Publications by authors named "Lok R Pokhrel"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Risk assessment of occupational exposure to anesthesia Isoflurane in the hospital and veterinary settings.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Apr 5;783:146894. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Environmental Health and Radiation Safety, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Despite the modern ventilation and waste anesthetic gas (WAG) scavenging systems, occupational exposure to common volatile anesthesia, isoflurane, can occur in the hospital and veterinary settings, but limited information exists on potential exposure and health risk of isoflurane. We assessed exposure dose rates and risks among clinicians and veterinary professionals from occupational exposure to isoflurane. Through a critical review of open literature (1965 to 2020), we summarized potential adverse effects and exposure scenarios of isoflurane among the professional groups, including anesthetists, nurses, operating room personnel, researchers, and/or veterinarians. Deterministic United States National Research Council/Environmental Protection Agency's risk assessment framework (hazard identification, dose-response relationship, exposure assessment and risk characterization) was used to compute inhalation Reference Doses (RfDs), Average Daily Doses (ADDs), and Hazard Quotient (HQ) values-an established measure of non-carcinogenic (systemic) risks-from exposure to isoflurane to workers in hospital and veterinary settings. We identified the central nervous system as the main target for isoflurane, and that isoflurane has dose-dependent effects on cardiac hemodynamics, can impair pulmonary functions and potentially cross the utero-placental barrier leading to congenital malformation in fetus. Based on the modelled RfDs (range 0.8003-7.55 mg/kg-day) and ADDs (range 0.071-1.9617 mg/kg-day), we estimated 56 different HQ values, of which 5 HQs were higher than 1 (range 1.099-2.4512) under high exposure scenarios. Our results suggest a significant non-carcinogenic risk from isoflurane exposures among workers in the occupational settings. The findings underscore the need to significantly minimize isoflurane release to protect workers' health in the hospital and veterinary environments.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146894DOI Listing
April 2021

Risk assessment of inhaled diacetyl from electronic cigarette use among teens and adults.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 30;772:145486. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Department of Public Health, The Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA; Department of Health Education and Promotion, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA. Electronic address:

Diacetyl (CHO) is a toxicant commonly found in electronic cigarettes (e-Cigs) as a flavoring component and an enhancer of e-juices. Lung injury in current and former workers in popcorn manufacturing suggests a possible association with diacetyl inhalation exposure. Although the number of e-Cig users continues to rise steadily among the teens and adults, the potential risk of pulmonary disease has not been characterized. A systematic review of the open literature identified bronchiolitis obliterans-a pathological inflammation resulting in fibrosis of the bronchioles leading to an irreversible limitation to airflow in lungs-as the primary outcome of diacetyl exposures. Following the deterministic United States National Research Council/Environmental Protection Agency's risk assessment framework, that consists of four key steps: hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment and risk characterization, we estimated noncarcinogenic (systemic) risks using a Hazard Quotient (HQ) approach upon exposure to diacetyl among teens and adults who use e-Cigs. Based on the NIOSH Benchmark Dose (BMD; 0.0175 mg/kg-day) and modelled Average Daily Doses (ADDs; range 0.11-5.2 mg/kg-day), we estimated 12 different HQ values-a measure of non-carcinogenic risk for diacetyl inhalation exposures-all of which were greater than 1 (range 6.2875-297.1429), suggesting a significantly higher non-carcinogenic risk from diacetyl exposures among the teens and adults who use e-Cigs. These results underscore the need to regulate e-Cigs to protect teens and adults from diacetyl exposures and risk of developing lung injuries, including bronchiolitis obliterans.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145486DOI Listing
June 2021

A discussion about public health, lead and Legionella pneumophila in drinking water supplies in the United States.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Jul 10;590-591:843-852. Epub 2017 Mar 10.

Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, 426 Cunz Hall, 1841 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210, USA; Department of Civil Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, College of Engineering, The Ohio State University, USA.

