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Phenols - sources and toxicity


Phenols and their derivatives commonly exist in the environment. These

compounds are used as the components of dyes, polymers, drugs and

other organic substances. The presence of phenols in the ecosystems is

also related with production and degradation of numerous pesticides and

the generation of industrial and municipal sewages. Some phenols are also

formed during natural processes. These compounds may be substituted

with chlorine atoms, may be nitrated, methylated or alkylated. Both phenols

and catechols are harmful ecotoxins. Toxic action of these compounds

stems from unspecified toxicity related to hydrophobocity and also to the

generation of organic radicals and reactive oxygen species. Phenols and

catechols reveal peroxidative capacity, they are hematotoxic and hepatotoxic,

provoke mutagenesis and carcinogenesis toward humans and other living


Authors: Michalowicz, J.; Duda, W.

Full Source: Polish Journal of Environmental Studies (Pub. 2007), 16(3),

347-362 (Poland).

Natural and human-induced impacts on coastal



Groundwater is the main source of potable water in most areas of Mazandaran

province, like Sari and Babol city. Thus the safety of groundwater supplies

is very important in these regions. Unfortunately, attention to groundwater

quality has remained limited in Iran. In recent years, the growth of industry,

technology, population, and water use has increased the stress upon both

land and water resources of Mazandaran province. The main pollutants

of groundwater in Mazandaran province are domestic, industrial and

agricultural wastewater discharges. The quality of several water wells in

Mazandaran province was investigated in this research. In tested water

wells, the concentrations of Cu, Cr, Zn and NO3 are within WHO standard

limits, but Pb, Se and Cd concentrations are often exceeding the WHO

maximum permissible standard values. Results show that the current quality

of groundwater in Mazandaran province does not present immediate health

related concerns. However, the quality of water wells in Mazandaran province

is not reliable because of relatively high rate of various pollutants discharges

into groundwater resources. Consequently, establishment of both monitoring

programs and appropriate regulations to minimize uncontrolled discharges

into groundwater resources is necessary for conservation of this valuable

source of water supply in Mazandaran province.

Authors: Mehrdadi, N.; Daryabeigi Zand, A.; Matloubi, A. A.

Full Source: International Journal of Environmental Research (Pub. 2007),

1(2), 170-178 (Iran)


Determination of r-amanitin in body fluid of Amanita

fuliginea poisoned patients by reversed phase HPLC


A reversed phase HPLC method for the detection of R-amanitin in body fluid

of mushroom poisoned patients was developed under the condition: YEG

C18 column (10 µm, 4.6 x 250 mm), acetonitrile + 0.02 mol/L ammonium

acetate (1:9) and acetonitrile + 0.02 mol/L ammonium acetate (24:76) as

mobile phase, pH 5.0 adjusted with acetic acid, detection wavelength of UV

295 nm, and the flow rate of mobile phase with 1.0 mL/min at 40º. The sample

of the plasma was extracted with methanol. The result showed that standard

curve was linear in the range of 0.01-0.1 µg, and the recovery of the method

was 97.9%. The detection method was convenient, sensitive, accurate and

suitable for the detection of R-amanitin in body fluid of mushroom poisoned


Authors: Gong, Qing-fang; Wei, Bao-yang; Xiao, Gui-lin; Chen, Zou-hong;

Zhang, Ping; Zhang, Zhi-guang

Full Source: Hunan Shifan Daxue Ziran Kexue Xuebao (Pub. 2005), 28(2),

67-69 (China).

Determination of hexachlorocyclohexane and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane in

human serum by gas chromatography


Four isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane and four isomers of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane in human serum were detected by GC-ECD.

The within-day precisions were 2.16-6.83%, and the between-day precisions were

2.50-7.40%. The recoveries for the spiked samples ranged from 89.9% to


Under these conditions, hexachlorocyclohexane and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane were well separated and showed good linearity in the studies

ranges with correlation coefficients greater than 0.99. The detection limits

of the method were 0.07- 0.52 ng/mL. The GC-ECD method was applied to

detect organochlorine pesticides in human serum. Analytes were detected

in 52 control serum samples and 15 mammary cancer serum samples. The

mean concentrations of seven of eight isomers were greater in case group

than those in control group. There was a significant difference for p,p’-DDT,

p,p’-DDE and o,p’-DDT in detectable rate between case group and control

group, respectively, assessed by SPSS. This indicated that these substances

might be related factors of occurrence of mammary cancer.

