ResearchPad - pollutants https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Stereoscopic optimization of industrial structure of the equipment manufacturing industry from the perspective of collaborative emissions reduction: Evidence from China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11230 Equipment manufacturing industry is one of the major industries of the Chinese economy. Previous researches have revealed that the industry has dilemmas of unreasonable industrial structure and high pollution. Using the data of 30 provinces in 2006-2015 in China, this study calculated a comprehensive pollution indicator when estimating the possible pollution reduction brought by the optimization of industrial structure and then evaluated the reasonable level of capital allocation of provinces and industries by using the methods of nonlinear programming and stochastic frontier method. Under the target of collaborative emission reduction, the results show that the optimized output of China’s equipment manufacturing industry could be increased by 5.42%, the energy intensity could be reduced by about 10.4%, and the comprehensive emission intensity could be reduced by about 7.47%. Due to the industry heterogeneity and regional heterogeneity, industrial capacity should be transferred between industries and regions. Since the capital investment in the equipment manufacturing industry is significantly mismatched between industries and regions, the capital allocation of provincial industries in China needs to be adjusted properly. This study provides theoretically and practically reference for collaborative pollution reduction, industry restructure, spatial layout and capital investment, which contributes to achieving the stereoscopic optimization of equipment manufacturing industry.

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<![CDATA[Microplastic-mediated transport of PCBs? A depuration study with Daphnia magna]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac14d5eed0c484d0811f

The role of microplastic (MP) as a carrier of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to aquatic organisms has been a topic of debate. However, the reverse POP transport can occur if relative contaminant concentrations are higher in the organism than in the microplastic. We evaluated the effect of microplastic on the PCB removal in planktonic animals by exposing the cladoceran Daphnia magna with a high body burden of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB 18, 40, 128 and 209) to a mixture of microplastic and algae; daphnids exposed to only algae served as the control. As the endpoints, we used PCB body burden, growth, fecundity and elemental composition (%C and %N) of the daphnids. In the daphnids fed with microplastic, PCB 209 was removed more efficiently, while there was no difference for any other congeners and ΣPCBs between the microplastic-exposed and control animals. Also, higher size-specific egg production in the animals carrying PCB and receiving food mixed with microplastics was observed. However, the effects of the microplastic exposure on fecundity were of low biological significance, because the PCB body burden and the microplastic exposure concentrations were greatly exceeding environmentally relevant concentrations.

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<![CDATA[Microplastics in Mediterranean Sea: A protocol to robustly assess contamination characteristics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b267ad5eed0c484289b52

The study of microplastic pollution involves multidisciplinary analyses on a large number of microplastics. Therefore, providing an overview of plastic pollution is time consuming and, despite high throughput analyses, remains a major challenge. The objective of this study is to propose a protocol to determine how many microplastics must be analyzed to give a representative view of the particle size distribution and chemical nature, and calculate the associated margin error. Based on microplastic data from Tara Mediterranean campaign, this approach is explained through different examples. In this particular case, the results show that only 3% of the collected microplastics need to be analyzed to give a precise view on the scale of the North West Mediterranean Basin (error <5%), and 17.7% to give an overview manta per manta (error <10%). This approach could be an important practical contribution to microplastic studies.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of displacement ventilation systems in airborne infection risk in hospital rooms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5260d5eed0c4842bc715

Efficient ventilation in hospital airborne isolation rooms is important vis-à-vis decreasing the risk of cross infection and reducing energy consumption. This paper analyses the suitability of using a displacement ventilation strategy in airborne infection isolation rooms, focusing on health care worker exposure to pathogens exhaled by infected patients. The analysis is mainly based on numerical simulation results obtained with the support of a 3-D transient numerical model validated using experimental data. A thermal breathing manikin lying on a bed represents the source patient and another thermal breathing manikin represents the exposed individual standing beside the bed and facing the patient. A radiant wall represents an external wall exposed to solar radiation. The air change efficiency index and contaminant removal effectiveness indices and inhalation by the health care worker of contaminants exhaled by the patient are considered in a typical airborne infection isolation room set up with three air renewal rates (6 h-1, 9 h-1 and 12 h-1), two exhaust opening positions and two health care worker positions. Results show that the radiant wall significantly affects the air flow pattern and contaminant dispersion. The lockup phenomenon occurs at the inhalation height of the standing manikin. Displacement ventilation renews the air of the airborne isolation room and eliminates the exhaled pollutants efficiently, but is at a disadvantage compared to other ventilation strategies when the risk of exposure is taken into account.

