Sci Total Environ 2019 Jul 6;673:685-693. Epub 2019 Apr 6.
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada.
Frameworks for human health risk assessment often include the opportunity to correct the estimate of exposure for bioavailability, which could be predicted from bioaccessibility. Lead and As are the only metallic elements for which bioavailability and bioaccessibility have been correlated across a spectrum of mineralogy and particle types. The objective of the present study is to correlate in vivo bioavailability with ex vivo bioaccessibility for elevated Ni in soils of ultramafic origin and explore attribution of any variation in this correlation to mineralogical characterization of the Ni. Ultramafic soils were field collected in British Columbia, CA. Rietveld quantitative X-ray diffraction was used for the characterization and quantification of crystalline materials containing Ni. Bioaccessible Ni was determined using the in vitro method developed by the Solubility/Bioaccessibility Research Consortium. Bioavailable Ni was determined by gavage dose of the soils to Sprague-Dawley rats. Urine and feces were collected every 24 h. At the end of 72 h, the animals were humanely sacrificed using carbon dioxide as per the approved animal care protocol. All organs were harvested, washed and preserved. Fecal elimination of gavaged Ni ranged from 35 to 95% including positive control. Relative bioavailability (RBA) ranged from 5 to 18%. In vitro bioaccessibility (IVBA) of soil Ni ranged from 0 to 17%; IVBA explained 86% of the variation in RBA. Normalizing both axes to soil olivine accounted for an additional 10% of the variation in RBA. For risk assessment of Ni contaminated soils, IVBA would be a useful and cost effective tool in estimating exposure of mammals through ingestion of soil particles, with some additional benefit of considering Ni mineralogy.