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Toxics, Volume 11, Issue 9 (September 2023) – 82 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Microplastic pollution has emerged as a global environmental concern, exhibiting wide distribution within marine ecosystems, including the Arctic Ocean. Limited Arctic microplastic data exist from beached plastics, seabed sediments, floating plastics, and sea ice. However, no studies have examined microplastics in the sea ice of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area, and few have explored Arctic marginal seas’ water column. The majority of the microplastic data originates from the Eurasian Arctic, with limited data available from other regions of the Arctic Ocean. View this paper
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20 pages, 1854 KiB  
Article
Human Health Risk Assessment of Arsenic and Other Metals in Herbal Products Containing St. John’s Wort in the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City
by Patricia Rojas, Elizabeth Ruiz-Sánchez, Carolina Rojas, Betzabeth A. García-Martínez, Arely M. López-Ramírez, Laura Osorio-Rico, Camilo Ríos and Aldo Arturo Reséndiz-Albor
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090801 - 21 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1506
Abstract
Consumption of St. John’s wort plant is high worldwide due to its various medicinal properties. However, herbal products containing St. John’s wort may be contaminated with toxic metals. This is often related to contamination of both water and the atmosphere, lack of proper [...] Read more.
Consumption of St. John’s wort plant is high worldwide due to its various medicinal properties. However, herbal products containing St. John’s wort may be contaminated with toxic metals. This is often related to contamination of both water and the atmosphere, lack of proper cultivation methods, and inadequate plant storage conditions, as well as a lack of stricter sanitary supervision. A safety assessment of copper (Cu), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) content in 23 products containing St. John’s wort (pharmaceutical herbal products, food supplements and traditional herbal remedies) sold in the metropolitan area of Mexico City was conducted. The analysis of metals was determined using a graphite-furnace atomic absorption spectrometer. All herbal products were contaminated with Cu, Pb, Cd and As. The pharmaceutical herbal items showed less contamination by metals. The daily human intake (DHI) values for Pb exceeded the permissible limits in the group of traditional herbal remedies. The DHI calculation for As exceeded the permitted intake values for all items in the group of traditional herbal remedies, five food supplements and one pharmaceutical herbal product. The hazard indicator calculation of the non-carcinogenic cumulative risk values for traditional herbal remedies was greater than 1, suggesting a risk to human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Heavy Metal Pollution for Environmental Health and Safety)
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19 pages, 1401 KiB  
Article
Risk Assessment of Mercury-Contaminated Fish Consumption in the Brazilian Amazon: An Ecological Study
by Paulo Cesar Basta, Ana Claudia Santiago de Vasconcellos, Gustavo Hallwass, Decio Yokota, Daniel de Oliveira d’El Rei Pinto, Danicley Saraiva de Aguiar, Ciro Campos de Souza and Marcelo Oliveira-da-Costa
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090800 - 21 Sep 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2737
Abstract
Mercury is one of the most dangerous contaminants on the planet. In recent years, evidence of mercury contamination in the Amazon has significantly increased, notably due to gold-mining activities. Although mercury contamination in fish has consistently been documented, little is known about the [...] Read more.
Mercury is one of the most dangerous contaminants on the planet. In recent years, evidence of mercury contamination in the Amazon has significantly increased, notably due to gold-mining activities. Although mercury contamination in fish has consistently been documented, little is known about the risk associated with fish consumption by populations in urban areas of the Amazon. We sampled 1010 fish sold in public markets in six state capitals and 11 additional cities. Mercury levels were determined for each specimen, and the evaluation of the health risks associated with consuming mercury-contaminated fish was conducted according to the methodology proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Our study reveals that more than one-fifth (21.3%) of the fish sold in urban centers had mercury levels above the safe limits (≥0.5 µg/g) established by the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). The prevalence of Hg contamination ≥0.5 µg/g was approximately 14 times higher in carnivorous than in noncarnivorous fish. The analysis of the risk attributable to fish consumption reveals that daily mercury intake exceeded the reference dose recommended by the U.S. EPA in all population groups analyzed, reaching up to 7 and 31 times in women of childbearing age and children from 2 to 4 years old, respectively. However, these risks are diverse depending on the type of fish consumed and must be considered to formulate appropriate nutritional guidelines for safe fish consumption by the local community. Full article
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12 pages, 4449 KiB  
Article
The Therapeutic Effect of Catechin on Nephrolithiasis Induced by Co-Exposure to Melamine and Cyanuric Acid in Sprague–Dawley Rats
by Hangwei Wang, Zhanren Liu, Shaojie Liu, Ruoru Yang, Yifei Wang, Yiying Gu, Min Wu, Ruihua Dong and Bo Chen
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090799 - 21 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1012
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the therapeutic efficacy of catechin against experimentally induced kidney stones resulting from co-exposure to melamine (MEL) and cyanuric acid (CYA) in male Sprague–Dawley rats. To induce nephrolithiasis, a combination of MEL and CYA (1:1 ratio, each at a [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the therapeutic efficacy of catechin against experimentally induced kidney stones resulting from co-exposure to melamine (MEL) and cyanuric acid (CYA) in male Sprague–Dawley rats. To induce nephrolithiasis, a combination of MEL and CYA (1:1 ratio, each at a dose of 31.5 mg/kg bw/day) was administered to the rats for 28 consecutive days. After nephrolithiasis was successfully induced, the rats were randomly divided into two groups: a treatment group and a sham group. The treatment group was given a daily oral dose of 50 mg/kg of catechin for 28 days, while the sham group received no intervention. Urine and blood samples were collected throughout the treatment period, and kidney samples were taken on day 28. Our findings demonstrated that treatment with catechin significantly reduced crystal deposition and pathological damage in the rats from nephrolithiasis. Additionally, renal injury markers were significantly decreased in the treatment group compared to the sham group. These findings suggest that catechin has potential therapeutic benefits in treating nephrolithiasis induced by co-exposure to MEL and CYA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exposome Analysis and Risk Assessment)
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12 pages, 805 KiB  
Article
Regional Variations in Pesticide Residue Detection Rates and Concentrations in Saudi Arabian Crops
by Majed S. Alokail, Sherif H. Abd-Alrahman, Abdullah M. Alnaami, Syed D. Hussain, Osama E. Amer, Manal E. A. Elhalwagy and Nasser M. Al-Daghri
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090798 - 21 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1201
Abstract
There is a scarcity of evidence on the levels of pesticide residues among common crops grown in the different regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The present study aims to fill this gap. We collected samples across four regions of KSA [...] Read more.
