Nickel Release, ROS generation and Toxicity of Ni and NiO Micro- and Nanoparticles
Transparency of chemical risk assessment data under REACH
The aim of this study is to scrutinize the transparency, i.e. the accessibility and comprehensibility, of information on substances registered under REACH. Data on repeated dose toxicity and hazard assessment conclusions were extracted for 60 substances from the REACH registration database available on the ECHA website. The data were compiled in a database for systematically evaluating the transparency of information related to the conclusions on hazard or risk. In addition, CSRs were requested from ECHA for five substances. The transparency of information on the hazard and risk of substances was found to be limited for several reasons. First, certain information was removed due to confidentiality and certain fields were not published because they could contain confidential information although the information had not been claimed confidential. Also, the extent to which registrants reported information varied, and the presentation of some data and certain terminology required further clarification. In addition, the data source for the majority of the key and supporting studies could not be identified due to confidentiality. Since registrants are only required to summarise studies, it cannot be verified whether all relevant information from non-public industry reports have been reported. Lastly, certain information related to the hazard and risk assessment were only reported in the CSR which is only available upon request; a time-consuming and work-intensive process. As information on registered chemicals is currently provided to the public, it is difficult to follow steps that are undertaken in the hazard and risk assessment. This limits the possibility for a third party to evaluate the assessment.
Assessing the relevance of ecotoxicological studies for regulatory decision making
Regulatory policies in many parts of the world either recognize the utility of, or mandate, that all available studies be considered in Environmental Assessment (ERA) of chemicals, including studies from the peer-reviewed literature. Consequently, a vast array of different studies and data types need to be considered. The first steps in the evaluation process involve determining whether the study is relevant to the ERA and sufficiently reliable. Relevance evaluation is typically performed using existing guidance but involves application of 'expert judgement' by risk assessors. In this paper we reviewed published guidance for relevance evaluation and based on the practical experience within the group of authors we identified additional aspects and further developed already proposed aspects that should be considered when conducting a relevance assessment for ecotoxicological studies. The overarching key aspect of relevance concerns the ability to directly or indirectly use the study in ERA with the purpose to address specific protection goals and ultimately regulatory decision-making. Since ERA schemes are based on the appropriate linking of exposure and effect estimates, important features of ecotoxicological studies relate to exposure relevance and biological relevance. Exposure relevance addresses the representativeness of the test substance, environmental exposure media and exposure regime. Biological relevance deals with the environmental significance of the test organism and the endpoints, the ecological realism of the test conditions simulated in the study, as well as a mechanistic link of treatment-related effects for endpoints to the protection goal identified in the ERA. In addition, uncertainties associated with relevance should be considered in the assessment. A systematic and transparent assessment of relevance is needed for regulatory decision-making. The relevance aspects also need to be considered by scientists to facilitate the studies use in ERA.
Inflammatory markers and exposure to airborne particles among workers in a Swedish pulp and paper mill
Provningsjämförelse / Proficiency Test 2016-5, Avloppsvatten / Wastewater
Amazon boundary layer aerosol concentration sustained by vertical transport during rainfall
The nucleation of atmospheric vapours is an important source of new aerosol particles that can subsequently grow to form cloud condensation nuclei in the atmosphere(1). Most field studies of atmospheric aerosols over continents are influenced by atmospheric vapours of anthropogenic origin (for example, ref. 2) and, in consequence, aerosol processes in pristine, terrestrial environments remain poorly understood. The Amazon rainforest is one of the few continental regions where aerosol particles and their precursors can be studied under near-natural conditions(3-5), but the origin of small aerosol particles that grow into cloud condensation nuclei in the Amazon boundary layer remains unclear(6-8). Here we present aircraft- and ground-based measurements under clean conditions during the wet season in the central Amazon basin. We find that high concentrations of small aerosol particles (with diameters of less than 50 nanometres) in the lower free troposphere are transported from the free troposphere into the boundary layer during precipitation events by strong convective downdrafts and weaker downward motions in the trailing stratiform region. This rapid vertical transport can help to maintain the population of particles in the pristine Amazon boundary layer, and may therefore influence cloud properties and climate under natural conditions.
Contrasting composition of terrigenous organic matter in the dissolved, particulate and sedimentary organic carbon pools on the outer East Siberian Arctic Shelf
Fluvial discharge and coastal erosion of the permafrost-dominated East Siberian Arctic delivers large quantities of terrigenous organic carbon (Terr-OC) to marine waters. The composition and fate of the remobilized Terr-OC needs to be better constrained as it impacts the potential for a climate–carbon feedback. In the present study, the bulk isotope (δ13C and Δ14C) and macromolecular (lignin-derived phenols) composition of the cross-shelf exported organic carbon (OC) in different marine pools is evaluated. For this purpose, as part of the SWERUS-C3 expedition (July–September 2014), sediment organic carbon (SOC) as well as water column (from surface and near-bottom seawater) dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and particulate organic carbon (POC) samples were collected along the outer shelves of the Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea. The results show that the Lena River and the DOC may have a preferential role in the transport of Terr-OC to the outer shelf. DOC concentrations (740–3600 µg L−1) were 1 order of magnitude higher than POC (20–360 µg L−1), with higher concentrations towards the Lena River plume. The δ13C signatures in the three carbon pools varied from −23.9 ± 1.9 ‰ in the SOC, −26.1 ± 1.2 ‰ in the DOC and −27.1 ± 1.9 ‰ in the POC. The Δ14C values ranged between −395 ± 83 (SOC), −226 ± 92 (DOC) and −113 ± 122 ‰ (POC). These stable and radiocarbon isotopes were also different between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea. Both DOC and POC showed a depleted and younger trend off the Lena River plume. Further, the Pacific inflow and the sea-ice coverage, which works as a barrier preventing the input of “young” DOC and POC, seem to have a strong influence in these carbon pools, presenting older and more enriched δ13C signatures under the sea-ice extent. Lignin phenols exhibited higher OC-normalized concentrations in the SOC (0.10–2.34 mg g−1 OC) and DOC (0.08–2.40 mg g−1 OC) than in the POC (0.03–1.14 mg g−1 OC). The good relationship between lignin and Δ14C signatures in the DOC suggests that a significant fraction of the outer-shelf DOC comes from “young” Terr-OC. By contrast, the slightly negative correlation between lignin phenols and Δ14C signatures in POC, with higher lignin concentrations in older POC from near-bottom waters, may reflect the off-shelf transport of OC from remobilized permafrost in the nepheloid layer. Syringyl ∕ vanillyl and cinnamyl ∕ vannillyl phenol ratios presented distinct clustering between DOC, POC and SOC, implying that those pools may be carrying different Terr-OC of partially different origin. Moreover, 3,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid to vanillyl phenol ratios and p-coumaric acid to ferulic acid ratios, used as a diagenetic indicators, enhanced in POC and SOC, suggesting more degradation within these pools. Overall, the key contrast between enhanced lignin yields both in the youngest DOC and the oldest POC samples reflects a significant decoupling of terrestrial OC sources and pathways.