Current ecological risk assessment (ERA) schemes focus mainly on bioaccumulation and toxicity of pollutants in individual organisms. Ecological models are tools mainly used to assess ecological risks of pollutants to ecosystems, communities, and populations. Their main advantage is the relatively direct integration of the species sensitivity to organic pollutants, the fate and mechanism of action in the environment of toxicants, and life-history features of the individual organism of concern. To promote scientific consensus on ERA schemes, this review is intended to provide a guideline on short-term ERA involving dioxin chemicals and to identify key findings for exposure assessment based on policies of different agencies. It also presents possible adverse effects of dioxins on ecosystems, toxicity equivalence methodology, environmental fate and transport modeling, and development of stressor-response profiles for dioxin-like chemicals.
The contamination of aquatic environments with microplastics (MPs) has spurred an unprecedented interest among scientific communities to investigate their impacts on biota. Despite the rapid growth in the number of studies on the aquatic toxicology of MPs, controversy over the fate and biological impacts of MPs is increasingly growing mainly due to the absence of standardized laboratory bioassays. Given the complex features of MPs, such as the diversity of constituent polymers, additives, shapes and sizes, as well as continuous changes in the particle buoyancy as a result of fouling and defouling processes, it is necessary to modify conventional bioassay protocols before employing them for MP toxicity testings. Moreover, several considerations including quantification of chemicals on/in the MP particles, choice of test organisms, approaches for renewing the test solution, aggregation prevention, stock solution preparation, and units used to report MP concentration in the test solution should be taken into account. This critical review suggests some important strategies to help conduct environmentally-relevant MP bioassays.
An investigation on the toxicological assessment of 10 choline chloride (ChCl)-based deep eutectic solvents (DESs) towards four fungi strains and Cyprinus carpio fish was conducted. ChCl was combined with materials from different chemical groups such as alcohols, sugars, acids and others to form DESs. The study was carried out on the individual DES components, their aqueous mixture before DES formation and their formed DESs. The agar disc diffusion method was followed to investigate their toxicity on four fungi strains selected as a model of eukaryotic microorganisms (Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Aspergillus niger, Lentinus tigrinus and Candida cylindracea). Among these DESs, ChCl:ZnCl2 exhibited the highest inhibition zone diameter towards the tested fungi growth in vitro, followed by the acidic group (malonic acid and p-toluenesulfonic acid). Another study was conducted to test the acute toxicity and determine the lethal concentration at 50 % (LC50) of the same DESs on C. carpio fish. The inhibition range and LC50 of DESs were found to be different from their individual components. DESs were found to be less toxic than their mixture or individual components. The LC50 of ChCl:MADES is much higher than that of ChCl:MAMix. Moreover, the DESs acidic group showed a lower inhibition zone on fungi growth. Thus, DESs should be considered as new components with different physicochemical properties and toxicological profiles, and not merely compositions of compounds.
A new mathematical model has been developed that expresses the toxicities (EC₅₀ values) of a wide variety of ionic liquids (ILs) towards the freshwater flea Daphnia magna by means of a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR). The data were analyzed using summed contributions from the cations, their alkyl substituents and anions. The model employed multiple linear regression analysis with polynomial model using the MATLAB software. The model predicted IL toxicities with R²=0.974 and standard error of estimate of 0.028. This model affords a practical, cost-effective and convenient alternative to experimental ecotoxicological assessment of many ILs.
In the present research work, a comprehensive tool for cumulative ecotoxicological impact assessment of ionic liquids (ILs) to aquatic life has been constructed. Using the probabilistic tool, impact of individual ILs to a group of aquatic species is assessed by chemical toxicity distributions (CTDs). The impact of group of ILs to individual aquatic species is assessed by species sensitivity distributions (SSDs). Acute toxicity data of imidazolium ILs with chloride (Cl-), bromide (Br-), tetrafluoroborate (BF4-), and hexafluorophosphate (PF6-) anions are used in CTD and SSD. Allowable concentrations for a group of Imidazolium ILs with the same mode of action (SMOA) to five aquatic species; Daphnia magna, Vibrio fischeri, Algae, Zebrafish, and Escherichia coli are estimated by CTDs. It has been concluded that 1-Butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (BMIMCl) possess the lowest risk at an acceptable risk value of 750 × 10-5 mmol/L which is 12% less than that of OMIMCl. Furthermore, the sensitivities towards the aquatic species reveal that from the studied ILs, BMIMBF4 with an acceptable risk value of 3200 × 10-5 mmol/L is the most suitable IL towards the selected aquatic species. Hence, current work provides cumulative allowable concentrations and acceptable risk values for ILs which release to aquatic compartment of ecosystem.