There is a scarcity of evidence on the levels of pesticide residues among common crops grown in the different regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The present study aims to fill this gap. We collected samples across four regions of KSA (N = 41 from the west, N = 146 from the central, N = 131 from the north and N = 74 samples from the east). Food samples were extracted and cleaned using the modified quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe (QuEChERS) methodology. Tandem mass (LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS) was used to detect pesticide residues. The highest pesticide residue detection rate was 89.7% in the central region, followed by 88.5% in the north, 83.8% in the east and 70.7% in the western region (p = 0.01). Pesticide residue detection rates were significantly higher in fruits than vegetables (p = 0.02). Cypermethrin detection was most common overall, particularly in the Western region (p = 0.002), and pyraclostrobin concentration was the highest among all residues investigated. In conclusion, high detection rates of moderately hazardous pesticide residues were found in various crops across regions in KSA. Routine biomonitoring programs across KSA regions should be implemented, as well as public health campaigns to decrease pesticide residue consumption and exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Pollution and Food Safety)
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11 pages, 1302 KiB  
Article
Exposure to Benzo[a]pyrene and 1-Nitropyrene in Particulate Matter Increases Oxidative Stress in the Human Body
by Sun-Haeng Choi, Bolormaa Ochirpurev, Akira Toriba, Jong-Uk Won and Heon Kim
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090797 - 21 Sep 2023
Viewed by 987
Abstract
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been reported to cause oxidative stress in metabolic processes. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between exposure to PAHs, including benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and 1-nitropyrene (1-NP), in the atmosphere and oxidative stress levels in the human body. This [...] Read more.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been reported to cause oxidative stress in metabolic processes. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between exposure to PAHs, including benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and 1-nitropyrene (1-NP), in the atmosphere and oxidative stress levels in the human body. This study included 44 Korean adults who lived in Cheongju, Republic of Korea. Atmospheric BaP and 1-NP concentrations and urinary 6-hydroxy-1-nitropyrene (6-OHNP), N-acetyl-1-aminopyrene (1-NAAP), and 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) concentrations were measured. The oxidative stress level was assessed by measuring urinary thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) concentrations. Urinary TBARS and 6-OHNP concentrations significantly differed between winter and summer. BaP exposure was significantly associated with urinary 8-OHdG concentrations in summer. However, atmospheric 1-NP did not show a significant correlation with oxidative stress marker concentrations. Urinary 1-NAAP concentration was a significant determinant for urinary 8-OHdG concentration in summer. Oxidative stress in the body increases in proportion to inhalation exposure to BaP, and more 8-OHdG is produced in the body as the amount of 1-NP, which is metabolized to 1-AP or 1-NAAP, increases. Full article
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15 pages, 3772 KiB  
Article
A Theoretical Study on the Degradation Mechanism, Kinetics, and Ecotoxicity of Metronidazole (MNZ) in •OH- and SO4•−-Assisted Advanced Oxidation Processes
by Jingyu Sun, Ruijun Chu and Zia Ul Haq Khan
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090796 - 20 Sep 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1422
Abstract
Metronidazole (MNZ), a typical example of nitroimidazole antibiotics, is widely used in the treatment of infectious diseases caused by anaerobic bacteria. The degradation mechanism and kinetics of MNZ in the presence of HO• and SO4•− were studied using density functional theory [...] Read more.
Metronidazole (MNZ), a typical example of nitroimidazole antibiotics, is widely used in the treatment of infectious diseases caused by anaerobic bacteria. The degradation mechanism and kinetics of MNZ in the presence of HO• and SO4•− were studied using density functional theory (DFT). It was confirmed that both HO• and SO4•− easily added to the carbon atom bonded to the NO2 group in the MNZ molecule as the most feasible reaction channel. This study shows that subsequent reactions of the most important product (M-P) include the O2 addition, hydrogen abstraction and bond breakage mechanisms. The rate constants of HO• and SO4•−-initiated MNZ in the aqueous phase were calculated in the temperature range of 278–318 K. The total rate constants of MNZ with HO• and SO4•− were determined to be 8.52 × 109 and 1.69 × 109 M−1s−1 at 298 K, which were consistent with experimental values of (3.54 ± 0.42) × 109 and (2.74 ± 0.13) × 109 M−1s−1, respectively. The toxicity of MNZ and its degradation products to aquatic organisms has been predicted. The results proposed that the toxicity of the initial degradation product (M-P) was higher than that of MNZ. However, further degradation products of MNZ induced by HO• were not harmful to three aquatic organisms (fish, daphnia, and green algae). This study provides a comprehensive theoretical basis for understanding the degradation behavior of MNZ. Full article
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11 pages, 9592 KiB  
Article
Triplex DNA Helix Sensor Based on Reduced Graphene Oxide and Electrodeposited Gold Nanoparticles for Sensitive Lead(II) Detection
by Jing Gao, Piao Xu, Lu Qiao, Yani Tao, Yao Xiao, Hong Qin, Yuan Zhu and Yi Zhang
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090795 - 20 Sep 2023
Viewed by 972
Abstract
A triplex DNA electrochemical sensor based on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and electrodeposited gold nanoparticles (EAu) was simply fabricated for Pb2+ detection. The glass carbon electrode (GCE) sequentially electrodeposited with rGO and EAu was further modified with a triplex DNA helix that [...] Read more.
A triplex DNA electrochemical sensor based on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and electrodeposited gold nanoparticles (EAu) was simply fabricated for Pb2+ detection. The glass carbon electrode (GCE) sequentially electrodeposited with rGO and EAu was further modified with a triplex DNA helix that consisted of a guanine (G)-rich circle and a stem of triplex helix based on T-A•T base triplets. With the existence of Pb2+, the DNA configuration which was formed via the Watson–Crick and Hoogsteen base pairings was split and transformed into a G-quadruplex. An adequate electrochemical response signal was provided by the signal indicator methylene blue (MB). The proposed sensor demonstrated a linear relationship between the differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) peak currents and the logarithm of Pb2+ concentrations from 0.01 to 100.00 μM with a detection limit of 0.36 nM. The proposed sensor was also tested with tap water, river and medical wastewater samples with qualified recovery and accuracy and represented a promising method for Pb2+ detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data Science for Environmental Chemical Monitoring)
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17 pages, 3100 KiB  
Article
Untargeted Metabolomics Analysis Reveals Toxicity Based on the Sex and Sexual Maturity of Single Low-Dose DEHP Exposure
by Hyeon-Jeong Lee, Jonghwa Jin, Yoondam Seo, Inseon Kang, Junghyun Son, Eugene C. Yi and Hophil Min
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090794 - 20 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1239
Abstract
Di-(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a prevalent environmental endocrine disruptor that affects homeostasis, reproduction, and developmental processes. The effects of DEHP have been shown to differ based on sex and sexual maturity. This study examines the metabolic profiles of mature adult rats from both [...] Read more.
