• Analytical approaches for characterizing and quantifying engineered nanoparticles in biological matrices from an (eco)toxicological perspective: old challenges, new methods and techniques.

      Abdolahpur Monikh, Fazel; Chupani, Latifeh; Vijver, Martina G; Vancová, Marie; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M (2019-04-10)
      To promote the safer by design strategy and assess environmental risks of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), it is essential to understand the fate of ENPs within organisms. This understanding in living organisms is limited by challenges in characterizing and quantifying ENPs in biological media. Relevant literature in this area is scattered across research from the past decade or so, and it consists mostly of medically oriented studies. This review first introduces those modern techniques and methods that can be used to extract, characterize, and quantify ENPs in biological matrices for (eco)toxicological purposes. It then summarizes recent research developments within those areas most relevant to the context and field that are the subject of this review paper. These comprise numerous in-situ techniques and some ex-situ techniques. The former group includes techniques allowing to observe specimens in their natural hydrated state (e.g., scanning electron microscopy working in cryo mode and high-pressure freezing) and microscopy equipped with elemental microanalysis (e.g., energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy); two-photon laser and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy; absorption-edge synchrotron X-ray computed microtomography; and laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). The latter group includes asymmetric flow field flow fractionation coupled with ICP-MS and single particle-ICP-MS. Our review found that most of the evidence gathered for ENPs actually focused on a few metal-based ENPs and carbon nanotube and points to total mass concentration but no other particles properties, such as size and number. Based on the obtained knowledge, we developed and presented a decision scheme and analytical toolbox to help orient scientists toward selecting appropriate ways for investigating the (eco)toxicity of ENPs that are consistent with their properties.
    • Assessing the reliability of ecotoxicological studies: An overview of current needs and approaches.

      Moermond, Caroline; Beasley, Amy; Breton, Roger; Junghans, Marion; Laskowski, Ryszard; Solomon, Keith; Zahner, Holly (2017-07)
      In general, reliable studies are well designed and well performed, and enough details on study design and performance are reported to assess the study. For hazard and risk assessment in various legal frameworks, many different types of ecotoxicity studies need to be evaluated for reliability. These studies vary in study design, methodology, quality, and level of detail reported (e.g., reviews, peer-reviewed research papers, or industry-sponsored studies documented under Good Laboratory Practice [GLP] guidelines). Regulators have the responsibility to make sound and verifiable decisions and should evaluate each study for reliability in accordance with scientific principles regardless of whether they were conducted in accordance with GLP and/or standardized methods. Thus, a systematic and transparent approach is needed to evaluate studies for reliability. In this paper, 8 different methods for reliability assessment were compared using a number of attributes: categorical versus numerical scoring methods, use of exclusion and critical criteria, weighting of criteria, whether methods are tested with case studies, domain of applicability, bias toward GLP studies, incorporation of standard guidelines in the evaluation method, number of criteria used, type of criteria considered, and availability of guidance material. Finally, some considerations are given on how to choose a suitable method for assessing reliability of ecotoxicity studies. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:640-651. © 2016 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (SETAC).
    • Exploring uptake and biodistribution of polystyrene (nano)particles in zebrafish embryos at different developmental stages.

      van Pomeren, M; Brun, N R; Peijnenburg, W J G M; Vijver, M G (2017-09)
      In ecotoxicology, it is continuously questioned whether (nano)particle exposure results in particle uptake and subsequent biodistribution or if particles adsorb to the epithelial layer only. To contribute to answering this question, we investigated different uptake routes in zebrafish embryos and how they affect particle uptake into organs and within whole organisms. This is addressed by exposing three different life stages of the zebrafish embryo in order to cover the following exposure routes: via chorion and dermal exposure; dermal exposure; oral and dermal exposure. How different nanoparticle sizes affect uptake routes was assessed by using polystyrene particles of 25, 50, 250 and 700nm. In our experimental study, we showed that particle uptake in biota is restricted to oral exposure, whereas the dermal route resulted in adsorption to the epidermis and gills only. Ingestion followed by biodistribution was observed for the tested particles of 25 and 50nm. The particles spread through the body and eventually accumulated in specific organs and tissues such as the eyes. Particles larger than 50nm were predominantly adsorbed onto the intestinal tract and outer epidermis of zebrafish embryos. Embryos exposed to particles via both epidermis and intestine showed highest uptake and eventually accumulated particles in the eye, whereas uptake of particles via the chorion and epidermis resulted in marginal uptake. Organ uptake and internal distribution should be monitored more closely to provide more in depth information of the toxicity of particles.
    • Towards a proportionality assessment of risk reduction measures aimed at restricting the use of persistent and bioaccumulative substances.

      Oosterhuis, Frans; Brouwer, Roy; Janssen, Martien; Verhoeven, Julia; Luttikhuizen, Cees (2017-11)
      International chemicals legislation aims at adequately controlling persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and substances of very high concern (SVHCs), such as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) and very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) substances, with a view to progressively substitute these substances with suitable less-hazardous alternatives. Using cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) to assess the (dis)proportionality of measures to control such substances (collectively called "PBT" in the present paper) requires benchmarks. The present paper provides building blocks for possible benchmarks by looking at the cost-effectiveness estimates for regulatory measures that have been applied or considered for various PBT substances. These cost-effectiveness estimates vary widely, and the main factors possibly explaining this variation are discussed. The available cost estimates currently do not allow deriving a value for society's willingness to pay to reduce PBT presence, use, and emissions because decisions referring explicitly to these estimates are scarce. Roughly speaking, the available evidence suggests that measures costing less than €1000 per kilogram PBT use or emission reduction will usually not be rejected for reasons of disproportionate costs, whereas for measures with costs above €50 000 per kilogram PBT such a rejection is likely. More research is needed to strengthen the evidence base and further elaborate a systematic approach toward proportionality benchmarking. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:1100-1112. © 2017 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (SETAC).