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Toxics, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 42 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Air pollution by aerosol particles is mainly monitored as mass concentrations of particulate matter, such as PM10 and PM2.5. However, mass-based measurements are hardly representative of ultrafine particles (UFP), which can only be monitored adequately as particle number (PN) concentrations and are considered particularly harmful to human health. This study examines the dispersion of UFP at the Hamburg city center and, in particular, the impact of passenger ferryboats by modeling PN concentrations and by comparing concentrations with measured values. View this paper
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Article
Effect of Carbamazepine, Ibuprofen, Triclosan and Sulfamethoxazole on Anaerobic Bioreactor Performance: Combining Cell Damage, Ecotoxicity and Chemical Information
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010042 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1087
Abstract
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are partially degraded in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), thereby leading to the formation of more toxic metabolites. Bacterial populations in bioreactors operated in WWTPs are sensitive to different toxics such as heavy metals and aromatic compounds, but [...] Read more.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are partially degraded in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), thereby leading to the formation of more toxic metabolites. Bacterial populations in bioreactors operated in WWTPs are sensitive to different toxics such as heavy metals and aromatic compounds, but there is still little information on the effect that pharmaceuticals exert on their metabolism, especially under anaerobic conditions. This work evaluated the effect of selected pharmaceuticals that remain in solution and attached to biosolids on the metabolism of anaerobic biomass. Batch reactors operated in parallel under the pressure of four individual and mixed PPCPs (carbamazepine, ibuprofen, triclosan and sulfametoxazole) allowed us to obtain relevant information on anaerobic digestion performance, toxicological effects and alterations to key enzymes involved in the biodegradation process. Cell viability was quantitatively evaluated using an automatic analysis of confocal microscopy images, and showed that triclosan and mixed pollutants caused higher toxicity and cell death than the other individual compounds. Both individual pollutants and their mixture had a considerable impact on the anaerobic digestion process, favoring carbon dioxide production, lowering organic matter removal and methane production, which also produced microbial stress and irreversible cell damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Studies on Toxic Chemicals: Properties and Characteristics)
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Article
The Use of E-Cigarettes among High School Students in Poland Is Associated with Health Locus of Control but Not with Health Literacy: A Cross-Sectional Study
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010041 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 765
Abstract
Since their introduction, the use of electronic cigarettes has increased considerably in the population and among adolescents. Determinants of smoking conventional cigarettes were thoroughly studied in various social groups. However, we know less about the predictors of the use of e-cigarettes in younger [...] Read more.
Since their introduction, the use of electronic cigarettes has increased considerably in the population and among adolescents. Determinants of smoking conventional cigarettes were thoroughly studied in various social groups. However, we know less about the predictors of the use of e-cigarettes in younger generations. The main aim of this study was the assessment of the factors associated with the use of electronic cigarettes among high school students. Specifically, the roles of health literacy (HL) and health locus of control (HLC) were addressed. The analysis was based on the data from a ‘pen-and-pencil’ survey performed in a large sample of 2223 high school students from southern Poland. The tools used in the survey encompassed 133 items, including a 47-item European Health Literacy Survey questionnaire, an 18-item Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale, and a set of questions asking about the health behaviors, and sociodemographic and economic characteristics of respondents. In the study sample, 47.5% of the respondents had used e-cigarettes in the past, and 18.6% had used them in the last month. HL was not significantly associated with dependent variables reflecting the use of e-cigarettes. Two types of external HLC were associated with using e-cigarettes in the past, and ‘Chance’ HLC (CHLC) was also associated with their use in the last month. Males, students of schools providing vocational training, and students declaring more Internet use during the week showed a higher likelihood of ever using e-cigarettes or using them in the last month. Students smoking conventional cigarettes were also more prone to use e-cigarettes. To sum up, it was an unexpected result that HL is not associated with the use of e-cigarettes. A greater likelihood of using e-cigarettes was positively associated with higher CHLC scores, as in the case of smoking traditional cigarettes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Cigarettes)
Article
Suppression of Airway Allergic Reactions by a Photocatalytic Filter Using Mouse Model
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 40; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010040 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 779
Abstract
Photocatalytic filters installed in air purifiers have been used to purify spaces by decomposing allergenic substances. However, we have not found any reports that evaluate the effectiveness of photocatalytic filters in suppressing allergic reactions in living organisms. In this study, we intratracheally instilled [...] Read more.
Photocatalytic filters installed in air purifiers have been used to purify spaces by decomposing allergenic substances. However, we have not found any reports that evaluate the effectiveness of photocatalytic filters in suppressing allergic reactions in living organisms. In this study, we intratracheally instilled ovalbumin (OVA) into OVA-sensitized mice after the OVA was photocatalyzed by a titanium dioxide (TiO2) filter, and verified the experimental model for evaluating the allergy-suppressing effect of photocatalysts. Mice were sensitized to OVA (10 µg/mouse) four times, and were intratracheally instilled with OVA (10 µg/mouse) after photocatalysis three times. Non-sensitized animals were instilled with normal saline following the same exposure schedule. The mice were dissected 24 h after final exposure. The OVA after photocatalysis significantly decreased the number of eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and the concentration of OVA-specific IgE and IgG1 in serum, which were elevated in untreated OVA. Moreover, our experimental model showed the suppression of allergic reactions in mice, along with the decomposition of OVA after photocatalysis using the photocatalytic filter. Taken together, our experimental model for evaluating allergic reactions in the respiratory tract suggested that the allergy-suppressing effect of the photocatalytic filter can be evaluated. Full article
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Article
Heavy Metal Assessments of Soil Samples from a High Natural Background Radiation Area, Indonesia
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 39; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010039 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
Mamuju, Indonesia, is an area with high natural background radiation. This study assesses heavy metal content in soil samples from this area to determine the level of public and environmental hazard it presents. This study analyzes natural radionuclide elements using high purity germanium [...] Read more.