Authors: Zeng, Hong-yan; Li, Yuan-qian; Zou, Xiao-li; Chen, Lu-qi

Full Source: Xiandai Yufang Yixue (Pub. 2007), 34(3), 407-411 (China)

Rapid and sensitive HPLC method for the simultaneous

determination of paraquat and diquat in human serum


A rapid and sensitive HPLC method for the simultaneous determination of

paraquat and diquat in human serum was developed. After deproteinisation

of the serum with 10% trichloroacetic acid, the samples were separated on

a reversed-phase column, and subsequently reduced to their radicals with

alkaline sodium hydrosulphite solution. These radicals were monitored with

a UV detector at 391 nm. This method permitted the reliable quantification

of paraquat over linear ranges of 50 ng - 10 µg/mL and 100 ng - 10 µg/

mL for diquat in human serum. The within- and between-day variations

are lower than 2.3 and 2.2%, respectively. This technique was also utilized

to determine the paraquat and diquat serum levels in a patient who had

ingested herbicide containing paraquat and diquat.

Authors: Hara, Shuuji; Sasaki, Noriaki; Takase, Daizi; Shiotsuka, Shouichi;

Ogata, Kentaro; Futagami, Koujiro; Tamura, Kazuo

Full Source: Analytical Sciences (Pub. 2007), 23(5), 523-526 (Japan).

The determination of methylmercury in biological

samples by HPLC coupled to ICP-MS detection


The use of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled to

inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for the detection

of methylmercury in fish tissue and hair samples is described. Analysis of

these sample types is required when carrying out biomonitoring studies to

determine human dietary exposure to this toxic mercurial compound. The

chromatography separation was coupled to the ICP-MS detector via a short

piece of PEEK tubing, attached to the nebulizer. A cooled spray chamber and

oxygen addition post-nebulization were required to limit the solvent loading

on the plasma and reduce carbon build-up on the cones, respectively. The

sample preparation procedure employed a drying step followed by digestion

of the sample using tetramethylammonium hydroxide and heating in an

open vessel microwave system. Two fish tissue certified reference materials

(CRM), tuna fish CRM 463 and 464 (BCR, Brussels), a tuna fish proficiency

test sample, IMEP-20 (IRMM, Geel, Belgium), and a hair CRM NIES no. 13,

were used to evaluate the method. The recovery of methylmercury for these

4 materials was between 83 and 100%, with precisions better than 6% for

3 separate extractions of the different materials. The limit of quantitation

for methylmercury using the developed protocol was 0.5 µg Hg g-1. The

stability of methylmercury in the fish sample extraction was also assessed

and losses of 14-16% were observed after storage of the extractions in

a refrigerator at 5º, in high-density polypropylene tubes, for 6 mo. The

developed protocol has been used previously with atmosphere pressure

ionisation mass spectrometry (API-MS) to provide structural characterization

and also with calibration via isotope dilution (IDMS) to provide high accuracy


Authors: Vidler, Daniel S.; Jenkins, Richard O.; Hall, John F.; Harrington,

Chris F.

Full Source: Applied Organometallic Chemistry 2007, 21(5), 303-310 (UK).

Changes of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and

superoxide dismutase in patients after acute carbon

monoxide poisoning


This paper studied the changes of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-

1) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the patients after acute carbon

monoxide poisoning (ACOP). ELISA and RIA were used to detect the

plasma levels of ICAM-1 and SOD in 84 patients after ACOP, and 24 healthy

adults were selected as control group. The results showed that the plasma

levels of ICAM-1 were 362.40ng/mL, 396.46ng/mL and 624.67ng/mL in

the mild, moderate and severe ACOP patients respectively, which were

significantly higher than those in the normal control group 198.28ng/mL. The

plasma levels of SOD were 408.28ng/mL, 386.64ng/mL and 346.82ng/mL

in the mild, moderate and severe ACOP patients respectively, which were

significantly lower than those in the normal control group 476.86ng/mL. The

plasma levels of ICAM-1 in patients after ACOP was positively correlated

with their toxic symptom, but SOD was negatively correlated. In conclusion,

the changes of ICAM-1 and SOD in patients after ACOP are closely related

to their clinical symptom of poisoning, which potentially could be a laboratory

index for ACOP patients.

Authors: Cao, Yi-zhan; Jing, Xing; Zhong, Yue-xia; Wang, Bo-liang; Fu, Guo-

qiang; He, Bao-jian; Lu, Jiang

Full Source: Zhongguo Jijiu Yixue 2007, 27(4), 289-291 (Chine).


Exposure pathway assessment at a copperberyllium alloy



Controlling beryllium inhalation exposures to comply with regulatory levels

(2 µg m-3 of air) does not appear to prevent beryllium sensitisation and

chronic beryllium disease (CBD). In addition, establishing a clear inhalation

exposure Therefore the authors suggest that skin may be an important

exposure route that leads to beryllium sensitisation. In 2000 a survey

identified the prevalence of sensitisation (7%) and CBD (4%) in a beryllium

alloy facility. An improved particulate migration control program, including

dermal protection in production areas, was completed at the facility in 2002.

This study evaluated the levels of beryllium in workplace air, on work surfaces,

on cotton gloves worn by employees over nitrile gloves, and on necks and

faces of employees subsequent to implementation of the program. Over a

6 day period, general area air samples (n ) 10)were collected, wipes from

routinely handled work surfaces (n ) 252) were taken. As were thin cotton

glove samples (n ) 113) worn by employees, and neck wipes (n ) 109) and

face wipes (n ) 109) from the same employees. In production, production

support and office areas geometric mean (GM) levels of beryllium were

0.95, 0.59 and 0.05 µg per 100 cm2 on work surfaces; 42.8, 73.8 and 0.07

µg per sample on cotton gloves; 0.07, 0.09 and 0.003 µg on necks; and

0.07, 0.12 and 0.003 µg on faces, respectively. The results showed a strong

correlation between beryllium in air and on work surfaces (r ) 0.79), and

between beryllium on cotton gloves and on work surfaces (0.86), necks

(0.87) and faces (0.86).the authors concluded that the findings from this

study demonstrate that, even with the implementation of control measures

to reduce skin contact with beryllium as part of a comprehensive workplace

protection program, measurable levels of beryllium continue to reach the skin

of workers in production and production support areas. Due to the multiple

exposure pathways that may lead to sensitisation, the authors support the

prudent control practices such as use of protective gloves to minimise skin

exposure to beryllium salts and fine particles.

Authors: Day, Gregory A.; Dufresne, Andre; Stefaniak, Aleksandr B.;

Schuler, Christine R.; Stanton, Marcia L.; Miller, William E.; Kent, Michael

S.; Deubner, David C.; Kreiss, Kathleen; Hoover, Mark D.

Full Source: Annals of Occupational Hygiene 2007, 51(1), 67-80 (Eng)

Study on lipid peroxidation of workers exposed to n-



The study investigated the lipid peroxidation of workers exposed to n-

hexane. Some indexes about lipid peroxidation such as MDA, T-AOC, SOD,

GSH-Px and CAT were detected. The MDA concentration of the exposure

group demonstrated a significant increase compared with control group and

the T-AOC activity showed a significant decrease. The differences of CAT

and GSH-Px activity had no statistical sense. The authors concluded that n-

hexane could cause lipid peroxidation damage, which may have important

role in n-hexane toxicosis.

Authors: Tai, Chang-song; Qiu, Tian-xiang; Xu, Xiao-zuo; Tu, Cheng; Yang,

Qing; Wang, Mian-zhen; Lan, Ya-jia

Full Source: Xiandai Yufang Yixue 2007, 34(5), 893-894, 897 (Ch)

PAHs exposure and health risk in traffic police assistants

in Tianjin, China


This study measured the personal exposure dose of polycyclic aromatic

hydrocarbons (PAHs) for the traffic police assistants during working at road

centres, and examined the incremental occupational cancer risk. Personal

PM10 exposed samples in traffic police assistants were collected during

working in Tianjin, China, and 13 PAHs species were analysed by GC-

MS. In addition, air samples were collected at the roadsides and in the

campus . The health risk level was calculated according to the incremental

lifetime cancer risk model. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to identify the

variables that influence the risk most. The results indicated that the average

level of total PAHs and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) the traffic police assistants

exposed to were 867 and 26 ng/m3 respectively, which were much higher

than those in the campus and at the roadsides. Risk assessment showed

that the cancer risk was in the range of 10-6-10-3. On the basis of sensitivity

analysis, further research should be directed to give better characterisation

of year-round PAHs concentration and the cancer slope factor (CSF) of BaP

in order to improve the accuracy of the health risk assessment. The authors

concluded that the incremental lifetime cancer risk of the traffic police

assistants caused by PAHs exposure should be examined further.

Authors: Hu, Yan-di; Zhang, Li; Bai, Zhipeng; Zhang, Li-wen; Zhang, Jie

Full Source: Huanjing Yu Jiankang Zazhi 2007, 24(2), 66-69 (Ch)

Investigation of environmental risk factors for metro

station staffs attacked with sphagitis and rhinitis


This study investigated the sanitary condition of the inside and outside

of a metro station in Guangzhou, to determine the environmental risk

factors, which can affect the health of staffs of the metro station. The level

TVOC, inhalable particles, carbon monoxide, benzene, carbon dioxide,

formaldehyde and total bacterial count in the air of public places (metro

hall, metro platform), facilities rooms, tunnel gates, new flow entrances and

entrances of subway station were determined. The results showed that

the rate of exceeding standard limit of the pollutants in metro station was

higher in the evening than in the afternoon. The main items exceeding the

limit were inhalable particles, benzene and carbon monoxide, especially in

the evening. The level of inhalable particles in the metro hail and facilities

rooms both exceeded the standard limit. The level of every pollutant on the

inside and outside of the station in the evening was higher than that in the

afternoon except the level of total bacterial count. The authors concluded

that air pollution in the metro station in the evening is a serious problem with

the main pollutants consisting of chemical substances, and various pollutant

from outside. In addition, the health of staff in the station will be impacted by

the smog from the open barbecue around the metro station.

Authors: Guo, Chong-shan; Yang, Yi-jian; Zhong, Yi; Jiang, Si-li; Wang,

Weihong; Liu, Cha-tian; Wang, Zhi-wei

Full Source: Huanjing Yu Jiankang Zazhi 2007, 24(1), 37-39 (Ch)

State-of-the-Science Review: Does Manganese Exposure

During Welding Pose a Neurological Risk?


This study reviews the neurological risks posed from Mn exposure during

welding. As welders perform a variety of tasks for various durations, it is

desirable to collect specific information on historical work patterns of

welders to accurately assess occupational Mn exposure. Topics discussed

in this literature include: general background on Mn (exposure routes); Mn

neurotoxicity (toxicological studies, Mn neurotoxicity in humans, manganism

vs. Parkinson disease); history of occupational exposure limits for Mn

and welding fume (federal guidelines, Occupational Safety and Health

Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health);

general background on welding activities; state-of-the science review (pre-

1950 case reports; 1950-1980 focus on miners, millers, plant, and battery

workers [exposure and health effects, miners and millers, battery workers,

plant and factory workers, welding studies]; 1980-present focus on welders

[high exposure studies, welder studies, cross-sectional welder studies, case

reports of welders]); data gaps and areas for future research (characterizing

causal relationship between welding and neurotoxicity, characterizing welder

exposure to Mn, Mn dose-response relationships, bioavailability of different

Mn forms, biomarkers of Mn exposure and/or effect); and conclusion.

Authors: Santamaria, Annette B.; Cushing, Colleen A.; Antonini, James M.;

Finley, Brent L.; Mowat, Fionna S.

Full Source: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical

Reviews 2007, 10(6), 417-465 (Eng)

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