Underexplored Chemical Interactions in Humans and Wildlife

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 24605

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, Middlesex, UK
Interests: aquatic toxicology; reproductive toxicology; invertebrate and fish ecotoxicology; endocrine-disrupting chemicals; emerging contaminants; chemical effects; molecular mechanisms of disease; microplastic research; chemical effects on parasite–host interactions; multiple stressors; freshwater sustainability
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Guest Editor
College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK
Interests: ecotoxicology; endocrine disruption; chemical pollution; aquatic pollution; aquatic biology and ecology; fish and gastropod development and reproduction

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Guest Editor
College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK
Interests: drug safety; zebrafish; comparative pharmacology and toxicology; inflammation; cardiotoxicity; multi-scale modelling; PK/PD modelling; adverse outcome pathway (AOP);pharmaceuticals in the environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Chemicals, including the so-called Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, are becoming ever more pervasive both in their use and their presence in the environment. It is becoming increasingly evident that chemicals with recognized mechanisms of action (including agonists and antagonists of estrogen, androgen, and thyroid pathways—where the greatest emphasis on regulatory testing is currently placed) may also interact with other lesser-studied molecular targets and systems, including the Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor (PPAR), vitamins, and the retinoid system. Such underexplored chemical interactions and mechanisms may be critical determinants of chemical toxicity in humans and wildlife, affecting developmental, morphogenic, metabolic, immune, reproductive, and neural functions, to name but a few. Moreover, in many species, chemical exposure may influence and be influenced by a variety of internal and external factors (including circadian rhythms, the microbiome, climate, seasonality, and hypoxia). Uncontrolled chemical exposure may also affect species interactions with far-reaching consequences. For example, alterations to parasite–host relationships could alter disease outcomes in humans and wildlife.

Although broad in its remit, the purpose of this Special Issue is to increase awareness of the importance of underexplored chemical interactions in human and wildlife population health, including the impacts of the internal and external environment on these outcomes and wider ecological interactions. We invite high-quality original research papers of in vivo, in vitro, and in silico (e.g., machine learning) studies, including both field and laboratory approaches. While the underlying mechanisms may not be fully understood, the research should have a plausible mechanistic basis and include realistic and measured exposure scenarios where possible. Research on single chemicals, mixtures, and complex environmental samples are welcome.

Dr. Edwin Routledge
Dr. Alice Baynes
Dr. Luigi Margiotta-Casaluci
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • EDCs
  • novel entities
  • pollution
  • ecosystem health
  • health outcomes
  • mechanisms of action
  • multiple stressors
  • hazard

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 3549 KiB  
Article
Uptake, Elimination and Effects of Cosmetic Microbeads on the Freshwater Gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata
by Ying Wang, Alice Baynes, Kofi O. Renner, Mingxing Zhang, Mark D. Scrimshaw and Edwin J. Routledge
Toxics 2022, 10(2), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10020087 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2753
Abstract
The presence of plastic cosmetic microbeads in the environment due to their extensive use in society and inevitable dispersal into wastewater is concerning. Therefore, it is vital to understand the processes of microplastic uptake and elimination by aquatic organisms, and to further assess [...] Read more.
The presence of plastic cosmetic microbeads in the environment due to their extensive use in society and inevitable dispersal into wastewater is concerning. Therefore, it is vital to understand the processes of microplastic uptake and elimination by aquatic organisms, and to further assess their potential to cause harmful effects and wider impacts. We therefore investigated the short-term (48-h) and long-term (21-d) uptake, elimination, and effects of exposure to polyethylene microbeads (a mixture of fragments and spheres extracted from commercially available facial scrubs) on the freshwater snail, Biomphalaria glabrata. We found fast uptake in the short-term (75 μg/g/h) and the long-term (6.94 μg/g/h) in B. glabrata exposed to 800 particles/200-mL and 80 particles/200-mL, respectively. Irregular fragments were more easily ingested and egested compared to spheres (ANOVA, p < 0.05) in both 48-h and 21-d exposures. The mean size of the fragments in B. glabrata tissues (413 ± 16 μm) after 48-h exposure was significantly larger than that of the standard sample (369 ± 26 μm) (ANOVA, F3,20 = 3.339, p = 0.033), suggesting that aggregation in the gut may occur. Floating feces containing microbeads were observed in the long-term exposure, which could alter the fate, behavior, and bioavailability of egested microbeads. No significant effects on survival and growth were shown within 48-h or 21-d exposure periods. Thus, further studies on the specific features of microplastics (e.g., their shape and size) influencing uptake and elimination, as well as toxic molecular mechanisms, should be explored in future ecotoxicological studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underexplored Chemical Interactions in Humans and Wildlife)
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10 pages, 2516 KiB  
Article
Adsorption and Desorption Behaviour of Polychlorinated Biphenyls onto Microplastics’ Surfaces in Water/Sediment Systems
by Marta Llorca, Manuela Ábalos, Albert Vega-Herrera, Miquel A. Adrados, Esteban Abad and Marinella Farré
Toxics 2020, 8(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8030059 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 4277
Abstract
The potential of microplastics (MPLs) in marine ecosystems to adsorb and transport other micropollutants to biota, contributing to their entry in the food chain, is a primary cause of concern. However, these interactions remain poorly understood. Here, we have evaluated the adsorption/desorption behaviour [...] Read more.
The potential of microplastics (MPLs) in marine ecosystems to adsorb and transport other micropollutants to biota, contributing to their entry in the food chain, is a primary cause of concern. However, these interactions remain poorly understood. Here, we have evaluated the adsorption/desorption behaviour of marker polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), onto MPL surfaces of three widely used polymers—polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The range of MPL sizes ranged from 1 to 600 μm. The adsorption/desorption was evaluated in sediment/water systems in marine microcosms emulating realistic environmental conditions for 21 days. The adsorption percentages ranged from 20 to 60%. PCBs with a lower degree of chlorination showed higher adsorption percentages because of conformational impediments of PCBs with high-degree chlorination, and also by their affinity to be adsorbed in sediments. Glassy plastic polymers as PET and PS showed a superior affinity for PCBs than rubbery polymers, such as PE. The polymers that can bond PCBs by π-π interactions, rather than van der Waals forces showed better adsorption percentages, as expected. Finally, the adsorption/desorption behaviour of selected PCBs onto MPLs was fitted to a Freundlich isotherm model, with correlations higher than 0.8 in most of the cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underexplored Chemical Interactions in Humans and Wildlife)
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Review

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39 pages, 2126 KiB  
Review
Interaction of Environmental Pollutants with Microplastics: A Critical Review of Sorption Factors, Bioaccumulation and Ecotoxicological Effects
by Albert Menéndez-Pedriza and Joaquim Jaumot
Toxics 2020, 8(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8020040 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 127 | Viewed by 9692
Abstract
Microplastics have become one of the leading environmental threats due to their persistence, ubiquity and intrinsic toxic potential. The potential harm that microplastics impose on ecosystems varies from direct effects (i.e., entanglement and ingestion) to their ability to sorb a diversity of environmental [...] Read more.
Microplastics have become one of the leading environmental threats due to their persistence, ubiquity and intrinsic toxic potential. The potential harm that microplastics impose on ecosystems varies from direct effects (i.e., entanglement and ingestion) to their ability to sorb a diversity of environmental pollutants (e.g., heavy metals, persistent organic compounds or pharmaceuticals). Therefore, the toxicological assessment of the combined effects of microplastics and sorbed pollutants can produce in biota is one of the hottest topics on the environmental toxicology field. This review aims to clarify the main impacts that this interaction could have on ecosystems by (1) highlighting the principal factors that influence the microplastics sorption capacities; (2) discussing the potential scenarios in which microplastics may have an essential role on the bioaccumulation and transfer of chemicals; and (3) reviewing the recently published studies describing toxicological effects caused by the combination of microplastics and their sorbed chemicals. Finally, a discussion regarding the need for a new generation of toxicological studies is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underexplored Chemical Interactions in Humans and Wildlife)
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Other

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8 pages, 652 KiB  
Perspective
Are Honey Bees at Risk from Microplastics?
by Yahya Al Naggar, Markus Brinkmann, Christie M. Sayes, Saad N. AL-Kahtani, Showket A. Dar, Hesham R. El-Seedi, Bernd Grünewald and John P. Giesy
Toxics 2021, 9(5), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9050109 - 15 May 2021
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 7076
Abstract
Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous and persistent pollutants, and have been detected in a wide variety of media, from soils to aquatic systems. MPs, consisting primarily of polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyacrylamide polymers, have recently been found in 12% of samples of honey collected in [...] Read more.
Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous and persistent pollutants, and have been detected in a wide variety of media, from soils to aquatic systems. MPs, consisting primarily of polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyacrylamide polymers, have recently been found in 12% of samples of honey collected in Ecuador. Recently, MPs have also been identified in honey bees collected from apiaries in Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as nearby semiurban and rural areas. Given these documented exposures, assessment of their effects is critical for understanding the risks of MP exposure to honey bees. Exposure to polystyrene (PS)-MPs decreased diversity of the honey bee gut microbiota, followed by changes in gene expression related to oxidative damage, detoxification, and immunity. As a result, the aim of this perspective was to investigate whether wide-spread prevalence of MPs might have unintended negative effects on health and fitness of honey bees, as well as to draw the scientific community’s attention to the possible risks of MPs to the fitness of honey bees. Several research questions must be answered before MPs can be considered a potential threat to bees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underexplored Chemical Interactions in Humans and Wildlife)
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