Mamuju, Indonesia, is an area with high natural background radiation. This study assesses heavy metal content in soil samples from this area to determine the level of public and environmental hazard it presents. This study analyzes natural radionuclide elements using high purity germanium (HPGe) gamma spectrometry and performs heavy metals analysis using a flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). Moreover, pollution indices and descriptive analyses were used to assess heavy metal contamination in the environment and the correlation between heavy metals and radionuclides. The results demonstrate that soil samples in several areas of Mamuju contain a high concentration of the natural radionuclides 226Ra and 232Th, and that heavy metal concentrations in the soil decrease in the sequence Zn > Pb > Cr > Cu > Ni > Cd. This study revealed that soil samples from Mamuju are moderately contaminated. There was a strong positive relationship between 226Ra, 232Th, ambient dose equivalent rate, and Pb. Ecological risk index (RI) and cumulative pollution index (IPI) values in Mamuju are 2.05 and 125, respectively, which are possible hazards to human health as a result. Pb concentration in the Mamuju soil samples ranged from 109 to 744 mg kg−1, exceeding the worldwide average of 27 mg kg−1. Full article
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Article
Respiratory Safety Evaluation in Mice and Inhibition of Adenoviral Amplification in Human Bronchial Endothelial Cells Using a Novel Type of Chlorine Dioxide Gas Reactor
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010038 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 788
Abstract
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing demand for effective and safe disinfectants. A novel use of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas, which can satisfy such demand, has been reported. However, its efficacy and safety remain unclear. [...] Read more.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing demand for effective and safe disinfectants. A novel use of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas, which can satisfy such demand, has been reported. However, its efficacy and safety remain unclear. For the safe use of this gas, the stable release of specific concentrations is a must. A new type of ClO2 generator called Dr.CLOTM has recently been introduced. This study aimed to investigate: (1) the effects of Dr.CLOTM on inhibiting adenoviral amplification on human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells; and (2) the acute inhalation safety of using Dr.CLOTM in animal models. After infecting HBE cells with a recombinant adenovirus, the inhibitory power of Dr.CLOTM on the virus was expressed as IFU/mL in comparison with the control group. The safety of ClO2 gas was indirectly predicted using mice by measuring single-dose inhalation toxicity in specially designed chambers. Dr.CLOTM was found to evaporate in a very constant concentration range at 0–0.011 ppm/m3 for 42 days. In addition, 36–100% of adenoviral amplification was suppressed by Dr.CLOTM, depending on the conditions. The LC50 of ClO2 gas to mice was approximately 68 ppm for males and 141 ppm for females. Histopathological evaluation showed that the lungs of female mice were more resistant to the toxicity from higher ClO2 gas concentrations than those of male mice. Taken together, these results indicate that Dr.CLOTM can be used to provide a safe indoor environment due to its technology that maintains the stable concentration and release of ClO2 gas, which could suppress viral amplification and may prevent viral infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Studies on Toxic Chemicals: Properties and Characteristics)
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Article
Evaluation of the Bioelectrochemical Approach and Different Electron Donors for Biological Trichloroethylene Reductive Dechlorination
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010037 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
Trichloroethylene (TCE) and more in general chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs) can be removed from a contaminated matrix thanks to microorganisms able to perform the reductive dechlorination reaction (RD). Due to the lack of electron donors in the contaminated matrix, CAHs’ reductive dechlorination can [...] Read more.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) and more in general chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs) can be removed from a contaminated matrix thanks to microorganisms able to perform the reductive dechlorination reaction (RD). Due to the lack of electron donors in the contaminated matrix, CAHs’ reductive dechlorination can be stimulated by fermentable organic substrates, which slowly release molecular hydrogen through their fermentation. In this paper, three different electron donors constituted by lactate, hydrogen, and a biocathode of a bioelectrochemical cell have been studied in TCE dechlorination batch experiments. The batch reactors evaluated in terms of reductive dechlorination rate and utilization efficiency of the electron donor reported that the bio-electrochemical system (BES) showed a lower RD rate with respect of lactate reactor (51 ± 9 µeq/d compared to 98 ± 4 µeq/d), while the direct utilization of molecular hydrogen gave a significantly lower RD rate (19 ± 8 µeq/d), due to hydrogen low solubility in liquid media. The study also gives a comparative evaluation of the different electron donors showing the capability of the bioelectrochemical system to reach comparable efficiencies with a fermentable substrate without the use of other chemicals, 10.7 ± 3.3% for BES with respect of 3.5 ± 0.2% for the lactate-fed batch reactor. This study shows the BES capability of being an alternative at classic remediation approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies to Decontaminate Pollutants in Water)
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Article
Excess Zinc Supply Reduces Cadmium Uptake and Mitigates Cadmium Toxicity Effects on Chloroplast Structure, Oxidative Stress, and Photosystem II Photochemical Efficiency in Salvia sclarea Plants
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010036 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
Salvia sclarea L. is a Cd2+ tolerant medicinal herb with antifungal and antimicrobial properties cultivated for its pharmacological properties. However, accumulation of high Cd2+ content in its tissues increases the adverse health effects of Cd2+ in humans. Therefore, there is [...] Read more.
Salvia sclarea L. is a Cd2+ tolerant medicinal herb with antifungal and antimicrobial properties cultivated for its pharmacological properties. However, accumulation of high Cd2+ content in its tissues increases the adverse health effects of Cd2+ in humans. Therefore, there is a serious demand to lower human Cd2+ intake. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the mitigative role of excess Zn2+ supply to Cd2+ uptake/translocation and toxicity in clary sage. Salvia plants were treated with excess Cd2+ (100 μM CdSO4) alone, and in combination with Zn2+ (900 μM ZnSO4), in modified Hoagland nutrient solution. The results demonstrate that S. sclarea plants exposed to Cd2+ toxicity accumulated a significant amount of Cd2+ in their tissues, with higher concentrations in roots than in leaves. Cadmium exposure enhanced total Zn2+ uptake but also decreased its translocation to leaves. The accumulated Cd2+ led to a substantial decrease in photosystem II (PSII) photochemistry and disrupted the chloroplast ultrastructure, which coincided with an increased lipid peroxidation. Zinc application decreased Cd2+ uptake and translocation to leaves, while it mitigated oxidative stress, restoring chloroplast ultrastructure. Excess Zn2+ ameliorated the adverse effects of Cd2+ on PSII photochemistry, increasing the fraction of energy used for photochemistry (ΦPSII) and restoring PSII redox state and maximum PSII efficiency (Fv/Fm), while decreasing excess excitation energy at PSII (EXC). We conclude that excess Zn2+ application eliminated the adverse effects of Cd2+ toxicity, reducing Cd2+ uptake and translocation and restoring chloroplast ultrastructure and PSII photochemical efficiency. Thus, excess Zn2+ application can be used as an important method for low Cd2+-accumulating crops, limiting Cd2+ entry into the food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Toxicity Effects on Plants)
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Review
Use of Nanotechnology to Mitigate Biofouling in Stainless Steel Devices Used in Food Processing, Healthcare, and Marine Environments
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010035 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 836 | Correction
Abstract
In humid environments, the formation of biofilms and microfouling are known to be the detrimental processes that first occur on stainless steel surfaces. This is known as biofouling. Subsequently, the conditions created by metabolites and the activity of organisms trigger corrosion of the [...] Read more.
