were conducted. The results of anti-oxidant capacity assays showed that antrocin has great anti-oxidant activity and is a moderately strong antimutagenic agent. In the results of the genotoxicity assays, antrocin did not show any mutagenic potential. In the 28-day oral toxicity test, Sprague Dawley rats were gavaged with 7.5 or 37.5 mg/kg of antrocin for 28 consecutive days. In addition, 7.5 mg/kg sorafenib, an anti-cancer drug, was used as a positive control for toxicity comparison. At the end of the study, antrocin did not produce any toxic effects according to hematology, serum chemistry, urine analysis, or histopathological examinations. According to the results of the genotoxicity and 28-day oral toxicity study, antrocin, at a dose of 37.5 mg/kg, did not cause adverse effects and can be a reference dose for therapeutic agents in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agrochemicals and Food Toxicology)
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14 pages, 2376 KiB  
Article
Exposure to Methylmercury at Juvenile Stage Worsens Autism-like Symptoms in Adult BTBR T+tf/J Mice Due to Lack of Nuclear Factor Erythroid 2-Related Factor 2 Signaling Upregulation in Periphery and Brain
by Mohammad M. Algahtani, Sheikh F. Ahmad, Layla A. Alkharashi, Naif O. Al-Harbi, Wael A. Alanazi, Abdullah S. Alhamed, Sabry M. Attia, Saleh A. Bakheet, Khalid E. Ibrahim and Ahmed Nadeem
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060546 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1296
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a multifaceted developmental condition that first appears in infancy. The condition is characterized by recurrent patterns in behavior and impairments in social and vocalization abilities. Methylmercury is a toxic environmental pollutant, and its derivatives are the major source [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a multifaceted developmental condition that first appears in infancy. The condition is characterized by recurrent patterns in behavior and impairments in social and vocalization abilities. Methylmercury is a toxic environmental pollutant, and its derivatives are the major source of organic mercury to human beings. Inorganic mercury, which is released from a variety of pollutants into oceans, rivers, and streams, is transformed into methylmercury by bacteria and plankton in the water, which later builds up in fish and shellfish, and then enters humans through the consumption of fish and shellfish and increases the risk of developing ASD by disturbing the oxidant–antioxidant balance. However, there has been no prior research to determine the effect of juvenile exposure of methylmercury chloride on adult BTBR mice. Therefore, the current study evaluated the effect of methylmercury chloride administered during the juvenile stage on autism-like behavior (three-chambered sociability, marble burying, self-grooming tests) and oxidant–antioxidant balance (specifically Nrf2, HO-1, SOD-1, NF-kB, iNOS, MPO, and 3-nitrotyrosine) in the peripheral neutrophils and cortex of adult BTBR and C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Our results show that exposure to methylmercury chloride at a juvenile stage results in autism-like symptoms in adult BTBR mice which are related to a lack of upregulation of the Nrf2 signaling pathway as demonstrated by no significant changes in the expression of Nrf2, HO-1, and SOD-1 in the periphery and cortex. On the other hand, methylmercury chloride administration at a juvenile stage increased oxidative inflammation as depicted by a significant increase in the levels of NF-kB, iNOS, MPO, and 3-nitrotyrosine in the periphery and cortex of adult BTBR mice. This study suggests that juvenile exposure to methylmercury chloride contributes to the worsening of autism-like behavior in adult BTBR mice through the disruption of the oxidant–antioxidant balance in the peripheral compartment and CNS. Strategies that elevate Nrf2 signaling may be useful to counteract toxicant-mediated worsening of ASD and may improve quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurotoxicity)
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18 pages, 3406 KiB  
Article
Facilitated Adsorption of Mercury(II) and Chromium(VI) Ions over Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes
by Gururaj M. Neelgund, Erica A. Jimenez, Ram L. Ray and Mahaveer D. Kurkuri
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060545 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
By considering the importance of water and its purity, herein, a powerful adsorbent has been developed for the adsorption of two toxic contaminants that commonly exist in water, viz., divalent mercury and hexavalent chromium. The efficient adsorbent, CNTs–PLA–Pd, was prepared by covalent grafting [...] Read more.
By considering the importance of water and its purity, herein, a powerful adsorbent has been developed for the adsorption of two toxic contaminants that commonly exist in water, viz., divalent mercury and hexavalent chromium. The efficient adsorbent, CNTs–PLA–Pd, was prepared by covalent grafting polylactic acid to carbon nanotubes and subsequent deposition of palladium nanoparticles. The CNTs–PLA–Pd could adsorb Hg(II), and Cr(VI) entirely exists in water. The adsorption rate for Hg(II) and Cr(VI) was rapid at initial stage, followed by gradual decrease, and attained the equilibrium. The Hg(II) and Cr(VI) adsorption was perceived within 50 min and 80 min, respectively with CNTs–PLA–Pd,. Further, experimental data for Hg(II) and Cr(VI) adsorption was analyzed, and kinetic parameters were estimated using pseudo–first and second–order models. The adsorption process of Hg(II) and Cr(VI) followed the pseudo–second–order kinetics, and the rate–limiting step in the adsorption was chemisorption. The Weber−Morris intraparticle pore diffusion model revealed that the Hg(II) and Cr(VI) adsorption over CNTs–PLA–Pd occurs through multiple phases. The experimental equilibrium parameters for the Hg(II) and Cr(VI) adsorption were estimated by Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin isotherms models. All three models were well suited and demonstrated that Hg(II) and Cr(VI) adsorption over CNTs–PLA–Pd transpires through monolayer molecular covering and chemisorption. Full article
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12 pages, 5021 KiB  
Article
Toxic Effects of Gemcitabine and Paclitaxel Combination: Chemotherapy Drugs Exposure in Zebrafish
by Claudio D’Iglio, Sergio Famulari, Fabiano Capparucci, Claudio Gervasi, Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Nunziacarla Spanò and Davide Di Paola
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060544 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1198
Abstract
Pharmaceuticals are widely recognized as potentially hazardous to aquatic ecosystems. In the last two decades, the constant intake of biologically active chemicals used in human healthcare has been related to the growing release of these agents into natural environments. As reported by several [...] Read more.
