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Trimethylbenzenes (Interagency Science Discussion Draft)

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The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Toxicity of seven priority hazardous and noxious substances (HNSs) to marine organisms: Current status, knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research

Authors: Rocha, AC; Reis-Henriques, MA; Galhano, V; Ferreira, M; Guimarães, L (2016) Science of the Total Environment 542:728-749. [Review] HERO ID: 3068437

[Less] Shipping industry and seaborne trade have rapidly increased over the last fifty years, mainly due to . . . [More] Shipping industry and seaborne trade have rapidly increased over the last fifty years, mainly due to the continuous increasing demand for chemicals and fuels. Consequently, despite current regulations, the occurrence of accidental spills poses an important risk. Hazardous and noxious substances (HNSs) have been raising major concern among environmental managers and scientific community for their heterogeneity, hazardous potential towards aquatic organisms and associated social-economic impacts. A literature review on ecotoxicological hazards to aquatic organisms was conducted for seven HNSs: acrylonitrile, n-butyl acrylate, cyclohexylbenzene, hexane, isononanol, trichloroethylene and xylene. Information on the mechanisms of action of the selected HNS was also reviewed. The main purpose was to identify: i) knowledge gaps in need of being addressed in future research; and ii) a set of possible biomarkers suitable for ecotoxicological assessment and monitoring in both estuarine and marine systems. Main gaps found concern the scarcity of information available on ecotoxicological effects of HNS towards marine species and their poorly understood mode of action in wildlife. Differences were found between the sensitivity of freshwater and seawater organisms, so endpoints produced in the former may not be straightforwardly employed in evaluations for the marine environment. The relationship between sub-individual effects and higher level detrimental alterations (e.g. behavioural, morphological, reproductive effects and mortality) are not fully understood. In this context, a set of biomarkers associated to neurotoxicity, detoxification and anti-oxidant defences is suggested as potential indicators of toxic exposure/effects of HNS in marine organisms. Overall, to support the development of contingency plans and the establishment of environmental safety thresholds, it will be necessary to undertake targeted research on HNS ecotoxicity in the marine environment. Research should address these issues under more realistic exposure scenarios reflecting the prevailing spatial and temporal variability in ecological and environmental conditions.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

New look at BTEX: Are ambient levels a problem?

Authors: Bolden, AL; Kwiatkowski, CF; Colborn, T (2015) Environmental Science and Technology 49:5261-5276. [Review] HERO ID: 2857163

[Less] Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) are retrieved during fossil fuel extraction and used . . . [More] Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) are retrieved during fossil fuel extraction and used as solvents in consumer and industrial products, as gasoline additives, and as intermediates in the synthesis of organic compounds for many consumer products. Emissions from the combustion of gasoline and diesel fuels are the largest contributors to atmospheric BTEX concentrations. However, levels indoors (where people spend greater than 83% of their time) can be many times greater than outdoors. In this review we identified epidemiological studies assessing the noncancer health impacts of ambient level BTEX exposure (i.e., nonoccupational) and discussed how the health conditions may be hormonally mediated. Health effects significantly associated with ambient level exposure included sperm abnormalities, reduced fetal growth, cardiovascular disease, respiratory dysfunction, asthma, sensitization to common antigens, and more. Several hormones including estrogens, androgens, glucocorticoids, insulin, and serotonin may be involved in these health outcomes. This analysis suggests that all four chemicals may have endocrine disrupting properties at exposure levels below reference concentrations (i.e., safe levels) issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These data should be considered when evaluating the use of BTEX in consumer and industrial products and indicates a need to change how chemicals present at low concentrations are assessed and regulated.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Does diisocyanate exposure result in neurotoxicity?