In humid environments, the formation of biofilms and microfouling are known to be the detrimental processes that first occur on stainless steel surfaces. This is known as biofouling. Subsequently, the conditions created by metabolites and the activity of organisms trigger corrosion of the metal and accelerate corrosion locally, causing a deterioration in, and alterations to, the performance of devices made of stainless steel. The microorganisms which thus affect stainless steel are mainly algae and bacteria. Within the macroorganisms that then damage the steel, mollusks and crustaceans are the most commonly observed. The aim of this review was to identify the mechanisms involved in biofouling on stainless steel and to evaluate the research done on preventing or mitigating this problem using nanotechnology in humid environments in three areas of human activity: food manufacturing, the implantation of medical devices, and infrastructure in marine settings. Of these protective processes that modify the steel surfaces, three approaches were examined: the use of inorganic nanoparticles; the use of polymeric coatings; and, finally, the generation of nanotextures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of the (Eco)Toxicity of Nanomaterials)
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Article
Sub-Chronic Difenoconazole Exposure Induced Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis in Mice
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010034 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 839
Abstract
Difenoconazole (DIF) is a widely separated triazole fungicide in many countries. The excessive usage of DIF increases the high volume of residues in agriculture production and water bodies. Some previous studies demonstrated the toxic effects of DIF on non-target animals, however, there were [...] Read more.
Difenoconazole (DIF) is a widely separated triazole fungicide in many countries. The excessive usage of DIF increases the high volume of residues in agriculture production and water bodies. Some previous studies demonstrated the toxic effects of DIF on non-target animals, however, there were still some gaps in the knowledge of the potential hazards of DIF to mammals and human health. Herein, 7-week-old male mice were exposed to 30 and 100 mg/kg/day DIF for 14 and 56 days. We observed that 56 days of DIF exposure decreased the colonic mucus expression of alcin blue-periodic acid-schiff (AB-PAS) stain and the immunochemical stain of muc2 protein. The transcript levels of mucin protein (muc1, muc2 and muc3) decreased significantly in the gut of mice followed 56 days of 100 mg/kg/day DIF exposure. In addition, the gut microbiota composition was also affected after 14 or 56 days of DIF exposure. Although the mucus expression after 14 days of DIF exposure only decreased slightly, the gut microbiota composition compared with the control group was changed significantly. Moreover, the DIF-30 and DIF-100 caused respectively different changes on the gut microbiota. The relative abundance of Bacteroidetes decreased significantly after 14 days and 56 days of DIF exposure. After 14 days of DIF exposure, there were 35 and 18 differential genera in the DIF-30 and DIF-100 group, respectively. There were 25 and 32 differential genera in the DIF-30 and DIF-100 group after 56 days of exposure, respectively. Meanwhile, the alpha diversity indexes, including observed species, Shannon, Simpson, Chao1 and ACE, in gut microbiota decreased significantly after 56 days of DIF exposure. Interestingly, the relative abundance of Akkermansia increased significantly after 56 days of 100 mg/kg/d DIF exposure. Although Akkermansia was considered as one probiotic, the phenomenon of dramatic Akkermansia increase with the decrease in gut microbiota diversity needed further discussion. These results provided some new insights on how DIF exposure impacts the mucus barrier and induces gut microbiota dysbiosis. Full article
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Article
Personal Exposure to Black Carbon, Particulate Matter and Nitrogen Dioxide in the Paris Region Measured by Portable Sensors Worn by Volunteers
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010033 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 858
Abstract
Portable sensors have emerged as a promising solution for personal exposure (PE) measurement. For the first time in Île-de-France, PE to black carbon (BC), particulate matter (PM), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was quantified based on three field campaigns involving 37 volunteers [...] Read more.
Portable sensors have emerged as a promising solution for personal exposure (PE) measurement. For the first time in Île-de-France, PE to black carbon (BC), particulate matter (PM), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was quantified based on three field campaigns involving 37 volunteers from the general public wearing the sensors all day long for a week. This successful deployment demonstrated its ability to quantify PE on a large scale, in various environments (from dense urban to suburban, indoor and outdoor) and in all seasons. The impact of the visited environments was investigated. The proximity to road traffic (for BC and NO2), as well as cooking activities and tobacco smoke (for PM), made significant contributions to total exposure (up to 34%, 26%, and 44%, respectively), even though the time spent in these environments was short. Finally, even if ambient outdoor levels played a role in PE, the prominent impact of the different environments suggests that traditional ambient monitoring stations is not a proper surrogate for PE quantification. Full article
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Article
Potential Risks of PM2.5-Bound Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Heavy Metals from Inland and Marine Directions for a Marine Background Site in North China
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 32; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010032 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 460
Abstract
Ambient PM2.5-bound ions, OC, EC, heavy metals (HMs), 18 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 7 hopanes, and 29 n-alkanes were detected at Tuoji Island (TI), the only marine background atmospheric monitoring station in North China. The annual PM2.5 average concentration was [...] Read more.
Ambient PM2.5-bound ions, OC, EC, heavy metals (HMs), 18 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 7 hopanes, and 29 n-alkanes were detected at Tuoji Island (TI), the only marine background atmospheric monitoring station in North China. The annual PM2.5 average concentration was 47 ± 31 μg m−3, and the average concentrations of the compositions in PM2.5 were higher in cold seasons than in warm seasons. The cancer and non-cancer risks of HMs and PAHs in cold seasons were also higher than in warm seasons. BaP, Ni, and As dominated the ∑HQ (hazard quotient) in cold seasons, while the non-carcinogenic risk in warm seasons was mainly dominated by Ni, Mn, and As. The ILCR (incremental lifetime cancer risk) values associated with Cr and As were higher in the cold season, while ILCR-Ni values were higher in the warm season. The backward trajectory was calculated to identify the potential directions of air mass at TI. Through the diagnostic ratios of organic and inorganic tracers, the sources of particulate matter in different directions were judged. It was found that ship emissions and sea salt were the main sources from marine directions, while coal combustion, vehicles emissions, industrial process, and secondary aerosols were the main source categories for inland directions. In addition, potential HM and PAH risks from inland and marine directions were explored. The non-cancerous effects of TI were mainly affected by inland transport, especially from the southeast, northwest, and west-northwest. The cancerous effects of TI were mainly simultaneously affected by the inland direction and marine direction of transport. Full article
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Review
Potentially Toxic Substances and Associated Risks in Soils Affected by Wildfires: A Review
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 31; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010031 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 612
Abstract
The presence of toxic substances is one of the major causes of degradation of soil quality. Wildfires, besides affecting various chemical, physical, and biological soil properties, produce a mixture of potentially toxic substances which can reach the soil and water bodies and cause [...] Read more.
