Contaminants of Emerging Concerns in Environment: Identification, Quantification, Assessment and Prioritization

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 November 2022) | Viewed by 17709

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental engineering, Changwon National University, Korea
Interests: target, suspect and non-target screening for emerging pollutants using LC-HRMS

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Science, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Yongin-si, Republic of Korea
Interests: environmental metabolomics; environmental toxicology; biomonitoring
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Emerging contaminants in the environment have become a new concern due to the lack of information surrounding their exposure and toxicity, which is why they have been named contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). While many environmental pollutants have been under management and/or regulations, some contaminants, including CECs, still remain unknown and out of control. The insufficient knowledge we currently have delays the establishment of management policies for environmental and human protection and aggravates the damage. As an initial step, identification and quantification studies are essential for understanding environmental exposure. Information regarding their occurrence can help us to take other steps to assess their toxicity and the risk they pose and to prioritize processes for management strategies.

This Special Issue aims to extend knowledge on CEC exposure in various environmental media mainly by collecting qualitative/quantitative measurement data which have been collected using highly advanced analytical tools. The toxicity and risk assessment and prioritization for measured CECs are also interesting themes.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) identification strategies and analytical techniques, screening and monitoring work, toxicity and risk assessment with bioassays and quantification data, and prioritization based on scoring and ranking for efficient monitoring/management plans.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Junho Jeon
Prof. Dr. Tae-Yong Jeong
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • contaminants of emerging concern
  • emerging pollutants
  • micropollutants
  • occurrences
  • suspect and non-target screening
  • high-resolution mass spectrometry
  • exposure assessment
  • prioritization
  • toxic effect

