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Journal: Environmental health and toxicology


Potential environmental risks caused by chemicals that could be released from a recycled plastic product were assessed using a screening risk assessment procedure for chemicals in recycled products.

Concepts: Assessment, Probabilistic risk assessment, Environmentalism, Risk assessment, Risk management, Risk


A method of rapidly decaying livestock carcasses is sought through Corine glutamicum, and furthermore, lysosomes are used to remove toxic microorganisms from livestock carcasses. The landfill was constructed on a laboratory scale. Optimized growth conditions of C. glutamicum that could quickly decay livestock carcasses were determined. Lysosomes were extracted from egg whites and used to treat contaminated soil to confirm their antimicrobial activities. Condition of C. glutamicum was activated, regardless both anaerobic and aerobic conditions, soil exists and, to be close to the optimum conditions as possible temperatures, moisture content was about 1/10 of the culture. Lysosomes were found to be effective in clearing soil contamination. C. glutamicum can accelerate the decay of livestock carcasses. A combination of C. glutamicum and lysomes could be used to treat soil contamination caused by decomposition of livestock.


The committee of the United Nations for the Evaluation of Radiation Effects UNSCEAR as well as the International Commission on Radiological Protection ICRP up to now have derived a very low risk for hereditary diseases in humans from experiments in mice. They claim that there are no human data to refer to, and missing effects in the acute exposed Japanese A-bomb survivors are erroneously generalized to situations of chronic exposure. We made a compilation of findings about early deaths, congenital malformations, Downs syndrome, cancer and other effects, which were observed in humans after the exposure of parents. A few pointers are available from occupationally exposed groups, and much information can be drawn from studies in populations exposed by Chernobyl fallout and from the descendants of liquidators. Nearly all types of hereditary defects were found, which are to be expected ac-cording to our general knowledge of mechanism. We show that the official risk estimates are much too low.

Concepts: Congenital, Congenital disorder, Disease, Radiation poisoning, Radiation, Nuclear weapon, Cancer, United Nations


Cigarette smoke is a major risk factor for several diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. The toxicity of the cigarette smoke can be determined in vitro. The cytotoxicity test of the cigarette smoke is commonly conducted using the cigarette smoke condensate (CSC) and cigarette smoke extract (CSE). The CSC and CSE methods are well known for sampling of the particles and water-soluble compounds in the cigarette smoke, respectively. In this study, the CSC and CSE were analyzed by using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) system equipped with a wax column for separation of the volatile organic compounds. The cytotoxic effect of the CSC and CSE were evaluated thoroughly by comparing the analytical results of the CSC and CSE samples. The total concentration of the volatile organic compounds detected in the CSC sample was similar to that in the CSE sample based on the peak area. Except for the dimethyl sulfoxide solvent, nicotine had the highest concentration in the CSC sample, while acetonitrile had the highest concentration in the CSE sample. The compositions were as follows: (1) CSC sample: 55.8% nicotine, 18.0% nicotyrine, 3.20% 1,2,3-propanetriol, triacetate, 1.28% ethyl chloride, 1.22% phenol, etc. and (2) CSE sample: 18.7% acetonitrile, 18.0% acetone, 12.5% 2-hydroxy-2-methyl-propanenitrile, 8.98% nicotine, 5.86% nicotyrine, etc. In this manner, to accurately examine the cytotoxicity of the cigarette smoke using CSC or CSE, the components and their concentrations in the CSC and CSE samples should be considered.


Municipal sewage treatment plants (STPs) are thought to be important point sources of microplastics in freshwater systems and many peer-reviewed articles have been published on this issue since mid-2010s. In this review, we summarize existing literature on the occurrence of microplastics in STPs and experimental methods used for isolation and identification of microplastics. The number concentrations of microplastics in STP influents were 15.1-640 L-1 , whereas those in the STP effluents were highly variable and ranged from not detectable to 65 L-1 . For most of cases, conventional STPs are removing microplastics very effectively. Fragments and fibers are dominant shapes of microplastics. Thermoplastics (polyethylene and polypropylene) and polyester are the predominant materials recovered. Although further research is needed, size distribution of microplastics in STPs is likely to follow a power law, implying that different studies using different size cutoffs may be compared after establishing a power law relationship.


Several studies showed that the inflammatory and fibrotic responses induced by polyhexamethylene guanidine phosphate (PHMG-p) were similar to those observed for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in South Korea in 2011. “Omic” technologies can be used to understand the mechanisms underlying chemical-induced diseases. Studies to determine the toxicity of chemicals may facilitate understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of pulmonary fibrosis at a molecular level; thus, such studies may provide information about the toxic characteristics of various substances. In this review, we have outlined the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and described pulmonary fibrosis induced by various chemicals, including bleomycin, paraquat, and PHMG-p, based on the results of studies performed to date.


Epigenetics, potentially heritable changes in genome function that occur without alterations to DNA sequence, is an important but understudied component of ecotoxicology studies. A wide spectrum of environmental challenge, such as temperature, stress, diet, toxic chemicals, are known to impact on epigenetic regulatory mechanisms. Although the role of epigenetic factors in certain biological processes, such as tumourigenesis, has been heavily investigated, in ecotoxicology field, epigenetics still have attracted little attention. In ecotoxicology, potential role of epigenetics in multi- and transgenerational phenomenon to environmental stressors needs to be unrevealed. Natural variation in the epigenetic profiles of species in responses to environmental stressors, nature of dose-response relationships for epigenetic effects, and how to incorporate this information into ecological risk assessment should also require attentions. In this review, we presented the available information on epigenetics in ecotoxicological context. For this, we have conducted a systemic review on epigenetic profiling in response to environmental stressors, mostly chemical exposure, in model organisms, as well as, in ecotoxicologically relevant wildlife species.


Ginkgo biloba is a dioecious tree that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for about 5,000 years. In previous studies on ginkgo biloba extract (EGb761) using in vitro systems, we confirmed that EGb761 has biphasic effects on estrogenicity. In this study, we evaluated the agonistic and antagonistic activities of EGb761 using a uterotrophic assay in immature female rats. To evaluate agonistic and antagonistic effects of EGb761 on uterus, 21-day-old immature Sprague-Dawley (SD) female rats were treated with EGb761 (100, 200, or 400 mg/kg) by oral gavage, 10 μg/kg of estradiol (E2) or 1 mg/kg tamoxifen ™ by subcutaneous injection, or with EGb761 plus E2 or TM for 3 consecutive days. At the end of the treatment period, animals were sacrificed and their body weights and organ weights (liver, lung, spleen and kidney) were measured. In addition, estrogen-related gene expressions (IGFBP-1 in liver and CaBP-9 in uterus) were determined. During the experiment, no animal showed clinical signs, a change in body weight or died. EGb761 treatment alone had no effect on absolute/relative uterine weight, luminal epithelial cell height (LECH, μm), or luminal circumference (LC, μm). In addition, uterine weights, LECHs, and LC induced by E2 or TM were not significantly changed by EGb761 at any dose. These results collectively suggested EGb761 has no agonistic/antagonistic effects in utero.


Studies on the trend of air pollution in Tehran as one of the most polluted metropolis in the world are scant, and today Tehran is known for its high levels of air pollution. In this study, the trend of air pollution concentration was evaluated over the past 10 years (2004-2015). The data were collected from 22 stations of the Air Quality Control Company. Daily concentrations of CO, NO2, SO2, O3, PM10 were analyzed using SPSS 16 based on the statistical method, repeated measures, and intra-group test to determine the pattern of each pollutant changes. As a result of the 22 air pollution monitoring stations, NO2 and SO2 concentrations have been increasing over the period of 10 years. The highest anomaly is related to SO2. The CO concentrations represent a descending pattern over the period, although there was a slight increase in 2013 and 2014. The ozone concentrations declined in the following years. The average concentration of PM10 has been rising during the period. Also we evaluated changes of each pollutant in different months and calculated the number of clean, healthy, unhealthy days for sensitive, unhealthy, very unhealthy, and dangerous groups. The study findings illustrated the necessity for larger investment in air pollution abatement. Over ally, trends have been progressed to worsening, the number of healthy days has been declined and the number of unhealthy days has been increased in recent years.


Several epidemiological studies have reported an association between environmental pollution and various health conditions in individuals residing in industrial complexes. To evaluate the effects of pollution from industrial complex on human health, we performed a pooled analysis of environmental epidemiologic monitoring data for residents living near national industrial complexes in Korea. The respiratory and allergic symptoms and the prevalence of acute and chronic diseases, including cancer, were used as the outcome variables for health effects. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the relationship between exposure to pollution from industrial complexes and health conditions. After adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, occupational exposure, level of education, and body mass index, the residents near the industrial complexes were found to have more respiratory symptoms, such as cough (OR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.06-1.31) and sputum production (OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.03-1.24), and symptoms of atopic dermatitis (OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.01-1.21). Among residents of the industrial complexes, the prevalence of acute eye disorders was approximately 40% higher (OR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.04-1.84) and the prevalence of lung and uterine cancer was 3.45 times and 1.88 times higher, respectively, than those among residents of the control area. This study showed that residents living in the vicinity of industrial complexes have a high risk of acute and chronic diseases including respiratory and allergic conditions. These results can be used as basic objective data for developing health management measures for individuals residing near industrial complexes.

Concepts: Toxicology, Medicine, Allergy, Regression analysis, Disease, Logistic regression, Asthma, Epidemiology