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<![CDATA[Psychosomatic symptoms during South East Asian haze crisis are related to changes in cerebral hemodynamics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d0122d5eed0c4840389a2

Objectives

Forest fires in South Asia lead to widespread haze, where many healthy individuals develop psychosomatic symptoms. We investigated the effects of haze exposure on cerebral hemodynamics and new symptoms. We hypothesised that vasoactive substances present in the haze, would lead to vasodilation of cerebral vasculature, thereby altering cerebral hemodynamics, which in turn may account for new psychosomatic symptoms.

Methods

Seventy-four healthy volunteers were recruited, and serial transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography was performed to record blood flow parameters of bilateral middle cerebral arteries (MCA). The first TCD was performed in an air-conditioned environment. It was repeated outdoors after the participants spent 30-minutes in the haze environment. The prevailing level of pollutant standards index (PSI) was recorded. Appropriate statistical analyses were performed to compare cerebral hemodynamics at baseline and after haze exposure in all participants. Subgroup analyses were then employed to compare the findings between symptomatic and asymptomatic participants.

Results

Study participants’ median age was 30 years (IQR 26–34), and new psychosomatic symptoms were reported by 35 (47.3%). There was a modest but significant decrease in pulsatility index (PI) and resistivity index (RI) in the left MCA after haze exposure (PI: p = 0.026; RI: p = 0.021). When compared to baseline parameters, haze exposure resulted in significantly lower mean PI (p = 0.001) and RI (p = 0.001) in symptomatic patients, but this difference was not present in asymptomatic patients (PI: p = 0.919; RI: p = 0.970).

Conclusion

Haze causes significant alterations in cerebral hemodynamics in susceptible individuals, probably responsible for various psychosomatic symptoms. The prognostic implications and health effects of haze require evaluation in a larger study.

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<![CDATA[Toxicity of phthalate esters to lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and the soil microbial community under different soil conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254552d5eed0c48442c4fb

Phthalate esters (PAEs) are globally used plasticizers and typical endocrine disruptors that can readily accumulate in agricultural products and represent a substantial risk to human health via the food chain. The range of soil properties has an important influence on the expression of PAE toxicity, and the mechanisms by which soil physical and chemical properties affect the expression of toxicity of target PAEs to plants and microorganisms requires further investigation. Important soil factors affecting the eco-toxicological effects of two typical PAEs, di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), on lettuce (Lactuca sativa) in a spiked soil were investigated in the present study. Soil at various pH values was spiked with three PAE concentrations (1, 5 and 20 mg DnBP or DEHP kg-1 soil), organic matter contents and water holding contents to simulate the greenhouse soil environment for 30 days. Their influence on the biomass, photosynthetic pigment contents, various physiological changes and soil microbial communities was determined as endpoints. The toxicity to lettuce of DnBP was higher than that of DEHP in the soil and soil pH was the most important factor affecting their single toxicity, followed by soil organic matter content and soil moisture content in agreement with the Biolog test results. Under different soil conditions total protein, total soluble sugar and free amino acid contents were positively correlated with concentrations of the target PAEs, but leaf area, biomass, •O2- activity, vitamin C content and soil microbial diversity indices showed the opposite trend. Chlorophyll a and carotenoid contents were more inhibited by DnBP together with impacts on indices of soil microbial diversity. The results suggest that soil conditions in greenhouses directly explain the patterns of pollutant toxicity displayed and impact the quantity, quality and food safety of vegetables produced using highly intensive production systems.