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 1518 KiB  
Article
Presence of Halogenated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Milk Powder and the Consequence to Human Health
by Prasun Goswami, Anura Upasanta-Kumara Wickrama-Arachchige, Momoka Yamada, Takeshi Ohura and Keerthi S. Guruge
Toxics 2022, 10(10), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10100621 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1988
Abstract
Recent reports of the presence of halogenated derivatives of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in human foods of animal origin, such as chlorinated (ClPAHs) and brominated (BrPAHs) PAHs, suggest that their contamination in dairy products may also pose a human health risk. This study [...] Read more.
Recent reports of the presence of halogenated derivatives of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in human foods of animal origin, such as chlorinated (ClPAHs) and brominated (BrPAHs) PAHs, suggest that their contamination in dairy products may also pose a human health risk. This study used GC/Orbitrap-MS to analyze 75 congeners of halogenated PAHs and parent PAHs in milk and creaming powder samples commonly found in grocery stores in Sri Lanka and Japan. Our investigation revealed a total of 31 halogenated PAHs (HPAHs) in the samples. The concentrations of total parent PAHs in the samples from Sri Lanka and Japan ranged from not detected (n.d.)–0.13 and <0.001–16 ng/g dry weight (d.w.). Total ClPAHs and BrPAHs in the samples ranged from 0.01–3.35 and 1.20–5.15 ng/g (d.w.) for Sri Lanka, and 0.04–2.54 and n.d.–2.03 ng/g d.w. for Japan, respectively. The ClPAHs were dominated by chlorinated-pyrene, -fluoranthene, and -benzo[a]pyrene congeners, whereas the BrPAHs were dominated by brominated-naphthalene and -pyrene congeners. The toxic assessment estimated based on the intake of toxic equivalency quotients (TEQs) for target compounds in milk powders revealed that HPAHs might contribute additively to the PAHs-associated health risk to humans, indicating that more research is needed. Full article
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12 pages, 1031 KiB  
Article
New-Onset and Exacerbation of Lung Diseases after Short-Term Exposures to Humidifier Disinfectant during Hospitalization
by Seula Lee, Kyunghee Han, Jeonggyo Yoon, Eun-Kyung Jo, Wonho Yang and Yoon-Hyeong Choi
Toxics 2022, 10(7), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10070371 - 04 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1368
Abstract
(1) Background: Humidifier disinfectant (HD) is a biocidal chemical to keep the water tank inside a humidifier clean. Thousands of Koreans have experienced HD-related lung injuries. Of them, 6.9% were exposed to HD in hospitals. (2) Methods: This study investigated changes of diseases [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Humidifier disinfectant (HD) is a biocidal chemical to keep the water tank inside a humidifier clean. Thousands of Koreans have experienced HD-related lung injuries. Of them, 6.9% were exposed to HD in hospitals. (2) Methods: This study investigated changes of diseases in patients (or caregivers) who experienced HD exposures during hospitalization and also investigated characteristics of hospital exposure using data from all HD-related lung injury enrollment in Korea. (3) Results: Of a total of 162 subjects, 139 subjects were hospitalized for non-lung diseases, and 23 people were hospitalized for lung diseases at the time of hospitalization. During hospital exposure, 99 (71.2%) of those hospitalized with non-lung disease experienced a new-onset of lung disease, and 15 (65.2%) of those hospitalized with lung diseases experienced exacerbation of their existing lung diseases. When we compared their exposure characteristics, those exposed in hospitals (vs. non-hospital, mostly home) were exposed for shorter periods, at closer distances, at higher HD indoor concentrations, constantly all day, and directly in the facial direction. (4) Conclusion: In conclusion, HD exposures in hospital with a high intensity even for a short term were associated with new-onset or exacerbation of lung diseases. Our findings suggest that acute exposures to HD can cause lung diseases. Full article
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12 pages, 1557 KiB  
Article
Pyrolytic Remediation and Ecotoxicity Assessment of Fuel-Oil-Contaminated Soil
by Byeongwook Choi, Jin-Seo Yu, Gu-Young Kang, Tae-Yong Jeong, Eun Hea Jho and Sung-Jong Lee
Toxics 2022, 10(5), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10050245 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1871
Abstract
Oil-contaminated soil is a major societal problem for humans and the environment. In this study, the pyrolysis method was applied to oil-contaminated soil used as a landfill and gas station site in Korea. The removal efficiency of the main components of oil-contaminated soils, [...] Read more.
Oil-contaminated soil is a major societal problem for humans and the environment. In this study, the pyrolysis method was applied to oil-contaminated soil used as a landfill and gas station site in Korea. The removal efficiency of the main components of oil-contaminated soils, such as total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), unresolved complex mixture (UCM), and alkylated PAHs (Alk-PAHs) were measured, and the effect of temperature, treatment time, and moisture content on pyrolysis efficiency was studied. In order to evaluate the risk of soil from which pollutants were removed through pyrolysis, integrated ecotoxicity was evaluated using Daphnia magna and Allivibrio fischeri. The chemical and biological measurements in this study include contaminants of emerging concerns (CECs). Results showed that the pyrolysis was more efficient with higher treatment temperatures, moisture content, and treatment times. In addition, toxicity was reduced by 99% after pyrolysis, and the degree of toxicity was evaluated more sensitively in Allivibrio fischeri than in Daphnia magna. This study shows that weathered oil-contaminated soil can be effectively treated in a relatively short time through pyrolysis, as well as provides information on efficient conditions and the assessment of ecotoxicity. Full article
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13 pages, 547 KiB  
Article
Bioaccumulation and Mass Balance Analysis of Veterinary Antibiotics in an Agricultural Environment
by Jin-Wook Kim, Young-Kyu Hong, Jae-E. Yang, Oh-Kyung Kwon and Sung-Chul Kim
Toxics 2022, 10(5), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10050213 - 24 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1897
Abstract
Veterinary antibiotics (VAs) released into the environment are a concern because of the possibility for increasing antibiotic-resistance genes. The concentrations of six VAs, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, sulfamethazine, sulfamethoxazole, and sulfathiazole, in manure-based compost, soil, and crops were measured using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. [...] Read more.
Veterinary antibiotics (VAs) released into the environment are a concern because of the possibility for increasing antibiotic-resistance genes. The concentrations of six VAs, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, sulfamethazine, sulfamethoxazole, and sulfathiazole, in manure-based compost, soil, and crops were measured using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Mass balance analysis was conducted based on the measured antibiotic concentration, cultivation area, and amount of manure-based compost applied. The result showed that the detected mean concentration of VAs ranges was 3.52~234.19 μg/kg, 0.52~13.08 μg/kg, and 1.05~39.57 μg/kg in manure-based compost, soil, and crops, respectively, and the substance of VAs detected in different media was also varied. Mass balance analysis showed that the VAs released from the manure-based compost can remain in soil (at rates of 26% to 100%), be taken up by crops (at rates of 0.4% to 3.7%), or dissipated (at rates of 9% to 73%) during the cultivation period. Among the six VAs, chlortetracycline and oxytetracycline mainly remained in the soil, whereas sulfamethoxazole and sulfathiazole were mainly dissipated. Although we did not verify the exact mechanism of the fate and distribution of VAs in this study, our results showed that these can vary depending on the different characteristics of VAs and the soil properties. Full article
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15 pages, 1118 KiB  
Article
A Simplified Method for Anionic Surfactant Analysis in Water Using a New Solvent
by Jung-Hwan Yoon, Yong-Geon Shin, Mary Beth Kirkham, Seok-Soon Jeong, Jong-Geon Lee, Hyuck-Soo Kim and Jae E. Yang
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10040162 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2713
Abstract
Anionic surfactants (AS) are becoming a major emerging contaminant of waters due to their widespread use in household and industrial products. The standard chloroform method for analysis of AS in water relies on chloroform extraction of a methylene blue active substance (MBAS), which [...] Read more.
Anionic surfactants (AS) are becoming a major emerging contaminant of waters due to their widespread use in household and industrial products. The standard chloroform method for analysis of AS in water relies on chloroform extraction of a methylene blue active substance (MBAS), which contains ion pairs between methylene blue (MB) molecules (positively charged) and AS. Due to the poor extractability of chloroform, the procedure is complicated, time-consuming, and subject to anionic interferences. A mixture of methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK)–1,2-dichloroethane (DCE) at a 3:1 ratio of MIBK:DCE proved to be a robust solvent for AS extraction for a wide range of samples under various chemical conditions. The objectives of this research were to set the washing protocol to eliminate the anionic interferences in the MIBK-DCE extraction and to develop a new simplified analytical method for AS analysis using the MIBK-DCE (3:1) extractant. The suitability of the proposed MIBK-DCE method was validated based on quality control and assurance criteria, such as selectivity, accuracy, precision, method detection limit (MDL), limit of quantification (LOQ), and sensitivity. Various water samples, such as freshwater, wastewater, and seawater, were used for the method development and validation. Interferences by inorganic and organic anions were evident in the reference chloroform method but were eliminated in the MIBK-DCE procedure with a two-step process that consisted of washing with a carbonate/bicarbonate solution at pH 9.2 and a mixture of silver sulfate (Ag2SO4) and potassium alum (AlK(SO4)2). The simplified MIBK-DCE method for sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) analysis consisted of (i) sample pre-treatment, (ii) MIBK-DCE extraction, (iii) washing and filtration, and (iv) absorbance measurement. The MIBK-DCE method was accurate, precise, selective, and sensitive for AS analysis and showed MDL of 0.0001 mg/L, LOQ of 0.0005 mg/L, relative standard deviation (RSD) of 0.1%, and recovery of 99.0%. All these criteria were superior to those of the chloroform method. Sensitivity analysis showed highly significant correlations in AS analyses between the MIBK-DCE and chloroform methods for domestic wastewater, industrial wastewater, and seawater. The MIBK-DCE method is simple, rapid, robust, reproducible, and convenient, when compared to the chloroform method. Results demonstrate that the simplified MIBK-DCE method can be employed for AS analysis in a wide range of environmental waters including seawater. Full article
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14 pages, 1631 KiB  
Article
Ecological Effects of Benzyl Chloride on Different Korean Aquatic Indigenous Species Using an Artificial Stream Mesocosm Simulating a Chemical Spill
by Soo-Yeon Kim, Seong-Hwan Park, Dae-Wook Kim, Won Noh, Sang-Jun Lee, Hee-Jin Jeong, Jong-Bin Park, Yeong-Ji Gwak, Jin-Woo Park and Dong-Hyuk Yeom
Toxics 2021, 9(12), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9120347 - 09 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2215
Abstract
In this study, an artificial stream mesocosm consisting of a head tank, faster-flowing riffle section, gravel section, pool section, lower-run section, and tail tank was installed to simulate a chemical spill in a river. The responses of freshwater periphyton algae, crustacea (Moina [...] Read more.
In this study, an artificial stream mesocosm consisting of a head tank, faster-flowing riffle section, gravel section, pool section, lower-run section, and tail tank was installed to simulate a chemical spill in a river. The responses of freshwater periphyton algae, crustacea (Moina macrocopa), freshwater worm (Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri), benthic midge (Glyptotendipes tokunagai), and fish (Zacco platypus and Aphyocypris chinensis) were observed after exposure to benzyl chloride (classified as an accident preparedness substance, APS) at concentrations of 1, 2, and 4 µL/L for 22.5 h. Higher concentrations increased the inhibition (photosynthetic efficiency decrease) of periphyton algae and the mortality of M. macrocopa, whereas the reproduction of the female cladoceran decreased in the 4 µL/L treatment. Mortality of fish did not occur or was lower (≤20%) at all concentrations; however, toxic symptoms were observed for some time after chemical exposure termination and later, symptoms receded. G. tokunagai mortality increased at all concentrations except the control after seven days, and no significant toxic effects were observed in L. hoffmeisteri. The hazardous concentration of benzyl chloride was calculated as 94 µg/L. This study showed the different sensitivities of each species to benzyl chloride. The findings can assist in environmental risk assessment of APSs after chemical spills to protect Korean aquatic species. Full article
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Review