Di-(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a prevalent environmental endocrine disruptor that affects homeostasis, reproduction, and developmental processes. The effects of DEHP have been shown to differ based on sex and sexual maturity. This study examines the metabolic profiles of mature adult rats from both sexes, aged 10 weeks, and adolescent female rats, aged 6 weeks, following a single 5 mg/kg of body weight DEHP oral administration. An untargeted metabolomic analysis was conducted on urine samples collected at multiple times to discern potential sex- and maturity-specific DEHP toxicities. Various multivariate statistical analyses were employed to identify the relevant metabolites. The findings revealed disruptions to the steroid hormone and primary bile acid biosynthesis. Notably, DEHP exposure increased hyocholic, muricholic, and ketodeoxycholic acids in male rats. Moreover, DEHP exposure was linked to heart, liver, and kidney damage, as indicated by increased plasma GOT1 levels when compared to the levels before DEHP exposure. This study provides detailed insights into the unique mechanisms triggered by DEHP exposure concerning sex and sexual maturity, emphasizing significant distinctions in lipid metabolic profiles across the different groups. This study results deepens our understanding of the health risks linked to DEHP, informing future risk assessments and policy decisions. Full article
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19 pages, 3022 KiB  
Article
Pharmacokinetic Analysis of Ethanol in a Human Study: New Modification of Mathematic Model
by Paulo Zekan, Neven Ljubičić, Vladimir Blagaić, Ivan Dolanc, Antonija Jonjić, Miran Čoklo and Alenka Boban Blagaić
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090793 - 20 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1447
Abstract
In the pharmacokinetic analysis of ethanol after oral administration, only single- or two-compartment models are used, but their precision in estimating pharmacokinetic parameters might be insufficient. In a recent study, pharmacokinetic analysis using a modified Norberg three-compartment model was performed after oral administration [...] Read more.
In the pharmacokinetic analysis of ethanol after oral administration, only single- or two-compartment models are used, but their precision in estimating pharmacokinetic parameters might be insufficient. In a recent study, pharmacokinetic analysis using a modified Norberg three-compartment model was performed after oral administration of differently sweetened alcoholic solutions and compared to pharmacokinetic analysis using the classic Widmark model. On three occasions, eight male volunteers consumed differently sweetened alcoholic solutions: non-sweetened, sweetened with sucrose, and sweetened with steviol glycoside. Blood ethanol concentration was determined from samples obtained at t = 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180 min after consumption. Pharmacokinetic analysis was performed model independently, using the classic Widmarks model and using the modified Norberg model. Results showed that estimated pharmacokinetic parameters depend on the type of model used. The classic Widmark model in particular overestimated the fraction of absorbed ethanol from the gastrointestinal system to systemic circulation. Furthermore, the type of sweetener also affected pharmacokinetic parameters, although the difference was not statistically significant. In conclusion, the novel pharmacokinetic model, while being more physiological, fits experimental data better and hence is more suitable for modelling real-life alcohol consumption. In addition, the effect of natural non-caloric sweetener steviol glycoside on ethanol pharmacokinetics, analysed for the first time in the current research, might be different when compared to the common-used sweetener sucrose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Forensic Toxicology)
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17 pages, 2751 KiB  
Article
Microplastics Distribution within Western Arctic Seawater and Sea Ice
by Alessandra D’Angelo, Nicole Trenholm, Brice Loose, Laura Glastra, Jacob Strock and Jongsun Kim
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090792 - 20 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2174
Abstract
Microplastic pollution has emerged as a global environmental concern, exhibiting wide distribution within marine ecosystems, including the Arctic Ocean. Limited Arctic microplastic data exist from beached plastics, seabed sediments, floating plastics, and sea ice. However, no studies have examined microplastics in the sea [...] Read more.
Microplastic pollution has emerged as a global environmental concern, exhibiting wide distribution within marine ecosystems, including the Arctic Ocean. Limited Arctic microplastic data exist from beached plastics, seabed sediments, floating plastics, and sea ice. However, no studies have examined microplastics in the sea ice of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area, and few have explored Arctic marginal seas’ water column. The majority of the microplastic data originates from the Eurasian Arctic, with limited data available from other regions of the Arctic Ocean. This study presents data from two distinct campaigns in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Western Arctic marginal seas in 2019 and 2020. These campaigns involved sampling from different regions and matrices, making direct comparisons inappropriate. The study’s primary objective is to provide insights into the spatial and vertical distribution of microplastics. The results reveal elevated microplastic concentrations within the upper 50 m of the water column and significant accumulation in the sea ice, providing evidence to support the designation of sea ice as a microplastic sink. Surface seawater exhibits a gradient of microplastic counts, decreasing from the Chukchi Sea towards the Beaufort Sea. Polyvinyl chloride polymer (~60%) dominated microplastic composition in both sea ice and seawater. This study highlights the need for further investigations in this region to enhance our understanding of microplastic sources, distribution, and transport. Full article
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15 pages, 11445 KiB  
Article
Toxic Kidney Damage in Rats Following Subchronic Intraperitoneal Exposure to Element Oxide Nanoparticles
by Yuliya V. Ryabova, Ilzira A. Minigalieva, Marina P. Sutunkova, Svetlana V. Klinova, Alexandra K. Tsaplina, Irene E. Valamina, Ekaterina M. Petrunina, Aristides M. Tsatsakis, Charalampos Mamoulakis, Kostas Stylianou, Sergey V. Kuzmin, Larisa I. Privalova and Boris A. Katsnelson
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090791 - 19 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1225
Abstract
Chronic diseases of the urogenital tract, such as bladder cancer, prostate cancer, reproductive disorders, and nephropathies, can develop under the effects of chemical hazards in the working environment. In this respect, nanosized particles generated as by-products in many industrial processes seem to be [...] Read more.
Chronic diseases of the urogenital tract, such as bladder cancer, prostate cancer, reproductive disorders, and nephropathies, can develop under the effects of chemical hazards in the working environment. In this respect, nanosized particles generated as by-products in many industrial processes seem to be particularly dangerous to organs such as the testes and the kidneys. Nephrotoxicity of element oxide particles has been studied in animal experiments with repeated intraperitoneal injections of Al2O3, TiO2, SiO2, PbO, CdO, CuO, and SeO nanoparticles (NPs) in total doses ranging from 4.5 to 45 mg/kg body weight of rats. NPs were synthesized by laser ablation. After cessation of exposure, we measured kidney weight and analyzed selected biochemical parameters in blood and urine, characterizing the state of the excretory system. We also examined histological sections of kidneys and estimated proportions of different cells in imprint smears of this organ. All element oxide NPs under investigation demonstrated a nephrotoxic effect following subchronic exposure. Following the exposure to SeO and SiO2 NPs, we observed a decrease in serum creatinine and urea, respectively. Exposure to Al2O3 NPs caused an increase in urinary creatinine and urea, while changes in total protein were controversial, as it increased under the effect of Al2O3 NPs and was reduced after exposure to CuO NPs. Histomorphological changes in kidneys are associated with desquamation of the epithelium (following the exposure to all NPs except those of Al2O3 and SiO2) and loss of the brush border (following the exposure to all NPs, except those of Al2O3, TiO2, and SiO2). The cytomorphological evaluation showed greater destruction of proximal sections of renal tubules. Compared to the controls, we observed statistically significant alterations in 42.1% (8 of 19) of parameters following the exposure to PbO, CuO, and SeO NPs in 21.1% (4 of 19)—following that, to CdO and Al2O3 NPs—and in 15.8% (3 of 19) and 10.5% (2 of 19) of indicators, following the exposure to TiO2 and SiO2 nanoparticles, respectively. Histomorphological changes in kidneys are associated with desquamation of epithelium and loss of the brush border. The cytomorphological evaluation showed greater destruction of proximal sections of renal tubules. The severity of cyto- and histological structural changes in kidneys depends on the chemical nature of NPs. These alterations are not always consistent with biochemical ones, thus impeding early clinical diagnosis of renal damage. Unambiguous ranking of the NPs examined by the degree of their nephrotoxicity is difficult. Additional studies are necessary to establish key indicators of the nephrotoxic effect, which can facilitate early diagnosis of occupational and nonoccupational nephropathies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Toxics: Women's Special Issue Series)
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16 pages, 15898 KiB  
Article
Testing of Different Digestion Solutions on Tissue Samples and the Effects of Used Potassium Hydroxide Solution on Polystyrene Microspheres
by Liesa Geppner, Jakob Karaca, Wencke Wegner, Moritz Rados, Tobias Gutwald, Philemon Werth and Maja Henjakovic
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090790 - 19 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1348
Abstract
Microplastic particles are ubiquitous in our environment, having entered the air, the water, the soil, and ultimately our food chain. Owing to their small size, these particles can potentially enter the bloodstream and accumulate in the organs. To detect microplastics using existing methods, [...] Read more.
