Mineralogic and Health Risk of Respirable Dust Exposures: Current Progress and Future Challenges

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Pollution and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 1580

Special Issue Editors

Department of Earth Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF1 3YE, UK
Interests: particulate air pollution; contamination; human health; geoenvironmental research
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
Interests: particulate air pollution; human respiratory health; environmental research

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Guest Editor
College of Geoscience and Surveying Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
Interests: atmospheric environment; environmental geochemistry; mineralogy, geo-health; coal geology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Respirable dust can be defined as mineral grains capable of entering the human lung, and once inside the lung they are capable of causing adverse health effects. These effects can be temporary or permanent damage, leading to a large range of different diseases. Typically, these diseases are either cancer such as mesothelioma from asbestos exposure or non-cancerous such as the fibrotic disease silicosis from respirable crystalline quartz. There is a growing knowledge base about the biotoxicity of different minerals, the sizes and shapes of those mineral grains, and possible health outcomes. Current research is targeting specific minerals, both naturally occurring minerals as well as manufactured mineral materials typically used in the construction industry amongst others. The technology used collect airborne minerals is constantly improving, along with improvements in monitoring networks. Advances are constantly being achieved in assessment of mineral biotoxicity. A clear trend in this research is a movement away from conventional toxicity involving animal models to state-of-the-art techniques using in-vivo models and genomics. Future challenges are likely to include increases in respirable dust exposures as a result of climate change resulting in enhanced dust generation with resulting increases in lung overload and exposure duration.

Dr. Tim Jones
Dr. Kelly BéruBé
Prof. Dr. Longyi Shao
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • mineral dust
  • airborne
  • respirable
  • inhalable
  • lung disease
  • dust storm
  • toxicology

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 1045 KiB  
Article
Hemolytic Properties of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) in In Vitro Systems
by Jiahui Bai, Mengyuan Zhang, Longyi Shao, Timothy P. Jones, Xiaolei Feng, Man Huang and Kelly A. BéruBé
Toxics 2024, 12(4), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12040246 - 27 Mar 2024
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Abstract
Epidemiological studies have suggested that inhalation exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution, especially fine particles (i.e., PM2.5 (PM with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 microns or less)), is causally associated with cardiovascular health risks. To explore the toxicological mechanisms behind the [...] Read more.
Epidemiological studies have suggested that inhalation exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution, especially fine particles (i.e., PM2.5 (PM with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 microns or less)), is causally associated with cardiovascular health risks. To explore the toxicological mechanisms behind the observed adverse health effects, the hemolytic activity of PM2.5 samples collected during different pollution levels in Beijing was evaluated. The results demonstrated that the hemolysis of PM2.5 ranged from 1.98% to 7.75% and demonstrated a clear dose–response relationship. The exposure toxicity index (TI) is proposed to represent the toxicity potential of PM2.5, which is calculated by the hemolysis percentage of erythrocytes (red blood cells, RBC) multiplied by the mass concentration of PM2.5. In a pollution episode, as the mass concentration increases, TI first increases and then decreases, that is, TI (low pollution levels) < TI (heavy pollution levels) < TI (medium pollution levels). In order to verify the feasibility of the hemolysis method for PM toxicity detection, the hemolytic properties of PM2.5 were compared with the plasmid scission assay (PSA). The hemolysis results had a significant positive correlation with the DNA damage percentages, indicating that the hemolysis assay is feasible for the detection of PM2.5 toxicity, thus providing more corroborating information regarding the risk to human cardiovascular health. Full article
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10 pages, 1649 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical Characterization and Oxidative Potential of Iron-Containing Particles Emitted from Xuanwei Coal Combustion
by Senlin Lu, Jin Liu, Guoqing Hou, Jiumei Zhao, Xinchun Liu, Tingting Xie, Kai Xiao, Shinichi Yonemochi, Enyoh Christian Ebere, Weiqian Wang and Qingyue Wang
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110921 - 11 Nov 2023
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Abstract
Respiratory diseases have been proven to be directly related to air pollutants. Xuanwei, located in South China, has been known to have the highest mortality rate for lung cancer in China because of the air pollutants emitted through local coal combustion. However, the [...] Read more.
Respiratory diseases have been proven to be directly related to air pollutants. Xuanwei, located in South China, has been known to have the highest mortality rate for lung cancer in China because of the air pollutants emitted through local coal combustion. However, the mechanism of lung cancer induced by air pollutants is not clear. Based on the fact that a large number of iron-bearing mineral particles was found in Xuanwei coal combustion particles, the iron-containing particles were hypothesized to play important roles in the pathogenesis of the high incidence rate of lung cancer in this area. In this study, raw coal samples were collected from a coal mine in the Xuanwei area. Size-resolved particles emitted from the raw coal samples were collected using an Anderson high-volume sampler. Mineralogical characterization and an assessment of the oxidative potential of the iron-containing particles were conducted using cutting-edge technologies, and the biological activity of the particles were evaluated via DTT assay. Our data showed that the iron-containing minerals accounted for more than 10% of the measured particles emitted from Xuanwei coal combustion samples. The content analysis of ·OH generated from Xuanwei coal combustion particles showed that ·OH content was dependent on the size of particles in the surrogated lung fluid. The concentration of ·OH increased as the particle size decreased. The DTT assay data further demonstrated that when the mass concentration of dissolved irons increased, the oxidation potential of the particles increased. The highest proportion of divalent iron in the total dissolved iron was found in the submicron particles in low pH solution(pH = 1), which indicated that the oxidative potential induced by submicron particles was stronger than that induced by coarse particles and fine particles. Armed with the above data, the toxicological mechanism of the iron-containing mineral particles can be investigated further. Full article
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