Lead (Pb) in public drinking water supplies has garnered much attention since the outset of the Flint water crisis. Pb is a known hazard in multiple environmental matrices, exposure from which results in long-term deleterious health effects in humans. This discussion paper aims to provide a succinct account of environmental Pb exposures with a focus on water Pb levels (WLLs) in the United States. It is understood that there is a strong correlation between WLLs and blood Pb levels (BLLs), and the associated health effects. However, within the Flint water crisis, more than water chemistry and Pb exposure occurred. A cascade of regulatory and bureaucratic failures culminated in the Flint water crisis. This paper will discuss pertinent regulations and responses including their limitations after an overview of the public health effects from Pb exposure as well as discussion on our limitations on monitoring and mitigating Pb in tap water. As the Flint water crisis also included increased Legionnares' disease, caused by Legionella pneumophila, this paper will discuss factors influencing L. pneumophila growth. This will highlight the systemic nature of changes to water chemistry and public health impacts. As we critically analyze these important aspects of water research, we offer discussions to stimulate future water quality research from a new and systemic perspective to inform and guide public health decision-making.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6959527PMC
July 2017

Novel carbon nanotube (CNT)-based ultrasensitive sensors for trace mercury(II) detection in water: A review.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Jan 16;574:1379-1388. Epub 2016 Aug 16.

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, West Bengal 721320, India.

Infamous for "Mad hatter syndrome" and "Minamata disease", mercury (Hg) is ranked high on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's priority list of hazardous substances for its potent neurologic, renal, and developmental toxicities. Most typical exposures are via contaminated water and food. Although regulations and advisories are exercised at various levels, Hg pollution from both natural and anthropogenic sources has remained a major public health and safety concern. Rapid detection of solvated aqueous Hg ions at low levels is critical for immediate response and protection of those who are vulnerable (young children, pregnant and breast-feeding women) to acute and chronic exposures to Hg. Various types of sensors capable of detecting Hg in water have been developed. In particular, the novel use of engineered carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has garnered attention due to their specificity and sensitivity towards Hg detection in solution. In this focused review, we describe the sensitivity, selectivity and mechanisms of Hg ion sensing at trace levels by employing CNT-based various sensor designs, and appraise the open literature on the currently applied and "proof-of-concept" methods. Five different types of CNT-based sensor systems are described: potentiometric, DNA-based fluorescence, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), colorimetric, and stripping voltammetric assays. In addition, the recognized merits and shortcomings for each type of electrochemical sensors are discussed. The knowledge from this succinct review shall guide the development of the next generation CNT-based biochemical sensors for rapid Hg detection in the environment, which is a significant first step towards human health risk analysis of this legacy toxicant.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.08.055DOI Listing
January 2017

Germination and early plant development of ten plant species exposed to titanium dioxide and cerium oxide nanoparticles.

Environ Toxicol Chem 2016 09 16;35(9):2223-9. Epub 2016 May 16.

US Environmental Protection Agency, Corvallis, Oregon.

Ten agronomic plant species were exposed to different concentrations of nano-titanium dioxide (nTiO2 ) or nano-cerium oxide (nCeO2 ) (0 μg/mL, 250 μg/mL, 500 μg/mL, and 1000 μg/mL) to examine potential effects on germination and early seedling development. The authors modified a standard test protocol developed for soluble chemicals (OPPTS 850.4200) to determine if such an approach might be useful for screening engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and whether there were differences in response across a range of commercially important plant species to 2 common metal oxide ENMs. Eight of 10 species responded to nTiO2 , and 5 species responded to nCeO2 . Overall, it appeared that early root growth may be a more sensitive indicator of potential effects from ENM exposure than germination. The observed effects did not always relate to the exposure concentration, indicating that mass-based concentration may not fully explain the developmental effects of these 2 ENMs. The results suggest that nTiO2 and nCeO2 have different effects on early plant growth of agronomic species, with unknown effects at later stages of the life cycle. In addition, standard germination tests, which are commonly used for toxicity screening of new materials, may not detect the subtle but potentially more important changes associated with early growth and development in terrestrial plants. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2223-2229. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3374DOI Listing
September 2016

Long-term sub-lethal effects of low concentration commercial herbicide (glyphosate/pelargonic acid) formulation in Bryophyllum pinnatum.

Sci Total Environ 2015 Dec 24;538:279-87. Epub 2015 Aug 24.