Microplastic particles are ubiquitous in our environment, having entered the air, the water, the soil, and ultimately our food chain. Owing to their small size, these particles can potentially enter the bloodstream and accumulate in the organs. To detect microplastics using existing methods, they must first be isolated. The aim of this study was to develop a non-destructive method for efficiently and affordably isolating plastic particles. We investigated the digestion of kidney, lung, liver, and brain samples from pigs. Kidney samples were analyzed using light microscopy after incubation with proteinase K, pepsin/pancreatin, and 10% potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution. Various KOH:tissue ratios were employed for the digestion of lung, liver, and brain samples. Additionally, we examined the effect of 10% KOH solution on added polystyrene microplastics using scanning electron microscopy. Our findings revealed that a 10% KOH solution is the most suitable for dissolving diverse organ samples, while enzymatic methods require further refinement. Moreover, we demonstrated that commonly used 1 µm polystyrene particles remain unaffected by 10% KOH solution even after 76 h of incubation. Digestion by KOH offers a simple and cost-effective approach for processing organ samples and holds potential for isolating plastic particles from meat products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agrochemicals and Food Toxicology)
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19 pages, 10080 KiB  
Article
Impact of Perinatal Coexposure to Chlorpyrifos and a High-Fat Diet on Kisspeptin and GnRHR Presence and Reproductive Organs
by Marwa Lahimer, Narimane Djekkoun, Sophian Tricotteaux-Zarqaoui, Aurélie Corona, Isabelle Lafosse, Habib Ben Ali, Mounir Ajina, Véronique Bach, Moncef Benkhalifa and Hafida Khorsi-Cauet
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090789 - 19 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1086
Abstract
Emerging evidence has indicated the involvement of extrahypothalamic Kisspeptin and GnRHR in reproductive function. In this study, we evaluate if maternal exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos (CPF) and/or a high-fat diet (HFD) has an impact on the expression of Kisspeptin and GnRHR in [...] Read more.
Emerging evidence has indicated the involvement of extrahypothalamic Kisspeptin and GnRHR in reproductive function. In this study, we evaluate if maternal exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos (CPF) and/or a high-fat diet (HFD) has an impact on the expression of Kisspeptin and GnRHR in the reproductive organs of rats’ offspring. A total of 16 pregnant rats are divided into four groups: a control group (n = 4), CPF group (4 rats exposed daily to 1/mg/kg/day), HFD group (4 rats randomly fed a 5.25 kcal/g HFD), and coexposed group (4 rats exposed to CPF and HDF). At postnatal development postnatal day (PND) 60, male and female offspring were sacrificed. The reproductive organs (ovary and testis) were removed, and histological and immunohistological analysis and in silico quantification (TissueGnostics software 6.0.1.102, TissueFAXS, HistoQuest) were applied to investigate the impact of different treatments on Kisspeptin and GnRHR expression in reproductive organs. The main outcomes of the study showed a significant decrease in rat offspring’s body weight in the CPF group from PND30 and PND60 (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively). Histological analysis showed a significant increase in the atretic follicle and abnormal testis structure with germ cell desquamation in the CPF-exposed group. The immunodetection quantification of protein shows a significant decrease in GnRHR and Kisspeptin in the HFD and CPF exposed groups, respectively, in testis rat offspring. Perinatal exposure to CPF and HFD exposure affect the reproduction function of rat offspring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Exposure and Reproductive Health)
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10 pages, 1764 KiB  
Article
Giant Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) Root Growth as a Simple and Sensitive Indicator of Copper and Chromium Contamination
by Hojun Lee, Jonas De Saeger, Sunwoo Bae, Mirae Kim, Stephen Depuydt, Philippe M. Heynderickx, Di Wu, Taejun Han and Jihae Park
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090788 - 18 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1367
Abstract
Aquatic environment are often contaminated with heavy metals from various industrial sources. However, physicochemical techniques for pollutant detection are limited, thus prompting the need for additional bioassays. We investigated the use of greater duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) as a bioindicator of metal [...] Read more.
Aquatic environment are often contaminated with heavy metals from various industrial sources. However, physicochemical techniques for pollutant detection are limited, thus prompting the need for additional bioassays. We investigated the use of greater duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) as a bioindicator of metal pollution. We exposed S. polyrhiza to four pollutants (namely, silver, cadmium, copper, and chromium) and assessed metal toxicity by measuring its frond area and the length of its regrown roots. The plant displayed significant differences in both frond size and root growth in response to the four metals. Silver was the most toxic (EC50 = 23 µg L−1) while copper the least (EC50 = 365–607 µg L−1). Direct comparisons of metal sensitivity and the reliability of the two endpoint assays showed that root growth was more sensitive (lower in terms of 50% effective concentration) to chromium, cadmium, and copper, and was more reliable (lower in terms of coefficient of variation) than those for frond area. Compared to conventional Lemna-based tests, the S. polyrhiza test is easier to perform (requiring only one 24-well plate, 3 mL of medium and a 72-h exposure). Moreover, it does not require livestock cultivation/maintenance, making it more suitable for repeated measurements. Measurements of S. polyrhiza root length may be suitable for assessment when copper and chromium in municipal and industrial wastewater exceed the environmentally permissible levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
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11 pages, 984 KiB  
Article
Biochar Decreases Cr Toxicity and Accumulation in Sunflower Grown in Cr(VI)-Polluted Soil
by Shuai Li, Yiming Xie, Shuguang Jiang, Mingda Yang, Hongxia Lei, Wenzhi Cui and Fayuan Wang
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090787 - 16 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Biochar is preferentially recommended for the remediation of heavy metal-polluted soils. Sunflower is an important high-biomass oil crop with a promising potential for phytoremediation of Cr(VI)-polluted soil. However, how biochar affects sunflower growth and Cr accumulation in Cr(VI)-polluted soil needs to be elucidated. [...] Read more.
