Next Issue
Volume 10, May
Previous Issue
Volume 10, March

Toxics, Volume 10, Issue 4 (April 2022) – 50 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Scientific data regarding the potential toxic effects of vaping on oral health tissues are still very limited. This study assessed a novel smoke/vaping generation machine specifically designed to perform realistic cell culture in vitro experiments. This machine allowed generating representative vapor as it was produced under real conditions from electronic cigarettes, which was particularly adapted for realistic inhalation toxicology studies in vitro. The results confirmed the adverse similar toxicity effect vapor of electronic cigarettes and traditional cigarettes on human gingival cells. It also showed that short-term single exposure to electronic cigarette vapor may increase cell toxicity and inflammation. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Environmental Co-Exposure to Potassium Perchlorate and Cd Caused Toxicity and Thyroid Endocrine Disruption in Zebrafish Embryos and Larvae (Danio rerio)
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 198; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040198 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 643
Abstract
The increasing pollution of aquatic habitats with anthropogenic compounds has led to various test strategies to detect hazardous chemicals. However, information on the effects of pollutants on the thyroid system in fish, which is essential for growth, development, and parts of reproduction, is [...] Read more.
The increasing pollution of aquatic habitats with anthropogenic compounds has led to various test strategies to detect hazardous chemicals. However, information on the effects of pollutants on the thyroid system in fish, which is essential for growth, development, and parts of reproduction, is still scarce. Modified early life-stage tests were carried out with zebrafish exposed to the known thyroid inhibitor potassium perchlorate (0.1, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, and 5 mM) to identify adverse effects on embryo development. The endogenous antioxidant defense mechanism is one of the key functions of the thyroid gland; in this regard, we examined the co-exposure to potassium perchlorate (KClO4), which could disrupt thyroid function, with cadmium (Cd), a known pro-oxidant compound. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to control KClO4 1 mM and Cd 0.5 μM for 96 h after fertilization (hpf) individually and in combination. The morphological alteration, body length, and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression related to thyroid function and oxidative stress, thyroid hormone levels, and malondialdehyde were measured. Significant down-regulation of mRNAs related to thyroid function (thyroid hormone receptor-alpha (THRα), thyroid hormone receptor-beta (THRβ), haematopoietically expressed homeobox (hhex)) and decreased thyroxin (T4) levels were observed after co-exposure to KClO4 and Cd, but this was not observed in the individually treated groups. These results suggest that co-exposure to KClO4 and Cd could affect antioxidant defense mechanisms and potentially normally increase Cd toxicity on mRNA expression, altering the thyroid functions important in zebrafish embryonic developmental stages. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Molecular Evidence on the Inhibitory Potential of Metformin against Chlorpyrifos-Induced Neurotoxicity
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 197; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040197 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 760
Abstract
Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is an organophosphorus (OP) pesticide, resulting in various health complications as the result of ingestion, inhalation, or skin absorption, and leads to DNA damage and increased oxidative stress. Metformin, derived from Galega officinalis, is reported to have anti-inflammatory and [...] Read more.
Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is an organophosphorus (OP) pesticide, resulting in various health complications as the result of ingestion, inhalation, or skin absorption, and leads to DNA damage and increased oxidative stress. Metformin, derived from Galega officinalis, is reported to have anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties; thus, this study aimed to investigate the beneficial role of metformin in neurotoxicity induced by sub-acute exposure to CPF in Wistar rats. In this study, animals were divided into nine groups and were treated with different combinations of metformin and CPF. Following the 28 days of CPF and metformin administration, brain tissues were separated. The levels of inflammatory biomarkers such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin 1β (IL-1β), as well as the expression of 5HT1 and 5HT2 genes, were analyzed. Moreover, the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the ADP/ATP ratio, in addition to the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), were tested through in vitro experiments. This study demonstrated the potential role of metformin in alleviating the mentioned biomarkers, which can be altered negatively as a result of CPF toxicity. Moreover, metformin showed protective potential in modulating inflammation, as well as oxidative stress, the expression of genes, and histological analysis, in a concentration-dependent manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical and Biological Threats, Hazard Potential and Countermeasures)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Synergistic and Antagonistic Effects of Aerosol Components on Its Oxidative Potential as Predictor of Particle Toxicity
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 196; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040196 - 16 Apr 2022
Viewed by 711
Abstract
Quantifying the component-specific contribution to the oxidative potential (OP) of ambient particle matter (PM) is the key information to properly representing its acute health hazards. In this study, we investigated the interactions between the major contributors to OP, i.e., transition metals and quinones, [...] Read more.
Quantifying the component-specific contribution to the oxidative potential (OP) of ambient particle matter (PM) is the key information to properly representing its acute health hazards. In this study, we investigated the interactions between the major contributors to OP, i.e., transition metals and quinones, to highlight the relative effects of these species to the total OP. Several synergistic and antagonistic interactions were found that significantly change the redox properties of their binary mixtures, increasing or decreasing the values computed by a simple additive model. Such results from the standard solutions were confirmed by extending the study to atmospheric PM2.5 samples collected in winter in the Lombardia region, a hot spot for air pollution in northern Italy. This work highlights that a solid estimation of oxidative properties of ambient PM requires an interaction-based approach accounting for the interaction effects between metals and quinones. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Quantitative Estimation of Synergistic Toxicity of Cu and Zn on Growth of Arabidopsis thaliana by Isobolographic Method
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 195; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040195 - 16 Apr 2022
Viewed by 707
Abstract
Heavy metal is one of the most frequent soil contaminants and contaminated soils generally include numerous metals. Although exposure to multiple metals may increase the toxicity to humans and ecosystems, only additive effects are considered in the risk assessment. In this study, the [...] Read more.
Heavy metal is one of the most frequent soil contaminants and contaminated soils generally include numerous metals. Although exposure to multiple metals may increase the toxicity to humans and ecosystems, only additive effects are considered in the risk assessment. In this study, the synergistic effect of heavy metals (Cu and Zn) on a model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, was quantified by the isobolographic method. The plant was cultured via the growth assay method on a plant agar containing individual heavy metals or combinations of Cu + Zn in a growth chamber. The concentration of Cu varied by eight levels from 0 to 200 μM and the concentration of Zn also varied by eight levels from 0 to 400 μM. In the combination of metals, each of the three levels of Cu (25–75 μM) and Zn (20–100 μM) were applied. After 8 days, plants were harvested for root/shoot weight and measured for leaf chlorophyll and carotenoid content. The primary and secondary root elongation of A. thaliana was estimated using image analysis to calculate total root length. The EC50 values of Cu and Zn on A. thaliana, based on the total root length, were 40.0 and 76.4 μM, respectively. When two heavy metals were administered in combination, the EC values decreased less than those of the individual metals. The average value of the combination index was 0.6, proving the synergistic toxic effect on the root growth of A. Thaliana. As a result, the isobolograhic method is a useful tool for estimating the quantitative toxic effect of chemicals on plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Contamination in Soil and Health Risks)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Esculetin and Fucoidan Attenuate Autophagy and Apoptosis Induced by Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles through Modulating Reactive Astrocyte and Proinflammatory Cytokines in the Rat Brain
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 194; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040194 - 16 Apr 2022
Viewed by 786
Abstract
We examined the protective effects of esculetin and fucoidan against the neurotoxicity of ZnO NPs in rats. Ninety rats were divided into nine groups and pre-treated with esculetin or fucoidan 1 h before ZnO NP administration on a daily basis for 2 weeks. [...] Read more.
