Dr. rer. nat. Richard Gminski, is a senior scientist at the Institute of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Germany. He holds a degree in pharmacy and was rewarded a doctorate in natural sciences by the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He was scientific assistant in various university departments and medical centers in Heidelberg, Mannheim, Trier, Giessen and Berlin. His current research interests are environmental toxicology and particle toxicology, i.e. molecular mechanisms of fine and ultrafine particles (nanoparticles) with respect to mutagenicity and DNA damage in humans. Further interests are nutrition, forensic medicine and urban global health. He develops new high-throughput assays for rapid screening of biological activity or toxicity of environmental toxins and chemical compounds. He has broad experience in mutagenicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity testing of environmental chemicals and has published many papers on these topics.
Despite international efforts to limit worker exposure, coal mine dusts continue to impact the health of thousands of miners across Europe. Modern, practicable assessment tools and devices are urgently needed to protect workers, particularly from the fine fraction (PM2.5), which is increasingly implicated in human disease. To predict dust toxicity of different coal mine dusts and mining scenarios, a set of toxicological assays are necessary to identify a successful improvement of risk management targeting mitigation measures. Various studies indicate that the surface area and the potential to form reactive oxidants are highly promising metrics to predict the toxic potency of fine and ultrafine dusts. In the frame of the European ROCD project, two lignite coal mine dusts with different fractions (PM2.5 and PM10) obtained from an active lignite mine in Eastern Europe were investigated for their cytotoxic, oxidant generating capacity and inflammatory potential in the human alveolar epithelial cell line A549. Furthermore, to relate the observed effects to the hydroxyl-radical (OH•)-generating activities of these samples. The approach is based on the aligned electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) technique with 5.5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide (DMPO) as spin trap and hydrogen peroxide as substrate, and is specifically sensitive to Fenton-type reaction mediated generation of hydroxyl radicals. The results show that the two lignite coal mine dust samples investigated induce cytotoxic effects, produce ROS and release cytokine IL-8 in a concentration-dependent manner, with a similar potency to the two reference substances quartz and coal fly ash (CFA). Moreover, the toxic effects of the two coal mine dusts observed in human lung cells A549 appear to correlate with the hydroxyl-radical-generating capacities of both coal mine dust samples. The two studied coal mine samples and two reference substances with known constituents reveal the intrinsic hydroxyl-radical-generation method to be a sensitive tool for prediction of adverse health effects.
Soledad Chamorro has expertise in toxicology evaluation (lethal, sublethal, chronic and metabolic) trough bioindicators and biomarkers as algae, microcrustacean and fish. The line of expertise are the aquatic quality and environment health. In addition the evaluation of biologicals treatment (conventional and not conventional applied to industries), moreover the assess of microcontaminants in aquatic and soil matrix
Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and furosemide effect are inside of 140 pharmaceutical products detected in water resources. The main route of entry to aquatic environments of these compounds is from municipal wastewater to concentrations under 3 g/L. Recalcitrance to biodegradation in wastewater treatment plant and their chemical properties (solubility, coefficient octanol-water) favored the presence and potential toxicological effect on organisms of aquatic environments. Therefore, the aim of this work was to assessment of theses pharmaceutical products on freshwater organism Daphnia magna and Selenastrum capricornutum, as well as marine organisms such us Artemia salina and Arbacia spatuliera. The methodology was based on acute/chronic bioassays on D. magna (24-48 h-LC50, reproductive effects), S. capricornutum (72 h-LC50), A. salina (48 h-LC50) and A. spatuligera (reproductive effects). Pharmaceutical concentrations were tested in values from 1.0 to 260.0 mg/L for acetaminophen and ibuprofen, while concentrations from 1.0 to 64.0 mg/L for furosemide. Results demonstrate the acute toxicity from acetaminophen reached values between 0.26 mg/L for S. capricornutum and 21.40 mg/L D. magna. Furosemide showed acute toxicity of 37.01 mg/L for A. salina and 62.31mg/L for D. magna. Finally, ibuprofen reached acute toxicity values under 0.01mg/L and 78.11mg/L for S. capricornutum and D. magna respectively. Chronic effects related with reproduction on D. magna showed values of media effective concentration (CE50) of 15mg/L for furosemide and 5 mg/L for Ibuprofen. Therefore, toxicity effects on aquatic organisms of these pharmaceutical products depend on tropic level evaluated, being primary producers (S. capricornutum) more sensible than primary consumers (D. magna). Marine organisms (A. salina) are more resistant than freshwater organism (D. magna). Pharmaceutical products as acetaminophen, ibuprofen evidenced more toxicity than diuretics drug. Reproductive effects on A. spatuligera evidence that ibuprofen and acetaminophen (CE50: 0.001 and 0.003 mg/L), respectively is more toxic that furosemide (CE50: 0.36mg/L).