Biochar is preferentially recommended for the remediation of heavy metal-polluted soils. Sunflower is an important high-biomass oil crop with a promising potential for phytoremediation of Cr(VI)-polluted soil. However, how biochar affects sunflower growth and Cr accumulation in Cr(VI)-polluted soil needs to be elucidated. Here, a pot culture experiment was conducted to study whether soil amendment with biochar (0, 0.1%, 1%, and 5%, w/w) can mitigate Cr toxicity and accumulation in sunflower seedlings grown in soils artificially polluted with different levels of Cr(VI) (0, 50, and 250 mg Cr(VI)/kg soil). The addition of Cr(VI) exhibited significant phytotoxicity, as evidenced by inhibited plant growth and even the death of seedlings at 250 mg/kg Cr(VI). Overall, biochar amendment showed positive effects on plant growth and Cr immobilization, dependent on both the biochar dose and Cr addition level. When 50 mg/kg Cr(VI) was added, 1% biochar showed positive effects similar to 5% biochar on improving plant growth and mineral nutrition (particularly K), reducing Cr content in shoots and roots, and decreasing Cr availability and Cr(VI) content in the soil. In comparison with non-amendment, 1% and 5% biochar caused 85% and 100% increase in shoot dry weights, and 75% and 86% reduction in shoot Cr concentrations, respectively. When 250 mg/kg Cr(VI) was added, a 5% dose produced much better benefits than 1%, while a 0.1% dose did not help plants to survive. Overall, an appropriate dose of biochar enhanced Cr(VI) immobilization and subsequently decreased its toxicity and accumulation in sunflower seedlings. Our findings confirm that biochar can be used as an efficient amendment for the remediation of Cr(VI)-polluted soils and cleaner production of sunflower oil and biomass. Full article
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10 pages, 1200 KiB  
Article
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Community Water Systems (CWS) and the Risk of Thyroid Cancer: An Ecological Study
by Mathilda Alsen, Angela M. Leung and Maaike van Gerwen
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090786 - 16 Sep 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
Thyroid cancer incidence has been steadily increasing over the past decade in the United States (US). A discussion exists regarding the potential contribution of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, encompassing certain per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). This ecological study evaluated the potential correlation between [...] Read more.
Thyroid cancer incidence has been steadily increasing over the past decade in the United States (US). A discussion exists regarding the potential contribution of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, encompassing certain per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). This ecological study evaluated the potential correlation between PFAS levels in drinking water and thyroid cancer incidence in the US. Data on age-adjusted thyroid cancer incidence rate (per 100,000 persons) by county were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for US counties with available data in 2015–2019. Data on PFAS concentrations in the drinking water of selected community water systems (CWSs) were obtained from the CDC National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network in 2013–2015. The correlation between PFASs in CWSs and thyroid cancer incidence was calculated using Spearman correlation. A statistically significant correlation was found between perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (r = 0.031; p = 0.043), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) (r = 0.058; p ≤ 0.001), and thyroid cancer incidence. The results suggest a potential link between certain PFAS exposures and thyroid cancer risk. However, due to the nature of an ecological study, no conclusions can be drawn at the individual level or causality. More research is needed, particularly on an individual level to allow for more detailed exposure assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The 10th Anniversary of Toxics)
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15 pages, 3829 KiB  
Article
Datasets Construction and Development of QSAR Models for Predicting Micronucleus In Vitro and In Vivo Assay Outcomes
by Lusine Khondkaryan, Ani Tevosyan, Hayk Navasardyan, Hrant Khachatrian, Gohar Tadevosyan, Lilit Apresyan, Gayane Chilingaryan, Zaven Navoyan, Helga Stopper and Nelly Babayan
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 785; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090785 - 15 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1322
Abstract
In silico (quantitative) structure–activity relationship modeling is an approach that provides a fast and cost-effective alternative to assess the genotoxic potential of chemicals. However, one of the limiting factors for model development is the availability of consolidated experimental datasets. In the present study, [...] Read more.
In silico (quantitative) structure–activity relationship modeling is an approach that provides a fast and cost-effective alternative to assess the genotoxic potential of chemicals. However, one of the limiting factors for model development is the availability of consolidated experimental datasets. In the present study, we collected experimental data on micronuclei in vitro and in vivo, utilizing databases and conducting a PubMed search, aided by text mining using the BioBERT large language model. Chemotype enrichment analysis on the updated datasets was performed to identify enriched substructures. Additionally, chemotypes common for both endpoints were found. Five machine learning models in combination with molecular descriptors, twelve fingerprints and two data balancing techniques were applied to construct individual models. The best-performing individual models were selected for the ensemble construction. The curated final dataset consists of 981 chemicals for micronuclei in vitro and 1309 for mouse micronuclei in vivo, respectively. Out of 18 chemotypes enriched in micronuclei in vitro, only 7 were found to be relevant for in vivo prediction. The ensemble model exhibited high accuracy and sensitivity when applied to an external test set of in vitro data. A good balanced predictive performance was also achieved for the micronucleus in vivo endpoint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Novel Methods in Toxicology Research)
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17 pages, 14210 KiB  
Article
Nootkatone Mitigated Melamine-Evoked Hepatotoxicity by Featuring Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Interconnected Mechanisms: In Vivo and In Silico Approaches
by Ola A. Habotta, Ahmed Abdeen, Ali B. Roomi, Afnan I. Elgndy, Safwa M. Sorour, Maha H. Morsi, Kamal M. Kamal, Samah F. Ibrahim, Doaa Abdelrahaman, Liana Fericean, Ioan Banatean-Dunea, Heba I. Ghamry, Mohammad El-Nablaway, Reem T. Atawia and Dania Abdelhady
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090784 - 15 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
Melamine (ML) is a common environmental contaminant, commonly used in food fraud, representing a serious health hazard and jeopardizing human and animal health. Recently, nootkatone (NK), a naturally occurring sesquiterpenoid, has garnered considerable attention due to its potential therapeutic advantages. We investigated the [...] Read more.
Melamine (ML) is a common environmental contaminant, commonly used in food fraud, representing a serious health hazard and jeopardizing human and animal health. Recently, nootkatone (NK), a naturally occurring sesquiterpenoid, has garnered considerable attention due to its potential therapeutic advantages. We investigated the potential mechanisms underlying the protective effects of NK against ML-induced liver injury in rats. Five groups were utilized: control, ML, NK10, ML-NK5, and ML-NK10. ML induced substantial hepatotoxicity, including considerable alterations in biochemical parameters and histology. The oxidative distress triggered by ML increased the generation of malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) and decreased levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities. In addition, decreased expression of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and increased nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-κB) expression levels were observed in hepatocytes, which indicated the occurrence of inflammatory changes following ML exposure. These alterations were alleviated by NK supplementation in a dose-dependent manner. The data revealed that the favorable effects of NK were attributed, at least in part, to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, our results were supported by molecular docking studies that revealed a good fit and interactions between NK and antioxidant enzymes. Thus, the current study demonstrated that NK is a potential new food additive for the prevention or treatment of ML-induced toxicity. Full article
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19 pages, 4219 KiB  
Article
Ameliorative Effect of Thymoquinone and Thymoquinone Nanoparticles against Diazinon-Induced Hepatic Injury in Rats: A Possible Protection Mechanism
by Walaa M. Nassar, Wafaa M. El-Kholy, Mamdouh R. El-Sawi, Nagi M. El-Shafai, Badriyah S. Alotaibi, Heba I. Ghamry and Mustafa Shukry
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090783 - 15 Sep 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1442
Abstract
The health benefits of thymoquinone (TQ) have been a significant focus of numerous studies. However, more research is needed to ascertain whether its nano-form can effectively treat or prevent chronic diseases. In this study, we investigated how thymoquinone and its nanoparticles can mitigate [...] Read more.
