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Gundert-Remy U.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Damm G.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Foth H.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Freyberger A.,Bayer AG | And 6 more authors.
Archives of Toxicology | Year: 2015

Arsenic is a human carcinogen that occurs ubiquitously in soil and water. Based on epidemiological studies, a benchmark dose (lower/higher bound estimate) between 0.3 and 8 μg/kg bw/day was estimated to cause a 1 % increased risk of lung, skin and bladder cancer. A recently published study by EFSA on dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic in the European population reported 95th percentiles (lower bound min to upper bound max) for different age groups in the same range as the benchmark dose. For toddlers, a highly exposed group, the highest values ranged between 0.61 and 2.09 µg arsenic/kg bw/day. For all other age classes, the margin of exposure is also small. This scenario calls for regulatory action to reduce arsenic exposure. One priority measure should be to reduce arsenic in food categories that contribute most to exposure. In the EFSA study the food categories ‘milk and dairy products,’ ‘drinking water’ and ‘food for infants’ represent major sources of inorganic arsenic for infants and also rice is an important source. Long-term strategies are required to reduce inorganic arsenic in these food groups. The reduced consumption of rice and rice products which has been recommended may be helpful for a minority of individuals consuming unusually high amounts of rice. However, it is only of limited value for the general European population, because the food categories ‘grain-based processed products (non rice-based)’ or ‘milk and dairy products’ contribute more to the exposure with inorganic arsenic than the food category ‘rice.’ A balanced regulatory activity focusing on the most relevant food categories is required. In conclusion, exposure to inorganic arsenic represents a risk to the health of the European population, particularly to young children. Regulatory measures to reduce exposure are urgently required. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Wollin K.-M.,Lower Saxony Governmental Institute of Public Health | Bader M.,Hannover Medical School | Bader M.,BASF | Muller M.,University of Gottingen | And 2 more authors.
Toxicology Letters | Year: 2014

On September 9th, 2002, two goods trains collided in Bad Münder, Lower Saxony, causing the release of more than 40 metric tonnes of epichlorohydrin (1-chloro-2,3-epoxypropane) into the environment. A human biomonitoring study was performed to evaluate the accidental exposure to epichlorohydrin and to assess the possible long-term, i.e. carcinogenic health effects. This was done on the basis of a biochemical effect monitoring using the N-(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl)valine and the N-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)valine haemoglobin adducts of epichlorohydrin in blood to respond to missing ambient monitoring immediately after the crash. N-(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl)valine adduct levels above the LOQ (25pmol/g globin) ranged from 32.0 to 116.4pmol/g globin in 6 out of 628 samples. The N-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)valine adduct was not detected above the LOD (10pmol/g globin) in any of the blood samples. Based on the quantified N-(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl)valine adduct values, the body doses after two days of exposure were estimated to be in the range of 1.7-6.2nmol/kg body weight. The reverse estimation of the external exposure leads to cumulative additional lifetime cancer risks ranging from 2.61×10-8 to 9.48×10-8. The estimated excess lifetime cancer risks have to be assessed as extremely low. Our biomonitoring study facilitated the dialogue between individuals and groups concerned and authorities, because suspected or occurred exposures and risks to human health could be quantified and interpreted in a sound manner. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Gebel T.,Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Foth H.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Damm G.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Freyberger A.,Bayer AG | And 6 more authors.
Archives of Toxicology | Year: 2014

Nanotechnology offers enormous potential for technological progress. Fortunately, early and intensive efforts have been invested in investigating toxicology and safety aspects of this new technology. However, despite there being more than 6,000 publications on nanotoxicology, some key questions still have to be answered and paradigms need to be challenged. Here, we present a view on the field of nanotoxicology to stimulate the discussion on major knowledge gaps and the critical appraisal of concepts or dogma. First, in the ongoing debate as to whether nanoparticles may harbour a specific toxicity due to their size, we support the view that there is at present no evidence of ‘nanospecific’ mechanisms of action; no step-change in hazard was observed so far for particles below 100 nm in one dimension. Therefore, it seems unjustified to consider all consumer products containing nanoparticles a priori as hazardous. Second, there is no evidence so far that fundamentally different biokinetics of nanoparticles would trigger toxicity. However, data are sparse whether nanoparticles may accumulate to an extent high enough to cause chronic adverse effects. To facilitate hazard assessment, we propose to group nanomaterials into three categories according to the route of exposure and mode of action, respectively: Category 1 comprises nanomaterials for which toxicity is mediated by the specific chemical properties of its components, such as released ions or functional groups on the surface. Nanomaterials belonging to this category have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, depending on their chemical identity. Category 2 focuses on rigid biopersistent respirable fibrous nanomaterials with a specific geometry and high aspect ratio (so-called WHO fibres). For these fibres, hazard assessment can be based on the experiences with asbestos. Category 3 focuses on respirable granular biodurable particles (GBP) which, after inhalation, may cause inflammation and secondary mutagenicity that may finally lead to lung cancer. After intravenous, oral or dermal exposure, nanoscaled GBPs investigated apparently did not show ‘nanospecific’ effects so far. Hazard assessment of GBPs may be based on the knowledge available for granular particles. In conclusion, we believe the proposed categorization system will facilitate future hazard assessments. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Hengstler J.G.,TU Dortmund | Foth H.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Gebel T.,Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Lilienblum W.,Dr. Lilienblum Consulting Toxicology LiCoTox | And 4 more authors.
Critical Reviews in Toxicology | Year: 2011

Despite the fact that more than 5000 safety-related studies have been published on bisphenol A (BPA), there seems to be no resolution of the apparently deadlocked controversy as to whether exposure of the general population to BPA causes adverse effects due to its estrogenicity. Therefore, the Advisory Committee of the German Society of Toxicology reviewed the background and cutting-edge topics of this BPA controversy. The current tolerable daily intake value (TDI) of 0.05 mg/kg body weight [bw]/day, derived by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), is mainly based on body weight changes in two- and three-generation studies in mice and rats. Recently, these studies and the derivation of the TDI have been criticized. After having carefully considered all arguments, the Committee had to conclude that the criticism was scientifically not justified; moreover, recently published additional data further support the reliability of the two- and three-generation studies demonstrating a lack of estrogen-dependent effects at and below doses on which the current TDI is based. A frequently discussed topic is whether doses below 5 mg/kg bw/day may cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals. Meanwhile, it has become clear that positive results from some explorative studies have not been confirmed in subsequent studies with higher numbers of animals or a priori defined hypotheses. Particularly relevant are some recent studies with negative outcomes that addressed effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and the prostate in rodents for extrapolation to the human situation. The Committee came to the conclusion that rodent data can well be used as a basis for human risk evaluation. Currently published conjectures that rats are insensitive to estrogens compared to humans can be refuted. Data from toxicokinetics studies show that the half-life of BPA in adult human subjects is less than 2 hours and BPA is completely recovered in urine as BPA-conjugates. Tissue deconjugation of BPA-glucuronide and -sulfate may occur. Because of the extremely low quantities, it is only of minor relevance for BPA toxicity. Biomonitoring studies have been used to estimate human BPA exposure and show that the daily intake of BPA is far below the TDI for the general population. Further topics addressed in this article include reasons why some studies on BPA are not reproducible; the relevance of oral versus non-oral exposure routes; the degree to which newborns are at higher systemic BPA exposure; increased BPA exposure by infusions in intensive care units; mechanisms of action other than estrogen receptor activation; and the current regulatory status in Europe, as well as in the USA, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. Overall, the Committee concluded that the current TDI for BPA is adequately justified and that the available evidence indicates that BPA exposure represents no noteworthy risk to the health of the human population, including newborns and babies. © 2011 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

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