Department of Biological Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614, United States. Electronic address:

Potential long-term (~7months) sub-lethal impacts of soil-applied low levels of Roundup herbicide formulation were investigated in a greenhouse environment using the vegetative clones of succulent non-crop plant model, Bryophyllum pinnatum (Lam.) Oken. An eleven day LC50 (concentration that killed 50% of the plants) was found to be 6.25% (~1.25mg glyphosate/mL and 1.25mg pelargonic acid/mL combined), and complete mortality occurred at 12.5%, of the field application rate (i.e., ~20mg glyphosate/mL and 20mg pelargonic acid/mL as active ingredients). While sub-lethal Roundup (1-5%) exposures led to hormesis-characterized by a significant increase in biomass and vegetative reproduction, higher concentrations (≥6.25%) were toxic. A significant interaction between Roundup concentrations and leaf biomass was found to influence the F1 plantlets' biomass. Biomass asymmetry generally increased with increasing Roundup concentrations, indicating that plants were more stressed at higher Roundup treatments but within the low-dose regime (≤5% of the as-supplied formulation). While leaf apex region demonstrated higher reproduction with lower biomass increase, leaf basal area showed lower reproduction with greater biomass increase, in plantlets. The results suggest long-term exposures to drifted low levels of Roundup in soil may promote biomass and reproduction in B. pinnatum.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.052DOI Listing
December 2015

Preferential interaction of Na+ over K+ with carboxylate-functionalized silver nanoparticles.

Sci Total Environ 2014 Aug 16;490:11-8. Epub 2014 May 16.

US Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Western Ecology Division, 200 SW 35th St., Corvallis, OR 97333, USA.

Elucidating mechanistic interactions between monovalent cations (Na(+)/K(+)) and engineered nanoparticle surfaces to alter particle stability in polar media have received little attention. We investigated relative preferential interaction of Na(+) and K(+) with carboxylate-functionalized silver nanoparticles (carboxylate-AgNPs) to determine if interaction preference followed the Hofmeister series (Na(+)>K(+)). We hypothesized that Na(+) will show greater affinity than K(+) to pair with carboxylates on AgNP surfaces, thereby destabilizing the colloidal system. Destabilization upon Na(+) or K(+) interacting with carboxylate-AgNPs was evaluated probing changes in multiple physicochemical characteristics: surface plasmon resonance/optical absorbance, electrical conductivity, pH, hydrodynamic diameter, electrophoretic mobility, surface charge, amount of Na(+)/K(+) directly associated with AgNPs, and Ag(+) dissociation kinetics. We show that Na(+) and K(+) react differently, indicating local Na(+) pairing with carboxylates on AgNP surfaces is kinetically faster and remarkably favored over K(+), thus supporting Hofmeister ordering. Our results suggest that AgNPs may transform into micron-size aggregates upon release into aqueous environments and that the fate of such aggregates may need consideration when assessing environmental risk.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.04.120DOI Listing
August 2014

Impacts of select organic ligands on the colloidal stability, dissolution dynamics, and toxicity of silver nanoparticles.

Environ Sci Technol 2013 Nov 7;47(22):12877-85. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Department of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University , Johnson City, Tennessee 37614-1700, United States.

Key understanding of potential transformations that may occur on silver nanoparticle (AgNP) surface upon interaction with naturally ubiquitous organic ligands (e.g., -SH (thoil), humic acid, or -COO (carboxylate)) is limited. Herein we investigated how dissolved organic carbon (DOC), -SH (in cysteine, a well-known Ag(+) chelating agent), and -COO (in trolox, a well-known antioxidant) could alter the colloidal stability, dissolution rate, and toxicity of citrate-functionalized AgNPs (citrate-AgNPs) against a keystone crustacean Daphnia magna. Cysteine, DOC, or trolox amendment of citrate-AgNPs differentially modified particle size, surface properties (charge, plasmonic spectra), and ion release dynamics, thereby attenuating (with cysteine or trolox) or promoting (with DOC) AgNP toxicity. Except with DOC amendment, the combined toxicity of AgNPs and released Ag under cysteine or trolox amendment was lower than of AgNO3 alone. The results of this study show that citrate-AgNP toxicity can be associated with oxidative stress, ion release, and the organism biology. Our evidence suggests that specific organic ligands available in the receiving waters can differentially surface modify AgNPs and alter their environmental persistence (changing dissolution dynamics) and subsequently the toxicity; hence, we caveat to generalize that surface modified nanoparticles upon environmental release may not be toxic to receptor organisms.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es403462jDOI Listing
November 2013

Particle size, surface charge and concentration dependent ecotoxicity of three organo-coated silver nanoparticles: comparison between general linear model-predicted and observed toxicity.