The health benefits of thymoquinone (TQ) have been a significant focus of numerous studies. However, more research is needed to ascertain whether its nano-form can effectively treat or prevent chronic diseases. In this study, we investigated how thymoquinone and its nanoparticles can mitigate liver damage induced by diazinon in male Wistar rats and explored the intracellular mechanisms involved. Forty-two Wistar male rats (n = 42) were randomly allotted into seven groups. Group 1 served as the control. Group 2 (vehicle) consisted of rats that received corn oil via a gastric tube daily. In Group 3 (TQ), rats were given a daily oral administration of TQ (40 mg/kg bw). Group 4 (thymoquinone nanoparticles, NTQ) included rats that received NTQ (0.5 mg/kg bw) orally for 21 days. Group 5 (DZN) involved rats that were administered diazinon (DZN, 15 mg/kg bw) orally. In Group 6 (TQ + DZN), rats first received TQ orally, followed by DZN. Group 7 (NTQ + DZN) consisted of rats receiving NTQ orally, then DZN. After 21 days of treatment, the rats were euthanized. After oral administration of DZN, liver enzymes were significantly elevated (p < 0.05). Additionally, there were noticeable increases in oxidative injury markers, such as nitric oxide, malondialdehyde, redox oxygen radicals, and overall increases in hydrogen peroxide and liver protein carbonyl concentrations. This was accompanied by the upregulation of apoptotic markers (Bax, caspase9, caspase 3, bax/Bcl2 ratio), inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6), and DNA damage. There was also a noteworthy decrease (p < 0.05) in the activities of antioxidant enzymes and anti-apoptotic markers. However, the oral administration of thymoquinone or its nanoparticle form mitigated these diazinon complications; our histopathological findings corroborated our biochemical and molecular observations. In conclusion, the significant antioxidant properties of thymoquinone, or its nanoparticle form, in tandem with the downregulation of apoptotic markers and inflammatory cytokines, provided a protective effect against hepatic dysfunction caused by diazinon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pesticide-Induced Inflammation and Disease)
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14 pages, 7455 KiB  
Article
Toxicological Profile of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Microplastic in Ingested Drosophila melanogaster (Oregon R+) and Its Adverse Effect on Behavior and Development
by Simran Kauts, Yachana Mishra, Sumaira Yousuf, Rima Bhardwaj, Sandeep K. Singh, Fahad M. Alshabrmi, Mahmoud Abdurahman, Emanuel Vamanu and Mahendra P. Singh
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090782 - 14 Sep 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1525
Abstract
Microplastics are readily available in the natural environment. Due to the pervasiveness of microplastic pollution, its effects on living organisms necessitate further investigation. The size, time of exposure, and amount of microplastic particles appear to be the most essential factor in determining their [...] Read more.
Microplastics are readily available in the natural environment. Due to the pervasiveness of microplastic pollution, its effects on living organisms necessitate further investigation. The size, time of exposure, and amount of microplastic particles appear to be the most essential factor in determining their toxicological effects, either organismal or sub-organismal. For our research work, we preferred to work on a terrestrial model organism Drosophila melanogaster (Oregon R+). Therefore, in the present study, we characterized 2–100 µm size PET microplastic and confirmed its accumulation in Drosophila, which allowed us to proceed further in our research work. At larger dosages, research on locomotory activities such as climbing, jumping, and crawling indicated a decline in physiological and neuromuscular functions. Our studies also determined retarded development in flies and decreased survival rate in female flies after exposure to the highest concentration of microplastics. These experimental findings provide insight into the possible potential neurotoxic effects of microplastics and their detrimental effects on the development and growth of flies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exposome Analysis and Risk Assessment)
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12 pages, 1282 KiB  
Article
Expanded Polystyrene-Debris-Induced Genotoxic Effect in Littoral Organisms
by Victor Pavlovich Chelomin, Nadezda Vladimirovna Dovzhenko, Valentina Vladimirovna Slobodskova, Andrey Alexandrovich Mazur, Sergey Petrovich Kukla and Avianna Fayazovna Zhukovskaya
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090781 - 14 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1116
Abstract
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a major component of plastic debris in the environment, including coastal and littoral zones. EPS is widely used in various industries including fish farming and aquaculture, which poses a serious potential threat not only to cultured hydrobionts but also [...] Read more.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a major component of plastic debris in the environment, including coastal and littoral zones. EPS is widely used in various industries including fish farming and aquaculture, which poses a serious potential threat not only to cultured hydrobionts but also to all living organisms, including humans. This paper presents the results of experimental studies on the effects of EPS (0.024 m2/L) on marine mollusks Mytilus trossulus and Tegula rustica, which are typical inhabitants of the upper littoral of Peter the Great Bay (Sea of Japan), belonging to different systematic groups and differing in the type of nutrition. The results of biochemical marker analysis showed the development of oxidative stress processes. Thus, increasing malondialdehyde content relative to control values was registered in the digestive glands of M. trossulus and T. rustica. In the cells of the digestive glands of M. trossulus, integral antioxidant activity decreased more than 1.5 times compared with that of the control. The change in the concentration of protein carbonyls was unchanged in M. trossulus, whereas in T. rustica, there was a 1.5-fold increase. EPS exposure also resulted in significant DNA damage in the studied mollusks—the damage level increased 2.5-fold in M. trossulus and 1.5-fold in T. rustica relative to the control, indicating the genotoxic potential of EPS litters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spotlight on the Ecotoxicological Impacts of Plastic Pollution)
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18 pages, 5671 KiB  
Article
Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Sediment Samples from the Mae Chaem River, Chiang Mai, Thailand
by Sawaeng Kawichai, Tippawan Prapamontol, Teetawat Santijitpakdee and Susira Bootdee
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090780 - 14 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1571
Abstract
Heavy metals are significant environmental pollutants that are recognized as posing a potential health hazard to human beings. We investigated the concentrations of the heavy metals As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in surface sediments collected from the Mae Chaem River [...] Read more.