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<![CDATA[WRF-Chem modeling of particulate matter in the Yangtze River Delta region: Source apportionment and its sensitivity to emission changes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ed6d5eed0c484d2878b

China has been troubled by high concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) for many years. Up to now, the pollutant sources are not yet fully understood and the control approach still remains highly uncertain. In this study, four month-long (January, April, July and October in 2015) WRF-Chem simulations with different sensitivity experiments were conducted in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region of eastern China. The simulated results were compared with abundant meteorological and air quality observations at 138 stations in 26 YRD cities. Our model well captured magnitudes and variations of the observed PM2.5, with the normal mean biases (NMB) less than ±20% for 19 out of the 26 YRD cities. A series of sensitivity simulations were conducted to quantify the contributions from individual source sectors and from different regions to the PM2.5 in the YRD region. The calculated results show that YRD local source contributed 64% of the regional PM2.5 concentration, while outside transport contributed the rest 36%. Among the local sources, industry activity was the most significant sector in spring (25%), summer (36%) and fall (33%), while residential source was more important in winter (38%). We further conducted scenario simulations to explore the potential impacts of varying degrees of emission controls on PM2.5 reduction. The result demonstrated that regional cooperative control could effectively reduce the PM2.5 level. The proportionate emission controls of 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% could reduce the regional mean PM2.5 concentrations by 10%, 19%, 28%, 37% and 46%, respectively, and for places with higher ambient concentrations, the mitigation efficiency was more significant. Our study on source apportionment and emission controls can provide useful information on further mitigation actions.

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<![CDATA[Association of colorectal polyps and cancer with low-dose persistent organic pollutants: A case-control study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf1bd5eed0c484913f1d

Background

Low-dose persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have recently been linked to immunosenescence, a key mechanism in carcinogenesis, as well as many aging-related chronic diseases. Since feces are the main excretion route of POPs, the large intestine is a potential target organ for these pollutants. We performed a case-control study to evaluate whether exposure to low-dose POPs is related to the risk of colorectal polyps and cancer.

Methods

A total of 277 participants were recruited from one hospital: 99 cancer patients, 102 polyp patients, and 76 control subjects. As typical examples of POPs, we measured the serum concentrations of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Results

Across the tertiles of the summary measure of POPs, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of colorectal polyps and cancer were 2.8 (1.2–6.8) (Ptrend = 0.01) and 3.0 (1.0–8.8) (Ptrend = 0.02), respectively, for subjects in the highest tertile. When OCPs and PCBs were analyzed separately, OCPs were linked to an increased risk of both polyps and cancer; the adjusted ORs were 2.3 (0.9–5.7) (Ptrend = 0.05) for polyps and 3.6 (1.1–11.8) (Ptrend< 0.01) for cancer. However, PCBs were only significantly associated with a high risk of polyps but not cancer; the adjusted OR was 2.8 (1.2–6.6) (Ptrend = 0.01).

Conclusion

Chronic exposure to low-dose POPs may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal polyps and cancer. Our findings suggest the carcinogenic potential of strong lipophilic chemical mixtures such as POPs which are accumulated in adipose tissue, released to circulation, and eliminated through feces.

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<![CDATA[Exploitation of Trametes versicolor for bioremediation of endocrine disrupting chemicals in bioreactors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be02bd

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are environmental contaminants causing increasing concerns due to their toxicity, persistence and ubiquity. In the present study, degradative capabilities of Trametes versicolor, Pleurotus ostreatus and Phanerochaete chrysosporium to act on five EDCs, which represent different classes of chemicals (phenols, parabens and phthalate) and were first applied as single compounds, were assessed. T. versicolor was selected due to its efficiency against target EDCs and its potentialities were exploited against a mixture of EDCs in a cost-effective bioremediation process. A fed-batch approach as well as a starvation strategy were applied in order to reduce the need for input of ‘fresh’ biomass, and avoid the requirement for external nutrients. The fungus was successfully operated in two different bioreactors over one week. Semi-batch cultures were carried out by daily adding a mixture of EDCs to the bioreactors in a total of five consecutive degradation cycles. T. versicolor was able to efficiently remove all compounds during each cycle converting up to 21 mg L-1 day-1 of the tested EDCs. The maintained ability of T. versicolor to remove EDCs without any additional nutrients represents the main outcome of this study, which enables to forecast its application in a water treatment process.