Sci Total Environ 2014 Jan 30;468-469:968-76. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Department of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614, United States.

Mechanism underlying nanotoxicity has remained elusive. Hence, efforts to understand whether nanoparticle properties might explain its toxicity are ongoing. Considering three different types of organo-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs): citrate-coated AgNP, polyvinylpyrrolidone-coated AgNP, and branched polyethyleneimine-coated AgNP, with different surface charge scenarios and core particle sizes, herein we systematically evaluate the potential role of particle size and surface charge on the toxicity of the three types of AgNPs against two model organisms, Escherichia coli and Daphnia magna. We find particle size, surface charge, and concentration dependent toxicity of all the three types of AgNPs against both the test organisms. Notably, Ag(+) (as added AgNO3) toxicity is greater than each type of AgNPs tested and the toxicity follows the trend: AgNO3 > BPEI-AgNP > Citrate-AgNP > PVP-AgNP. Modeling particle properties using the general linear model (GLM), a significant interaction effect of primary particle size and surface charge emerges that can explain empirically-derived acute toxicity with great precision. The model explains 99.9% variation of toxicity in E. coli and 99.8% variation of toxicity in D. magna, revealing satisfactory predictability of the regression models developed to predict the toxicity of the three organo-coated AgNPs. We anticipate that the use of GLM to satisfactorily predict the toxicity based on nanoparticle physico-chemical characteristics could contribute to our understanding of nanotoxicology and underscores the need to consider potential interactions among nanoparticle properties when explaining nanotoxicity.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.09.006DOI Listing
January 2014

Evaluation of developmental responses of two crop plants exposed to silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles.

Sci Total Environ 2013 May 24;452-453:321-32. Epub 2013 Mar 24.

Department of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614-1700, USA.

The increasing applications of different nanomaterials in the myriad of nano-enabled products and their potential for leaching have raised considerable environmental, health and safety (EHS) concerns. As systematic studies investigating potential anomalies in the morphology and anatomy of crop plants are scarce, herein we report on the developmental responses of two agriculturally significant crop plants, maize (Zea mays L.) and cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata L.), upon in vitro exposure to nanoparticles of citrate-coated silver (Citrate-nAg) and zinc oxide (nZnO). Analyses involve histology of the primary root morphology and anatomy using light microscopy, metal biouptake, moisture content, rate of germination, and root elongation. Comparative toxicity profiles of the ionic salts (AgNO3 and ZnSO4) are developed. Notably, we uncover structural changes in maize primary root cells upon exposure to Citrate-nAg, nZnO, AgNO3, and ZnSO4, possibly due to metal biouptake, suggesting potential for functional impairments in the plant growth and development. Citrate-nAg exposure results in lower Ag biouptake compared to AgNO3 treatment in maize. Microscopic evidence reveals 'tunneling-like effect' with nZnO treatment, while exposure to AgNO3 leads to cell erosion in maize root apical meristem. In maize, a significant change in metaxylem count is evident with Citrate-nAg, AgNO3, and ZnSO4 treatment, but not with nZnO treatment (p>0.1). In both maize and cabbage, measures of germination and root elongation reveal lower nanoparticle toxicity compared to free ions. As moisture data do not support osmotically-induced water stress hypothesis for explaining toxicity, we discuss other proximate mechanisms including the potential role of growth hormones and transcription factors. These findings highlight previously overlooked, anatomically significant effects of metal nanoparticles, and recommend considering detailed anatomical investigations in tandem with the standard developmental phytotoxicity assays (germination and root elongation) as the latter ones appear less sensitive for screening plant responses to nanomaterial insults.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.02.059DOI Listing
May 2013

Potential impact of low-concentration silver nanoparticles on predator-prey interactions between predatory dragonfly nymphs and Daphnia magna as a prey.