Microplastics have been recognized as emerging pollutants with potential ecotoxicological impact. The contribution of washing machine use to microplastics emission at the household level is still not completely understood. This study aims to characterize microplastic emissions in laundry water from household washing machines from Greater Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). Microplastics were found between 6.9E-3 and 0.183 g/m3 in laundry water at household level. Microplastic shapes of fiber and fragment consist of polyester, nylon, and acrylic with average length of 2258.59 μm and were also identified in these laundry water samples. Questionnaire survey findings demonstrated fabric properties and washing parameters both likely contribute to microplastic emissions in laundry water and, ultimately, wastewater treatment plant influent. The impact of fabric properties and washing parameter factors on microplastic emission in laundry water at the household level merits further investigation. The findings of this study demonstrated the potential of laundry water as a microplastic source at the household level within a developing country.
Ionic liquids (ILs) are class of solvent whose properties can be modified and tuned to meet industrial requirements. However, a high number of potentially available cations and anions leads to an even increasing members of newly-synthesized ionic liquids, adding to the complexity of understanding on their impact on aquatic organisms. Quantitative structure activity∖property relationship (QSAR∖QSPR) technique has been proven to be a useful method for toxicity prediction. In this work,σ-profile descriptors were used to build linear and non-linear QSAR models to predict the ecotoxicities of a wide variety of ILs towards bioluminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri. Linear model was constructed using five descriptors resulting in high accuracy prediction of 0.906. The model performance and stability were ascertained using k-fold cross validation method. The selected descriptors set from the linear model was then used in multilayer perceptron (MLP) technique to develop the non-linear model, the accuracy of the model was further enhanced achieving high correlation coefficient with the lowest value being 0.961 with the highest mean square error of 0.157.
The concentrations of nine trace metals (Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Rb, Cd, and Pb) were measured in different tissues of two pelagic and five demersal fish species collected from the Miri coast, Sarawak. The sequence of accumulation of trace metals in different tissues were: liver > gill > gonad > muscle. Zn (301.00 μg g-1) and Cd (0.10 μg g-1) was the maximum and minimum accumulated elements. According to the Hazard Index calculation, none of the elements will pose any adverse health effects to humans for both ingestion rates (normal and habitual fish consumers) proposed by USEPA, except for Pb and Cd in certain fish species. On the basis of the results, the level of elements in the edible muscle tissues of all the analyzed fish species from the Miri coast are below the maximum permissible limits of Malaysian and International seafood guideline values and safe for consumers.
The application of organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs) increased gradually because of the rise in global food demand that triggered the agriculture sector to increase the production, leading to OPP residues in the surface water. This study elucidated the presence of OPPs and estimated its ecological risk in the riverine ecosystem of the urbanised Linggi River, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. The OPP concentration in surface water was determined using solid-phase extraction method and high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detection. Further, the ecological risk was estimated by using the risk quotient (RQ) method. The three OPPs, i.e. chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and quinalphos were detected with mean concentrations of 0.0275 µg/L, 0.0328 µg/L, and 0.0362 µg/L, respectively. The OPPs were at high risk (in general and worst cases) under acute exposure. The estimated risk of diazinon was observed as medium for general (RQm = 0.5857) and high for worst cases (RQex = 4.4678). Notably, the estimated risk for chlorpyrifos was high for both general and worst cases (RQm = 1.9643 and RQex = 11.5643) towards the aquatic ecosystem of the Linggi River. Chronic risk of quinalphos remains unknown because of the absence of toxicity endpoints. This study presented clear knowledge regarding OPP contamination and possible risk for aquatic ecosystems. Hence, OPPs should be listed as one of the main priority contaminants in pesticide mitigation management in the future.
The genotoxic effects of increasing concentrations (below lethal concentration [LC₅₀]) of cadmium ([Cd] 0.1, 1 and 10 mg/L), copper ([Cu] 0.2, 2 and 20 mg/L) and zinc ([Zn] 0.5, 5 and 50 mg/L) on Chironomus kiiensis were evaluated using alkaline comet assay after exposure for 24 h. Both the tail moment and the olive tail moment showed significant differences between the control and different concentrations of Cd, Cu and Zn (Kruskal-Wallis, p < 0.05). The highest concentration of Cd was associated with higher DNA damage to C. kiiensis larvae compared with Cu and Zn. The potential genotoxicity of these metals to C. kiiensis was Cd > Cu > Zn.