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<![CDATA[Simultaneous Simulations of Uptake in Plants and Leaching to Groundwater of Cadmium and Lead for Arable Land Amended with Compost or Farmyard Manure]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1dab0ee8fa60b7da27

The water budget of soil, the uptake in plants and the leaching to groundwater of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) were simulated simultaneously using a physiological plant uptake model and a tipping buckets water and solute transport model for soil. Simulations were compared to results from a ten-year experimental field study, where four organic amendments were applied every second year. Predicted concentrations slightly decreased (Cd) or stagnated (Pb) in control soils, but increased in amended soils by about 10% (Cd) and 6% to 18% (Pb). Estimated plant uptake was lower in amended plots, due to an increase of Kd (dry soil to water partition coefficient). Predicted concentrations in plants were close to measured levels in plant residues (straw), but higher than measured concentrations in grains. Initially, Pb was mainly predicted to deposit from air into plants (82% in 1998); the next years, uptake from soil became dominating (30% from air in 2006), because of decreasing levels in air. For Cd, predicted uptake from air into plants was negligible (1–5%).

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<![CDATA[Understanding Plant-Microbe Interactions for Phytoremediation of Petroleum-Polluted Soil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da26ab0ee8fa60b80b2d

Plant-microbe interactions are considered to be important processes determining the efficiency of phytoremediation of petroleum pollution, however relatively little is known about how these interactions are influenced by petroleum pollution. In this experimental study using a microcosm approach, we examined how plant ecophysiological traits, soil nutrients and microbial activities were influenced by petroleum pollution in Phragmites australis, a phytoremediating species. Generally, petroleum pollution reduced plant performance, especially at early stages of plant growth. Petroleum had negative effects on the net accumulation of inorganic nitrogen from its organic forms (net nitrogen mineralization (NNM)) most likely by decreasing the inorganic nitrogen available to the plants in petroleum-polluted soils. However, abundant dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) was found in petroleum-polluted soil. In order to overcome initial deficiency of inorganic nitrogen, plants by dint of high colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi might absorb some DON for their growth in petroleum-polluted soils. In addition, through using a real-time polymerase chain reaction method, we quantified hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial traits based on their catabolic genes (i.e. alkB (alkane monooxygenase), nah (naphthalene dioxygenase) and tol (xylene monooxygenase) genes). This enumeration of target genes suggests that different hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria experienced different dynamic changes during phytoremediation and a greater abundance of alkB was detected during vegetative growth stages. Because phytoremediation of different components of petroleum is performed by different hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, plants’ ability of phytoremediating different components might therefore vary during the plant life cycle. Phytoremediation might be most effective during the vegetative growth stages as greater abundances of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria containing alkB and tol genes were observed at these stages. The information provided by this study enhances our understanding of the effects of petroleum pollution on plant-microbe interactions and the roles of these interactions in the phytoremediation of petroleum-polluted soil.

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<![CDATA[Soil features in rookeries of Antarctic penguins reveal sea to land biotransport of chemical pollutants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5aafcd32463d7e7f05234543

The main soil physical-chemical features, the concentrations of a set of pollutants, and the soil microbiota linked to penguin rookeries have been studied in 10 selected sites located at the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula (Maritime Antarctica). This study aims to test the hypothesis that biotransport by penguins increases the concentration of pollutants, especially heavy metals, in Antarctic soils, and alters its microbiota. Our results show that penguins do transport certain chemical elements and thus cause accumulation in land areas through their excreta. Overall, a higher penguin activity is associated with higher organic carbon content and with higher concentrations of certain pollutants in soils, especially cadmium, cooper and arsenic, as well as zinc and selenium. In contrast, in soils that are less affected by penguins’ faecal depositions, the concentrations of elements of geochemical origin, such as iron and cobalt, increase their relative weighted contribution, whereas the above-mentioned pollutants maintain very low levels. The concentrations of pollutants are far higher in those penguin rookeries that are more exposed to ship traffic. In addition, the soil microbiota of penguin-influenced soils was studied by molecular methods. Heavily penguin-affected soils have a massive presence of enteric bacteria, whose relative dominance can be taken as an indicator of penguin influence. Faecal bacteria are present in addition to typical soil taxa, the former becoming dominant in the microbiota of penguin-affected soils, whereas typical soil bacteria, such as Actinomycetales, co-dominate the microbiota of less affected soils. Results indicate that the continuous supply by penguin faeces, and not the selectivity by increased pollutant concentrations is the main factor shaping the soil bacterial community. Overall, massive penguin influence results in increased concentrations of certain pollutants and in a strong change in taxa dominance in the soil bacterial community.