Environ Sci Technol 2012 Jul 27;46(14):7755-62. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Department of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee 37614-1700, United States.

This study investigated the potential impacts of low-concentration citrate-coated silver nanoparticles (citrate-nAg; 2 μg L(-1) as total Ag) on the interactions of Daphnia magna Straus (as a prey) with the predatory dragonfly ( Anax junius : Odonata) nymph using the behavioral, survival, and reproductive end points. Four different toxicity bioassays were evaluated: (i) horizontal migration; (ii) vertical migration; (iii) 48 h survival; and (iv) 21 day reproduction; using four different treatment combinations: (i) Daphnia + citrate-nAg; (ii) Daphnia + predator; (iii) Daphnia + citrate-nAg + predator; and (iv) Daphnia only (control). Daphnia avoided the predators using the horizontal and vertical movements, indicating that Daphnia might have perceived a significant risk of predation. However, with citrate-nAg + predator treatment, Daphnia response did not differ from control in the vertical migration test, suggesting that Daphnia were unable to detect the presence of predator with citrate-nAg treatment and this may have potential implication on daphnids population structure owing to predation risk. The 48 h survival test showed a significant mortality of Daphnia individuals in the presence of predators, with or without citrate-nAg, in the test environment. Average reproduction of daphnids increased by 185% with low-concentration citrate-nAg treatment alone but was severely compromised in the presence of predators (decreased by 91.3%). Daphnia reproduction was slightly enhanced by approximately 128% with citrate-nAg + predator treatment. Potential mechanisms of these differential effects of low-concentration citrate-nAg, with or without predators, are discussed. Because silver dissolution was minimal, the observed toxicity could not be explained by dissolved Ag alone. These findings offer novel insights into how exposure to low-concentration silver nanoparticles could influence predator-prey interactions in the fresh water systems.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es204055cDOI Listing
July 2012

Rapid screening of aquatic toxicity of several metal-based nanoparticles using the MetPLATE™ bioassay.

Sci Total Environ 2012 Jun 20;426:414-22. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

Department of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614, USA.

Current understanding of potential toxicity of engineered nanomaterials to aquatic microorganisms is limited for risk assessment and management. Here we evaluate if the MetPLATE™ test can be used as an effective and rapid screening tool to test for potential aquatic toxicity of various metal-based nanoparticles (NPs). The MetPLATE bioassay is a heavy metal sensitive test based on β-galactosidase activity in Escherichia coli. Five different types of metal-based NPs were screened for toxicity: (1) citrate coated nAg (Citrate-nanosilver), (2) polyvinylpyrrolidone coated nAg (PVP-nAg), (3) uncoated nZnO, (4) uncoated nTiO(2) and (5) 1-Octadecylamine coated CdSe Quantum Dots (CdSe QDs); and compared with their corresponding ionic salt toxicity. Citrate-nAg was further fractionated into clean Citrate-nAg, unclean Citrate-nAg and permeate using a tangential flow filtration (TFF) system to eliminate residual ions and impurities from the stock Citrate-nAg suspension and also to differentiate between ionic- versus nano-specific toxicity. Our results showed that nAg, nZnO and CdSe QDs were less toxic than their corresponding ionic salts tested, while nano- or ionic form of TiO(2) was not toxic as high as 2.5 g L(-1) to the MetPLATE™ bacteria. Although coating-dependent toxicity was noticeable between two types of Ag NPs evaluated, particle size and surface charge were not adequate to explain the observed toxicity; hence, the toxicity appeared to be material-specific. Overall, the toxicity followed the trend: CdCl(2)>AgNO(3)>PVP-nAg>unclean Citrate-nAg>clean Citrate-nAg>ZnSO(4)>nZnO>CdSe QDs>nTiO(2)/TiO(2). These results indicate that an evaluation of β-galactosidase inhibition in MetPLATE™ E. coli can be an important consideration for rapid screening of metal-based NP toxicity, and should facilitate ecological risk assessment of these emerging contaminants.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.03.049DOI Listing
June 2012