Heavy metals are significant environmental pollutants that are recognized as posing a potential health hazard to human beings. We investigated the concentrations of the heavy metals As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in surface sediments collected from the Mae Chaem River in Chiang Mai, Thailand, during the dry season in 2021. The mean concentrations of heavy metals in sediments were, in decreasing order, Zn > Cr > As > Pb > Ni > Cu > Cd. The mean values of As, Cd, Cr, and Cu were determined to be 32.5 ± 18.3, 0.33 ± 0.07, 45.8 ± 11.9, and 21.9 ± 7.42 mg Kg−1, respectively. These levels are higher than their standard levels in Thailand, namely 10.0, 0.16, 45.5, and 21.5 mg Kg−1, respectively. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the primary origins of heavy metal contamination are predominantly attributed to residential settlements and agricultural areas. The hazard quotient (HQ) was used to estimate the non-carcinogenic risk of exposure to heavy-metal-bound surface sediments for both children and adults. The results showed that the HQ values for both groups were less than 1.0 (HQ < 1.0), indicating no risk. Moreover, assessment of the long-term risk for ingestion of toxic metals indicated no risk (<10−6) based on the lifetime cancer risk (LCR). However, the LCR values of As and Cr were 5.3 × 10−6 and 2.5 × 10−6, respectively, demonstrating the most elevated LCR among the hazardous metals in terms of children’s exposure. Therefore, it is possible that children living in agricultural areas and participating in activities around the study area may be exposed to elevated concentrations of As and Cr. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Heavy Metal Pollution for Environmental Health and Safety)
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18 pages, 4588 KiB  
Article
Application of Pattern Recognition and Computer Vision Tools to Improve the Morphological Analysis of Microplastic Items in Biological Samples
by Aleksander Maria Astel and Paulina Piskuła
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090779 - 13 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 981
Abstract
Since, in many routine analytical laboratories, a stereomicroscope coupled with a digital camera is not equipped with advanced software enabling automatic detection of features of observed objects, in the present study, a procedure of feature detection using open-source software was proposed and validated. [...] Read more.
Since, in many routine analytical laboratories, a stereomicroscope coupled with a digital camera is not equipped with advanced software enabling automatic detection of features of observed objects, in the present study, a procedure of feature detection using open-source software was proposed and validated. Within the framework of applying microscopic expertise coupled with image analysis, a set of digital images of microplastic (MP) items identified in organs of fish was used to determine shape descriptors (such as length, width, item area, etc.). The edge points required to compute shape characteristics were set manually in digital images acquired by the camera coupled with a binocular, and respective values were computed via the use of built-in MotiConnect software. As an alternative, a new approach consisting of digital image thresholding, binarization, the use of connected-component labeling, and the computation of shape descriptors on a pixel level via using the functions available in an OpenCV library or self-written in C++ was proposed. Overall, 74.4% of the images were suitable for thresholding without any additional pretreatment. A significant correlation was obtained between the shape descriptors computed by the software and computed using the proposed approach. The range of correlation coefficients at a very high level of significance, according to the pair of correlated measures, was higher than 0.69. The length of fibers can be satisfactorily approximated using a value of half the length of the outer perimeter (r higher than 0.75). Compactness and circularity significantly differ for particles and fibers. Full article
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20 pages, 2952 KiB  
Article
Differential Susceptibility to Benzo[a]pyrene Exposure during Gestation and Lactation in Mice with Genetic Variations in the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor and Cyp1 Genes
by Mackenzie Feltner, Patrick M. Hare, Asia Good, Emma G. Foster, Katelyn Clough, Jade Perry, Amanda Honaker, Angela Kyntchev, Mickayla Kowalski and Christine Perdan Curran
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090778 - 13 Sep 2023
Viewed by 955
Abstract
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are ubiquitous air pollutants, with additional widespread exposure in the diet. PAH exposure has been linked to adverse birth outcomes and long-term neurological consequences. To understand genetic differences that could affect susceptibility following developmental exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, we [...] Read more.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are ubiquitous air pollutants, with additional widespread exposure in the diet. PAH exposure has been linked to adverse birth outcomes and long-term neurological consequences. To understand genetic differences that could affect susceptibility following developmental exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, we exposed mice with variations in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and the three CYP1 enzymes from gestational day 10 (G10) to weaning at postnatal day 25 (P25). We found unexpectedly high neonatal lethality in high-affinity AhrbCyp1b1(-/-) knockout mice compared with all other genotypes. Over 60% of BaP-exposed pups died within their first 5 days of life. There was a significant effect of BaP on growth rates in surviving pups, with lower weights observed from P7 to P21. Again, AhrbCyp1b1(-/-) knockout mice were the most susceptible to growth retardation. Independent of treatment, this line of mice also had impaired development of the surface righting reflex. We used high-resolution mass spectrometry to measure BaP and metabolites in tissues from both dams and pups. We found the highest BaP levels in adipose from poor-affinity AhrdCyp1a2(-/-) dams and identified three major BaP metabolites (BaP-7-OH, BaP-9-OH, and BaP-4,5-diol), but our measurements were limited to a single time point. Future work is needed to understand BaP pharmacokinetics in the contexts of gestation and lactation and how differential metabolism leads to adverse developmental outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The 10th Anniversary of Toxics)
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11 pages, 979 KiB  
Article
Forecast of Fine Particles in Chengdu under Autumn–Winter Synoptic Conditions
by Jingchao Yang, Ge Wang and Chao Zhang
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 777; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090777 - 13 Sep 2023
Viewed by 789
Abstract
We conducted an evaluation of the impact of meteorological factor forecasts on the prediction of fine particles in Chengdu, China, during autumn and winter, utilizing the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)733 objective weather classification software and the Community Multiscale Air Quality [...] Read more.