The presence of toxic substances is one of the major causes of degradation of soil quality. Wildfires, besides affecting various chemical, physical, and biological soil properties, produce a mixture of potentially toxic substances which can reach the soil and water bodies and cause harm to these media. This review intends to summarise the current knowledge on the generation by wildfires of potentially toxic substances, their effects on soil organisms, and other associated risks, addressing the effects of fire on metal mobilisation, the pyrolytic production of potentially toxic compounds, and the detoxifying effect of charcoal. Numerous studies ascertained inhibitory effects of ash on seed germination and seedling growth as well as its toxicity to soil and aquatic organisms. Abundant publications addressed the mobilisation of heavy metals and trace elements by fire, including analyses of total concentrations, speciation, availability, and risk of exportation to water bodies. Many publications studied the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and other organic pollutants in soils after fire, their composition, decline over time, the risk of contamination of surface and ground waters, and their toxicity to plants, soil, and water organisms. Finally, the review addresses the possible detoxifying role of charcoal in soils affected by fire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
Article
Two Hits of EDCs Three Generations Apart: Effects on Social Behaviors in Rats, and Analysis by Machine Learning
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010030 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 528
Abstract
All individuals are directly exposed to extant environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), and indirectly exposed through transgenerational inheritance from our ancestors. Although direct and ancestral exposures can each lead to deficits in behaviors, their interactions are not known. Here we focused on social behaviors [...] Read more.
All individuals are directly exposed to extant environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), and indirectly exposed through transgenerational inheritance from our ancestors. Although direct and ancestral exposures can each lead to deficits in behaviors, their interactions are not known. Here we focused on social behaviors based on evidence of their vulnerability to direct or ancestral exposures, together with their importance in reproduction and survival of a species. Using a novel “two hits, three generations apart” experimental rat model, we investigated interactions of two classes of EDCs across six generations. PCBs (a weakly estrogenic mixture Aroclor 1221, 1 mg/kg), Vinclozolin (antiandrogenic, 1 mg/kg) or vehicle (6% DMSO in sesame oil) were administered to pregnant rat dams (F0) to directly expose the F1 generation, with subsequent breeding through paternal or maternal lines. A second EDC hit was given to F3 dams, thereby exposing the F4 generation, with breeding through the F6 generation. Approximately 1200 male and female rats from F1, F3, F4 and F6 generations were run through tests of sociability and social novelty as indices of social preference. We leveraged machine learning using DeepLabCut to analyze nuanced social behaviors such as nose touching with accuracy similar to a human scorer. Surprisingly, social behaviors were affected in ancestrally exposed but not directly exposed individuals, particularly females from a paternally exposed breeding lineage. Effects varied by EDC: Vinclozolin affected aspects of behavior in the F3 generation while PCBs affected both the F3 and F6 generations. Taken together, our data suggest that specific aspects of behavior are particularly vulnerable to heritable ancestral exposure of EDC contamination, that there are sex differences, and that lineage is a key factor in transgenerational outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
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Article
Prevalence of Microplastics in the Eastern Oyster Crassostrea virginica in the Chesapeake Bay: The Impact of Different Digestion Methods on Microplastic Properties
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 29; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010029 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 616
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the microplastic prevalence in eastern oysters (C. virginica) in three sites in the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and optimize the digestion methods. The digestion results illustrate that the lowest recovery rate and digestion recovery were related [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the microplastic prevalence in eastern oysters (C. virginica) in three sites in the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and optimize the digestion methods. The digestion results illustrate that the lowest recovery rate and digestion recovery were related to enzymatic, enzymatic + hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and HCl 5% treatments, while the highest digestion recovery and recovery rate were observed in H2O2 and basic (KOH) treatments. Nitric acid digestion resulted in satisfying digestion recovery (100%), while no blue polyethylene microplastics were observed due to the poor recovery rate. In addition, nitric acid altered the color, changed the Raman spectrum intensity, and melted polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). In order to determine the number of microplastics, 144 oysters with an approximately similar size and weight from three sites, including the James River, York River, and Eastern Shore, were evaluated. Fragments were the most abundant microplastics among the different microplastics, followed by fibers and beads, in the three sites. A significantly higher number of fragments were found in the James River, probably due to the greater amount of human activities. The number of microplastics per gram of oyster tissue was higher in the James River, with 7 MPs/g tissue, than in the York River and Eastern Shore, with 6.7 and 5.6 MPs/g tissue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Marine Micro & Nanoplastics)
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Article
The Carcinogenic Properties of Overlooked yet Prevalent Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Human Lung Epithelial Cells
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010028 - 09 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 533
Abstract
The WHO classified air pollution as a human lung carcinogen and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are components of both indoor (e.g., tobacco smoke and cookstoves) and outdoor (e.g., wildfires and industrial and vehicle emissions) air pollution, thus a human health concern. However, few [...] Read more.
The WHO classified air pollution as a human lung carcinogen and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are components of both indoor (e.g., tobacco smoke and cookstoves) and outdoor (e.g., wildfires and industrial and vehicle emissions) air pollution, thus a human health concern. However, few studies have evaluated the adverse effects of low molecular weight (LMW) PAHs, the most abundant PAHs in the environment. We hypothesized that LMW PAHs combined with the carcinogenic PAH benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) act as co-carcinogens in human lung epithelial cell lines (BEAS-2B and A549). Therefore, in this paper, we evaluate several endpoints, such as micronuclei, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) activity, cell cycle analysis, anti-BPDE-DNA adduct formation, and cytotoxicity after mixed exposures of LMW PAHs with B[a]P. The individual PAH doses used for each endpoint did not elicit cytotoxicity nor cell death and were relevant to human exposures. The addition of a binary mixture of LMW PAHs (fluoranthene and 1-methylanthracene) to B[a]P treated cells resulted in significant increases in micronuclei formation, dysregulation of GJIC, and changes in cell cycle as compared to cells treated with either B[a]P or the binary mixture alone. In addition, anti-BPDE-DNA adducts were significantly increased in human lung cells treated with B[a]P combined with the binary mixture of LMW PAHs as compared to cells treated with B[a]P alone, further supporting the increased co-carcinogenic potential by LMW PAHs. Collectively, these novel studies using LMW PAHs provide evidence of adverse pulmonary effects that should warrant further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Article
Detection of Benzo[a]pyrene Diol Epoxide Adducts to Histidine and Lysine in Serum Albumin In Vivo by High-Resolution-Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010027 - 08 Jan 2022
Viewed by 438
Abstract
Electrophilic diol epoxide metabolites are involved in the carcinogenicity of benzo[a]pyrene, one of the widely studied polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The exposure of humans to this PAH can be assessed by measuring stable blood protein adducts, such as to histidine and [...] Read more.