We examined the protective effects of esculetin and fucoidan against the neurotoxicity of ZnO NPs in rats. Ninety rats were divided into nine groups and pre-treated with esculetin or fucoidan 1 h before ZnO NP administration on a daily basis for 2 weeks. Serum and brain homogenates were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and neurons, microglia, and astrocytes in the hippocampal region were examined with immunohistochemical analysis. The serum levels of interleukin-1-beta (IL-1β), 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) were altered in the ZnO NP treatment groups. Brain IL-1β and TNF-α levels were elevated after ZnO NP administration, and these effects were inhibited by esculetin and fucoidan. SOD, 8-OHdG, and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) levels in the brain were decreased after ZnO NP administration. The brain levels of beclin-1 and caspase-3 were elevated after ZnO NP treatment, and these effects were significantly ameliorated by esculetin and fucoidan. The number of reactive astrocytes measured by counting glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells, but not microglia, increased following ZnO NP treatment, and esculetin and fucoidan ameliorated the changes. Esculetin and fucoidan may be beneficial for preventing ZnO NP-mediated autophagy and apoptosis by the modulation of reactive astrocyte and proinflammatory cytokines in the rat brain. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Co-Exposure of Nanopolystyrene and Other Environmental Contaminants—Their Toxic Effects on the Survival and Reproduction of Enchytraeus crypticus
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 193; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040193 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Plastics in all shapes and sizes have become widespread across ecosystems due to intense anthropogenic use. As such, they can interact with other contaminants that accumulate in the terrestrial environment, such as pharmaceuticals, metals or nanomaterials (NMs). These interactions can potentiate combined toxic [...] Read more.
Plastics in all shapes and sizes have become widespread across ecosystems due to intense anthropogenic use. As such, they can interact with other contaminants that accumulate in the terrestrial environment, such as pharmaceuticals, metals or nanomaterials (NMs). These interactions can potentiate combined toxic effects in the exposed soil organisms, with hazardous long-term consequences to the full ecosystem. In the present study, a terrestrial model species, Enchytraeus crypticus (oligochaeta), was exposed through contaminated soil with nanopolystyrene (representative of nanoplastics (NPls)), alone and in combination with diphenhydramine (DPH, representative of pharmaceuticals), silver nitrate (AgNO3, representative of metals) and vanadium nanoparticles (VNPs, representative of NMs). AgNO3 and VNPs decreased E. crypticus reproduction at 50 mg/kg, regardless of the presence of NPls. Moreover, at the same concentration, both single and combined VNP exposures decreased the E. crypticus survival. On the other hand, DPH and NPls individually caused no effect on organisms’ survival and reproduction. However, the combination of DPH (10 and 50 mg/kg) with 300 mg NPls/kg induced a decrease in reproduction, showing a relevant interaction between the two contaminants (synergism). Our findings indicate that the NPls can play a role as vectors for other contaminants and can potentiate the effects of pharmaceuticals, such as DPH, even at low and sub-lethal concentrations, highlighting the negative impact of mixtures of contaminants (including NPls) on soil systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Influence of Experimental End Point on the Therapeutic Efficacy of Essential and Additional Antidotes in Organophosphorus Nerve Agent-Intoxicated Mice
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 192; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040192 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 602
Abstract
The therapeutic efficacy of treatments for acute intoxication with highly toxic organophosphorus compounds, called nerve agents, usually involves determination of LD50 values 24 h after nerve agent challenge without and with a single administration of the treatment. Herein, the LD50 values [...] Read more.
The therapeutic efficacy of treatments for acute intoxication with highly toxic organophosphorus compounds, called nerve agents, usually involves determination of LD50 values 24 h after nerve agent challenge without and with a single administration of the treatment. Herein, the LD50 values of four nerve agents (sarin, soman, tabun and cyclosarin) for non-treated and treated intoxication were investigated in mice for experimental end points of 6 and 24 h. The LD50 values of the nerve agents were evaluated by probit-logarithmical analysis of deaths within 6 and 24 h of i.m. challenge of the nerve agent at five different doses, using six mice per dose. The efficiency of atropine alone or atropine in combination with an oxime was practically the same at 6 and 24 h. The therapeutic efficacy of the higher dose of the antinicotinic compound MB327 was slightly higher at the 6 h end point compared to the 24 h end point for soman and tabun intoxication. A higher dose of MB327 increased the therapeutic efficacy of atropine alone for sarin, soman and tabun intoxication, and that of the standard antidotal treatment (atropine and oxime) for sarin and tabun intoxication. The therapeutic efficacy of MB327 was lower than the oxime-based antidotal treatment. To compare the 6 and 24 h end points, the influence of the experimental end point was not observed, with the exception of the higher dose of MB327. In addition, only a negligible beneficial impact of the compound MB327 was observed. Nevertheless, antinicotinics may offer an additional avenue for countering poisoning by nerve agents that are difficult to treat, and synthetic and biological studies towards the development of such novel drugs based on the core bispyridinium structure or other molecular scaffolds should continue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical and Biological Threats, Hazard Potential and Countermeasures)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Relationship of Blood and Urinary Manganese Levels with Cognitive Function in Elderly Individuals in the United States by Race/Ethnicity, NHANES 2011–2014
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 191; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040191 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Manganese (Mn) is an essential metal with a biphasic relationship with health outcomes. High-level exposure to Mn is associated with manganism, but few data explore the effects of chronic, lower-level Mn on cognitive function in adults. We sought to determine the relationship between [...] Read more.