The distribution, sources, and human health risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface sediment and the edible tissue of short-neck clam (Paphia undulata) from mudflat ecosystem in the west coast of Malaysia were investigated. The concentrations of ∑16 PAHs varied from 347.05 to 6207.5 and 179.32 to 1657.5 ng g-1 in sediment and short-neck clam samples, respectively. The calculations of mean PEL quotients (mean-PELQs) showed that the ecological risk of PAHs in the sediment samples was low to moderate-high level, whereas the total health risk through ingestion and dermal contact was considerably high. The PAHs biota sediment accumulation factors data for short-neck clam were obtained in this study, indicating a preferential accumulation of lower molecular weight PAHs. The source apportionment of PAHs in sediment using positive matrix factorization model indicated that the highest contribution to the PAHs was from diesel emissions (30.38%) followed by oil and oil derivate and incomplete coal combustion (23.06%), vehicular emissions (16.43%), wood combustion (15.93%), and natural gas combustion (14.2%). A preliminary evaluation of human health risk using chronic daily intake, hazard index, benzo[a]pyrene-equivalent (BaPeq) concentration, and the incremental lifetime cancer risk indicated that PAHs in short-neck clam would induce potential carcinogenic effects in the consumers.
The constant increase of heavy metals into the aqueous environment has become a contemporary global issue of concern to government authorities and the public. The study assesses the concentration, distribution, and risk assessment of heavy metals in freshwater from the Linggi River, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Species sensitivity distribution (SSD) was utilised to calculate the cumulative probability distribution of toxicity from heavy metals. The aquatic organism's toxicity data obtained from the ECOTOXicology knowledgebase (ECOTOX) was used to estimate the predictive non-effects concentration (PNEC). The decreasing sequence of hazardous concentration (HC5) was manganese > aluminium > copper > lead > arsenic > cadmium > nickel > zinc > selenium, respectively. The highest heavy metal concentration was iron with a mean value of 45.77 μg L-1, followed by manganese (14.41 μg L-1) and aluminium (11.72 μg L-1). The mean heavy metal pollution index (HPI) value in this study is 11.52, implying low-level heavy metal pollutions in Linggi River. The risk quotient (RQ) approaches were applied to assess the potential risk of heavy metals. The RQ shows a medium risk of aluminium (RQm = 0.1125) and zinc (RQm = 0.1262); a low risk of arsenic (RQm = 0.0122) and manganese (RQm = 0.0687); and a negligible risk of cadmium (RQm = 0.0085), copper (RQm = 0.0054), nickel (RQm = 0.0054), lead (RQm = 0.0016) and selenium (RQm = 0.0012). The output of this study produces comprehensive pollution risk, thus provides insights for the legislators regarding exposure management and mitigation.
An ideal model organism for neurotoxicology research should meet several characteristics, such as low cost and amenable for high throughput testing. Javanese medaka (JM) has been widely used in the ecotoxicological studies related to the marine and freshwater environment, but rarely utilized for biomedical research. Therefore, in this study, the applicability of using JM in the neurotoxicology research was assessed using biochemical comparison with an established model organism, the zebrafish. Identification of biochemical changes due to the neurotoxic effects of ethanol and endosulfan was assessed using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis. Treatment with ethanol affected the level of lipids, proteins, glycogens and nucleic acids in the brain of JM. Meanwhile, treatment with endosulfan showed alteration in the level of lipids and nucleic acids. For the zebrafish, exposure to ethanol affected the level of protein, fatty acid and amino acid, and exposure to endosulfan induced alteration in the fatty acids, amino acids, nucleic acids and protein in the brain of zebrafish. The sensitive response of the JM toward chemicals exposure proved that it was a valuable model for neurotoxicology research. More studies need to be conducted to further develop JM as an ideal model organism for neurotoxicology research.
Soil columns were collected from a blueberry field, and insecticide solutions were allowed to leach through these columns. Insecticides from four different chemical classes were applied at two different rates: the concentration at which the insecticides wash off blueberries under rainfall conditions and the labeled field rate at which they are sprayed. The soil columns were divided into thirds; top, middle and bottom. Soil bioassays using Eisenia foetida Savigny, as an indicator species, were set up to determine the toxicity of the insecticides at a top, middle and bottom layer of the soil column. The mass of E. foetida was also measured after the bioassay experiment was completed. The concentrations at which insecticides wash-off of blueberries from rainfall were not lethal to E. foetida. In order to support mortality data, insecticide residues were quantified in the soil layers for each insecticide. Under field rate leaching conditions, carbaryl showed the high levels of toxicity in the top and middle layers of soil suggesting that it has the highest risk to organisms from leaching. This study will help blueberry growers make informed decisions about insecticide use, which can help minimize contamination of the environment.