Electrophilic diol epoxide metabolites are involved in the carcinogenicity of benzo[a]pyrene, one of the widely studied polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The exposure of humans to this PAH can be assessed by measuring stable blood protein adducts, such as to histidine and lysine in serum albumin, from their reactive metabolites. In this respect, measurement of the adducts originating from the genotoxic (+)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide is of interest. However, these are difficult to measure at such low levels as are expected in humans generally exposed to benzo[a]pyrene from air pollution and the diet. The analytical methods detecting PAH-biomarkers still suffer from low selectivity and/or detectability to enable generation of data for calculation of in vivo doses of specific stereoisomers, for evaluation of risk factors and assessing risk from exposures to PAH. Here, we suggest an analytical methodology based on high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled to high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (MS) to lower the detection limits as well as to increase the selectivity with improvements in both chromatographic separation and mass determination. Method development was performed using serum albumin alkylated in vitro by benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide isomers. The (+)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide adducts could be chromatographically resolved by using an HPLC column with a pentafluorophenyl stationary phase. Interferences were further diminished by the high mass accuracy and resolving power of Orbitrap MS. The achieved method detection limit for the (+)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide adduct to histidine was approximately 4 amol/mg serum albumin. This adduct as well as the adducts to histidine from (−)-anti- and (+/−)-syn-benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide were quantified in the samples from benzo[a]pyrene-exposed mice. Corresponding adducts to lysine were also quantified. In human serum albumin, the anti-benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide adducts to histidine were detected in only two out of twelve samples and at a level of approximately 0.1 fmol/mg. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Adducts for Characterization of Exposure)
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Article
Dioxin-like Activity in Pregnant Women and Indices of Fetal Growth: The ACCEPT Birth Cohort
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010026 - 08 Jan 2022
Viewed by 450
Abstract
Exposure to lipophilic persistent organic pollutants (lipPOPs) elicits a number of species- and tissue-specific toxic responses, many of which involve the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). This study aims to measure the combined serum dioxin-like activity of lipPOPs in Greenlandic Inuit pregnant women and [...] Read more.
Exposure to lipophilic persistent organic pollutants (lipPOPs) elicits a number of species- and tissue-specific toxic responses, many of which involve the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). This study aims to measure the combined serum dioxin-like activity of lipPOPs in Greenlandic Inuit pregnant women and the associations with fetal growth indices. The combined dioxin-like activity of serum lipPOPs extracts was determined using the AhR reporter gene bioassay and expressed as pico-gram (pg) TCDD equivalent (TEQ) per gram serum lipid [AhR-TEQ (pg/g lipid)]. Significant AhR-TEQ was found in >87% of serum samples with the median level of 86.2 pg TEQ/g lipid. The AhR-TEQ level positively correlated with the marine food intake biomarker n-3/n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids ratio, while negatively correlated with body mass index and parity. Women giving birth to infants with low birth weight (<2500 g) and length (<50 cm) had higher AhR-TEQ level compared to those with normal weight and length infants. For previous smokers, we found significant inverse associations between maternal AhR-TEQ level and fetal growth indices. In conclusion, exposure of Greenlandic Inuit pregnant women to dioxin-like compounds through traditional marine food can adversely influence the fetal growth via induced AhR activity. Smoking might have modifying effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Epidemiology)
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Article
Effects of Endocrine Disruptors o,p′-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, p,p′-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, and Endosulfan on the Expression of Estradiol-, Progesterone-, and Testosterone-Responsive MicroRNAs and Their Target Genes in MCF-7 Cells
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010025 - 07 Jan 2022
Viewed by 545
Abstract
Many studies have shown that dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) exposure raises breast cancer risk. Another insecticide with similar properties is endosulfan, which has been actively used in agriculture after DDT prohibition. Previously, we have identified some estradiol-, progesterone-, and testosterone-sensitive microRNAs (miRNAs, miRs). Because DDT [...] Read more.
Many studies have shown that dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) exposure raises breast cancer risk. Another insecticide with similar properties is endosulfan, which has been actively used in agriculture after DDT prohibition. Previously, we have identified some estradiol-, progesterone-, and testosterone-sensitive microRNAs (miRNAs, miRs). Because DDT and endosulfan have estrogenic, antiandrogenic, and antiprogesterone properties, we hypothesized that these miRNAs are affected by the insecticides. We quantified relative levels of miRNAs and expression levels of their target genes in breast cancer MCF-7 cells treated with p,p′-DDT, o,p′-DDT, or endosulfan. We also quantified miR-19b expression, which, as previously shown, is regulated by estrogen. Here, we observed that miR-19b expression increased in response not only to estradiol but also to testosterone and progesterone. Treatment of MCF-7 cells with p,p′-DDT or endosulfan decreased the protein levels of apoptosis regulators TP53INP1 and APAF1. In cells treated with o,p′-DDT, the TP53INP1 amount decreased after 24 h of incubation, but increased after 48 h of incubation with insecticide. OXTR expression, which is known to be associated with breast carcinogenesis, significantly diminished under the exposure of all insecticides. In cells treated with p,p′-DDT or o,p′-DDT, the observed changes were accompanied by alterations of the levels of hormone-responsive miRNAs: miR-324, miR-190a, miR-190b, miR-27a, miR-193b, and miR-19b. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Effects of Endocrine Disrupters)
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Article
In Vivo Evaluation of the Oral Toxicity of the Chlorobutanol
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010024 - 07 Jan 2022
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Chlorobutanol (CB) is used as a preservative in cosmetics and has antibacterial activity. This study investigated the single- and repeated-dose 28-day oral toxicity of a CB solvent in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. For the single-dose oral toxicity study, a dose of 62.5, 125, [...] Read more.