Manganese (Mn) is an essential metal with a biphasic relationship with health outcomes. High-level exposure to Mn is associated with manganism, but few data explore the effects of chronic, lower-level Mn on cognitive function in adults. We sought to determine the relationship between blood/urinary manganese levels and cognitive function in elderly individuals using 2011–2014 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Weighted multivariate regression models were used to determine correlations, adjusting for several covariates. Blood Mn was inversely associated with the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) immediate learning of new verbal information (p-value = 0.04), but lost significance after adjusting for medical history (p-value = 0.09). In addition, blood Mn was inversely associated with Animal Fluency scores after adjusting for all covariates. Urinary Mn was inversely associated with CERAD immediate learning after adjusting for all covariates (p-value = 0.01) and inversely associated with the Digit Symbol Substitution Test scores (p-value = 0.0002), but lost significance after adjusting for medical history (p-value = 0.13). Upon stratifying by race/ethnicity, other Races and Non-Hispanic (NH)-Blacks had significantly higher blood Mn levels when compared to NH-Whites. Collectively, these findings suggest that increased blood and urinary Mn levels are associated with poorer cognitive function in an elderly US population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurotoxicity of Environmental Metal Toxicants)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
A Mixture of Endocrine Disruptors and the Pesticide Roundup® Induce Oxidative Stress in Rabbit Liver When Administered under the Long-Term Low-Dose Regimen: Reinforcing the Notion of Real-Life Risk Simulation
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 190; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040190 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Humans are exposed to xenobiotic mixtures daily through the long-term, low-dose regimen. Investigations designed to simulate this exposure profile approach the real-life risk simulation (RLRS) idea of modern toxicology. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of 12-month exposure [...] Read more.
Humans are exposed to xenobiotic mixtures daily through the long-term, low-dose regimen. Investigations designed to simulate this exposure profile approach the real-life risk simulation (RLRS) idea of modern toxicology. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of 12-month exposure of New Zealand rabbits to a xenobiotic mixture comprising seven endocrine disruptors (EDs), which are chemical substances raising great concerns for human health, as well as the herbicide glyphosate, and its commercial formulation Roundup®, on blood and tissues redox status. It is reported herein that at the systemic level, the administration of the EDs mixture induced perturbations of blood redox homeostasis at 3 months, whereas at 6 and 12 months, it activated redox adaptations. Contrariwise, exposure to glyphosate and Roundup®, individually, caused mainly disturbances of blood redox equilibrium. At the tissue level, particularly in the liver, the administration of both the EDs mixture and Roundup® induced oxidative stress, whereas glyphosate did not affect it. The RLRS notion appears to be confirmed through these findings. Indeed, the administration of the EDs mixture and Roundup®, under the long-term, low-dose regimen, elicited detrimental effects on the redox status of the liver, a crucial tissue with a valuable biological role in the detoxification of organisms from xenobiotics. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Association between Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Adaptive Behavior in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 189; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040189 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 618
Abstract
The study focuses on current issues of adaptive behavior in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and on the possible risk factor of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Children examined at the Academic Research Center for Autism (ARCA) in Bratislava were involved in the [...] Read more.
The study focuses on current issues of adaptive behavior in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and on the possible risk factor of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Children examined at the Academic Research Center for Autism (ARCA) in Bratislava were involved in the study. The study sample included 84 children (71 boys) with ASD (average age 5.35 years) and a non-ASD group of 24 children (20 boys; average age 8.10 years). The “ETS Questionnaire” focused on the detection of parental smoking habits and other ETS exposures. The concentrations of cotinine in urine were measured by ELISA kit. A significant delay in adaptive behavior of children with ASD in comparison with the non-ASD group was identified. The significant differences were in adaptive behavior, communication, and everyday skills. Children with ASD were more likely to be exposed to ETS, especially in the household. Good agreement was found between objective and subjective ETS exposure indicators (kappa = 0.613). Self-reported exposure to ETS corresponded significantly with the median levels of urinary cotinine. In addition to evaluation and assessment of the quality of adaptive behavior, an important goal of further research should be to identify, investigate, and eliminate environmental factors that interfere with adaptive behavior. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Toxicological Assessment of Content and Exposure of Heavy Metals (Pb and Cd) in Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products with Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis L., radix) from Polish Pharmacies
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 188; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040188 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
The level of potentially toxic elements (PTE) in phytopharmaceuticals can be a potential threat to human health through the food chain. The traditional herbal medicinal products (THMPs) with the marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis L., radix), which we can find in European pharmacies, [...] Read more.
The level of potentially toxic elements (PTE) in phytopharmaceuticals can be a potential threat to human health through the food chain. The traditional herbal medicinal products (THMPs) with the marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis L., radix), which we can find in European pharmacies, are widely used among the European population. However, recently, voices have been heard in the public about alleged PTE occurrence. In this article, the levels of Pb and Cd impurities were measured in samples of THMPs with marshmallow root available in Polish pharmacies (n = 10). Our proposed toxicological approach was based on two important issues. The first was PTE levels (Pb: 1.60–6.80 μg/L and Cd: 0.80–3.81 μg/L presented as raw results) in comparison with the permissible limit set by FAO/WHO for medicinal herbs (10,000 µg/kg for Pb and 300 µg/kg for Cd) and also ICH Q3D guidelines (0.5 μg/g for Pb and also Cd). The second was the estimation of exposure of investigated PTE in a single dose and daily dose for each THMP. It should be noted that the content of analyzed heavy metals in a single dose of analyzed products was very low, and hence is not a threat for patients. The obtained daily intake of heavy metals impurities in comparison with PDE values confirms the safety of all analyzed phytopharmaceuticals (all of the samples meet the standards of the ICH Q3D guideline). It can be summarized that each of the analyzed THMP with marshmallow root available in Poland are safe for the patients. Based on literature review, this article is the first study about heavy metals impurities level in final THMPs with A. officinalis L., radix (marshmallow root) available in European pharmacies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Recent Advances in Minimizing Cadmium Accumulation in Wheat
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 187; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040187 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 828
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd), a toxic heavy metal, affects the yield and quality of crops. Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) can accumulate high Cd content in the grain, which poses a major worldwide hazard to human health. Advances in our understanding of Cd toxicity for [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd), a toxic heavy metal, affects the yield and quality of crops. Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) can accumulate high Cd content in the grain, which poses a major worldwide hazard to human health. Advances in our understanding of Cd toxicity for plants and humans, different parameters influencing Cd uptake and accumulation, as well as phytoremediation technologies to relieve Cd pollution in wheat have been made very recently. In particular, the molecular mechanisms of wheat under Cd stress have been increasingly recognized. In this review, we focus on the recently described omics and functional genes uncovering Cd stress, as well as different mitigation strategies to reduce Cd toxicity in wheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Lights on Phytoremediation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
A Meta-Analysis of the Characterisations of Plastic Ingested by Fish Globally
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 186; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040186 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 871
Abstract
Plastic contamination in the environment is common but the characterisation of plastic ingested by fish in different environments is lacking. Hence, a meta-analysis was conducted to identify the prevalence of plastic ingested by fish globally. Based on a qualitative analysis of plastic size, [...] Read more.