Pharmaceuticals are widely recognized as potentially hazardous to aquatic ecosystems. In the last two decades, the constant intake of biologically active chemicals used in human healthcare has been related to the growing release of these agents into natural environments. As reported by several studies, various pharmaceuticals have been detected, mainly in surface water (seas, lakes, and rivers), but also in groundwater and drinking water. Moreover, these contaminants and their metabolites can show biological activity even at very low concentrations. This study aimed to evaluate the developmental toxicity of exposure to the chemotherapy drugs gemcitabine and paclitaxel in aquatic environments. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos were exposed to doses of gemcitabine 15 μM in combination with paclitaxel 1 μM from 0 to 96 h post-fertilization (hpf) using a fish embryo toxicity test (FET). This study highlights that both gemcitabine and paclitaxel exposure at single non-toxic concentrations affected survival and hatching rate, morphology score, and body length after exposure in combination. Additionally, exposure significantly disturbed the antioxidant defense system and increased ROS in zebrafish larvae. Gemcitabine and paclitaxel exposure caused changes in the expression of inflammation-related, endoplasmic reticulum stress-related (ERS), and autophagy-related genes. Taken together, our findings underline that gemcitabine and paclitaxel increase developmental toxicity in zebrafish embryos in a time-dependent manner. Full article
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19 pages, 4284 KiB  
Review
Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Do They Matter to Aquatic Ecosystems?
by Sipra Nayak, Gunanidhi Sahoo, Ipsita Iswari Das, Aman Kumar Mohanty, Rajesh Kumar, Lakshman Sahoo and Jitendra Kumar Sundaray
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060543 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3892
Abstract
Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a group of anthropogenic chemicals with an aliphatic fluorinated carbon chain. Due to their durability, bioaccumulation potential, and negative impacts on living organisms, these compounds have drawn lots of attention across the world. The negative impacts of [...] Read more.
Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a group of anthropogenic chemicals with an aliphatic fluorinated carbon chain. Due to their durability, bioaccumulation potential, and negative impacts on living organisms, these compounds have drawn lots of attention across the world. The negative impacts of PFASs on aquatic ecosystems are becoming a major concern due to their widespread use in increasing concentrations and constant leakage into the aquatic environment. Furthermore, by acting as agonists or antagonists, PFASs may alter the bioaccumulation and toxicity of certain substances. In many species, particularly aquatic organisms, PFASs can stay in the body and induce a variety of negative consequences, such as reproductive toxicity, oxidative stress, metabolic disruption, immunological toxicity, developmental toxicity, cellular damage and necrosis. PFAS bioaccumulation plays a significant role and has an impact on the composition of the intestinal microbiota, which is influenced by the kind of diet and is directly related to the host’s well-being. PFASs also act as endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) which can change the endocrine system and result in dysbiosis of gut microbes and other health repercussions. In silico investigation and analysis also shows that PFASs are incorporated into the maturing oocytes during vitellogenesis and are bound to vitellogenin and other yolk proteins. The present review reveals that aquatic species, especially fishes, are negatively affected by exposure to emerging PFASs. Additionally, the effects of PFAS pollution on aquatic ecosystems were investigated by evaluating a number of characteristics, including extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) and chlorophyll content as well as the diversity of the microorganisms in the biofilms. Therefore, this review will provide crucial information on the possible adverse effects of PFASs on fish growth, reproduction, gut microbial dysbiosis, and its potential endocrine disruption. This information aims to help the researchers and academicians work and come up with possible remedial measures to protect aquatic ecosystems as future works need to be focus on techno-economic assessment, life cycle assessment, and multi criteria decision analysis systems that screen PFAS-containing samples. New innovative methods requires further development to reach detection at the permissible regulatory limits. Full article
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16 pages, 2216 KiB  
Article
Identification and Characterization of Glutathione S-transferase Genes in Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) under Insecticides Stress
by Ahmed A. A. Aioub, Ahmed S. Hashem, Ahmed H. El-Sappah, Amged El-Harairy, Amira A. A. Abdel-Hady, Laila A. Al-Shuraym, Samy Sayed, Qiulan Huang and Sarah I. Z. Abdel-Wahab
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060542 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2137
Abstract
Insect glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) serve critical roles in insecticides and other forms of xenobiotic chemical detoxification. The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), is a major agricultural pest in several countries, especially Egypt. This is the first study to identify and characterize [...] Read more.
Insect glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) serve critical roles in insecticides and other forms of xenobiotic chemical detoxification. The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), is a major agricultural pest in several countries, especially Egypt. This is the first study to identify and characterize GST genes in S. frugiperda under insecticidal stress. The present work evaluated the toxicity of emamectin benzoate (EBZ) and chlorantraniliprole (CHP) against the third-instar larvae of S. frugiperda using the leaf disk method. The LC50 values of EBZ and CHP were 0.029 and 1.250 mg/L after 24 h of exposure. Moreover, we identified 31 GST genes, including 28 cytosolic and 3 microsomal SfGSTs from a transcriptome analysis and the genome data of S. frugiperda. Depending on the phylogenetic analysis, sfGSTs were divided into six classes (delta, epsilon, omega, sigma, theta, and microsomal). Furthermore, we investigated the mRNA levels of 28 GST genes using qRT-PCR under EBZ and CHP stress in the third-instar larvae of S. frugiperda. Interestingly, SfGSTe10 and SfGSTe13 stood out with the highest expression after the EBZ and CHP treatments. Finally, a molecular docking model was constructed between EBZ and CHP using the most upregulated genes (SfGSTe10 and SfGSTe13) and the least upregulated genes (SfGSTs1 and SfGSTe2) of S. frugiperda larvae. The molecular docking study showed EBZ and CHP have a high binding affinity with SfGSTe10, with docking energy values of −24.41 and −26.72 kcal/mol, respectively, and sfGSTe13, with docking energy values of −26.85 and −26.78 kcal/mol, respectively. Our findings are important for understanding the role of GSTs in S. frugiperda regarding detoxification processes for EBZ and CHP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detoxification Mechanisms in Insects)
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11 pages, 1153 KiB  
Article
Association between Air Pollution and Short-Term Outcome of ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction in a Tropical City, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
by Jyun-Bin Huang, Kuo-Chen Huang, Ting-Min Hsieh, Chih-Min Tsai, Hao-Yi Hsiao, Chi-Yung Cheng and Fu-Jen Cheng
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060541 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1053
Abstract
ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), one of the primary factors leading to global mortality, has been shown through epidemiological studies to have a relationship with short-term exposure to air pollutants; however, the association between air pollutants and the outcome of STEMI has not [...] Read more.
ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), one of the primary factors leading to global mortality, has been shown through epidemiological studies to have a relationship with short-term exposure to air pollutants; however, the association between air pollutants and the outcome of STEMI has not been well studied. The aim of this study was to estimate the impact of air pollutants on the outcomes of STEMI. Data on particulate matter <2.5 μm (PM2.5), <10 μm (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) at each of the 11 air monitoring stations in Kaohsiung City were collected between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2017. Medical records of non-trauma patients aged > 20 years who had presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with a principal diagnosis of STEMI were extracted. The primary outcome measure was in-hospital mortality. After adjusting for potential confounders and meteorological variables, we found that an increase in the interquartile range (IQR) in NO2 was associated with an elevated risk of in-hospital mortality in patients with STEMI. Moreover, there was an observed higher risk of in-hospital mortality associated with an increase in the IQR of NO2 during the warm season, specifically in lag 3 (3 days prior to the onset, OR = 3.266; 95%CI: 1.203–8.864, p = 0.02). Conversely, an IQR increase in PM10 was associated with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality in patients with STEMI in lag 3 (OR = 2.792; 95%CI: 1.115–6.993, p = 0.028) during the cold season. Our study suggests that exposure to NO2 (during the warm season) and PM10 (during the cold season) may contribute to a higher risk of poor prognosis in patients with STEMI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Pollution Exposure and Human Health)
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21 pages, 5725 KiB  
Article
Spatial Distribution, Sources, Air–Soil Exchange, and Health Risks of Parent PAHs and Derivative-Alkylated PAHs in Different Functional Areas of an Oilfield Area in the Yellow River Delta, North China
by Xiongfei Zhang, Anan Qi, Pengcheng Wang, Qi Huang, Tong Zhao, Caiqing Yan, Lingxiao Yang and Wenxing Wang
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060540 - 17 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
The knowledge of the spatial distribution, sources, and air–soil exchange of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in an oilfield area is essential to the development of effective control practices of PAC pollution. In this study, 48 passive air samples and 24 soil samples were [...] Read more.
The knowledge of the spatial distribution, sources, and air–soil exchange of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in an oilfield area is essential to the development of effective control practices of PAC pollution. In this study, 48 passive air samples and 24 soil samples were collected during 2018–2019 in seven functional areas (e.g., urban, oil field, suburban, industrial, agricultural, near pump units, and background) in the Yellow River Delta (YRD) where the Shengli Oilfield is located, and 18 parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and five alkylated-PAHs (APAHs) were analyzed from all the air and soil samples. The ΣPAHs in the air and soil ranged from 2.26 to 135.83 ng/m3 and 33.96 to 408.94 ng/g, while the ΣAPAHs in the atmosphere and soil ranged from 0.04 to 16.31 ng/m3 and 6.39 to 211.86 ng/g, respectively. There was a downward trend of atmospheric ΣPAH concentrations with increasing the distance from the urban area, while both ΣPAH and ΣAPAH concentrations in the soil decreased with distance from the oilfield area. PMF analyses show that for atmospheric PACs, coal/biomass combustion was the main contributor in urban, suburban, and agricultural areas, while crude production and processing source contributes more in the industrial and oilfield area. For PACs in soil, densely populated areas (industrial, urban, and suburban) are more affected by traffic sources, while oilfield and near-pump unit areas are under the impact of oil spills. The fugacity fraction (ff) results indicated that the soil generally emitted low-molecular-weight PAHs and APAHs and act as a sink for high-molecular-weight PAHs. The incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) of Σ(PAH+APAH) in both the air and soil, were below the threshold (≤10−6) set by the US EPA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Editorial Board Members' Collection Series: Aerosol Particles)
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13 pages, 1465 KiB  
Review
The Global Trend of Microplastic Research in Freshwater Ecosystems
by Yaochun Wang, Guohao Liu, Yixia Wang, Hongli Mu, Xiaoli Shi, Chao Wang and Naicheng Wu
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060539 - 17 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1717
Abstract
The study of microplastics and their impact on aquatic ecosystems has received increasing attention in recent years. Drawing from an analysis of 814 papers related to microplastics published between 2013 and 2022 in the Web of Science Core Repository, this paper explores trends, [...] Read more.
The study of microplastics and their impact on aquatic ecosystems has received increasing attention in recent years. Drawing from an analysis of 814 papers related to microplastics published between 2013 and 2022 in the Web of Science Core Repository, this paper explores trends, focal points, and national collaborations in freshwater microplastics research, providing valuable insights for future studies. The findings reveal three distinct stages of microplastics: nascent development (2013–2015), slow rise (2016–2018), and rapid development (2019–2022). Over time, the focus of research has shifted from “surface”, “effect”, “microplastic pollution”, and “tributary” to “toxicity”, “species”, “organism”, “threat”, “risk”, and “ingestion”. While international cooperation has become more prevalent, the extent of collaboration remains limited, mostly concentrated among English-speaking countries or English and Spanish/Portuguese-speaking countries. Future research directions should encompass the bi-directional relationship between microplastics and watershed ecosystems, incorporating chemical and toxicological approaches. Long-term monitoring efforts are crucial to assessing the sustained impacts of microplastics. Full article
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16 pages, 2190 KiB  
Article
Herbicides in Water Sources: Communicating Potential Risks to the Population of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa
by Innocent Mugudamani, Saheed A. Oke, Thandi Patricia Gumede and Samson Senbore
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060538 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2062
Abstract
Pesticides are an important tool for maintaining and improving the global population’s standard of living. However, their presence in water resources is concerning due to their potential consequences. Twelve water samples from rivers, dams/reservoirs, and treated drinking water were collected from Mangaung Metropolitan [...] Read more.
Pesticides are an important tool for maintaining and improving the global population’s standard of living. However, their presence in water resources is concerning due to their potential consequences. Twelve water samples from rivers, dams/reservoirs, and treated drinking water were collected from Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality in South Africa. The collected samples were analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography linked to a QTRAP hybrid triple quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer. The ecological and human health risks were assessed by risk quotient and human health risk assessment methods, respectively. Herbicides, such as atrazine, metolachlor, simazine and terbuthylazine, were analysed in water sources. The average concentrations of simazine in rivers (1.82 mg/L), dams/reservoirs (0.12 mg/L), and treated drinking water (0.03 mg/L) were remarkable among all four herbicides detected. Simazine, atrazine, and terbuthylazine posed high ecological risks for both acute and chronic toxicity in all water sources. Moreover, simazine is the only contaminant in the river water that poses a medium carcinogenic risk to adult. It can be concluded that the level of herbicide detected in water sources may affect aquatic life and human beings negatively. This study may aid in the development of pesticide pollution management and risk reduction strategies within the municipality. Full article
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12 pages, 11954 KiB  
Article
Simultaneous Analysis of 53 Pesticides in Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) by Using LC–MS/MS Coupled with a Modified QuEChERS Technique
by Wei Song, Chuanyi Peng, Yuxin Liu, Fang Han, Haitao Zhu, Dianbing Zhou, Yu Wang, Lijun Chen, Xiaodi Meng and Ruyan Hou
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060537 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1267
Abstract
Objective: An optimized quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) technique was investigated and compared with the conventional QuEChERS technique for the simultaneous analysis of fifty-three pesticide residues in safflower using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MS/MS). Method: Graphitic carbon nitride [...] Read more.