We conducted an evaluation of the impact of meteorological factor forecasts on the prediction of fine particles in Chengdu, China, during autumn and winter, utilizing the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)733 objective weather classification software and the Community Multiscale Air Quality model. This analysis was performed under four prevailing weather patterns. Fine particle pollution tended to occur under high-pressure rear, homogeneous-pressure, and low-pressure conditions; by contrast, fine particle concentrations were lower under high-pressure bottom conditions. The forecasts of fine particle concentrations were more accurate under high-pressure bottom conditions than under high-pressure rear and homogeneous-pressure conditions. Moreover, under all conditions, the 24 h forecast of fine particle concentrations were more accurate than the 48 and 72 h forecasts. Regarding meteorological factors, forecasts of 2 m relative humidity and 10 m wind speed were more accurate under high-pressure bottom conditions than high-pressure rear and homogeneous-pressure conditions. Moreover, 2 m relative humidity and 10 m wind speed were important factors for forecasting fine particles, whereas 2 m air temperature was not. Finally, the 24 h forecasts of meteorological factors were more accurate than the 48 and 72 h forecasts, consistent with the forecasting of fine particles. Full article
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12 pages, 6375 KiB  
Article
Sex-Specific Effects of Short-Term Oral Administration of Food-Grade Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles in the Liver and Kidneys of Adult Rats
by Roberta Tassinari, Alessia Tammaro, Andrea Martinelli, Mauro Valeri and Francesca Maranghi
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090776 - 13 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1142
Abstract
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterial is used in several items (implant materials, pills composition, cosmetics, etc.). Although TiO2 is no longer considered safe as a food additive, the general population is exposed daily through different routes, and information is lacking on [...] Read more.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterial is used in several items (implant materials, pills composition, cosmetics, etc.). Although TiO2 is no longer considered safe as a food additive, the general population is exposed daily through different routes, and information is lacking on some aspects of animal and human health. This study evaluated liver and kidney toxicity of food-grade TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) (primary size < 25 nm) in male and female rats that were orally exposed for 5 days to 0, 1, and 2 mg/kg body weight per day (comparable with daily E171 consumption). Selected liver and kidney toxicity endpoints included serum biomarkers, histopathological analysis and expression of osteopontin (SPP1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and neuropeptide Y (NPY). Although TiO2 NPs are known to affect the gastric mucosa, short-term exposure induced sex-specific effects: general toxicity parameters were predominantly altered in female rats, whereas the liver appeared to be more affected than the kidneys in male rats, which also showed overexpression of NPY and SPP1. In the kidneys, the TiO2 NP effects were quantitatively similar but qualitatively different in the two sexes. In conclusion, careful consideration should be paid to the presence of TiO2 NPs in other items that can lead to human exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agrochemicals and Food Toxicology)
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13 pages, 3612 KiB  
Article
Effects of BPA Exposure and Recovery on the Expression of Genes Involved in the Hepatic Lipid Metabolism in Male Mice
by Changqing Li, Nan Shen, Shaohua Yang and Hui-Li Wang
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090775 - 12 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1399
Abstract
Exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) has led to an increased risk of obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLDs). However, it is as yet unclear if the damage caused by BPA is able to be repaired sufficiently after exposure has ceased. Therefore, this [...] Read more.
Exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) has led to an increased risk of obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLDs). However, it is as yet unclear if the damage caused by BPA is able to be repaired sufficiently after exposure has ceased. Therefore, this project aims to investigate the effects of BPA on the hepatic lipid metabolism function and its potential mechanisms in mice by comparing the BPA exposure model and the BPA exposure + cessation of drug treatment model. Herein, the male C57BL/6 mice were exposed in the dose of 50 μg/kg/day and 500 μg/kg/day BPA for 8 weeks, and then transferred to a standard chow diet for another 8 weeks to recover. Based on our previous RNA-seq study, we examined the expression patterns of some key genes. The results showed that the mice exposed to BPA manifested NAFLD features. Importantly, we also found that there was a significant expression reversion for SCD1, APOD, ANGPT4, PPARβ, LPL and G0S2 between the exposure and recovery groups, especially for SCD1 and APOD (p < 0.01). Notably, BPA could significantly decrease the level of APOD protein (p < 0.01) whereas there was an extremely significant increase after the exposure ceased. Meanwhile, APOD over-expression suppressed TG accumulation in the AML12 cells. In conclusion, the damage caused by BPA is able to be repaired by the upregulation of APOD and exposure to BPA should be carefully examined in chronic liver metabolic disorders or diseases. Full article
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14 pages, 2186 KiB  
Review
A Hidden Pathway for Human Exposure to Micro- and Nanoplastics—The Mechanical Fragmentation of Plastic Products during Daily Use
by Yang Yu, Nicholas Craig and Lei Su
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090774 - 12 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1583
Abstract
In numerous environmental compartments around the world, the existence of micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs) in the environment has been verified. A growing number of studies have looked at the interaction between MNPs and human activities due to the risks they may pose to [...] Read more.
In numerous environmental compartments around the world, the existence of micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs) in the environment has been verified. A growing number of studies have looked at the interaction between MNPs and human activities due to the risks they may pose to humans. Exposure pathways are key factors in measuring MNPs risks. However, current research largely ignores the contribution of mechanical fragmentation pathways to MNPs exposure during the daily use of plastic products. Our critical review demonstrated the research gap between MNP fragmentation and risk assessments via a network analysis. The release of fragmented MNPs and their properties were also described at various scales, with emphasis on environmental stressors and mechanical fragmentation. In the scenarios of daily use, plastic products such as food packaging and clothing provide acute pathways of MNPs exposure. The release tendency of those products (up to 102 mg MNPs) are several orders of magnitude higher than MNPs abundances in natural compartments. Despite the limited evidence available, waste recycling, landfill and municipal activities represented long-term pathways for MNPs fragmentation and point sources of MNPs pollution in environmental media. Assessing the health effects of the fragmentation process, unfortunately, is further hampered by the current absence of human exposure impact assessments for secondary MNPs. We proposed that future studies should integrate aging evaluation into risk assessment frameworks and establish early warning signs of MNPs released from plastic products. Full article
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11 pages, 1157 KiB  
Article
Metal Ions Modify In Vitro DNA Damage Yields with High-LET Radiation
by Dylan J. Buglewicz, Cathy Su, Austin B. Banks, Jazmine Stenger-Smith, Suad Elmegerhi, Hirokazu Hirakawa, Akira Fujimori and Takamitsu A. Kato
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090773 - 12 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1004
Abstract
Cu2+ and Co2+ are metals known to increase DNA damage in the presence of hydrogen peroxide through a Fenton-type reaction. We hypothesized that these metals could increase DNA damage following irradiations of increasing LET values as hydrogen peroxide is a product [...] Read more.
Cu2+ and Co2+ are metals known to increase DNA damage in the presence of hydrogen peroxide through a Fenton-type reaction. We hypothesized that these metals could increase DNA damage following irradiations of increasing LET values as hydrogen peroxide is a product of the radiolysis of water. The reaction mixtures contain either double- or single-stranded DNA in solution with Cu2+ or Co2+ and were irradiated either with X-ray, carbon-ion or iron-ion beams, or they were treated with hydrogen peroxide or bleomycin at increasing radiation dosages or chemical concentrations. DNA damage was then assessed via gel electrophoresis followed with a band intensity analysis. DNA damage was the greatest when DNA in the solution with either metal was treated with only hydrogen peroxide followed by the DNA damage of DNA in the solution with either metal post irradiation of low-LET (X-Ray) or high-LET (carbon-ion and iron-ion), respectively, and demonstrated the least damage after treatment with bleomycin. Cu2+ portrayed greater DNA damage than Co2+ following all experimental conditions. The metals’ effect caused more DNA damage and was observed to be LET-dependent for single-strand break formation but inversely dependent for double-strand break formation. These results suggest that Cu2+ is more efficient than Co2+ at inducing both DNA single-strand and double-strand breaks following all irradiations and chemical treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation: Occurrence, Transport and Effect)
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3 pages, 200 KiB  
Editorial
Hazard, Distribution and Exposure of Particulate Pollution from Indoor and Outdoor Environments
by Maurizio Gualtieri, Marie Carriere and Paride Mantecca
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 772; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090772 - 12 Sep 2023
Viewed by 967
Abstract
Air is an essential natural resource for life [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano and Ultrafine Particle Toxicology and Exposure Assessment)
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