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<![CDATA[Cadmium Induces Transcription Independently of Intracellular Calcium Mobilization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3eab0ee8fa60bd5b0e

Background

Exposure to cadmium is associated with human pathologies and altered gene expression. The molecular mechanisms by which cadmium affects transcription remain unclear. It has been proposed that cadmium activates transcription by altering intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) and disrupting calcium-mediated intracellular signaling processes. This hypothesis is based on several studies that may be technically problematic; including the use of BAPTA chelators, BAPTA-based fluorescent sensors, and cytotoxic concentrations of metal.

Methodology/Principal Finding

In the present report, the effects of cadmium on [Ca2+]i under non-cytotoxic and cytotoxic conditions was monitored using the protein-based calcium sensor yellow cameleon (YC3.60), which was stably expressed in HEK293 cells. In HEK293 constitutively expressing YC3.60, this calcium sensor was found to be insensitive to cadmium. Exposing HEK293::YC3.60 cells to non-cytotoxic cadmium concentrations was sufficient to induce transcription of cadmium-responsive genes but did not affect [Ca2+]i mobilization or increase steady-state mRNA levels of calcium-responsive genes. In contrast, exposure to cytotoxic concentrations of cadmium significantly reduced intracellular calcium stores and altered calcium-responsive gene expression.

Conclusions/Significance

These data indicate that at low levels, cadmium induces transcription independently of intracellular calcium mobilization. The results also support a model whereby cytotoxic levels of cadmium activate calcium-responsive transcription as a general response to metal-induced intracellular damage and not via a specific mechanism. Thus, the modulation of intracellular calcium may not be a primary mechanism by which cadmium regulates transcription.

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<![CDATA[Collaborative Emission Reduction Model Based on Multi-Objective Optimization for Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollutants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ecab0ee8fa60b6caf5

CO2 emission influences not only global climate change but also international economic and political situations. Thus, reducing the emission of CO2, a major greenhouse gas, has become a major issue in China and around the world as regards preserving the environmental ecology. Energy consumption from coal, oil, and natural gas is primarily responsible for the production of greenhouse gases and air pollutants such as SO2 and NOX, which are the main air pollutants in China. In this study, a mathematical multi-objective optimization method was adopted to analyze the collaborative emission reduction of three kinds of gases on the basis of their common restraints in different ways of energy consumption to develop an economic, clean, and efficient scheme for energy distribution. The first part introduces the background research, the collaborative emission reduction for three kinds of gases, the multi-objective optimization, the main mathematical modeling, and the optimization method. The second part discusses the four mathematical tools utilized in this study, which include the Granger causality test to analyze the causality between air quality and pollutant emission, a function analysis to determine the quantitative relation between energy consumption and pollutant emission, a multi-objective optimization to set up the collaborative optimization model that considers energy consumption, and an optimality condition analysis for the multi-objective optimization model to design the optimal-pole algorithm and obtain an efficient collaborative reduction scheme. In the empirical analysis, the data of pollutant emission and final consumption of energies of Tianjin in 1996–2012 was employed to verify the effectiveness of the model and analyze the efficient solution and the corresponding dominant set. In the last part, several suggestions for collaborative reduction are recommended and the drawn conclusions are stated.

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<![CDATA[Impairment of the Bacterial Biofilm Stability by Triclosan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da03ab0ee8fa60b74c75

The accumulation of the widely-used antibacterial and antifungal compound triclosan (TCS) in freshwaters raises concerns about the impact of this harmful chemical on the biofilms that are the dominant life style of microorganisms in aquatic systems. However, investigations to-date rarely go beyond effects at the cellular, physiological or morphological level. The present paper focuses on bacterial biofilms addressing the possible chemical impairment of their functionality, while also examining their substratum stabilization potential as one example of an important ecosystem service. The development of a bacterial assemblage of natural composition – isolated from sediments of the Eden Estuary (Scotland, UK) – on non-cohesive glass beads (<63 µm) and exposed to a range of triclosan concentrations (control, 2 – 100 µg L−1) was monitored over time by Magnetic Particle Induction (MagPI). In parallel, bacterial cell numbers, division rate, community composition (DGGE) and EPS (extracellular polymeric substances: carbohydrates and proteins) secretion were determined. While the triclosan exposure did not prevent bacterial settlement, biofilm development was increasingly inhibited by increasing TCS levels. The surface binding capacity (MagPI) of the assemblages was positively correlated to the microbial secreted EPS matrix. The EPS concentrations and composition (quantity and quality) were closely linked to bacterial growth, which was affected by enhanced TCS exposure. Furthermore, TCS induced significant changes in bacterial community composition as well as a significant decrease in bacterial diversity. The impairment of the stabilization potential of bacterial biofilm under even low, environmentally relevant TCS levels is of concern since the resistance of sediments to erosive forces has large implications for the dynamics of sediments and associated pollutant dispersal. In addition, the surface adhesive capacity of the biofilm acts as a sensitive measure of ecosystem effects.

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<![CDATA[A Comparison of Urinary Mercury between Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Control Children]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da09ab0ee8fa60b76de5

Background

Urinary mercury concentrations are used in research exploring mercury exposure. Some theorists have proposed that autism is caused by mercury toxicity. We set out to test whether mercury concentrations in the urine of children with autism were significantly increased or decreased compared to controls or siblings.

Methods

Blinded cohort analyses were carried out on the urine of 56 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) compared to their siblings (n = 42) and a control sample of children without ASD in mainstream (n = 121) and special schools (n = 34).

Results

There were no statistically significant differences in creatinine levels, in uncorrected urinary mercury levels or in levels of mercury corrected for creatinine, whether or not the analysis is controlled for age, gender and amalgam fillings.

Conclusions

This study lends no support for the hypothesis of differences in urinary mercury excretion in children with autism compared to other groups. Some of the results, however, do suggest further research in the area may be warranted to replicate this in a larger group and with clear measurement of potential confounding factors.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of Gene Expression Profiles in Chromate Transformed BEAS-2B Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da46ab0ee8fa60b8be05

Background

Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a potent human carcinogen. Occupational exposure has been associated with increased risk of respiratory cancer. Multiple mechanisms have been shown to contribute to Cr(VI) induced carcinogenesis, including DNA damage, genomic instability, and epigenetic modulation, however, the molecular mechanism and downstream genes mediating chromium's carcinogenicity remain to be elucidated.

Methods/Results

We established chromate transformed cell lines by chronic exposure of normal human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells to low doses of Cr(VI) followed by anchorage-independent growth. These transformed cell lines not only exhibited consistent morphological changes but also acquired altered and distinct gene expression patterns compared with normal BEAS-2B cells and control cell lines (untreated) that arose spontaneously in soft agar. Interestingly, the gene expression profiles of six Cr(VI) transformed cell lines were remarkably similar to each other yet differed significantly from that of either control cell lines or normal BEAS-2B cells. A total of 409 differentially expressed genes were identified in Cr(VI) transformed cells compared to control cells. Genes related to cell-to-cell junction were upregulated in all Cr(VI) transformed cells, while genes associated with the interaction between cells and their extracellular matrices were down-regulated. Additionally, expression of genes involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis were also changed.

Conclusion

This study is the first to report gene expression profiling of Cr(VI) transformed cells. The gene expression changes across individual chromate exposed clones were remarkably similar to each other but differed significantly from the gene expression found in anchorage-independent clones that arose spontaneously. Our analysis identified many novel gene expression changes that may contribute to chromate induced cell transformation, and collectively this type of information will provide a better understanding of the mechanism underlying chromate carcinogenicity.

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<![CDATA[Impact of Environmental Parameters on Marathon Running Performance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb4971

Purpose

The objectives of this study were to describe the distribution of all runners' performances in the largest marathons worldwide and to determine which environmental parameters have the maximal impact.

Methods

We analysed the results of six European (Paris, London, Berlin) and American (Boston, Chicago, New York) marathon races from 2001 to 2010 through 1,791,972 participants' performances (all finishers per year and race). Four environmental factors were gathered for each of the 60 races: temperature (°C), humidity (%), dew point (°C), and the atmospheric pressure at sea level (hPA); as well as the concentrations of four atmospheric pollutants: NO2 – SO2 – O3 and PM10 (μg.m−3).