Authors: Hughes, MA; Carson, M; Collins, MA; Jolly, AT; Molenaar, DM; Steffens, W; Swaen, GMH (2014) Clinical Toxicology 52:242-257. [Review] HERO ID: 2398293

[Less] Context. Diisocyanates have been associated with respiratory and dermal sensitization. Limited number . . . [More] Context. Diisocyanates have been associated with respiratory and dermal sensitization. Limited number of case reports, and a few case studies, media, and other references suggest potential neurotoxic effects from exposures to toluene diisocyanate (TDI), 1,6 hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI), and methylene diisocyanate (MDI). However, a systematic review of the literature evaluating the causal association on humans does not exist to support this alleged association. Objective. To perform systematic review examining the body of epidemiologic evidence and provide assessment of causal association based on principles of the Sir Austin Bradford Hill criteria or considerations for causal analysis. Methods. A comprehensive search of public databases for published abstracts, case reports, cross-sectional surveys, and cohort studies using key search terms was conducted. Additional searches included regulatory reviews, EU IUCLID and EU Risk Assessment databases, and unpublished reports in the International Isocyanate Institute database. An expert panel consisting of physicians, toxicologists, and an epidemiologist critically reviewed accepted papers, providing examination of epidemiologic evidence of each report. Finally, the Hill criteria for causation were applied to the summative analysis of identified reports to estimate probability of causal association. Results. Twelve papers reporting exposed populations with a variety of neurological symptoms or findings suitable for analysis were identified, including eleven case or case series reports, and one cross-sectional study. Three papers reported on the same population. Each of the papers was limited by paucity of diisocyanate exposure estimates, the presence of confounding exposures to known or suspected neurotoxicants, a lack of objective biological measures of exposure or neurotoxic effects, and lack of relative strength of association measures. Additionally, reported health symptoms and syndromes lacked consistency or specificity. No plausible mechanism of toxicity was found. Application of a predictive mathematical model for determining probability of causal association for neurotoxicity was calculated to be 21%. Conclusion. There is insufficient evidence for a causal association of neurotoxic effects and diisocyanate exposure based on lack of evidence in all categories of the Hill criteria for causality except for temporal association of reported symptoms and alleged exposure. Future reports should attempt to address more rigorous exposure assessment and control for confounding exposures.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Hydrocarbon toxicity: A review

Authors: Tormoehlen, LM; Tekulve, KJ; Nañagas, KA (2014) Clinical Toxicology 52:479-489. [Review] HERO ID: 3068427

[Less] CONTEXT: Clinical effects of hydrocarbon exposure have been reported since 1897. These . . . [More] CONTEXT: Clinical effects of hydrocarbon exposure have been reported since 1897. These substances are ubiquitous, and their exposures are common. The specific hydrocarbon and route of exposure will determine the clinical effect, and an understanding of this is helpful in the care of the hydrocarbon-exposed patient.

OBJECTIVE: To complete a comprehensive review of the literature on hydrocarbon toxicity and summarize the findings.

METHODS: Relevant literature was identified through searches of Medline (PubMed/OVID) and Cochrane Library databases (inclusive of years 1975-2013), as well as from multiple toxicology textbooks. Bibliographies of the identified articles were also reviewed. Search terms included combinations of the following: hydrocarbons, inhalants, encephalopathy, coma, cognitive deficits, inhalant abuse, huffing, sudden sniffing death, toluene, renal tubular acidosis, metabolic acidosis, arrhythmia, dermatitis, and aspiration pneumonitis. All pertinent clinical trials, observational studies, and case reports relevant to hydrocarbon exposure and published in English were reviewed. Chronic, occupational hydrocarbon toxicity was not included.

RESULTS: Exposure to hydrocarbons occurs through one of the following routes: inhalation, ingestion with or without aspiration, or dermal exposure. Inhalational abuse is associated with central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, and arrhythmia. The exact mechanism of the CNS depression is unknown, but experimental evidence suggests effects on NMDA, dopamine, and GABA receptors. Chronic toluene inhalation causes a non-anion gap metabolic acidosis associated with hypokalemia. Halogenated hydrocarbon abuse can cause a fatal malignant arrhythmia, termed "sudden sniffing death". Individuals who regularly abuse hydrocarbons are more likely to be polysubstance users, exhibit criminal or violent behavior, and develop memory and other cognitive deficits. Heavy, long-term use results in cerebellar dysfunction, encephalopathy, weakness, and dementia. Neuroimaging may demonstrate leukoencephalopathy in these cases. Acute exposures improve with cessation of exposure. Electrolyte and fluid replacement will improve metabolic acidosis. Arrhythmias are precipitated via catecholamine surge, and beta blockers are presumed protective. Aspiration of hydrocarbons causes a potentially fatal pneumonitis. Symptoms may include cough, wheezing respiratory distress, and hypoxia. Bilateral interstitial infiltrates may be delayed for several hours after the development of pneumonitis. Treatment consists of supportive care, supplemental oxygen, and may require intubation and admission to an intensive care unit in severe cases. Unfortunately, aspiration pneumonitis remains a leading cause of poisoning mortality in children. Dermal exposure can cause dermatitis, chemical burns, and defatting injury. Oral exposure can cause local irritation as well as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

