Perspectives on ecological risk assessment of chiral compounds.
ABSTRACT Enantiomers of chiral contaminants can significantly differ in environmental fate as well as in effects. Despite this fact, such differences are often ignored in regulation and in practice, injecting uncertainty into the estimation of risk of chiral compounds. We review the unique challenges posed by stereochemistry to the ecological risk assessment of chiral contaminants and existing regulatory guidance for chiral pharmaceuticals and pesticides in the United States. We identify the advantages of obtaining data on fate and effects of each individual enantiomer of chiral contaminants that are either distributed as or may end up as enantiomer mixtures in the environment due to enantiomerization. Because enantiomers of the same compound are highly likely to coexist in the environment with each other and can result in nonadditive effects, we recommend treatment of enantiomers as components of a mixture using widely accepted mixture models from achiral risk assessment. We further propose the enantiomer hazard ratio for retrospectively characterizing relative enantiomer risk and examine uncertainty factor magnitudes for effects analysis.
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ABSTRACT: The serotonin re-uptake inhibitor fluoxetine was selected for an environmental risk assessment, using the most recent European guideline (EMEA 2006) within the European Union (EU)-funded Environmental Risk Assessment of Pharmaceuticals (ERAPharm) project due to its environmental persistence, acute toxicity to nontarget organisms, and unique pharmacokinetics associated with a readily ionizable compound. As a widely prescribed psychotropic drug, fluoxetine is frequently detected in surface waters adjacent to urban areas because municipal wastewater effluents are the primary route of entry to aquatic environments. In Phase I of the assessment, the initial predicted environmental concentration of fluoxetine in surface water (initial PEC(SW)) reached or exceeded the action limit of 10 ng/L, when using both a default market penetration factor and prescription data for Sweden, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Consequently, a Phase II risk assessment was conducted in which green algae were identified as the most sensitive species with a NOEC of <0.6 microg/L. From this value, a predicted no effect concentration for surface waters (PNEC(SW)) of 0.012 microg/L was derived. The PEC/PNEC ratio was above the trigger value of 1 in worst-case exposure scenarios indicating a potential risk to the aquatic compartment. Similarly, risks of fluoxetine for sediment-dwelling organisms could not be excluded. No risk assessment was conducted for the terrestrial compartment due to a lack of data on effects of fluoxetine on soil organisms. The need for a separate risk assessment for the main metabolite of fluoxetine, norfluoxetine, was not conducted because of a lack of fate and effect studies. Based on published data, fluoxetine and norfluoxetine appeared to have a low to moderate bioaccumulation potential, which should be confirmed in formal studies according to OECD guidelines. Exposure assessments for fluoxetine according to the current framework rely heavily on K(OC) and K(OW) values. This approach is problematic, because fluoxetine is predominantly a cationic substance at environmental pH values. Consequently, the fate of fluoxetine (and other ionic substances) cannot be predicted using partition coefficients established for nonionic compounds. Further, published estimates for partition coefficients of fluoxetine vary, resulting in considerable uncertainties in both the exposure and environmental risk assessments of fluoxetine.Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 07/2010; 6 Suppl:524-39.
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ABSTRACT: The continued uses of dichlordiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) for indoor vector control in some developing countries have recently fueled intensive debates toward the global ban of this persistent legacy contaminant. Current approaches for ecological and health risk assessment has ignored the chiral nature of DDT. In this study by employing an array of cytotoxicity related endpoints, we investigated the enantioselective cytotoxicity of o,p'-DDT. we demonstrated for the first time that R-(-)-o,p'-DDT caused more neuron cell death by inducing more severe oxidative stress, which selectively imbalanced the transcription of stress-related genes (SOD1, SOD2, HSP70) and enzyme (superoxide dismutase and lactate dehydrogenase) activities, and greater cellular apoptosis compared to its enantiomer S-(+)-o,p'-DDT at the level comparable to malaria area exposure (parts per million). We further elucidated enantioselective modes of action using microarray combined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The enantioselective apoptosis might involve three signaling pathways via caspase 3, tumor protein 53 (p53) and NF(k)B. Based on DDT stereochemistry and results reported for other chiral pesticides, our results pointed to the same directional enantioselectivity of chiral DDT toward mammalian cells. We proposed that risk assessment on DDT should consider the enantiomer ratio and enantioselectivities.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e43823. · 3.73 Impact Factor
- Biophysical Journal 01/2011; 100(3). · 3.67 Impact Factor