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22 pages, 15789 KiB  
Review
Transformation Products of Emerging Pollutants Explored Using Non-Target Screening: Perspective in the Transformation Pathway and Toxicity Mechanism—A Review
by Thodhal-Yoganandham Suman, Soo-Yeon Kim, Dong-Hyuk Yeom and Junho Jeon
Toxics 2022, 10(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10020054 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4633
Abstract
The scientific community has increasingly focused on forming transformation products (TPs) from environmental organic pollutants. However, there is still a lot of discussion over how these TPs are generated and how harmful they are to living terrestrial or aquatic organisms. Potential transformation pathways, [...] Read more.
The scientific community has increasingly focused on forming transformation products (TPs) from environmental organic pollutants. However, there is still a lot of discussion over how these TPs are generated and how harmful they are to living terrestrial or aquatic organisms. Potential transformation pathways, TP toxicity, and their mechanisms require more investigation. Non-target screening (NTS) via high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) in model organisms to identify TPs and the formation mechanism on various organisms is the focus of this review. Furthermore, uptake, accumulation process, and potential toxicity with their detrimental consequences are summarized in various organisms. Finally, challenges and future research initiatives, such as performing NTS in a model organism, characterizing and quantifying TPs, and evaluating future toxicity studies on TPs, are also included in this review. Full article
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