Recent Submissions

  • Bescherming ozonlaag : 20 jaar effectief beleid - een welkome waarheid

    KNMI; MNP; RIVM (Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut (KNMI), Milieu- en Natuurplanbureau (MNP),, 2007-09)
  • Longitudinal analysis of tick densities and Borrelia, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia infections of Ixodes ricinus ticks in different habitat areas in The Netherlands.

    Wielinga, Peter R; Gaasenbeek, Cor; Fonville, Manoj; Boer, Albert de; Vries, Ankje de; Dimmers, Wim; Akkerhuis Op Jagers, Gerard; Schouls, Leo M; Borgsteede, Fred; Giessen, Joke W B van der (2006-12-01)
    From 2000 to 2004, ticks were collected by dragging a blanket in four habitat areas in The Netherlands: dunes, heather, forest, and a city park. Tick densities were calculated, and infection with Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma and Ehrlichia species was investigated by reverse line blot analysis. The lowest tick density was observed in the heather area (1 to 8/100 m2). In the oak forest and city park, the tick densities ranged from 26 to 45/100 m2. The highest tick density was found in the dune area (139 to 551/100 m2). The infection rates varied significantly for the four study areas and years, ranging from 0.8 to 11. 5% for Borrelia spp. and 1 to 16% for Ehrlichia or Anaplasma (Ehrlichia/Anaplasma) spp. Borrelia infection rates were highest in the dunes, followed by the forest, the city park, and heather area. In contrast, Ehrlichia/Anaplasma was found most often in the forest and less often in the city park. The following Borrelia species were found: Borrelia sensu lato strains not identified to the species level (2.5%), B. afzelii (2.5%), B. valaisiana (0.9%), B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (0.13%), and B. garinii (0.13%). For Ehrlichia/Anaplasma species, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma spp. not identified to the species level (2.5%), Anaplasma schotti variant (3.5%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum variant (0.3%), and Ehrlichia canis (0.19%) were found. E. canis is reported for the first time in ticks in The Netherlands in this study. Borrelia lusitaniae, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and the human granylocytic anaplasmosis agent were not detected. About 1.6% of the ticks were infected with both Borrelia and Ehrlichia/Anaplasma, which was higher than the frequency predicted from the individual infection rates, suggesting hosts with multiple infections or a possible selective advantage of coinfection.
  • Immunotoxic effects of chemicals: A matrix for occupational and environmental epidemiological studies.

    Veraldi, Angela; Costantini, Adele Seniori; Bolejack, Vanessa; Miligi, Lucia; Vineis, Paolo; Loveren, Henk van (2006-12-01)
    BACKGROUND: Many biological and chemical agents have the capacity to alter the way the immune system functions in human and animals. This study evaluates the immunotoxicity of 20 substances used widely in work environments. METHODS: A systematic literature search on the immunotoxicity of 20 chemicals was performed. The first step was to review literature on immunotoxicity testing and testing schemes adopted for establishing immunotoxicity in humans. The second step consisted of providing a documentation on immunotoxicity of substances that are widely used in work environment, by building tables for each chemical of interest (benzene, trichloroethylene, PAHs, crystalline silica, diesel exhausts, welding fumes, asbestos, styrene, formaldehyde, toluene, vinyl chloride monomer, tetrachloroethylene, chlorophenols, 1,3-butadiene, mineral oils, P-dichlorobenzene, dichloromethane, xylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, ethylene oxide). The third step was the classification of substances; an index (strong, intermediate, weak, nil) was assigned on the basis of the evidence of toxicity and type of immunotoxic effects (immunosuppression, autoimmunity, hypersensitivity) on the basis of the immune responses. Finally substances were assigned a score of immunotoxic power. RESULTS: Tables have been produced that include information for the 20 substances of interest, based on 227 animal studies and 94 human studies. Each substance was assigned an index of immunotoxic evidence, a score of immunotoxic power and type of immunotoxic effect. CONCLUSIONS: This matrix can represent a tool to identify chemicals with similar properties concerning the toxicity for the immune system, and to interpret epidemiological studies on immune-related diseases.
  • Driving forces from soil invertebrates to ecosystem functioning: the allometric perspective.

    Mulder, Christian (2006-10-01)
    The European soil policy is being focussed towards a more conscious and sustainable use of the soil, taking into account ecological, economical and societal dimensions. Living soil organisms are reliable bioindicators, as they provide the best reflection of the soil system, ecological services and ecosystem functioning therein. These most complex (bio)physical systems indicate, among others, the energy flow. Such processes can be described by rather simple power law relationships. In fact, the average body mass (dry weight) can be seen as an inherent species property, while population density is a much more flexible parameter reflecting ecosystem state. In this study, I review the interactions between these items in relation to feedbacks and conjectured relationships which can be seen as ecological networks. From this novel perspective, allometry can be used as an integrated measure for the anthropogenic influence on landscapes and related food webs. Allometry is, therefore, a perfect surrogate for land use intensity in modelling of field effects for restoration ecology and conservation biology. Robust correlations will be addressed between the density dependence of invertebrates and the ability of soil systems themselves to recover after disturbance. Quantitative indicators of soil community composition and related ecological services are proposed and their application for ecological risk assessment is illustrated.
  • Long-term personal exposure to traffic-related air pollution among school children, a validation study.

    Roosbroeck, Sofie van; Wichmann, Janine; Janssen, Nicole A H; Hoek, Gerard; Wijnen, Joop H van; Lebret, Erik; Brunekreef, Bert (2006-09-15)
    Several recent studies suggest an association between long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution and health. Most studies use indicators of exposure such as outdoor air pollution or traffic density on the street of residence. Little information is available about the validity of these measurements as an estimate of long-term personal exposure to traffic-related air pollution. In this pilot study, we assessed outdoor and personal exposure to traffic-related air pollution in children living in homes on streets with different degree of traffic intensity. The personal exposure of 14 children aged 9-12 years to 'soot', NO(x) (NO and NO(2)) was assessed in Amsterdam between March and June 2003. Each child's personal exposure was monitored during four repeated 48-h periods. Concurrently, in- and outdoor NO(x) measurements were carried out at the school and at the home of each participating child. Measurements were supplemented by a questionnaire on time activity patterns and possible indoor sources. Flow-controlled battery operated pumps in a made-to-fit backpack were used to sample personal exposure to 'soot', determined from the reflectance of PM(2.5) filters. Exposure to NO(x) was assessed using Ogawa passive samplers. Children living near busy roads were found to have a 35% higher personal exposure to 'soot' than children living at an urban background location, despite that all children attended the same school that was located away from busy roads. Smaller contrasts in personal exposure were found for NO (14%), NO(2) (15%) and NO(x) (14%). This finding supports the use of 'living near a busy road' as a measure of exposure in epidemiological studies on the effects of traffic-related air pollution in children.
  • Allometry, biocomplexity, and web topology of hundred agro-environments in The Netherlands

    Mulder, Christian; Hollander, Henri den; Schouten, Ton; Rutgers, Michiel (2006-07-07)
    For almost all soil organisms, the logarithm of numerical abundance (N) is inversely related to the logarithm of body mass (M). It is helpful to use allometry and food-web topology to condense environmental information. Using mathematical evidence derived from 99 real webs, a hypothesis is formulated to explain how belowground soil organisms become affected by increasing effects of animal manure and this is discussed in relation to soil productivity. As a matter of fact, the intercepts of allometric correlations change in a highly significant way according to aboveground grazing by mammals. Linear regressions of log10(N) values fitted against their log10(M) averages show allometric unity (slopes equal to −1) only in one fourth of the webs. Under different levels of taxonomic aggregation, our intercepts remain directly correlated with macroherbivory. Also after removal of bacteria from these real webs, intercepts of the linear regressions robustly fitted on the eukaryotes’ M and N reflect the local nitrogen availability from animal manure. Other basic web properties, such as trophic links and structural complexity, display a comparable pattern from nutrient-poor to nutrient-rich ecosystems, in contrast to a rather erratic connectance. Regardless of total soil biodiversity, only in 23 real webs a host of organisms ranging from earthworms and insects to bacterial cells seem to interact in ways beneficial to each other.
  • Long-term evolution of upper stratospheric ozone at selected stations of the Network for the Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC)

    Steinbrecht, W; Claude, H; Schönenborn, F; McDermid, I S; Leblanc, T; Godin, S; Song, T; Swart, D P J; Meijer, Y J; Bodeker, G E; Connor, B J; Kämpfer, N; Hocke, K; Calisesi, Y; Schneider, N; Noë, J de la; Parrish, A D; Boyd, I S; Brühl, C; Steil, B; Giorgetta, M A; Manzini, E; Thomason, L W; Zawodny, J M; McCormick, M P; Russell, J M; Bhartia, P K; Stolarski, R S; Hollandsworth-Frith, S M (American Geophysical Union., 2006-05-31)
    The long-term evolution of upper stratospheric ozone has been recorded by lidars and microwave radiometers within the ground-based Network for the Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC), and by the space-borne Solar Backscatter Ultra-Violet instruments (SBUV), Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE), and Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE). Climatological mean differences between these instruments are typically smaller than 5% between 25 and 50 km. Ozone anomaly time series from all instruments, averaged from 35 to 45 km altitude, track each other very well and typically agree within 3 to 5%. SBUV seems to have a slight positive drift against the other instruments. The corresponding 1979 to 1999 period from a transient simulation by the fully coupled MAECHAM4-CHEM chemistry climate model reproduces many features of the observed anomalies. However, in the upper stratosphere the model shows too low ozone values and too negative ozone trends, probably due to an underestimation of methane and a consequent overestimation of ClO. The combination of all observational data sets provides a very consistent picture, with a long-term stability of 2% or better. Upper stratospheric ozone shows three main features: (1) a decline by 10 to 15% since 1980, due to chemical destruction by chlorine; (2) two to three year fluctuations by 5 to 10%, due to the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO); (3) an 11-year oscillation by about 5%, due to the 11-year solar cycle. The 1979 to 1997 ozone trends are larger at the southern mid-latitude station Lauder (45°S), reaching −8%/decade, compared to only about −6%/decade at Table Mountain (35°N), Haute Provence/Bordeaux (≈45°N), and Hohenpeissenberg/Bern(≈47°N). At Lauder, Hawaii (20°N), Table Mountain, and Haute Provence, ozone residuals after subtraction of QBO- and solar cycle effects have levelled off in recent years, or are even increasing. Assuming a turning point in January 1997, the change of trend is largest at southern mid-latitude Lauder, +11%/decade, compared to +7%/decade at northern mid-latitudes. This points to a beginning recovery of upper stratospheric ozone. However, chlorine levels are still very high and ozone will remain vulnerable. At this point the most northerly mid-latitude station, Hohenpeissenberg/Bern differs from the other stations, and shows much less clear evidence for a beginning recovery, with a change of trend in 1997 by only +3%/decade. In fact, record low upper stratospheric ozone values were observed at Hohenpeissenberg/Bern, and to a lesser degree at Table Mountain and Haute Provence, in the winters 2003/2004 and 2004/2005.
  • Evolution of aerosol optical thickness over Europe during the August 2003 heat wave as seen from CHIMERE model simulations and POLDER data

    Hodzic, A; Vautard, R; Chepfer, H; Goloub, P; Menut, L; Chazette, P; Deuzé, J L; Apituley, A; Couvert, P (2006-05-30)
    This study describes the atmospheric aerosol load encountered during the large-scale pollution episode that occurred in August 2003, by means of the aerosol optical thicknesses (AOTs) measured at 865 nm by the Polarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances (POLDER) sensor and the simulation by the CHIMERE chemistry-transport model. During this period many processes (stagnation, photochemistry, forest fires) led to unusually high particle concentrations and optical thicknesses. The observed/simulated AOT comparison helps understanding the ability of the model to reproduce most of the gross AOT features observed in satellite data, with a general agreement within a factor 2 and correlations in the 0.4–0.6 range. However some important aerosol features are missed when using regular anthropogenic sources. Additional simulations including emissions and high-altitude transport of smoke from wildfires that occurred in Portugal indicate that these processes could dominate the AOT signal in some areas. Our results also highlight the difficulties of comparing simulated and POLDER-derived AOTs due to large uncertainties in both cases. Observed AOT values are significantly lower than the simulated ones (30–50%). Their comparison with the ground-based Sun photometer Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) measurements suggests, for the European sites considered here, an underestimation of POLDER-derived aerosol levels with a factor between 1 and 2. AERONET AOTs compare better with simulations (no particular bias) than POLDER AOTs.
  • BasinBox: a generic multimedia fate model for predicting the fate of chemicals in river catchments

    Hollander, A; Huijbregts, M A J; Ragas, A M J; Meent, D van de (Springer, 2006-05-20)
    Multimedia fate models have proven to be very useful tools in chemical risk assessment and management. This paper presents BasinBox, a newly developed steady-state generic multimedia fate model for evaluating risks of new and existing chemicals in river basins. The model concepts, as well as the intermedia processes quantified in the model, are outlined, and an overview of the required input parameters is given. To test the BasinBox model, calculations were carried out for predicting the fate of chemicals in the river Rhine basin. This was done for a set of 3175 hypothetical chemicals and three emission scenarios to air, river water and cropland soils. For each of these hypothetical chemicals and emission scenarios the concentration ratio between the downstream area and the upstream area was calculated for all compartments. From these calculations it appeared that BasinBox predicts significant concentration differences between upstream and downstream areas of the Rhine river basin for certain types of chemicals and emission scenarios. There is a clear trend of increasing chemical concentrations in downstream direction of the river basin. The calculations show that taking into account spatial variability between upstream, midstream and downstream areas of large river basins can be useful in the predictions of environmental concentrations by multimedia fate models.
  • Relation between sources of particulate air pollution and biological effect parameters in samples from four European cities: an exploratory study.

    Steerenberg, Peter A; Amelsvoort, Ludo van; Lovik, Martinus; Hetland, Ragna B; Alberg, Torunn; Halatek, Tadeusz; Bloemen, Henk J T; Rydzynski, Konrad; Swaen, Gerard; Schwarze, Per; Dybing, Erik; Cassee, Flemming R (2006-05-01)
    Given that there are widely different prevalence rates of respiratory allergies and asthma between the countries of Europe and that exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) is substantial in urban environments throughout Europe, an EU project entitled "Respiratory Allergy and Inflammation Due to Ambient Particles" (RAIAP) was set up. The project focused on the role of physical and chemical composition of PM on release of cytokines of cells in vitro, on respiratory inflammation in vivo, and on adjuvant potency in allergy animal models. Coarse (2.5-10 microm) and fine (0.15-2.5 microm) particles were collected during the spring, summer and winter in Rome (I), Oslo (N), Lodz (PL), and Amsterdam (NL). Markers within the same model were often well correlated. Markers of inflammation in the in vitro and in vivo models also showed a high degree of correlation. In contrast, correlation between parameters in the different allergy models and between allergy and inflammation markers was generally poor. This suggests that various bioassays are needed to assess the potential hazard of PM. The present study also showed that by clustering chemical constituents of PM based on the overall response pattern in the bioassays, five distinct groups could be identified. The clusters of traffic, industrial combustion and/or incinerators (TICI), and combustion of black and brown coal/wood smoke (BBCW) were associated primarily with adjuvant activity for respiratory allergy, whereas clusters of crustal of material (CM) and sea spray (SS) are predominantly associated with measures for inflammation and acute toxicity. The cluster of secondary inorganic aerosol and long-range transport aerosol (SIALT) was exclusive associated with systemic allergy. The present study has shown that biological effect of PM can be linked to one or more PM emission sources and that this linkage requires a wide range of bioassays.
  • Tetracyclines and tetracycline resistance in agricultural soils: microcosm and field studies.

    Schmitt, Heike; Stoob, Krispin; Hamscher, Gerd; Smit, Eric; Seinen, Willem (2006-04-01)
    The influence of the use of antibiotics on the prevalence of resistance genes in the environment is still poorly understood. We studied the diversity of tetracycline and sulfonamide resistance genes as influenced by fertilization with pig manure in soil microcosms and at two field locations. Manure contained a high diversity of resistance genes, regardless of whether it stemmed from a farm operation with low or regular use of antibiotics. In the microcosm soils, the influence of fertilization with manure was clearly shown by an increase in the number of resistance genes in the soil after manuring. Spiking of the tetracycline compounds to the microcosms had only little additional impact on the diversity of resistance genes. Overall, the tetracycline resistance genes tet(T), tet(W), and tet(Z) were ubiquitous in soil and pig slurries, whereas tet(Y), tet(S), tet(C), tet(Q), and tet(H) were introduced to the microcosm soil by manuring. The diversity of tetracycline and sulfonamide [sul(1), sul(2), and sul(3)] resistance genes on a Swiss pasture was very high even before slurry amendment, although manure from intensive farming had not been applied in the previous years. The additional effect of manuring was small, with the tetracycline and sulfonamide resistance diversity staying at high levels for the complete growth season. At an agricultural field site in Germany, the diversity of tetracycline and sulfonamide resistance genes was considerably lower, possibly reflecting regional differences in gene diversity. This study shows that there is a considerable pool of resistance genes in soils. Although it is not possible to conclude whether this diversity is caused by the global spread of resistance genes after 50 years of tetracycline use or is due to the natural background in soil resistance genes, it highlights a role that environmental reservoirs might play in resistance gene capture.
  • Validation of the exposure assessment for veterinary medicinal products.

    Montforts, Mark H M M (2006-04-01)
    Under the EU Directive 2004/28/EC, an environmental risk assessment of new veterinary medicinal products is required. Given the nature of risk assessment for new applications, there is a need to model exposure concentrations. Critical evaluations are essential to ensure that the use of models by regulators does not result in the propagation of misleading information. The empirical validations of soil exposure models, previously discussed in this journal, indicate that it is impossible to analyse the contribution of every model parameter to the variability in the predictions. In particular, the prediction of the slurry concentration is challenged by uncertainties concerning dilution, mixing and dissipation of residues. Surface water and groundwater models generated highly deviating results compared to the field results, questioning the usefulness of the available screening models. Animal husbandry, slurry handling and environmental conditions throughout Europe are considered in order to define realistic worst case scenarios, to be used in conjunction with distribution models for the environmental risk assessment of veterinary medicinal products at registration. Given the variability in manure management practice throughout Europe, a deterministic approach for the manure-to-soil model was selected. Both worst case and best case scenario were developed. Several modelling assumptions applied in the surface water exposure model for fish nursery effluent were validated against newly available data. Since the available data give no proof that a settling tank contributes to the removal of pesticides from waste water, it is recommended for risk assessment purposes to consider the contribution of the settling tank to removal of pesticides and medicines to be negligible. Surface water dilution factors may be considered to be rather small, a factor of 2, for low flow situations.
  • Comparison of analytical techniques for dynamic trace metal speciation in natural freshwaters.

    Sigg, Laura; Black, Frank; Buffle, Jacques; Cao, Jun; Cleven, Rob; Davison, William; Galceran, Josep; Gunkel, Peggy; Kalis, Erwin; Kistler, David; Martin, Michel; Noël, Stéphane; Nur, Yusuf; Odzak, Niksa; Puy, Jaume; Riemsdijk, Willem van; Temminghoff, Erwin; Tercier-Waeber, Mary-Lou; Toepperwien, Stefanie; Town, Raewyn M; Unsworth, Emily R; Warnken, Kent W; Weng, Liping; Xue, Hanbin; Zhang, Hao (2006-03-15)
    Several techniques for speciation analysis of Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, and Ni are used in freshwater systems and compared with respect to their performance and to the metal species detected. The analytical techniques comprise the following: (i) diffusion gradients in thin-film gels (DGT); (ii) gel integrated microelectrodes combined to voltammetric in situ profiling system (GIME-VIP); (iii) stripping chronopotentiometry (SCP); (iv) flow-through and hollow fiber permeation liquid membranes (FTPLM and HFPLM); (v) Donnan membrane technique (DMT); (vi) competitive ligand-exchange/stripping voltammetry (CLE-SV). All methods could be used both under hardwater and under softwater conditions, although in some cases problems with detection limits were encountered at the low total concentrations. The detected Cu, Cd, and Pb concentrations decreased in the order DGT > or = GIME-VIP > or = FTPLM > or = HFPLM approximately = DMT (>CLE-SV for Cd), detected Zn decreased as DGT > or = GIME-VIP and Ni as DGT > DMT, in agreement with the known dynamic features of these techniques. Techniques involving in situ measurements (GIME-VIP) or in situ exposure (DGT, DMT, and HFPLM) appear to be appropriate in avoiding artifacts which may occur during sampling and sample handling.
  • Model predictions of metal speciation in freshwaters compared to measurements by in situ techniques.

    Unsworth, Emily R; Warnken, Kent W; Zhang, Hao; Davison, William; Black, Frank; Buffle, Jacques; Cao, Jun; Cleven, Rob; Galceran, Josep; Gunkel, Peggy; Kalis, Erwin; Kistler, David; Leeuwen, Herman P van; Martin, Michel; Noël, Stéphane; Nur, Yusuf; Odzak, Niksa; Puy, Jaume; Riemsdijk, Willem van; Sigg, Laura; Temminghoff, Erwin; Tercier-Waeber, Mary-Lou; Toepperwien, Stefanie; Town, Raewyn M; Weng, Liping; Xue, Hanbin (2006-03-15)
    Measurements of trace metal species in situ in a softwater river, a hardwater lake, and a hardwater stream were compared to the equilibrium distribution of species calculated using two models, WHAM 6, incorporating humic ion binding model VI and visual MINTEQ incorporating NICA-Donnan. Diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) and voltammetry at a gel integrated microelectrode (GIME) were used to estimate dynamic species that are both labile and mobile. The Donnan membrane technique (DMT) and hollow fiber permeation liquid membrane (HFPLM) were used to measure free ion activities. Predictions of dominant metal species using the two models agreed reasonably well, even when colloidal oxide components were considered. Concentrations derived using GIME were generally lower than those from DGT, consistent with calculations of the lability criteria that take into account the smaller time window available forthe fluxto GIME. Model predictions of free ion activities generally did not agree with measurements, highlighting the need for further work and difficulties in obtaining appropriate input data.
  • Functional recovery of biofilm bacterial communities after copper exposure.

    Boivin, Marie-Elène Y; Massieux, Boris; Breure, Anton M; Greve, Gerdit D; Rutgers, Michiel; Admiraal, Wim (2006-03-01)
    Potential of bacterial communities in biofilms to recover after copper exposure was investigated. Biofilms grown outdoor in shallow water on glass dishes were exposed in the laboratory to 0.6, 2.1, 6.8 micromol/l copper amended surface water and a reference and subsequently to un-amended surface water. Transitions of bacterial communities were characterised with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and community-level physiological profiles (CLPP). Exposure to 6.8 micromol/l copper provoked distinct changes in DGGE profiles of bacterial consortia, which did not reverse upon copper depuration. Exposure to 2.1 and 6.8 micromol/l copper was found to induce marked changes in CLPP of bacterial communities that proved to be reversible during copper depuration. Furthermore, copper exposure induced the development of copper-tolerance, which was partially lost during depuration. It is concluded that bacterial communities exposed to copper contaminated water for a period of 26 days are capable to restore their metabolic attributes after introduction of unpolluted water in aquaria for 28 days.
  • Development and application of a sediment toxicity test using the benthic cladoceran Chydorus sphaericus.

    Dekker, T; Greve, Gerdit D; Laak, T L ter; Boivin, Marie-Elène Y; Veuger, B; Gortzak, G; Dumfries, S; Lücker, S M G; Kraak, Michiel H S; Admiraal, Wim; Geest, H G van der (2006-03-01)
    This study reports on the development and application of a whole sediment toxicity test using a benthic cladoceran Chydorus sphaericus, as an alternative for the use of pelagic daphnids. A C. sphaericus laboratory culture was started and its performance under control conditions was optimised. The test was firstly validated by determining dose-response relationships for aqueous cadmium and copper and ammonia, showing a sensitivity of C. sphaericus (96 h LC(50) values of 594 microg Cd/L, 191 microg Cu/L and 46 mg ammonia/L at pH 8) similar to that of daphnids. Next, sediment was introduced into the test system and a series of contaminated sediments from polluted locations were tested. A significant negative correlation between survival and toxicant concentrations was observed. It is concluded that the test developed in the present study using the benthic cladoceran C. sphaericus is suitable for routine laboratory sediment toxicity testing.
  • Copper in the terrestrial environment: Verification of a laboratory-derived terrestrial biotic ligand model to predict earthworm mortality with toxicity observed in field soils

    Koster, Marijke; Groot, Arthur de; Vijver, Martina G; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M (Elsevier, 2006-02-21)
    This study was set up for validation of a regression model to predict mortality in the terrestrial earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa following exposure to copper. This model was derived from a terrestrial biotic ligand model and incorporates the protective effects of H+ and Na+ on copper toxicity. Three soil sets were used for the experiments, all of which had a different copper contamination history over more than 20 years and were considered to be aged field soils. The soils were characterized by analysis of various copper pools in the solid phase and in the pore water, analysis of physical and chemical soil properties and by regression analysis. Measured and calculated copper activities (expressed as pCu) correlated reasonably well. Measured copper activities correlated with the total copper concentration in the pore water and the pH. The organic matter in the solid phase had no influence on the pCu in these soil sets. Earthworms were exposed to the soils for 28 days, after which survival was scored. Observed earthworm mortality after 28-days exposure was plotted as a function of the log-transformed difference between predicted (log10 transformed) LC50-values and measured values of pCu for validation of the regression model. The results obtained were in agreement with the assumption that mortality is to be observed in those soils where the predicted LC50 exceeds the measured pCu. However, a structural underestimation of toxicity was apparent, which is most likely due to mixture effects related to the presence of additional substances in field soils. Nevertheless, the trend of the results in the validation tests demonstrates that the newly developed toxicity model is a useful tool in predicting lethality of copper contamination to earthworms in field soils.
  • Do inhaled carbon nanoparticles translocate directly into the circulation in humans?

    Mills, Nicholas L; Amin, Nadia; Robinson, Simon D; Anand, Atul; Davies, John; Patel, Dilip; Fuente, Jesus M de la; Cassee, Flemming R; Boon, Nicholas A; Macnee, William; Millar, Alistair M; Donaldson, Ken; Newby, David E (2006-02-15)
    RATIONALE: Increased exposure to particulate air pollution (PM(10)) is a risk factor for death and hospitalization with cardiovascular disease. It has been suggested that the nanoparticulate component of PM(10) is capable of translocating into the circulation with the potential for direct effects on the vasculature. OBJECTIVE: The study's aim was to determine the extent to which inhaled technetium-99m ((99m)Tc)-labeled carbon nanoparticles (Technegas) were able to access the systemic circulation. METHODS AND MAIN RESULTS: Ten healthy volunteers inhaled Technegas and blood samples were taken sequentially over the following 6 h. Technegas particles were 4-20 nm in diameter and aggregated to a median particle diameter of approximately 100 nm. Radioactivity was immediately detected in blood, with levels increasing over 60 min. Thin-layer chromatography of whole blood identified a species that moved with the solvent front, corresponding to unbound (99m)Tc-pertechnetate, which was excreted in urine. There was no evidence of particle-bound (99m)Tc at the origin. gamma Camera images demonstrated high levels of Technegas retention (95.6 +/- 1.7% at 6 h) in the lungs, with no accumulation of radioactivity detected over the liver or spleen. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of (99m)Tc-labeled carbon nanoparticles remain within the lung up to 6 h after inhalation. In contrast to previous published studies, thin-layer chromatography did not support the hypothesis that inhaled Technegas carbon nanoparticles pass directly from the lungs into the systemic circulation.
  • Is cumulative fossil energy demand a useful indicator for the environmental performance of products?

    Huijbregts, Mark A J; Rombouts, Linda J A; Hellweg, Stefanie; Frischknecht, Rolf; Hendriks, A Jan; Meent, Dik van de; Ragas, Ad M J; Reijnders, Lucas; Struijs, Jaap (2006-02-01)
    The appropriateness of the fossil Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) as an indicator for the environmental performance of products and processes is explored with a regression analysis between the environmental life-cycle impacts and fossil CEDs of 1218 products, divided into the product categories "energy production", "material production", "transport", and "waste treatment". Our results show that, for all product groups but waste treatment, the fossil CED correlates well with most impact categories, such as global warming, resource depletion, acidification, eutrophication, tropospheric ozone formation, ozone depletion, and human toxicity (explained variance between 46% and 100%). We conclude that the use of fossil fuels is an important driver of several environmental impacts and thereby indicative for many environmental problems. It maytherefore serve as a screening indicatorfor environmental performance. However, the usefulness of fossil CED as a stand-alone indicator for environmental impact is limited by the large uncertainty in the product-specific fossil CED-based impact scores (larger than a factor of 10 for the majority of the impact categories; 95% confidence interval). A major reason for this high uncertainty is nonfossil energy related emissions and land use, such as landfill leachates, radionuclide emissions, and land use in agriculture and forestry.
  • Airway antioxidant and inflammatory responses to diesel exhaust exposure in healthy humans.

    Behndig, A F; Mudway, I S; Brown, J L; Stenfors, N; Helleday, R; Duggan, S T; Wilson, S J; Boman, C; Cassee, Flemming R; Frew, A J; Kelly, F J; Sandström, T; Blomberg, A (2006-02-01)
    Pulmonary cells exposed to diesel exhaust (DE) particles in vitro respond in a hierarchical fashion with protective antioxidant responses predominating at low doses and inflammation and injury only occurring at higher concentrations. In the present study, the authors examined whether similar responses occurred in vivo, specifically whether antioxidants were upregulated following a low-dose DE challenge and investigated how these responses related to the development of airway inflammation at different levels of the respiratory tract where particle dose varies markedly. A total of 15 volunteers were exposed to DE (100 microg x m(-3) airborne particulate matter with a diameter of <10 microm for 2 h) and air in a double-blinded, randomised fashion. At 18 h post-exposure, bronchoscopy was performed with lavage and mucosal biopsies taken to assess airway redox and inflammatory status. Following DE exposure, the current authors observed an increase in bronchial mucosa neutrophil and mast cell numbers, as well as increased neutrophil numbers, interleukin-8 and myeloperoxidase concentrations in bronchial lavage. No inflammatory responses were seen in the alveolar compartment, but both reduced glutathione and urate concentrations were increased following diesel exposure. In conclusion, the lung inflammatory response to diesel exhaust is compartmentalised, related to differing antioxidant responses in the conducting airway and alveolar regions.

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