Plastic contamination in the environment is common but the characterisation of plastic ingested by fish in different environments is lacking. Hence, a meta-analysis was conducted to identify the prevalence of plastic ingested by fish globally. Based on a qualitative analysis of plastic size, it was determined that small microplastics (<1 mm) are predominantly ingested by fish globally. Furthermore, our meta-analysis revealed that plastic fibres (70.6%) and fragments (19.3%) were the most prevalent plastic components ingested by fish, while blue (24.2%) and black (18.0%) coloured plastic were the most abundant. Polyethylene (15.7%) and polyester (11.6%) were the most abundant polymers. Mixed-effect models were employed to identify the effects of the moderators (sampling environment, plastic size, digestive organs examined, and sampling continents) on the prevalence of plastic shape, colour, and polymer type. Among the moderators, only the sampling environment and continent contributed to a significant difference between subgroups in plastic shape and polymer type. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Sequential Application of Column Leaching and Plant Uptake Tests to Assess the Effect of Various Commercial Amendments on Cu Immobilization in Ultra-High Cu-Contaminated Soil
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 185; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040185 - 10 Apr 2022
Viewed by 693
Abstract
The presence of copper (Cu)-contaminated soil has increased recently due to agricultural and industrial activities. Immobilization techniques using soil amendments have attracted significant research because of their cost-effectiveness, eco-friendliness, and community acceptance. This study used various commercial amendments, including magnetite (M), talc (T), [...] Read more.
The presence of copper (Cu)-contaminated soil has increased recently due to agricultural and industrial activities. Immobilization techniques using soil amendments have attracted significant research because of their cost-effectiveness, eco-friendliness, and community acceptance. This study used various commercial amendments, including magnetite (M), talc (T), activated carbon (AC), and cornstarch (CS), to immobilize Cu in soil contaminated by acidic waste materials with Cu in Korea (9546 ± 5 mg/kg). To evaluate the immobilizing effect of these amendments, this study applied a sequential process of column leaching and plant uptake tests to observe the ability of Cu to remain in soil with and without amendments through the Cu removal rate. The amendments were characterized by SEM, XRD, and specific surface area and applied to the soil at a rate of 2% (w/w). The first stage of evaluation, i.e., the column leaching test, was conducted by continuously pumping distilled water (DW) for 28 days, and the second stage of evaluation, i.e., the plant uptake test, was started immediately after by planting 10-day-old lettuce seedlings for 28 days. The experimental results showed that all of the amendments had a significant effect on Cu immobilization Cu in soil (p < 0.05), and the T treatment showed the highest efficiency in Cu immobilization, with only 47.0% Cu loss compared to 73.5% in the control soil when assessed by sequential column leaching and plant uptake tests. In conclusion, this study provides an effective assessment method to evaluate the effect of amendments on Cu immobilization in soil, as well as providing feasible options to immobilize Cu using commercial amendments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Contamination in Soil and Health Risks)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Detailed Speciation of Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds in Exhaust Emissions from Diesel and Gasoline Euro 5 Vehicles Using Online and Offline Measurements
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 184; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040184 - 08 Apr 2022
Viewed by 734
Abstract
The characterization of vehicle exhaust emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is essential to estimate their impact on the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and, more generally, air quality. This paper revises and updates non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) tailpipe emissions of [...] Read more.
The characterization of vehicle exhaust emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is essential to estimate their impact on the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and, more generally, air quality. This paper revises and updates non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) tailpipe emissions of three Euro 5 vehicles during Artemis cold urban (CU) and motorway (MW) cycles. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis is carried out for the first time on proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-ToF-MS) datasets of vehicular emission. Statistical analysis helped to associate the emitted VOCs to specific driving conditions, such as the start of the vehicles, the activation of the catalysts, or to specific engine combustion regimes. Merged PTR-ToF-MS and automated thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometer (ATD-GC-MS) datasets provided an exhaustive description of the NMVOC emission factors (EFs) of the vehicles, thus helping to identify and quantify up to 147 individual compounds. In general, emissions during the CU cycle exceed those during the MW cycle. The gasoline direct injection (GDI) vehicle exhibits the highest EF during both CU and MW cycles (252 and 15 mg/km), followed by the port-fuel injection (PFI) vehicle (24 and 0.4 mg/km), and finally the diesel vehicle (15 and 3 mg/km). For all vehicles, emissions are dominated by unburnt fuel and incomplete combustion products. Diesel emissions are mostly represented by oxygenated compounds (65%) and aliphatic hydrocarbons (23%) up to C22, while GDI and PFI exhaust emissions are composed of monoaromatics (68%) and alkanes (15%). Intermediate volatility organic compounds (IVOCs) range from 2.7 to 13% of the emissions, comprising essentially linear alkanes for the diesel vehicle, while naphthalene accounts up to 42% of the IVOC fraction for the gasoline vehicles. This work demonstrates that PMF analysis of PTR-ToF-MS datasets and GC-MS analysis of vehicular emissions provide a revised and deep characterization of vehicular emissions to enrich current emission inventories. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Impact of Car Traffic on Metal Accumulation in Soils and Plants Growing Close to a Motorway (Eastern Slovakia)
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 183; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040183 - 07 Apr 2022
Viewed by 600
Abstract
The paper evaluates the impact of car transport on the distribution and accumulation of Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd in soils, as well as in the vegetation near a newly built R4 motorway Košice-Milhosť (Slovakia). Samples were taken from surface humus layer (litter) [...] Read more.