CONCLUSION: Acute hydrocarbon exposure can result in a wide array of pathology, such as encephalopathy, pneumonitis, arrhythmia, acidosis, and dermatitis. Intentional inhalational and accidental ingestion exposures with aspiration lead to the greatest morbidity and mortality.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Review of acute chemical incidents as a first step in evaluating the usefulness of physiologically based pharmacokinetic models in such incidents

Authors: Hunault, CC; Boerleider, RZ; Hof, BG; Kliest, JJ; Meijer, M; Nijhuis, NJ; de Vries, I; Meulenbelt, J (2014) Clinical Toxicology 52:121-128. [Review] HERO ID: 2298105

[Less] CONTEXT. Acute chemical incidents can have substantial public health consequences in terms of morbidity . . . [More] CONTEXT. Acute chemical incidents can have substantial public health consequences in terms of morbidity and mortality. OBJECTIVE. We aimed to characterize acute chemical incidents and near-misses in the Netherlands and compare the results with previous studies. This review is a first step in evaluating whether Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models can be of value in acute chemical incidents. MATERIAL AND METHODS. Government, regional, municipal and University Hospital Institutes involved in the management of acute chemical incidents in the Netherlands were contacted, and they provided data between 2008 and 2010 on the characteristics and consequences of the incidents. The study is a retrospective epidemiological study based on data from five institutes. Incidents involving biological agents or radiation were excluded. RESULTS. A total of 764 reports were available which involved 722 incidents after cross-matching the different sources of data. Forty incidents were excluded, leaving 682 incidents for which information was available in accordance with the inclusion criteria. Of the 682 incidents included in this study, most occurred in non-industrial buildings (37%) or industrial sites (34%). The most frequently observed event types were loss of containment (60%) and fire (36%), leading to gas emission (54%), followed by spill of liquid or solid chemicals (36%). The chemicals involved were most often products of combustion (e.g. smoke, soot, particles, 25%) and volatile organic compounds (e.g. solvents, styrene, xylene, 23%), followed by inorganic gases (e.g. carbon monoxide, hydrogen, hydrogen sulphide, 13%). A minimum of 847 people experienced adverse health effects following exposure during a chemical incident, and 10 fatalities were reported. The most frequently reported symptoms were respiratory (27%), due to irritant chemicals. The number of incidents related to fire and the number of injured people were higher in this study than in previous studies; 49% of the injured were transported to hospital. DISCUSSION. This study helps to identify which chemicals are frequently involved in acute chemical incidents in the Netherlands. The results will be used in future to assess whether PBPK models may be useful for risk assessment of chemicals often involved in acute chemical incidents and for which human toxicological and kinetic data are scarce.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity

Authors: Grandjean, P; Landrigan, PJ (2014) The Lancet Neurology 13:330-338. [Review] HERO ID: 2279453

[Less] Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, . . . [More] Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. In 2006, we did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants-manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy. Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Developmental and reproductive effects of chemicals associated with unconventional oil and natural gas operations

Authors: Webb, E; Bushkin-Bedient, S; Cheng, A; Kassotis, CD; Balise, V; Nagel, SC (2014) Reviews on Environmental Health 29:307-318. [Review] HERO ID: 2773367

