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Toxics, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2014), Pages 1-91

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Levels of Metals in Hair in Childhood: Preliminary Associations with Neuropsychological Behaviors
Toxics 2014, 2(1), 1-16; doi:10.3390/toxics2010001
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 20 December 2013 / Accepted: 20 December 2013 / Published: 30 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (463 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For more than 100 years, an electrochemical plant has been operating in Flix (Catalonia, Spain) by the Ebro River. Its activities have originated a severe accumulation of environmental contaminants (metals, organochlorinated pesticides and radionuclides) in sediments of the Flix reservoir, while mercury [...] Read more.
For more than 100 years, an electrochemical plant has been operating in Flix (Catalonia, Spain) by the Ebro River. Its activities have originated a severe accumulation of environmental contaminants (metals, organochlorinated pesticides and radionuclides) in sediments of the Flix reservoir, while mercury (Hg) has been also frequently released to the air. Environmental exposure to industrial pollutants has been associated with decreased intelligence and behavioral problems. In the present study, we assessed, in 53 children living in the village of Flix and the surroundings, the relationships between the concentrations of a number of trace elements (As, Be, Cd, Cs, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn, Tl, U and V) in hair and the levels of testosterone in blood, with respect to potential neuropsychological alterations. Lead (Pb) and Hg showed the highest mean concentrations in hair samples. However, the current Hg levels were lower than those previously found in children living in the same zone, while the concentration of the remaining elements was similar to those reported in the scientific literature. The outcomes of certain neuropsychological indicators showed a significant correlation with metals, such as Pb and uranium (U). More specifically, these elements were negatively correlated with working memory and hit reaction time, suggesting impulsivity. In summary, although Pb and U concentrations in hair were within standard levels, both metals could be correlated with certain, but minor, neuropsychological alterations in the childhood population of Flix. These findings should be confirmed by future birth cohort studies, with bigger study populations and using more complex statistical analyses, focused on human exposure to these specific elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment of Environmental Contaminants)
Open AccessArticle Risk Mitigation Measures: An Important Aspect of the Environmental Risk Assessment of Pharmaceuticals
Toxics 2014, 2(1), 35-49; doi:10.3390/toxics2010035
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 13 January 2014 / Accepted: 16 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (612 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Within EU marketing authorization procedures of human and veterinary medicinal products (HMP and VMP), an environmental risk assessment (ERA) has to be performed. In the event that an unacceptable environmental risk is identified, risk mitigation measures (RMM) shall be applied in order [...] Read more.
Within EU marketing authorization procedures of human and veterinary medicinal products (HMP and VMP), an environmental risk assessment (ERA) has to be performed. In the event that an unacceptable environmental risk is identified, risk mitigation measures (RMM) shall be applied in order to reduce environmental exposure to the pharmaceutical. Within the authorization procedures of HMP, no RMM have been applied so far, except for specific precautions for the disposal of the unused medicinal product or waste materials. For VMP, a limited number of RMM do exist. The aim of this study was to develop consistent and efficient RMM. Therefore, existing RMM were compiled from a summary of product characteristics of authorized pharmaceuticals, and new RMM were developed and evaluated. Based on the results, appropriate RMM were applied within the authorization procedures of medicinal products. For HMP, except for the existing precautions for disposal, no further reasonable measures could be developed. For VMP, two specific precautions for disposal and 17 specific precautions for use in animals were proposed as RMM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment of Environmental Contaminants)

Review

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Open AccessReview Chemical Atherogenesis: Role of Endogenous and Exogenous Poisons in Disease Development
Toxics 2014, 2(1), 17-34; doi:10.3390/toxics2010017
Received: 18 November 2013 / Revised: 6 January 2014 / Accepted: 10 January 2014 / Published: 22 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (616 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemical atherogenesis is an emerging field that describes how environmental pollutants and endogenous toxins perturb critical pathways that regulate lipid metabolism and inflammation, thus injuring cells found within the vessel wall. Despite growing awareness of the role of environmental pollutants in the [...] Read more.
Chemical atherogenesis is an emerging field that describes how environmental pollutants and endogenous toxins perturb critical pathways that regulate lipid metabolism and inflammation, thus injuring cells found within the vessel wall. Despite growing awareness of the role of environmental pollutants in the development of cardiovascular disease, the field of chemical atherogenesis can broadly include both exogenous and endogenous poisons and the study of molecular, biochemical, and cellular pathways that become dysregulated during atherosclerosis. This integrated approach is logical because exogenous and endogenous toxins often share the same mechanism of toxicity. Chemical atherogenesis is a truly integrative discipline because it incorporates concepts from several different fields, including biochemistry, chemical biology, pharmacology, and toxicology. This review will provide an overview of this emerging research area, focusing on cellular and animal models of disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Figures

Open AccessReview The Chemistry and Toxicology of Depleted Uranium
Toxics 2014, 2(1), 50-78; doi:10.3390/toxics2010050
Received: 14 January 2014 / Revised: 10 February 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2014 / Published: 17 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (877 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural uranium is comprised of three radioactive isotopes: 238U, 235U, and 234U. Depleted uranium (DU) is a byproduct of the processes for the enrichment of the naturally occurring 235U isotope. The world wide stock pile contains some 1½ [...] Read more.
Natural uranium is comprised of three radioactive isotopes: 238U, 235U, and 234U. Depleted uranium (DU) is a byproduct of the processes for the enrichment of the naturally occurring 235U isotope. The world wide stock pile contains some 1½ million tons of depleted uranium. Some of it has been used to dilute weapons grade uranium (~90% 235U) down to reactor grade uranium (~5% 235U), and some of it has been used for heavy tank armor and for the fabrication of armor-piercing bullets and missiles. Such weapons were used by the military in the Persian Gulf, the Balkans and elsewhere. The testing of depleted uranium weapons and their use in combat has resulted in environmental contamination and human exposure. Although the chemical and the toxicological behaviors of depleted uranium are essentially the same as those of natural uranium, the respective chemical forms and isotopic compositions in which they usually occur are different. The chemical and radiological toxicity of depleted uranium can injure biological systems. Normal functioning of the kidney, liver, lung, and heart can be adversely affected by depleted uranium intoxication. The focus of this review is on the chemical and toxicological properties of depleted and natural uranium and some of the possible consequences from long term, low dose exposure to depleted uranium in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Heavy Metals Toxicology)
Open AccessReview Methods for Assessing Basic Particle Properties and Cytotoxicity of Engineered Nanoparticles
Toxics 2014, 2(1), 79-91; doi:10.3390/toxics2010079
Received: 3 January 2014 / Revised: 5 March 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 19 March 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (435 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increasing penetration of materials and products containing engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) to the market is posing many concerns regarding their environmental impacts. To assess these impacts, there is an urgent need of techniques for determining the health-related properties of ENPs and standards [...] Read more.
The increasing penetration of materials and products containing engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) to the market is posing many concerns regarding their environmental impacts. To assess these impacts, there is an urgent need of techniques for determining the health-related properties of ENPs and standards for assessing their toxicity. Although a wide number of systems for characterizing nanoparticles in different media (i.e., gases and liquids) is already commercially available, the development of protocols for determining the cytotoxicity of ENPs is still at an infant stage, drawing upon existing knowledge from general toxicology. In this regard, differences in the preparation of ENP-containing solutions for cytotoxicity testing, as well as in the steps involved in the tests can result in significant deviations and inconsistencies between studies. In an attempt to highlight the urgent need for assessing the environmental impacts of nanotechnology, this article provides a brief overview of the existing methods for determining health-related properties of ENPs and their cytotoxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment of Environmental Contaminants)

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