The paper evaluates the impact of car transport on the distribution and accumulation of Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd in soils, as well as in the vegetation near a newly built R4 motorway Košice-Milhosť (Slovakia). Samples were taken from surface humus layer (litter) and 0–5, 10–20 and 20–30 cm mineral layers of Cambisol and Luvisol, as well as from assimilatory organs of Fraxinus excelsior, Quercus cerris, Quercus rubra, Negundo aceroides and Anthriscus sylvestris growing in the segments of geobiocoenosis Querci-Fageta Typica. The concentrations of total Zn and Cu were determined using SensAA AAS and the total concentrations of Cd and Pb using an instrument iCE 3000 Series AAS-F. Contamination factor (CF) values showed that surface humus layer of both soil units is moderately contaminated with Zn (1 ≤ CF ˂ 3), low contaminated with Cu (CF ˂ 1) and considerably contaminated with Pb and Cd (3 ≤ CF ˂ 6). Contamination of the surface humus layer of Luvisol with Pb is very high (CF > 6), while in the case of mineral layers with Zn and Cu it is low (CF ˂ 1). The mineral layers of Luvisol are moderately contaminated with Pb and Cd (1 ≤ CF ˂ 3) and Cambisol layers with Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd. For the group of 5 tested plants, higher values of toxic elements in the leaves were observed on Luvisol compared to Cambisol. However, only Cu conconcentrations in Luvisol significantly correlated with Cu concentrations in plants (r > 0.4 or r < 0.6). The same can be said for Zn concentrations in Cambisol (r > 0.8). The best indicator of the environment polluted by car traffic appears to be A. sylvestris. Transfer coefficients (TC ˃ 1) revealed that this species concentrated the most Zn and Cu on Luvisol and close to 1 are also the TC values found for Cu in F. excelsior and Q. cerris leaves taken on Luvisol. Lead is accumulated most efficiently in N. aceroides leaves and Cd in A. sylvestris leaves regardless of soil unit. Compared to background values, the total concentrations of trace elements in soils and plants were significantly higher and point to the pollution of forest ecosystems already in the initial stage of motorway operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Connections among Land Use, Water Quality, Biodiversity of Aquatic Invertebrates, and Fish Behavior in Amazon Rivers
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 182; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040182 - 07 Apr 2022
Viewed by 712
Abstract
Rivers in the Amazon have among the greatest biodiversity in the world. The Xingu River, one of the tributaries of the Amazon River, has a length of 1640 km, draining 510,000 km2 in one of the most protected regions on the planet. [...] Read more.
Rivers in the Amazon have among the greatest biodiversity in the world. The Xingu River, one of the tributaries of the Amazon River, has a length of 1640 km, draining 510,000 km2 in one of the most protected regions on the planet. The Middle Xingu region in Brazil has been highly impacted by mining and livestock farming, leading to habitat fragmentation due to altered water quality. Therefore, comparing two rivers (the preserved Xingu River and the impacted Fresco River) and their confluence, the aims of the present study were to (1) assess the land uses in the hydrographic basin; (2) determine the water quality by measurements of turbidity, total solids, and metals (Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn, and Hg); (3) compare the zooplankton biodiversity; and (4) to evaluate the avoidance behavior of fish (Astyanax bimaculatus) when exposed to waters from the Xingu and Fresco Rivers. Zooplankton were grouped and counted down to the family level. For the analysis of fish avoidance, a multi-compartment system was used. The forest class predominated at the study locations, accounting for 57.6%, 60.8%, and 63.9% of the total area at P1XR, P2FR, and P3XFR, respectively, although since 1985, at the same points, the forest had been reduced by 31.3%, 25.7%, and 27.9%. The Xingu River presented almost 300% more invertebrate families than the Fresco River, and the fish population preferred its waters (>50%). The inputs from the Fresco River impacted the water quality of the Xingu River, leading to reductions in local invertebrate biodiversity and potential habitats for fish in a typical case of habitat fragmentation due to anthropic factors. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Diurnal Variation in Biomarkers of Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Their Association with Oxidative Damage in Norwegian Adults: The EuroMix Study
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 181; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040181 - 07 Apr 2022
Viewed by 797
Abstract
Much evidence on the adverse health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has accumulated during recent decades. EDCs are commonly found in various foods and personal care products (PCP). Data documenting a diurnally varying EDC metabolism in humans is scarce. This study examined (i) [...] Read more.
Much evidence on the adverse health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has accumulated during recent decades. EDCs are commonly found in various foods and personal care products (PCP). Data documenting a diurnally varying EDC metabolism in humans is scarce. This study examined (i) the time-of-day effect on the diurnal magnitude and variance of urinary biomarkers of exposure to EDCs, and (ii) the association between EDC exposures and oxidative damage in a Norwegian adult subpopulation. This was a cross-sectional panel study using biobanked samples from the EuroMix project. During a typical weekday, participants were asked to collect all day’s urine voids and record dietary and PCP habitual uses in a diary. Collected time stamps of urine voids were classified into three distinct periods in the day (morning 6 a.m.–12 p.m., mid-day 12 p.m.–6 p.m., evening 6 p.m.–6 a.m.). Questionnaires regarding demographic characteristics, personal care product usage, and dietary habits were completed. Urinary levels of EDCs (phthalates, parabens, and bisphenols) were measured using mass spectrometry and adjusted for urinary volume using specific gravity. Urinary 4-hydroxynonenal (4HNE), a lipid peroxidation marker, was measured using an immunoassay kit. Linear mixed-effect models identified EDCs under the influence of a diurnal variation effect that was adjusted for dietary habits and PCP use and examined associations between EDC and 4HNE. p-values were FDR-adjusted. Most phthalates appeared to be diurnally varying with higher urinary levels towards the evening (q < 0.001) than those measured during mid-day; this strong diurnal variation effect was not present for parabens and bisphenols. Significant (q < 0.001) positive associations were observed between all phthalates, parabens, and bisphenols (except bisphenol S) and 4HNE. This study’s findings highlighted the diurnal variation of excretion for certain EDC, but not for others, in real-life conditions. The degree of EDC chronotoxicity in distinct diurnal windows of the day warrants further investigation with longitudinal human studies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Head-to-Head Study of Developmental Neurotoxicity and Resultant Phenotype in Rats: α-Hexabromocyclododecane versus Valproic Acid, a Recognized Model of Reference for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 180; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040180 - 06 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1221
Abstract
Evidence is now growing that exposure to environmental pollutants during the critical early-life period of brain development may contribute to the emergence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This study seeks to compare the developmental neurotoxicity of the α-isomer of hexabromocyclododecane (α-HBCDD), a persistent [...] Read more.
Evidence is now growing that exposure to environmental pollutants during the critical early-life period of brain development may contribute to the emergence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This study seeks to compare the developmental neurotoxicity of the α-isomer of hexabromocyclododecane (α-HBCDD), a persistent brominated flame retardant, to the valproic acid (VPA) model of ASD in rodents. Pregnant Wistar rats were divided into three groups: control, α-HBCDD (100 ng/kg/day p.o., GD0-PND21) and VPA (600 mg/kg i.p., GD12). Male offspring were tested for their neuromotor development from PND2-21. At PND21, brain functionality was assessed by measuring cytochrome oxidase activity (CO). Modifications in neuroglia and synaptic plasticity were evaluated in the cortex. Similar subtle behavioural changes related to neuromotor maturation and noise reaction were observed in both treated groups. At PND21, a reduction in CO activity was measured in the VPA group only, in specific areas including auditory nuclei, visual cortex, cingulate and frontal cortices. At the same age, α-HBCDD pointed out significant overexpression of cortical markers of synaptic plasticity while both treated groups showed a significant under expression of astrocyte proteins (S100-β and GFAP). Early-life exposure to a low dose of α-HBCDD may trigger neurobehavioural alterations in line with ASD. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Cytotoxic and Inflammatory Effects of Electronic and Traditional Cigarettes on Oral Gingival Cells Using a Novel Automated Smoking Instrument: An In Vitro Study
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 179; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040179 - 06 Apr 2022
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Information about the potential oral health effects of vaping from electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) is still sparse and inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to compare the safety and cytotoxicity of e-cig liquid aerosols versus traditional cigarette (t-cig) smoke on human epithelial oral [...] Read more.