[Less] Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations have the potential to increase air and water pollution in . . . [More] Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations have the potential to increase air and water pollution in communities located near UOG operations. Every stage of UOG operation from well construction to extraction, operations, transportation, and distribution can lead to air and water contamination. Hundreds of chemicals are associated with the process of unconventional oil and natural gas production. In this work, we review the scientific literature providing evidence that adult and early life exposure to chemicals associated with UOG operations can result in adverse reproductive health and developmental effects in humans. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) [including benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene (BTEX) and formaldehyde] and heavy metals (including arsenic, cadmium and lead) are just a few of the known contributors to reduced air and water quality that pose a threat to human developmental and reproductive health. The developing fetus is particularly sensitive to environmental factors, which include air and water pollution. Research shows that there are critical windows of vulnerability during prenatal and early postnatal development, during which chemical exposures can cause potentially permanent damage to the growing embryo and fetus. Many of the air and water pollutants found near UOG operation sites are recognized as being developmental and reproductive toxicants; therefore there is a compelling need to increase our knowledge of the potential health consequences for adults, infants, and children from these chemicals through rapid and thorough health research investigation.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Is diacetyl a respiratory sensitizer? A reconsideration using QSAR, QMM, and competition experiments

Authors: Dworak, JJ; Roberts, DW; Calter, MA; Fields, CA; Borak, J (2013) Chemical Research in Toxicology 26:631-633. [Review] HERO ID: 3068436

[Less] Concerns have been raised that diacetyl (DA) might be a respiratory sensitizer based on its LUMO energy . . . [More] Concerns have been raised that diacetyl (DA) might be a respiratory sensitizer based on its LUMO energy similar to that of the respiratory allergen toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI) and results of a local lymph node assay (LLNA) that reported an EC3 of 1.9%. To better understand the concerns, we performed a systematic literature review and experimental competition reactions between DA and TDI. The experimental evidence demonstrates that DA is at least 400-fold less reactive than TDI. The literature review finds evidence that the EC3 for DA is actually >11%. We conclude that DA is unlikely to have significant respiratory sensitization potential.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Joint toxicity of alkoxyethanol mixtures: contribution of in silico applications

Authors: Pohl, HR; Ruiz, P; Scinicariello, F; Mumtaz, MM (2012) Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 64:134-142. [Review] HERO ID: 1788504

[Less] Exposure to chemicals occurs often as mixtures. Presented in this paper is information on alkoxyethanols . . . [More] Exposure to chemicals occurs often as mixtures. Presented in this paper is information on alkoxyethanols and the impact they might have on human health in combination with some commonly found aliphatic and aromatic compounds. Our studies to evaluate the joint toxicity of these chemicals among themselves and in combination with other chemicals reveal a variety of possible outcomes depending on the exposure scenario. The interactions are predominantly based on metabolic pathways and are common among several solvents and organic compounds. Quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) analysis can be used with high confidence to identify chemicals that will interact to influence overall joint toxicity. Potential human exposure to a combination of alkoxyethanol, toluene and substituted benzenes may increase reproductive and developmental disease conditions. Inheritable gene alterations result in changes in the enzyme function in different subpopulations causing variations in quantity and/or quality of particular isoenzymes. These changes are responsible for differential metabolism of chemicals in species, genders, and life stages and are often the basis of a population's susceptibility. Unique genotypes introduced as a function of migration can alter the genetic makeup of any given population. Hence special consideration should be given to susceptible populations while conducting chemical health risk assessments.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Toxic agents causing cerebellar ataxias

Author: Manto, M (2012) Handbook of Clinical Neurology 103:201-213. [Review] HERO ID: 1788334

[Less] The cerebellum is particularly vulnerable to intoxication and poisoning, especially so the cerebellar . . . [More] The cerebellum is particularly vulnerable to intoxication and poisoning, especially so the cerebellar cortex and Purkinje neurons. In humans, the most common cause of a toxic lesion to the cerebellar circuitry is alcohol related, but the cerebellum is also a main target of drug exposure (such as anticonvulsants, antineoplastics, lithium salts, calcineurin inhibitors), drug abuse and addiction (such as cocaine, heroin, phencyclidine), and environmental toxins (such as mercury, lead, manganese, toluene/benzene derivatives). Although data for the prevalence and incidence of cerebellar lesions related to intoxication and poisoning are still unknown in many cases, clinicians should keep in mind the list of agents that may cause cerebellar deficits, since toxin-induced cerebellar ataxias are not rare in daily practice. Moreover, the patient's status may require immediate therapies when the intoxication is life-threatening.