Objective: An optimized quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) technique was investigated and compared with the conventional QuEChERS technique for the simultaneous analysis of fifty-three pesticide residues in safflower using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MS/MS). Method: Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) consisting of a major amount of carbon and nitrogen with a large surface area was used as a QuEChERS adsorbent instead of graphitized carbon black (GCB) for safflower extraction purification. Validation experiments were performed using spiked pesticide samples, and real samples were analyzed. Results: The linearity of the modified QuEChERS technique was evaluated with high coefficients of determination (R-2) being higher than 0.99. The limits of detection were <10 μg/kg. The spiked recoveries ranged from 70.4% to 97.6% with a relative standard deviation of less than 10.0%. The fifty-three pesticides exhibited negligible matrix effects (<20%). Thiamethoxam, acetamiprid, metolachlor, and difenoconazole were detected in real samples using an established method. Conclusion: This work provides a new g-C3N4-based modified QuEChERS technique for multi-pesticide residue analysis in complex food matrices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Control and Safety Management of Tea)
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3 pages, 217 KiB  
Editorial
Editorial for the Special Issue “Phytotoxicity of Heavy Metals in Contaminated Soils”
by Ana Romero-Freire, Manuel Sierra-Aragón, Hao Qiu and Erkai He
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060536 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1152
Abstract
Soil is an essential natural resource because of the ecosystem services it carries out in the terrestrial ecosystem: the provision of food, fibre and fuel; habitats for organisms; nutrient cycling; climate regulation and carbon sequestration; water purification and soil contaminant reductions; and others [...] Read more.
Soil is an essential natural resource because of the ecosystem services it carries out in the terrestrial ecosystem: the provision of food, fibre and fuel; habitats for organisms; nutrient cycling; climate regulation and carbon sequestration; water purification and soil contaminant reductions; and others [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytotoxicity of Heavy Metals in Contaminated Soils)
3 pages, 174 KiB  
Editorial
Environmental Monitoring and Analysis of Persistent Organic Pollutants
by Vlasta Drevenkar and Gordana Mendaš
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060535 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1286
Abstract
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a group of 28 toxic compounds of different chemical classes listed in the Stockholm Convention on POPs, which aims to protect the environment and human health [...] Full article
10 pages, 692 KiB  
Commentary
Balancing Acute and Chronic Occupational Risks: The Use of Nitrile Butadiene Rubber Undergloves by Firefighters to Reduce Exposure to Toxic Contaminants
by Stijn Everaert, Greet Schoeters, Karel Claes, Jean-Marie Raquez, Bart Buffel, Tamara Vanhaecke, Jonas Moens, Juha Laitinen, Nicolas Van Larebeke and Lode Godderis
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060534 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1905
Abstract
Firefighters are exposed via multi-route exposure to a multitude of chemicals (PAHs, VOCs, flame retardants, dioxins, etc.) that may cause acute and long-term health effects. The dermal absorption of contaminants is a major contributor to the overall exposure and can be reduced by [...] Read more.
Firefighters are exposed via multi-route exposure to a multitude of chemicals (PAHs, VOCs, flame retardants, dioxins, etc.) that may cause acute and long-term health effects. The dermal absorption of contaminants is a major contributor to the overall exposure and can be reduced by wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. As leather firefighters’ gloves cannot be decontaminated regularly by wet cleaning, many Belgian firefighters wear supplementary undergloves made of nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) to protect against the accumulation of toxicants. However, the safety of this practice has been questioned. In this commentary, the current practice and risks are outlined for the first time, assessed by an interdisciplinary working group of the Belgian Superior Health Council. As NBR sticks to the skin more at high temperatures, the contact time on removal will be prolonged, posing an additional risk for deeper burns. However, based on the physicochemical properties of NBR and the existing experience of firefighters and burn centers, it is estimated that such incidents occur relatively rarely in practice. On the other hand, the risk of repeated exposure to contaminated gloves if no undergloves are worn is unacceptable. Despite the slightly increased risk for deeper burns, it is concluded that wearing disposable NBR gloves under regular firefighters’ gloves is an appropriate and effective preventive measure against toxic contamination. The nitrile butadiene rubber must always be fully covered to avoid any contact with the heat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment of Occupational Exposures for Better Health)
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11 pages, 2492 KiB  
Article
Toxicity and Influence of Sublethal Exposure to Sulfoxaflor on the Aphidophagous Predator Hippodamia variegata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
by Panagiotis J. Skouras, Eirini Karanastasi, Vasilis Demopoulos, Marina Mprokaki, George J. Stathas and John T. Margaritopoulos
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060533 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1071
Abstract
Hippodamia variegata (Goeze), the variegated ladybug, is a predator of many insect pests, especially aphids. Sulfoxaflor is a chemical insecticide that can be used to control many sap-feeding insect pests, for instance, plant bugs and aphids, as an alternative to neonicotinoids in different [...] Read more.