Information about the potential oral health effects of vaping from electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) is still sparse and inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to compare the safety and cytotoxicity of e-cig liquid aerosols versus traditional cigarette (t-cig) smoke on human epithelial oral cells. T-cig smoke and e-cig aerosols were generated by a newly developed automated smoking instrument in order to simulate realistic user puffing behaviors. Air–liquid interface transwell cell cultures were exposed to standardized puff topography (puff duration: 2 s, puff volume: 35 mL, puff frequency: 1 puff every 60 s) of reference t-cigs or commercially available e-cigs at different air dilutions. Cell viability, morphology, and death rate were evaluated with MTT and TUNEL assays. The inflammatory cytokine gene expression of inflammatory genes was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR. E-cigs and t-cigs indicated similar adverse effects by enhancing cytotoxicity and cell death in a dose-dependent manner. E-cig aerosol and t-cig smoke treatment expressed upregulation of inflammatory cytokines up to 3.0-fold (p < 0.05). These results indicate that e-cig smoking may contribute to oral tissue–cell damage and tissue inflammation. Our approach allows the production of e-cig aerosol and t-cig smoke in order to identify harmful effects in oral tissues in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Foliar Application of Wood Distillate Alleviates Ozone-Induced Damage in Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 178; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040178 - 05 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 665
Abstract
This study examined whether foliar applications of wood distillate (WD) have a protective effect on photosynthesis and the antioxidant power of lettuce when exposed to an ecologically relevant O3 concentration. Seedlings of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) were fumigated daily with 60 [...] Read more.
This study examined whether foliar applications of wood distillate (WD) have a protective effect on photosynthesis and the antioxidant power of lettuce when exposed to an ecologically relevant O3 concentration. Seedlings of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) were fumigated daily with 60 ppb of O3 for 30 days, five hours per day. Once per week, 50% of the fumigated plants were treated with foliar applications of 0.2% WD, while control plants were treated with water. The results clearly showed the ability of WD to protect lettuce plants from ozone-induced damage. Specifically, WD-treated plants exhibited lower damage to the photosynthetic machinery, assessed through a series of chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, a higher chlorophyll content, higher antioxidant power, as well as antioxidant molecules, i.e., caffeic acid and quercetin, and higher biomass. Counteracting the overproduction of ozone-generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) is speculated to be the main mechanism by which WD protects the plant from ozone-induced damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Environmental Technologies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Study of Ultrastructural Abnormalities in the Renal Cells of Cyprinus carpio Induced by Toxicants
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 177; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040177 - 02 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
Transmission Electron Microscopic (TEM) assessments were performed on the renal cells of common carp Cyprinus carpio to observe the deleterious effects of two organophosphate insecticides, Phorate and Dimethoate. Pesticides such as Phorate and Dimethoate often pollute aquatic systems where they may negatively impact [...] Read more.
Transmission Electron Microscopic (TEM) assessments were performed on the renal cells of common carp Cyprinus carpio to observe the deleterious effects of two organophosphate insecticides, Phorate and Dimethoate. Pesticides such as Phorate and Dimethoate often pollute aquatic systems where they may negatively impact fish, but so far, the ultrastructural toxicity of these pesticides remains poorly understood. Here, we use Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) to determine how acute exposure to sublethal concentrations of these two pesticides may affect the renal cells of common carp Cyprinus carpio. For each insecticide, the fish were divided in four experimental conditions: a control and three different exposure concentrations of the pesticide. The Phorate treated fish were exposed to three sublethal concentrations of 0.2 mg/L, 0.4 mg/L, 0.6 mg/L for a duration of 24, 48 & 72 h. The dimethoate treated fish were exposed to three sublethal concentrations of 0.005 mL/L, 0.01 mL/L, 0.015 mL/L for a duration of 24, 48 and 72 h. The two-dimensional transmission electron microscopy revealed ultrastructural abnormalities in the treated fish renal cells when exposed to two toxicants including deformation in the glomerulus, vacuolization of cytoplasm, degenerative nucleus and damaged mitochondria. Furthermore, the ultrastructural abnormalities were more prominent with the increase in the concentrations of both the insecticides and also with their exposure period. Overall, these results provide important baseline data on the ultrastructural toxicity of Phorate and Dimethoate and will allow important follow-up studies to further elucidate the underlying cellular mechanisms of pesticide toxicity in wildlife. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution Associates the Risk of Benign Brain Tumor: A Nationwide, Population-Based, Cohort Study in Taiwan
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 176; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040176 - 02 Apr 2022
Viewed by 763
Abstract
Air pollutants as risk factors for benign brain tumor (BBT) remain unclear. Therefore, we conducted a nationwide retrospective cohort study by integrating the patients’ clinical data and daily air quality data to assess the environmental risk factors of BBT in Taiwan.Daily air quality [...] Read more.
Air pollutants as risk factors for benign brain tumor (BBT) remain unclear. Therefore, we conducted a nationwide retrospective cohort study by integrating the patients’ clinical data and daily air quality data to assess the environmental risk factors of BBT in Taiwan.Daily air quality data were categorized into quartiles (Q1 to Q4). The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) was evaluated by comparing the BBT incidence rate of the subjects in Q2–Q4 with that of the subjects in Q1 (the lowest concentration of air pollutants). A total of 161,213 subjects were enrolled in the study. Among the air pollutants tested, the aHR of BBT was significantly higher in the subjects who were exposed to the highest level (Q4) of CO (aHR 1.37, 95% CI 1.08–1.74), NO2 (aHR 1.40, 95% CI 1.09–1.78), and PM2.5 (aHR 1.30, 95% CI 1.02–1.65) than that in the subjects who were exposed to the lowest level (Q1). No significant risk association of BBT with SO2 and PM10 exposure was observed. The results revealed that long-term exposure to air pollutants, particularly CO, NO2, and PM2.5, is associated with the risk of BBT. Full article
Article
Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Cultured Shrimp and Aquaculture Sludge
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 175; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040175 - 02 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1121
Abstract
Shrimp is one of the major export products in South Asian countries and also an eminent source of nutrition for humans. Hence, any negative effect of this industry may affect not only the country’s economy but also human health. Therefore, in this study, [...] Read more.