Results

All performances per year and race are normally distributed with distribution parameters (mean and standard deviation) that differ according to environmental factors. Air temperature and performance are significantly correlated through a quadratic model. The optimal temperatures for maximal mean speed of all runners vary depending on the performance level. When temperature increases above these optima, running speed decreases and withdrawal rates increase. Ozone also impacts performance but its effect might be linked to temperature. The other environmental parameters do not have any significant impact.

Conclusions

The large amount of data analyzed and the model developed in this study highlight the major influence of air temperature above all other climatic parameter on human running capacity and adaptation to race conditions.

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<![CDATA[Immunogenicity of a Promiscuous T Cell Epitope Peptide Based Conjugate Vaccine against Benzo[a]pyrene: Redirecting Antibodies to the Hapten]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9fab0ee8fa60ba5314

The prototype polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) is an environmental pollutant and food contaminant of epidemiological importance. To protect against adverse effects of this ubiquitous carcinogen, we developed an immunoprophylactic strategy based on a B[a]P-protein conjugate vaccine to induce B[a]P specific antibodies (Grova et al., Vaccine. 2009;27:4142–51). Here, we investigated in mice the efficacy of B[a]P-peptide conjugates based on promiscuous T cell epitopes (TCE) into further improve this approach. We showed that B[a]P-peptide conjugates induced very different levels of hapten-specific antibodies with variable functional efficacy, depending on the carrier. In some cases peptide carriers induced a more efficient antibody response against B[a]P than tetanus toxoid as a protein carrier, with the capacity to sequester more B[a]P in the blood. Reducing the carrier size to a single TCE can dramatically shift the antibody bias from the carrier to the B[a]P. Conjugates based on the TCE FIGITEL induced the best anti-hapten response and no antibodies against the carrier peptide. Some peptide conjugates increased the selectivity of the antibodies for the activated metabolite 7,8-diol-B[a]P and B[a]P by one or two orders of magnitude. The antibody efficacy was also demonstrated in their ability to sequester B[a]P in the blood and modulate its faecal excretion (15–56%). We further showed that pre-existing immunity to the carrier from which the TCE was derived did not reduce the immunogenicity of the peptide conjugate. In conclusion, we showed that a vaccination against B[a]P using promiscuous TCEs of tetanus toxin as carriers is feasible even in case of a pre-existing immunity to the toxoid and that some TCE epitopes dramatically redirect the antibody response to the hapten. Further studies to demonstrate a long-term protection of an immunoprophylactic immunisation against B[a]P are warranted.

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<![CDATA[Estimating and Predicting Metal Concentration Using Online Turbidity Values and Water Quality Models in Two Rivers of the Taihu Basin, Eastern China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da51ab0ee8fa60b8ddf9

Turbidity (T) has been widely used to detect the occurrence of pollutants in surface water. Using data collected from January 2013 to June 2014 at eleven sites along two rivers feeding the Taihu Basin, China, the relationship between the concentration of five metals (aluminum (Al), titanium (Ti), nickel (Ni), vanadium (V), lead (Pb)) and turbidity was investigated. Metal concentration was determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The linear regression of metal concentration and turbidity provided a good fit, with R2 = 0.86–0.93 for 72 data sets collected in the industrial river and R2 = 0.60–0.85 for 60 data sets collected in the cleaner river. All the regression presented good linear relationship, leading to the conclusion that the occurrence of the five metals are directly related to suspended solids, and these metal concentration could be approximated using these regression equations. Thus, the linear regression equations were applied to estimate the metal concentration using online turbidity data from January 1 to June 30 in 2014. In the prediction, the WASP 7.5.2 (Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program) model was introduced to interpret the transport and fates of total suspended solids; in addition, metal concentration downstream of the two rivers was predicted. All the relative errors between the estimated and measured metal concentration were within 30%, and those between the predicted and measured values were within 40%. The estimation and prediction process of metals’ concentration indicated that exploring the relationship between metals and turbidity values might be one effective technique for efficient estimation and prediction of metal concentration to facilitate better long-term monitoring with high temporal and spatial density.

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