Hippodamia variegata (Goeze), the variegated ladybug, is a predator of many insect pests, especially aphids. Sulfoxaflor is a chemical insecticide that can be used to control many sap-feeding insect pests, for instance, plant bugs and aphids, as an alternative to neonicotinoids in different crops. To improve the combination of the H. variegata and sulfoxaflor in an IPM (integrated pest management) program, we studied the ecological toxicity of the insecticide to the coccinellid predator at sublethal and lethal doses. We examined the influence of sulfoxaflor on larvae of H. variegata using exposure doses of 3, 6, 12, 24, 48 (maximum recommended field rate (MRFR)), and 96 ng a.i. per insect. In a 15-day toxicity test, we observed decreased adult emergence percentage and survival, as well as an increased hazard quotient. The LD50 (dose causing 50% mortality) of H. variegata due to sulfoxaflor decreased from 97.03 to 35.97 ng a.i. per insect. The total effect assessment indicated that sulfoxaflor could be grouped as slightly harmful for H. variegata. Additionally, most of the life table parameters were significantly decreased after exposure to sulfoxaflor. Overall, the results present a negative influence of sulfoxaflor on H. variegata when applied at the recommended field dose for controlling aphids in Greece, which demonstrates that this insecticide may only be employed with care when used in IPM programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Pesticides on Insects and Other Arthropods)
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17 pages, 3793 KiB  
Article
Comparable Response Following Exposure to Biodiesel and Diesel Exhaust Particles in Advanced Multicellular Human Lung Models
by Mizanur Rahman, Swapna Upadhyay, Koustav Ganguly, Micol Introna, Jie Ji, Christoffer Boman, Ala Muala, Anders Blomberg, Thomas Sandström and Lena Palmberg
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060532 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
Biodiesel is considered to be a sustainable alternative for fossil fuels such as petroleum-based diesel. However, we still lack knowledge about the impact of biodiesel emissions on humans, as airways and lungs are the primary target organs of inhaled toxicants. This study investigated [...] Read more.
Biodiesel is considered to be a sustainable alternative for fossil fuels such as petroleum-based diesel. However, we still lack knowledge about the impact of biodiesel emissions on humans, as airways and lungs are the primary target organs of inhaled toxicants. This study investigated the effect of exhaust particles from well-characterized rapeseed methyl ester (RME) biodiesel exhaust particles (BDEP) and petro-diesel exhaust particles (DEP) on primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBEC) and macrophages (MQ). The advanced multicellular physiologically relevant bronchial mucosa models were developed using human primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBEC) cultured at air–liquid interface (ALI) in the presence or absence of THP-1 cell-derived macrophages (MQ). The experimental set-up used for BDEP and DEP exposures (18 µg/cm2 and 36 µg/cm2) as well as the corresponding control exposures were PBEC-ALI, MQ-ALI, and PBEC co-cultured with MQ (PBEC-ALI/MQ). Following exposure to both BDEP and DEP, reactive oxygen species as well as the stress protein heat shock protein 60 were upregulated in PBEC-ALI and MQ-ALI. Expression of both pro-inflammatory (M1: CD86) and repair (M2: CD206) macrophage polarization markers was increased in MQ-ALI after both BDEP and DEP exposures. Phagocytosis activity of MQ and the phagocytosis receptors CD35 and CD64 were downregulated, whereas CD36 was upregulated in MQ-ALI. Increased transcript and secreted protein levels of CXCL8, as well as IL-6 and TNF-α, were detected following both BDEP and DEP exposure at both doses in PBEC-ALI. Furthermore, the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) pathway, COX-2-mediated histone phosphorylation and DNA damage were all increased in PBEC-ALI following exposure to both doses of BDEP and DEP. Valdecoxib, a COX-2 inhibitor, reduced the level of prostaglandin E2, histone phosphorylation, and DNA damage in PBEC-ALI following exposure to both concentrations of BDEP and DEP. Using physiologically relevant multicellular human lung mucosa models with human primary bronchial epithelial cells and macrophages, we found BDEP and DEP to induce comparable levels of oxidative stress, inflammatory response, and impairment of phagocytosis. The use of a renewable carbon-neutral biodiesel fuel does not appear to be more favorable than conventional petroleum-based alternative, as regards of its potential for adverse health effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure to Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Effects)
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8 pages, 1720 KiB  
Technical Note
Validation of a Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) Assay to Detect Cyanobacterial 16S rDNA in Human Lung Tissue
by Rachael E. Barney, Guohong Huang, Torrey L. Gallagher, Maeve Tischbein, John DeWitt, Rachel Martindale, Ethan M. P. LaRochelle, Gregory J. Tsongalis and Elijah W. Stommel
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060531 - 14 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1580
Abstract
Cyanobacteria produce a variety of secondary metabolites, including toxins that may contribute to the development of disease. Previous work was able to detect the presence of a cyanobacterial marker in human nasal and broncoalveolar lavage samples; however, it was not able to determine [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria produce a variety of secondary metabolites, including toxins that may contribute to the development of disease. Previous work was able to detect the presence of a cyanobacterial marker in human nasal and broncoalveolar lavage samples; however, it was not able to determine the quantification of the marker. To further research the relationship between cyanobacteria and human health, we validated a droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) assay to simultaneously detect the cyanobacterial 16S marker and a human housekeeping gene in human lung tissue samples. The ability to detect cyanobacteria in human samples will allow further research into the role cyanobacteria plays in human health and disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurotoxicity)
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17 pages, 681 KiB  
Article
Relevance of Soil Heavy Metal XRF Screening for Quality and Landscaping of Public Playgrounds
by Oana Răcușan Ghircoiaș, Claudiu Tănăselia, Mircea Chintoanu, Ioana Crișan, Adela Hoble, Răzvan Ștefan and Marcel Dîrja
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060530 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1318
Abstract
Heavy metals have become widespread urban pollutants, exposing vulnerable age groups such as children to potential risk. Specialists need feasible approaches that can routinely assist them in customizing options for sustainable and safer urban playgrounds. The aim of this research was to explore [...] Read more.
Heavy metals have become widespread urban pollutants, exposing vulnerable age groups such as children to potential risk. Specialists need feasible approaches that can routinely assist them in customizing options for sustainable and safer urban playgrounds. The aim of this research was to explore the practical relevance of the X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) method from the perspective of landscaping specialists, and the practical significance of screening for those heavy metals that currently present elevated levels across urban environments Europe-wide. Soil samples from six public children’s playgrounds of different typologies from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, were analyzed. The results indicated that this method was sensitive to identifying thresholds stipulated in legislation for the screened elements (V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, and Pb). Coupled with the calculation of pollution indexes, this method can serve as a quick orientation in landscaping options for urban playgrounds. The pollution load index (PLI) for the screened metals showed that three sites displayed baseline pollution with incipient deterioration in soil quality (PLI = 1.01–1.51). The highest contribution to the PLI among the screened elements, depending on the site, was due to Zn, Pb, As, and Mn. The average levels of the detected heavy metals were within admissible limits according to national legislation. Implementable protocols addressed to different categories of specialists could help to transition towards safer playgrounds and more research on accurate cost-effective procedures to overcome the limitations of existing approaches is currently needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Metals and Radioactive Substances)
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19 pages, 9227 KiB  
Review
Advances in Antioxidant Applications for Combating 131I Side Effects in Thyroid Cancer Treatment
by Li Yang, Jiahui Ma, Pengyu Lei, Jia Yi, Yilei Ma, Zhongke Huang, Tingjue Wang, Haiyan Ping, Danping Ruan, Da Sun and Hongying Pan
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060529 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2120
Abstract
Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, and its prevalence has been increasing for decades. Approx. 95% of differentiated thyroid carcinomas are treated using 131iodine (131I), a radionuclide with a half-life of 8 days, to achieve optimal thyroid residual [...] Read more.
Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, and its prevalence has been increasing for decades. Approx. 95% of differentiated thyroid carcinomas are treated using 131iodine (131I), a radionuclide with a half-life of 8 days, to achieve optimal thyroid residual ablation following thyroidectomy. However, while 131I is highly enriched in eliminating thyroid tissue, it can also retain and damage other body parts (salivary glands, liver, etc.) without selectivity, and even trigger salivary gland dysfunction, secondary cancer, and other side effects. A significant amount of data suggests that the primary mechanism for these side effects is the excessive production of reactive oxygen species, causing a severe imbalance of oxidant/antioxidant in the cellular components, resulting in secondary DNA damage and abnormal vascular permeability. Antioxidants are substances that are capable of binding free radicals and reducing or preventing the oxidation of the substrate in a significant way. These compounds can help prevent damage caused by free radicals, which can attack lipids, protein amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and double bonds of DNA bases. Based on this, the rational utilization of the free radical scavenging function of antioxidants to maximize a reduction in 131I side effects is a promising medical strategy. This review provides an overview of the side effects of 131I, the mechanisms by which 131I causes oxidative stress-mediated damage, and the potential of natural and synthetic antioxidants in ameliorating the side effects of 131I. Finally, the disadvantages of the clinical application of antioxidants and their improving strategies are prospected. Clinicians and nursing staff can use this information to alleviate 131I side effects in the future, both effectively and reasonably. Full article
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10 pages, 2402 KiB  
Article
The Cytotoxicity of Tungsten Ions Derived from Nanoparticles Correlates with Pulmonary Toxicity
by Jun Yao, Pengfei Zhou, Xin Zhang, Beilei Yuan, Yong Pan and Juncheng Jiang
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060528 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1354
Abstract
Tungsten carbide nanoparticles (nano-WC) are prevalent in composite materials, and are attributed to their physical and chemical properties. Due to their small size, nano-WC particles can readily infiltrate biological organisms via the respiratory tract, thereby posing potential health hazards. Despite this, the studies [...] Read more.
Tungsten carbide nanoparticles (nano-WC) are prevalent in composite materials, and are attributed to their physical and chemical properties. Due to their small size, nano-WC particles can readily infiltrate biological organisms via the respiratory tract, thereby posing potential health hazards. Despite this, the studies addressing the cytotoxicity of nano-WC remain notably limited. To this purpose, the BEAS-2B and U937 cells were cultured in the presence of nano-WC. The significant cytotoxicity of nano-WC suspension was evaluated using a cellular LDH assay. To investigate the cytotoxic impact of tungsten ions (W6+) on cells, the ion chelator (EDTA-2Na) was used to adsorb W6+ from nano-WC suspension. Subsequent to this treatment, the modified nano-WC suspension was subjected to flow cytometry analysis to evaluate the rates of cellular apoptosis. According to the results, a decrease in W6+ could mitigate the cellular damage and enhance cell viability, which indicated that W6+ indeed exerted a significant cytotoxic influence on the cells. Overall, the present study provides valuable insight into the toxicological mechanisms underlying the exposure of lung cells to nano-WC, thereby reducing the environmental toxicant risk to human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Environmental Chemicals Exposomics and Metabolomics)
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3 pages, 202 KiB  
Editorial
Unveiling the Hidden Dangers of Plasticizers: A Call for Immediate Action
by Po-Chin Huang and Wei-Chun Chou
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060527 - 12 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1049
Abstract
Over the last several decades, plasticizers have seamlessly integrated themselves into our daily routines, permeating a vast array of commonly encountered products such as food containers, toys, medicines, building materials, electronic devices, cosmetics, perfumes, and personal care items [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasticizer Exposure: Harmful Impact on Human Health)
21 pages, 4907 KiB  
Article
Proposal of a Methodology for Prediction of Indoor PM2.5 Concentration Using Sensor-Based Residential Environments Monitoring Data and Time-Divided Multiple Linear Regression Model
by Shin-Young Park, Dan-Ki Yoon, Si-Hyun Park, Jung-In Jeon, Jung-Mi Lee, Won-Ho Yang, Yong-Sung Cho, Jaymin Kwon and Cheol-Min Lee
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060526 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1830
Abstract
This study aims to propose an indoor air quality prediction method that can be easily utilized and reflects temporal characteristics using indoor and outdoor input data measured near the indoor target point as input to calculate indoor PM2.5 concentration through a multiple [...] Read more.
This study aims to propose an indoor air quality prediction method that can be easily utilized and reflects temporal characteristics using indoor and outdoor input data measured near the indoor target point as input to calculate indoor PM2.5 concentration through a multiple linear regression model. The atmospheric conditions and air pollution detected in one-minute intervals using sensor-based monitoring equipment (Dust Mon, Sentry Co Ltd., Seoul, Korea) inside and outside houses from May 2019 to April 2021 were used to develop the prediction model. By dividing the multiple linear regression model into one-hour increments, we attempted to overcome the limitation of not representing the multiple linear regression model’s characteristics over time and limited input variables. The multiple linear regression (MLR) model classified by time unit showed an improvement in explanatory power by up to 9% compared to the existing model, and some hourly models had an explanatory power of 0.30. These results indicated that the model needs to be subdivided by time period to more accurately predict indoor PM2.5 concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Pollution Exposure and Human Health)
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13 pages, 2303 KiB  
Article
Two Different Heated Tobacco Products vs. Cigarettes: Comparison of Nicotine Delivery and Subjective Effects in Experienced Users
by Jochen Vukas, Nadja Mallock-Ohnesorg, Tobias Rüther, Elke Pieper, Luna Romano-Brandt, Yvonne Stoll, Lukas Hoehne, Nestor Burgmann, Peter Laux, Andreas Luch and Andrea Rabenstein
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060525 - 11 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 7227
Abstract
Heated tobacco products (HTPs) produce aerosol using a different mechanism than tobacco cigarettes, leading to lower emissions of some harmful substances, but also of nicotine as reported by some independent studies. Lower nicotine delivery could lead to compensatory puffing when product use does [...] Read more.
Heated tobacco products (HTPs) produce aerosol using a different mechanism than tobacco cigarettes, leading to lower emissions of some harmful substances, but also of nicotine as reported by some independent studies. Lower nicotine delivery could lead to compensatory puffing when product use does not sufficiently satisfy cravings. Thus, this three-arm crossover study was conducted to characterize the potential of two different HTPs to deliver nicotine and satisfy cravings compared with conventional cigarettes in users who had already switched to HTPs. Fifteen active, non-exclusive HTP users consumed the study products according to a pre-directed puffing protocol. At predetermined time points, venous blood was sampled and the subjective effects of consumption were assessed. Nicotine delivery by both HTPs was comparable, but significantly lower than that by conventional cigarettes, suggesting a lower addictive potential. Cravings were reduced by all products, with no statistically significant differences between them, despite the different nicotine deliveries. This indicated that HTPs do not necessarily need high nicotine deliveries with high addictive potential, as are characteristic of tobacco cigarettes. These results were followed up on with an ad libitum use study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing Novel Tobacco Products)
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16 pages, 1096 KiB  
Review
Solar Salterns and Pollution: Valorization of Some Endemic Species as Sentinels in Ecotoxicology
by Wassim Guermazi, Neila Annabi-Trabelsi, Genuario Belmonte, Kais Guermazi, Habib Ayadi and Vincent Leignel
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060524 - 10 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2362
Abstract
Solar salterns and salt marshes are unique ecosystems with special physicochemical features and characteristic biota. Currently, there are very few studies focused on the impacts of pollution on these economic and ecological systems. Unfortunately, diversified pollution (metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, etc.) has been [...] Read more.
Solar salterns and salt marshes are unique ecosystems with special physicochemical features and characteristic biota. Currently, there are very few studies focused on the impacts of pollution on these economic and ecological systems. Unfortunately, diversified pollution (metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, etc.) has been detected in these complex ecosystems. These hypersaline environments are under increasing threat due to anthropogenic pressures. Despite this, they represent a valuable source of microbial diversity, with taxa displaying special features in terms of environmental remediation capacities as well as economical species such as Artemia spp. (Branchiopoda) and Dunaliella salina (Chlorophyta). In this review, we discuss the impacts of pollution on these semi-artificial systems. Therefore, we have indicated the sentinel species identified in plankton communities, which can be used in ecotoxicological investigations in solar salterns. In future, researchers should increase their interest in pollution assessment in solar salterns and salt marshes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Pollution and Stress Responses in Marine Organisms)
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14 pages, 1381 KiB  
Article
Disruptive Technologies for Learning and Further Investigation of the Potential Toxicity Produced by Titanium in the Human Body during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period
by Mădălin Dorel Țap, Cristina Stanciu (Neculau), George Popescu and Octavia-Sorina Honțaru
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060523 - 9 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1001
Abstract
Titanium is considered to be a biocompatible material and is used to a great extent in the pharmaceutical and oral implantology fields. While initially, specialists considered that its use does not cause adverse effects on the human body, as time has gone by, [...] Read more.
Titanium is considered to be a biocompatible material and is used to a great extent in the pharmaceutical and oral implantology fields. While initially, specialists considered that its use does not cause adverse effects on the human body, as time has gone by, it has become clear that its use can lead to the development of certain diseases. The objective of this study was to identify the way in which digital technologies have the capacity to facilitate information regarding the potential long-term harm caused by titanium device toxicity during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, a regression model was developed to identify how a series of independent variables have the ability to influence the dependent variable (respondents’ perceptions of how new web technologies have the ability to help future physicians to facilitate information absorption with regard to potential titanium toxicity). The results illustrated that new technologies have the potential to support both the learning process on this topic and the innovation activity by discovering new solutions that will gradually lead to the reduction of the side effects of titanium used in the pharmaceutical and oral implantology fields. Full article
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11 pages, 2199 KiB  
Article
Ionic Liquids as Environmental Pollutants—Analysis of the Effect of Tetrabutylammonium Chloride on the Growth and Development of Wheat and Cucumber
by Barbara Pawłowska, Dagmara Wojtala and Robert Biczak
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060522 - 9 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1081
Abstract
Ionic liquids are a huge group of chemical compounds that have found, or may, in the future, find, applications in various industries. These compounds are characterized by excellent physical, chemical, and biological properties, but a big problem is their environmental impact. One of [...] Read more.
Ionic liquids are a huge group of chemical compounds that have found, or may, in the future, find, applications in various industries. These compounds are characterized by excellent physical, chemical, and biological properties, but a big problem is their environmental impact. One of the representatives of this group of compounds is tetrabutylammonium chloride ([TBA][Cl]). In this present study, the effects of [TBA][Cl] were evaluated on two popular plant species—a monocotyledonous plant—wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and a dicotyledonous plant—cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). The results showed that the compound caused a pronounced inhibition of plant growth and roots, as well as plant fresh weight yield. An increase in plant dry weight was observed at the same time. Despite the decrease in the content of photosynthetic pigments, no major changes were observed in chlorophyll fluorescence. All observed changes were strongly related to the applied concentration of the compound. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
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13 pages, 831 KiB  
Article
Associations of Maternal Urinary Concentrations of Phenols, Individually and as a Mixture, with Serum Biomarkers of Thyroid Function and Autoimmunity: Results from the EARTH Study
by Glen McGee, Maximilien Génard-Walton, Paige L. Williams, T. I. M. Korevaar, Jorge E. Chavarro, John D. Meeker, Joseph M. Braun, Maarten A. Broeren, Jennifer B. Ford, Antonia M. Calafat, Irene Souter, Russ Hauser and Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060521 - 9 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2252
Abstract
The associations between urinary phenol concentrations and markers of thyroid function and autoimmunity among potentially susceptible subgroups, such as subfertile women, have been understudied, especially when considering chemical mixtures. We evaluated cross-sectional associations of urinary phenol concentrations, individually and as a mixture, with [...] Read more.
The associations between urinary phenol concentrations and markers of thyroid function and autoimmunity among potentially susceptible subgroups, such as subfertile women, have been understudied, especially when considering chemical mixtures. We evaluated cross-sectional associations of urinary phenol concentrations, individually and as a mixture, with serum markers of thyroid function and autoimmunity. We included 339 women attending a fertility center who provided one spot urine and one blood sample at enrollment (2009–2015). We quantified four phenols in urine using isotope dilution high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, and biomarkers of thyroid function (thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free and total thyroxine (fT4, TT4), and triiodothyronine (fT3, TT3)), and autoimmunity (thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and thyroglobulin (Tg) antibodies (Ab)) in serum using electrochemoluminescence assays. We fit linear and additive models to investigate the association between urinary phenols—both individually and as a mixture—and serum thyroid function and autoimmunity, adjusted for confounders. As a sensitivity analysis, we also applied Bayesian Kernel Machine Regression (BKMR) to investigate non-linear and non-additive interactions. Urinary bisphenol A was associated with thyroid function, in particular, fT3 (mean difference for a 1 log unit increase in concentration: −0.088; 95% CI [−0.151, −0.025]) and TT3 (−0.066; 95% CI [−0.112, −0.020]). Urinary methylparaben and triclosan were also associated with several thyroid hormones. The overall mixture was negatively associated with serum fT3 concentrations (mean difference comparing all four mixture components at their 75th vs. 25th percentiles: −0.19, 95% CI [−0.35, −0.03]). We found no evidence of non-linearity or interactions. These results add to the current literature on phenol exposures and thyroid function in women, suggesting that some phenols may alter the thyroid system. Full article
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16 pages, 1104 KiB  
Article
Human Health Risk Assessment to the Consumption of Medicinal Plants with Melliferous Potential from the Romanian South-Eastern Region
by Lucica Barbeș, Alina Bărbulescu and Cristian Ştefan Dumitriu
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060520 - 9 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
This study presents the impact on human health by consuming medicinal herbs with high melliferous potential (HMPs) from botanical areas with different pollution levels. First, the bioaccumulation of the plants’ parts has been determined. The study assessed the potential health risks associated with [...] Read more.
This study presents the impact on human health by consuming medicinal herbs with high melliferous potential (HMPs) from botanical areas with different pollution levels. First, the bioaccumulation of the plants’ parts has been determined. The study assessed the potential health risks associated with the ingestion of various mineral species (macroelements—K, Ca, Mg, Na; microelements—Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, and one trace element Cd) from three types of HMPs (Sambucus nigra (SnL), Hypericum perforatum (Hp), and Tilia tomentosa (Tt)). The average concentrations of these elements were not similar even in the same type of HMPs. Nevertheless, all samples contained detectable levels of the studied elements. The average concentrations of the studied elements were very low (significantly lower than the legal limit set by the WHO). The study’s findings indicated that the potential health risks associated with ingesting the elements in HMPs were within acceptable limits for children and adults. The hazard quotient (HQ) for Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, and Cd and the hazard index (HI) for the minerals from HMPs were significantly lower than the acceptable limit (HQ and HI = 1). Similarly, the carcinogenic risk for chemical substances (Riskccs) were lower than or close to the acceptable limit (1 × 10−4). Full article
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13 pages, 1639 KiB  
Article
Bioaccumulation of Lead, Cadmium, and Arsenic in a Mining Area and Its Associated Health Effects
by Ulziikhishig Surenbaatar, Seungho Lee, Jung-Yeon Kwon, Hyunju Lim, Jeong-Jin Kim, Young-Hun Kim and Young-Seoub Hong
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060519 - 9 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1447
Abstract
Soil contamination is associated with a high potential for health issues. This study aimed to investigate the bioaccumulation of heavy metals and its associated health impact among residents near a mining area. We performed environmental monitoring by analyzing lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and [...] Read more.
Soil contamination is associated with a high potential for health issues. This study aimed to investigate the bioaccumulation of heavy metals and its associated health impact among residents near a mining area. We performed environmental monitoring by analyzing lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and arsenic (As) levels in soil and rice samples, as well as biomonitoring by analyzing blood and urine samples from 58 residents living near the mine. Additionally, concentration trends were investigated among 26 participants in a 2013 study. The Cd and As levels in the soil samples and Cd levels in the rice samples exceeded the criteria for concern. The geometric mean blood Cd level (2.12 μg/L) was two times higher than that in the general population aged > 40 years. The blood Cd level showed decreasing trends from the previous measurements of 4.56–2.25 μg/L, but was still higher than that in the general population. The blood and urine Cd levels were higher in those with a low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) than in those with normal eGFR. In conclusion, heavy metals from mining areas can accumulate in soil and rice, adversely impacting human health. Continuous environmental monitoring and biomonitoring are required to ensure the safety of residents. Full article
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14 pages, 2335 KiB  
Article
Seasonality of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Their Derivatives in PM2.5 from Ljubljana, Combustion Aerosol Source Apportionment, and Cytotoxicity of Selected Nitrated Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (NPAHs)
by Ivana Drventić, Mateo Glumac, Ivana Carev and Ana Kroflič
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060518 - 8 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1912
Abstract
Airborne particulate matter (PM) is a vector of many toxic pollutants, including polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their derivatives. Especially harmful is the fine fraction (PM2.5), which penetrates deep into the lungs during inhalation and causes various diseases. Amongst PM2.5 components [...] Read more.
Airborne particulate matter (PM) is a vector of many toxic pollutants, including polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their derivatives. Especially harmful is the fine fraction (PM2.5), which penetrates deep into the lungs during inhalation and causes various diseases. Amongst PM2.5 components with toxic potential are nitrated PAHs (NPAHs), knowledge of which is still rudimentary. Three of the measured NPAHs (1-nitropyrene (1-nP), 9-nitroanthracene (9-nA), and 6-nitrochrysene (6-nC)) were detected in ambient PM2.5 from Ljubljana, Slovenia, along with thirteen non-nitrated PAHs. The highest concentrations of pollutants, which are closely linked with incomplete combustion, were observed in the cold part of the year, whereas the concentrations of NPAHs were roughly an order of magnitude lower than those of PAHs throughout the year. Further on, we have evaluated the toxicity of four NPAHs, including 6-nitrobenzo[a]pyrene (6-nBaP), to the human kidney cell line, HEK293T. The most potent was 1-nP (IC50 = 28.7 µM), followed by the other three NPAHs, whose IC50 was above 400 or 800 µM. According to our cytotoxicity assessment, atmospheric 1-nP is the most harmful NPAH among the investigated ones. Despite low airborne concentrations of NPAHs in ambient air, they are generally considered harmful to human health. Therefore, systematic toxicological assessment of NPAHs at different trophic levels, starting with cytotoxicity testing, is necessary in order to accurately evaluate their threat and adopt appropriate abatement strategies. Full article
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