Shrimp is one of the major export products in South Asian countries and also an eminent source of nutrition for humans. Hence, any negative effect of this industry may affect not only the country’s economy but also human health. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to assess heavy metal contamination and associated human health risks in cultured shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and aquaculture sludge collected from three shrimp farms of the Cox’s Bazar district, Bangladesh. The results showed that among the eight metals studied, Pb (17.75 ± 1.5 mg/kg) and Cu (9.43 ± 2.8 mg/kg) levels in all shrimp samples were higher than the recommended limit, whereas the concentrations of Cd (0.09 ± 0.03 mg/kg), Mn (4.83 ± 2.2 mg/kg), As (0.04 ± 0.02 mg/kg), Hg (0.02 ± 0.006 mg/kg), Zn (18.89 ± 2.9 mg/kg) and Cr (0.69 ± 0.6 mg/kg) were within the permissible level. The concentrations of Mn (1043.37 ± 59.8 mg/kg), Cr (30.38 ± 2.1 mg/kg), Zn (74.72 ± 1.13 mg/kg) and Cu (31.14 ± 1.4 mg/kg) in the sludge of all farms were higher than the recommended limit, whereas the concentrations of Pb (20.23 ± 1.9 mg/kg), Cd (0.09 ± 0.2 mg/kg), As (0.44 ± 0.34 mg/kg) and Hg (0.08 ± 0.02 mg/kg) in all sludge samples were lower than the threshold limits. However, the estimated daily intake (EDI), targeted hazard quotient (THQ) and hazard index (HI) assessed for potential human health risk implications suggested that Pb and Cr may pose non-carcinogenic health effects, although carcinogenic risks (CR) values were acceptable for consumers. However, the pollution load index (PLI) of the studied area was below 1, which indicates low deterioration of the area. Geoaccumulation index (Igeo) and contamination factor (CF) analyses revealed that study area is unpolluted and sludge is enriched with metals in the following order: Mn > Zn > Cu > Cr > Cd > Hg > Pb > As. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Antibiotics in Wastewater: Baseline of the Influent and Effluent Streams in Kuwait
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 174; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040174 - 01 Apr 2022
Viewed by 711
Abstract
This study provides baseline information on the concentrations of antibiotics in influent and effluent from two wastewater treatment plants in regular operation in the State of Kuwait. Wastewater samples were collected from the influent and effluent streams of two WWTPs, over four sampling [...] Read more.
This study provides baseline information on the concentrations of antibiotics in influent and effluent from two wastewater treatment plants in regular operation in the State of Kuwait. Wastewater samples were collected from the influent and effluent streams of two WWTPs, over four sampling campaigns and analyzed for a broad range of antibiotics. The mean influent concentrations of sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, and cefalexin were 852 ng/L, 672 ng/L, 592 ng/L), and 491 ng/L, respectively, at Umm Al Hayman WWTP. At the Kabd WWTP, the influent concentration of clarithromycin was highest with a mean of 949 ng/L, followed by ciprofloxacin (mean, 865 ng/L), cefalexin (mean, 598 ng/L), and sulfamethoxazole (mean, 520 ng/L). The dominant compounds in the effluent from Umm Al Hayman were sulfamethoxazole (mean, 212 ng/L), ciprofloxacin (mean, 153 ng/L), ofloxacin (mean, 120 ng/L), dimetridazole (mean, 96 ng/L), and metronidazole (mean, 93 ng/L). Whereas, at the Kabd WWTP, the dominant compounds were sulfamethoxazole (mean, 338 ng/L), dimetridazole (mean, 274 ng/L), cefalexin (mean, 213 ng/L), ciprofloxacin (mean, 192 ng/L), and clarithromycin (189 ng/L). The mean influent concentrations of all compounds were higher than those measured in the effluents. The concentrations of antibiotic compounds were not significantly different between the two WWTPs (p > 0.05). The removal efficiencies of the various antibiotics over the four sampling campaigns for the Kabd and Umm Hayman WWTPs ranged between 10.87 and 99.75% and also showed that they were variable and were compound dependent. The data clearly show that the concentrations of antibiotics measured in the influents of both WWTPs were highest in samples collected during the winter-summer (September samples) transition followed by the concentrations measured during the winter-summer (March samples) transition period. This is possibly linked to the increased prescription of these medications to treat infectious diseases and flu prevalent in Kuwait during these periods. This study provides the first reported concentrations of antibiotics in the dissolved aqueous influents and effluents of WWTPs in Kuwait. Additional studies are required to evaluate the environmental impact that antibiotic residues may cause since treated wastewater is used in irrigation, and often there are instances when untreated wastewater is discharged directly into the marine environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Chemistry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Exposure to Air Pollutants Increases the Risk of Chronic Rhinosinusitis in Taiwan Residents
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 173; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040173 - 01 Apr 2022
Viewed by 730
Abstract
Air pollution triggers a tissue-specific inflammatory response. However, studies on the association between exposure to air pollutants and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) risk remain limited. Thus, we conducted this nationwide study to define the association between air pollution and CRS. We used the Longitudinal [...] Read more.
Air pollution triggers a tissue-specific inflammatory response. However, studies on the association between exposure to air pollutants and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) risk remain limited. Thus, we conducted this nationwide study to define the association between air pollution and CRS. We used the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database (LHID) and Taiwan Air Quality-Monitoring Database (TAQMD) to conduct a population-based cohort study. Study participants were recruited from the LHID, a data subset of the National Health Insurance Research Database that randomly sampled one million individuals. TAQMD has been an air pollutant database since 1998. In univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models, adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) and 95% CIs of CRS in five air pollutants were accounted. We adjusted for age, sex, urbanization level, insurance fee, comorbidities, and pollutant levels in the multivariate model. The total number of participants enrolled in this study was 160,504. The average age was 40.46 ± 14.62 years; males constituted 43.8% of the total participants. The percentages of alcoholism, tobacco dependence, and COPD were 1.5%, 2.8%, and 28.3%, respectively. After adjustment for age, sex, urbanization level, insurance fee, and comorbidities, the highest levels of air pollutants, including PM2.5 (aHR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.06–1.22), NO2 (aHR = 1.07, 95% CI = 1.00–1.15), and PM10 (aHR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.05–1.21) had a significantly greater CRS risk; we selected the lower concentration as the reference but did not correlate with CO. We found a significantly increased risk of CRS in residents with air pollutant exposure. Full article
Review
Titanium and Zinc Based Nanomaterials in Agriculture: A Promising Approach to Deal with (A)biotic Stresses?