Chlorobutanol (CB) is used as a preservative in cosmetics and has antibacterial activity. This study investigated the single- and repeated-dose 28-day oral toxicity of a CB solvent in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. For the single-dose oral toxicity study, a dose of 62.5, 125, or 250 mg per kg of body weight (mg/kg b.w.) of CB was given once orally via gavage. For the repeated-dose 28-day toxicity study, the high dose was set as 100 mg/kg b.w./day, and the middle, middle-low, and low doses were set to 50, 25, and 12.5 mg/kg b.w./day, respectively. Body weight was not significantly changed in the repeated-dose toxicity study. Relative liver and kidney weights were significantly increased in both sexes of the 100 mg/kg b.w./day treatment group. However, there were histopathological changes in liver and kidney for females and males, respectively. These data suggested that the approximate lethal dose (ALD) of CB was over 250 mg/kg b.w./day in the single-dose study, and the no adverse effect level (NOAEL) for CB was over 50 and 12.5 mg/kg b.w./day for female and male rats in the repeated-dose toxicity study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Article
Urban Neighbourhood Environments, Cardiometabolic Health and Cognitive Function: A National Cross-Sectional Study of Middle-Aged and Older Adults in Australia
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 23; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010023 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 571
Abstract
Population ageing and urbanisation are global phenomena that call for an understanding of the impacts of features of the urban environment on older adults’ cognitive function. Because neighbourhood characteristics that can potentially have opposite effects on cognitive function are interdependent, they need to [...] Read more.
Population ageing and urbanisation are global phenomena that call for an understanding of the impacts of features of the urban environment on older adults’ cognitive function. Because neighbourhood characteristics that can potentially have opposite effects on cognitive function are interdependent, they need to be considered in conjunction. Using data from an Australian national sample of 4141 adult urban dwellers, we examined the extent to which the associations of interrelated built and natural environment features and ambient air pollution with cognitive function are explained by cardiometabolic risk factors relevant to cognitive health. All examined environmental features were directly and/or indirectly related to cognitive function via other environmental features and/or cardiometabolic risk factors. Findings suggest that dense, interconnected urban environments with access to parks, blue spaces and low levels of air pollution may benefit cognitive health through cardiometabolic risk factors and other mechanisms not captured in this study. This study also highlights the need for a particularly fine-grained characterisation of the built environment in research on cognitive function, which would enable the differentiation of the positive effects of destination-rich neighbourhoods on cognition via participation in cognition-enhancing activities from the negative effects of air pollutants typically present in dense, destination-rich urban areas. Full article
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Article
Behavioral Effects of Buspirone in Juvenile Zebrafish of Two Different Genetic Backgrounds
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 22; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010022 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 449
Abstract
Anxiety continues to represent a major unmet medical need. Despite the availability of numerous anxiolytic drugs, a large proportion of patients do not respond well to current pharmacotherapy, or their response diminishes with chronic drug application. To discover novel compounds and to investigate [...] Read more.
Anxiety continues to represent a major unmet medical need. Despite the availability of numerous anxiolytic drugs, a large proportion of patients do not respond well to current pharmacotherapy, or their response diminishes with chronic drug application. To discover novel compounds and to investigate the mode of action of anxiolytic drugs, animal models have been proposed. The zebrafish is a novel animal model in this research. It is particularly appropriate, as it has evolutionarily conserved features, and drug administration can be employed in a non-invasive manner by immersing the fish into the drug solution. The first step in the analysis of anxiolytic drugs with zebrafish is to test reference compounds. Here, we investigate the effects of buspirone hydrochloride, an anxiolytic drug often employed in the human clinic. We utilize two genetically distinct populations of zebrafish, ABSK, derived from the quasi-inbred AB strain, and WT, a genetically heterogeneous wild-type population. We placed juvenile (10–13-day, post-fertilization, old) zebrafish singly in petri dishes containing one of four buspirone concentrations (0 mg/L control, 5 mg/L, 20 mg/L or 80 mg/L) for 1 h, with each fish receiving a single exposure to one concentration, a between subject experimental design. Subsequently, we recorded the behavior of the zebrafish for 30 min using video-tracking. Buspirone decreased distance moved, number of immobility episodes and thigmotaxis, and it increased immobility duration and turn angle in a quasi-linear dose dependent but genotype independent manner. Although it is unclear whether these changes represent anxiolysis in zebrafish, the results demonstrate that behavioral analysis of juvenile zebrafish may be a sensitive and simple way to quantify the effects of human anxiolytic drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fish Models for Human Toxicology)
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Article
Determination of Parabens, Bisphenol A and Its Analogs, Triclosan, and Benzophenone-3 Levels in Human Urine by Isotope-Dilution-UPLC-MS/MS Method Followed by Supported Liquid Extraction
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010021 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 538
Abstract
The development of a rapid analytical approach for determining levels of antibacterial agents, plasticizers, and ultraviolet filters in biosamples is crucial for individual exposure assessment. We developed an analytical method to determine the levels of four parabens—bisphenols A (BPA) and its analogs, triclosan [...] Read more.
The development of a rapid analytical approach for determining levels of antibacterial agents, plasticizers, and ultraviolet filters in biosamples is crucial for individual exposure assessment. We developed an analytical method to determine the levels of four parabens—bisphenols A (BPA) and its analogs, triclosan (TCS), triclocarban, and benzophenone-3 (BP-3)—in human urine. We further measured the levels of these chemicals in children and adolescents. We used a supported liquid extraction (SLE) technique coupled with an isotope-dilution ultraperformance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (ID-UPLC-MS/MS) method to assess the detection performance for these chemicals. Forty-one urine samples from 13 children and 28 adolescents were assessed to demonstrate the capability and feasibility of our method. An acceptable recovery (75.6–102.4%) and matrix effect (precision < 14.2%) in the three-level spiked artificial urine samples were achieved, and good performance of the validated ID-UPLC-MS/MS method regarding linearity, limits of detection, and quantitation was achieved. The within-run and between-run accuracy and precision also demonstrated the sensitivity and stability of this analytical method, applied after SLE. We concluded that the ID-UPLC-MS/MS method with SLE pretreatment is a valuable analytical method for the investigation of urinary antibacterial agents, plasticizers, and ultraviolet filters in humans, useful for human biomonitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasticizer Exposure: Harmful Impact on Human Health)
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Communication
Assessment of the Toxicity of Biocompatible Materials Supporting Bone Regeneration: Impact of the Type of Assay and Used Controls
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 20; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010020 - 06 Jan 2022
Viewed by 461
Abstract
Assessing the toxicity of new biomaterials dedicated to bone regeneration can be difficult. Many reports focus only on a single toxicity parameter, which may be insufficient for a detailed evaluation of the new material. Moreover, published data frequently do not include control cells [...] Read more.
Assessing the toxicity of new biomaterials dedicated to bone regeneration can be difficult. Many reports focus only on a single toxicity parameter, which may be insufficient for a detailed evaluation of the new material. Moreover, published data frequently do not include control cells exposed to the environment without composite or its extract. Here we present the results of two assays used in the toxicological assessment of materials’ extracts (the integrity of the cellular membrane and the mitochondrial activity/proliferation), and the influence of different types of controls used on the obtained results. Results obtained in the cellular membrane integrity assay showed a lack of toxic effects of all tested extracts, and no statistical differences between them were present. Control cells, cells incubated with chitosan extract or chitosan-bioglass extract were used as a reference in proliferation calculations to highlight the impact of controls used on the result of the experiment. The use of different baseline controls caused variability between obtained proliferation results, and influenced the outcome of statistical analysis. Our findings confirm the thesis that the type of control used in an experiment can change the final results, and it may affect the toxicological assessment of biomaterial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Article
Comparative Assessment of Antibiotic Residues Using Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and a Rapid Screening Test in Raw Milk Collected from the North-Central Algerian Dairies
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010019 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Antibiotic residues in milk are a major health threat for the consumer and a hazard to the dairy industry, causing significant economic losses. This study aims to assess the presence of antibiotic residues in raw milk comparatively by a rapid screening test (BetaStar [...] Read more.
Antibiotic residues in milk are a major health threat for the consumer and a hazard to the dairy industry, causing significant economic losses. This study aims to assess the presence of antibiotic residues in raw milk comparatively by a rapid screening test (BetaStar® Combo) and Liquid Chromatography coupled with Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A total of 445 samples were collected from 3 dairy companies of north-central Algeria (Algiers, Blida, Boumerdes), and they were rapidly screened for β-lactams and tetracyclines; 52 samples, comprising 34 positive tanker-truck milk and 18 negative bulk-tank milk were tested by LC-MS/MS, which revealed 90.4% were contaminated (n = 47) and 55.3% exceeded the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL). The β-lactams as parent compounds and their metabolites were the most frequently detected with maximum value for cloxacillin (1231 µg/kg) and penicillin G (2062 µg/kg). Under field condition, the false-positive results, particularly for tetracyclines, seems to be related to milk samples displaying extreme acidity values (≥19°D) or fat-level fluctuations (2.7 g/100 mL and 5.6–6.2 g/100 mL). Despite a relatively low prevalence (7.64%) of residues using the rapid test, the detection by LC-MS/MS of flumequine (52 µg/kg), cefaclor (maximum 220 µg/kg) and metabolites of β-lactams at high levels should lead to reflections on the control of their human and environmental toxicological effects. Full article
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Article
Accumulation, Depuration, and Biological Effects of Polystyrene Microplastic Spheres and Adsorbed Cadmium and Benzo(a)pyrene on the Mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010018 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
Filter feeders are target species for microplastic (MP) pollution, as particles can accumulate in the digestive system, disturbing feeding processes and becoming internalized in tissues. MPs may also carry pathogens or pollutants present in the environment. This work assessed the influence of polystyrene [...] Read more.
Filter feeders are target species for microplastic (MP) pollution, as particles can accumulate in the digestive system, disturbing feeding processes and becoming internalized in tissues. MPs may also carry pathogens or pollutants present in the environment. This work assessed the influence of polystyrene (PS) MP size and concentration on accumulation and depuration time and the role of MPs as vectors for metallic (Cd) and organic (benzo(a)pyrene, BaP) pollutants. One-day exposure to pristine MPs induced a concentration-dependent accumulation in the digestive gland (in the stomach and duct lumen), and after 3-day depuration, 45 µm MPs appeared between gill filaments, while 4.5 µm MPs also occurred within gill filaments. After 3-day exposure to contaminated 4.5 µm MPs, mussels showed increased BaP levels whilst Cd accumulation did not occur. Here, PS showed higher affinity to BaP than to Cd. Three-day exposure to pristine or contaminated MPs did not provoke significant alterations in antioxidant and peroxisomal enzyme activities in the gills and digestive gland nor in lysosomal membrane stability. Exposure to dissolved contaminants and to MP-BaP caused histological alterations in the digestive gland. In conclusion, these short-term studies suggest that MPs are ingested and internalized in a size-dependent manner and act as carriers of the persistent organic pollutant BaP. Full article
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Review
A Review of Associations between Externalizing Behaviors and Prenatal Cannabis Exposure: Limitations & Future Directions
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010017 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 704
Abstract
In utero cannabis exposure can disrupt fetal development and increase risk for various behavioral disruptions, including hyperactivity, inattention, delinquent behaviors, and later substance abuse, among others. This review summarizes the findings from contemporary investigations linking prenatal cannabis exposure to the development of psychopathology [...] Read more.
In utero cannabis exposure can disrupt fetal development and increase risk for various behavioral disruptions, including hyperactivity, inattention, delinquent behaviors, and later substance abuse, among others. This review summarizes the findings from contemporary investigations linking prenatal cannabis exposure to the development of psychopathology and identifies the limitations within the literature, which constrain our interpretations and generalizability. These limitations include a lack of genetic/familial control for confounding and limited data examining real world products, the full range of cannabinoids, and motives for use specifically in pregnant women. Taken together, our review reveals the need to continue to improve upon study designs in order to allow researchers to accurately draw conclusions about the development of behavioral consequences of prenatal cannabis exposure. Findings from such studies would inform policy and practices regarding cannabis use during pregnancy and move the field toward developing a comprehensive teratogenic profile of cannabis similar to what is characterized in the prenatal alcohol and tobacco literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Exposures and Children’s Health)
Article
Spatial–Temporal Variations, Ecological Risk Assessment, and Source Identification of Heavy Metals in the Sediments of a Shallow Eutrophic Lake, China
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 16; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010016 - 04 Jan 2022
Viewed by 361
Abstract
The contamination of heavy metals (Pb, Cr, Hg, Cd, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, and Sb) in the sediments were investigated in Lake Yangcheng, a eutrophic lake in China. Results showed that the average concentrations of each metal in the surface sediments generally exceeded [...] Read more.
The contamination of heavy metals (Pb, Cr, Hg, Cd, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, and Sb) in the sediments were investigated in Lake Yangcheng, a eutrophic lake in China. Results showed that the average concentrations of each metal in the surface sediments generally exceeded their corresponding background values. Higher values were observed in deeper zones, supporting the retention and accumulation of heavy metals in the core sediments. The spatial distributions of metal averages, pollution load index (PLI), and combined ecological risk index (RI) revealed that ecological risks were highest in the west lake, followed by middle lake, and were lowest in the east section. For the temporal variations of metal contents, the highest concentration was usually observed in the winter. However, the seasonal dynamics of Hg showed a different pattern with higher values in the autumn and lower values in the winter. According to contamination factor (CF), the Hg and Sb contaminations were considerable, while the other metals were moderate contamination. In terms of geoaccumulation index (Igeo) values, sediments were moderately–heavily polluted by Sb and moderately polluted by Hg, Cd, and Ni. Meanwhile, Hg exhibited a considerable health risk, while Cd and Sb were moderate risks, based on single ecological risk index (Er) values. Significant positive correlations among heavy metals and principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that anthropogenic activities were major sources. The source of Sb might be different from other metals, with industrial discharge as the main loading. This study highlighted the urgency of taking measures to prevent Hg, Sb, and Cd pollutions in Lake Yangcheng, especially the west region of this lake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Management)
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Communication
Lowering the Toxicity of Cd to Theobroma cacao Using Soil Amendments Based on Commercial Charcoal and Lime
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010015 - 04 Jan 2022
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Carbonaceous and calcareous materials are commonly used as amendments to decrease the Cd mobility in contaminated soils. This study evaluated the effect of amendments applied to cocoa seedlings in the greenhouse, considering the mobilization of soil cadmium toward the seedlings as the main [...] Read more.
Carbonaceous and calcareous materials are commonly used as amendments to decrease the Cd mobility in contaminated soils. This study evaluated the effect of amendments applied to cocoa seedlings in the greenhouse, considering the mobilization of soil cadmium toward the seedlings as the main response. The experimental conditions considered soil artificially contaminated with Cd at a concentration of 50 mg Cd kg−1 and applications of amendments in different treatments with the presence of charcoal dust and calcium carbonate. The charcoal was characterized by microscopy and by adsorption tests, and it proved to be a material with macropores, with a maximum capacity of 8.06 mg Cd g−1 and favorable kinetic behavior according to the adjustment of the data obtained to the pseudo-second-order model. The results also showed that the application of liming decreased the mobility of Cd toward the seedlings, with the liming combined with charcoal leading to the absence of Cd in the cocoa seedlings, considering a residual concentration of Cd in the soil of 35 mg Cd kg−1. The results, although limited to a small scale, demonstrated the possibility of applying low-cost and easy-to-handle amendments for the control of Cd in cocoa plantations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Toxicity Effects on Plants)
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Article
Effects of Soil Quality on the Microbial Community Structure of Poorly Evolved Mediterranean Soils
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010014 - 03 Jan 2022
Viewed by 528
Abstract
Physical and chemical alterations may affect the microbiota of soils as much as the specific presence of toxic pollutants. The relationship between the microbial diversity patterns and the soil quality in a Mediterranean context is studied here to test the hypothesis that soil [...] Read more.
Physical and chemical alterations may affect the microbiota of soils as much as the specific presence of toxic pollutants. The relationship between the microbial diversity patterns and the soil quality in a Mediterranean context is studied here to test the hypothesis that soil microbiota is strongly affected by the level of anthropogenic soil alteration. Our aim has been to determine the potential effect of organic matter loss and associated changes in soil microbiota of poorly evolved Mediterranean soils (Leptosols and Regosols) suffering anthropogenic stress (i.e., cropping and deforestation). The studied soils correspond to nine different sites which differed in some features, such as the parent material, vegetation cover, or soil use and types. A methodological approach has been used that combines the classical physical and chemical study of soils with molecular characterization of the microbial assemblages using specific primers for Bacteria, Archaea and ectomycorrhizal Fungi. In agreement with previous studies within the region, physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soils varied notably depending on these factors. Microbial biomass, soil organic matter, and moisture, decreased in soils as deforestation increased, even in those partially degraded to substitution shrubland. Major differences were observed in the microbial community structure between the mollic and rendzic Leptosols found in forest soils, and the skeletic and dolomitic Leptosols in substitute shrublands, as well as with the skeletic and dolomitic Leptosols and calcaric Regosols in dry croplands. Forest soils displayed a higher microbial richness (OTU’s number) and biomass, as well as more stable and connected ecological networks. Here, we point out how human activities such as agriculture and other effects of deforestation led to changes in soil properties, thus affecting its quality driving changes in their microbial diversity and biomass patterns. Our findings demonstrate the potential risk that the replacement of forest areas may have in the conservation of the soil’s microbiota pool, both active and passive, which are basic for the maintenance of biogeochemical processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
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Article
Prenatal PM2.5 Exposure in Relation to Maternal and Newborn Telomere Length at Delivery
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10010013 - 03 Jan 2022
Viewed by 472
Abstract
Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) is a ubiquitous air pollutant that is increasingly threatening the health of adults and children worldwide. One health impact of elevated PM2.5 exposure is alterations in telomere length [...] Read more.
Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) is a ubiquitous air pollutant that is increasingly threatening the health of adults and children worldwide. One health impact of elevated PM2.5 exposure is alterations in telomere length (TL)—protective caps on chromosome ends that shorten with each cell division. Few analyses involve prenatal PM2.5 exposure, and paired maternal and cord TL measurements. Here, we analyzed the association between average and trimester-specific prenatal PM2.5 exposure, and maternal and newborn relative leukocyte TL measured at birth among 193 mothers and their newborns enrolled in a New-York-City-based birth cohort. Results indicated an overall negative relationship between prenatal PM2.5 and maternal TL at delivery, with a significant association observed in the second trimester (β = −0.039, 95% CI: −0.074, −0.003). PM2.5 exposure in trimester two was also inversely related to cord TL; however, this result did not reach statistical significance (β = −0.037, 95% CI: −0.114, 0.039), and no clear pattern emerged between PM2.5 and cord TL across the different exposure periods. Our analysis contributes to a limited body of research on ambient air pollution and human telomeres, and emphasizes the need for continued investigation into how PM2.5 exposure during pregnancy influences maternal and newborn health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Exposures and Children’s Health)
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