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 172; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040172 - 31 Mar 2022
Viewed by 832
Abstract
Abiotic stresses, such as those induced by climatic factors or contaminants, and biotic stresses prompted by phytopathogens and pests inflict tremendous losses in agriculture and are major threats to worldwide food security. In addition, climate changes will exacerbate these factors as well as [...] Read more.
Abiotic stresses, such as those induced by climatic factors or contaminants, and biotic stresses prompted by phytopathogens and pests inflict tremendous losses in agriculture and are major threats to worldwide food security. In addition, climate changes will exacerbate these factors as well as their negative impact on crops. Drought, salinity, heavy metals, pesticides, and drugs are major environmental problems that need deep attention, and effective and sustainable strategies to mitigate their effects on the environment need to be developed. Besides, sustainable solutions for agrocontrol must be developed as alternatives to conventional agrochemicals. In this sense, nanotechnology offers promising solutions to mitigate environmental stress effects on plants, increasing plant tolerance to the stressor, for the remediation of environmental contaminants, and to protect plants against pathogens. In this review, nano-sized TiO2 (nTiO2) and ZnO (nZnO) are scrutinized, and their potential to ameliorate drought, salinity, and xenobiotics effects in plants are emphasized, in addition to their antimicrobial potential for plant disease management. Understanding the level of stress alleviation in plants by these nanomaterials (NM) and relating them with the application conditions/methods is imperative to define the most sustainable and effective approaches to be adopted. Although broad-spectrum reviews exist, this article provides focused information on nTiO2 and nZnO for improving our understanding of the ameliorative potential that these NM show, addressing the gaps in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Nanomaterials in the Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Biomonitoring Pilot Study in Workers from a Paints Production Plant Exposed to Pigment-Grade Titanium Dioxide (TiO2)
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 171; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040171 - 31 Mar 2022
Viewed by 903
Abstract
Among particulate matter composing paints, titanium dioxide (TiO2) forms about 20% of the final suspension. Although TiO2 is broadly used in many applications, TiO2 powders represent an established respiratory hazard for workers with long-term exposure. In 35 workers of [...] Read more.
Among particulate matter composing paints, titanium dioxide (TiO2) forms about 20% of the final suspension. Although TiO2 is broadly used in many applications, TiO2 powders represent an established respiratory hazard for workers with long-term exposure. In 35 workers of a paints production plant (15 exposed and 20 not exposed), we assessed pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-10, IL-17), surfactant protein D (SP-D) and Krebs von den Lungen-6 glycoprotein (KL-6) in exhaled breath condensate (EBC). In urine samples, we measured 8-isoprostane (Isop) and Malondialdehyde (MDA) as biomarkers of oxidative stress, and Titanium (Ti-U) as a biomarker of exposure. Health status, habits and occupational history were recorded. Airborne respirable dusts and Ti were quantified. Particle number concentration and average diameter (nm) were detected by a NanoTracer™ monitoring device. Ti was measurable in filters collected at the respiratory breathing zone (0.11–0.44 µg/m3 8-h TWA). IL-1β and IL-10 values were significantly higher in exposed workers, whereas SP-D was significantly lower (p < 0.001). KL-6 was significantly higher in workers than in controls (p < 0.01). MDA levels were significantly increased in exposed workers and were positively correlated with Ti-U. Exposure to TiO2 in paint production is associated with the subtle alterations of lung pathobiology. These findings suggest the need for an integrated approach relying on both personal exposure and biomarker assessment to improve the hazard characterisation in occupational settings. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
A Critical Scoping Review of Pesticide Exposure Biomonitoring Studies in Overhead Cultures
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040170 - 31 Mar 2022
Viewed by 698
Abstract
The exposure of operators, workers, residents and bystanders to pesticides is of high potential concern. Yet, reports on pesticide residues in the environment and near treated fields often spark debates if such findings might indicate a health risk. Although the underlying models are [...] Read more.
The exposure of operators, workers, residents and bystanders to pesticides is of high potential concern. Yet, reports on pesticide residues in the environment and near treated fields often spark debates if such findings might indicate a health risk. Although the underlying models are considered conservative, there are only limited field data on systemic exposure available. As a first step to improve the situation, we conducted a scoping review of state-of-the-art pesticide exposure biomonitoring studies in operators, workers, residents or bystanders. In contrast to existing reviews, we focused on target cultures of potential high pesticide exposure such as tree-grown produce, vine or hops. The search was conducted in Web of Science, Scopus and PubMed. Out of 17 eligible articles, a total of 11 studies met our search criteria, and 6 of them quantified the systemic exposure of humans. The analysis revealed that exposure was mainly driven by application of pesticides and reentry work, resulting in a higher exposure of operators and workers than of residents and bystanders. In nearly all cases, the systemic exposure was below the relevant toxicological reference values. The studies were subsequently analyzed to identify key criteria for a reliable design of a biomonitoring study on pesticide exposure. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Potassium and Silicon Synergistically Increase Cadmium and Lead Tolerance and Phytostabilization by Quinoa through Modulation of Physiological and Biochemical Attributes
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10040169 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 629
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) contaminated soils have increased recently, resulting in limited crop productivity. The ameliorative role of potassium (K) and silicon (Si) is well established in plants under heavy metals stress; however, their combined role under the co-contamination of Cd and [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) contaminated soils have increased recently, resulting in limited crop productivity. The ameliorative role of potassium (K) and silicon (Si) is well established in plants under heavy metals stress; however, their combined role under the co-contamination of Cd and Pb is not well understood. We hypothesized that the synergistic application of K and Si would be more effective than their sole treatment for increasing the Pb and Cd tolerance and phytostabilization potential of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). In the current study, quinoa genotype ‘Puno’ was exposed to different concentrations of Cd (0, 200 µM), Pb (0, 500 µM) and their combination with or without 10 mM K and 1.0 mM Si supplementation. The results revealed that the combined stress of Cd and Pb was more detrimental than their separate application to plant biomass (66% less than the control), chlorophyll content and stomatal conductance. Higher accumulation of Pb and Cd led to a limited uptake of K and Si in quinoa plants. The supplementation of metal-stressed plants with 10 mM K and 1.0 mM Si, particularly in combination, caused a significant increase in the growth, stomatal conductance and pigment content of plants. The combined stress of Cd and Pb resulted in an overproduction of H2O2 (11-fold) and TBARS (13-fold) and a decrease in membrane stability (59%). Oxidative stress induced by metals was lessened by 8-fold, 9-fold, 7-fold and 11-fold increases in SOD, CAT, APX and POD activities, respectively, under the combined application of K and Si. It is concluded that the exogenous supply of K and Si in combination is very promising for increasing Cd and Pb tolerance and the phytostabilization potential of quinoa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Phytoremediation of Contaminated Soil)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop