Adrian Covaci

Adrian Covaci
University of Antwerp | UA · Toxicological Center

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939
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Publications

Publications (939)
Article
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The chemical pollution crisis severely threatens human and environmental health globally. To tackle this challenge the establishment of an overarching international science–policy body has recently been suggested. We strongly support this initiative based on the awareness that humanity has already likely left the safe operating space within planeta...
Article
Toxicological data on overdose with HIV-inhibitors is scarce. We present a case report of two independent suicide attempts by self-administered overdose with the same antiretroviral medicine Genvoya® (emtricitabine/elvitegravir/tenofovir alafenamide/cobicistat). Both patients were admitted to the hospital and presented with a loss of consciousness,...
Article
A suspect screening workflow combined with a semi-quantification method was applied for the investigation of metabolites of the plasticizers di-propylene glycol dibenzoate (DiPGDB) and tri-n-butyl trimellitate (TBTM) in human urine collected from adults and children during winter (W) and summer (S) seasons. Liquid chromatography - quadrupole time o...
Article
Already in early 2000s, concerns have been growing in the EU about increasing use of cocaine and it is estimated that below 1 % of the population administer the drug by smoking crack cocaine. New available data suggests an increase in the use of crack cocaine and an increase in the number of crack cocaine users entering treatment has been reported...
Article
With the growing concern regarding the health risks of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), there is an increasing demand for the identification of emerging PFAS. This study provides a comprehensive investigation of legacy and emerging PFAS in 16 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Belgium using target, suspect, and non-target screening m...
Article
Lipidomics analysis of zebrafish tissues has shown promising results to understand disease‐related outcomes of exposure to toxic substances at molecular level. However, knowledge about their lipidome is limited, as most untargeted studies only identify the lipids that are statistically significant in their setup. In this work, liquid chromatography...
Article
Not all residues of drugs found in influent wastewater are the result of consumption. Identifying intentional or accidental disposal is crucial in wastewater‐based epidemiology to ensure the accuracy of observed spatiotemporal trends in consumption patterns. So far, only a limited number of studies provided analytical evidence for the direct dispos...
Article
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Introduction Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hospital intensive care units (ICU). Rapid identification of P. aeruginosa-derived markers in easily accessible patients’ samples can enable an early detection of P. aeruginosa VAP (VAP-PA), thereby stewarding antibioti...
Article
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Due to their extensive usage, organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) have been detected in humans and in the environment. Human are exposed to OPFRs via inhalation of indoor air, dust uptake or dietary uptake through contaminated food and drinking water. Only recently, few studies addressing dietary exposure to OPFRs were published. In this stud...
Article
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To assess the impacts of e-waste regulations on environmental pollution, the levels, compositions, and human exposure assessment of organophosphorus flame retardants (PFRs), emerging PFRs (ePFRs), phthalate esters (PAEs), and alternative plasticizers (APs) were investigated in indoor dust samples collected from homes in a former e-waste dismantling...
Article
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The Flemish Environment and Health Study (FLEHS) collects information on internal exposure to a broad range of environmental chemicals in the general population in Flanders, the Northern region of Belgium. The aim is to establish biomonitoring exposure distributions for the general population in support of public health and environmental policy, en...
Article
Routine toxicological analysis requires broad screening for a large number of therapeutically prescribed and other compounds, and/or their metabolites. This article specifically focuses on three classes of psychoactive substances: antidepressants (ADs), antipsychotics (APs) and benzodiazepines and Z-drugs (BZDs). Two screening methods were compared...
Article
Plastics are produced and used in large quantities worldwide (e.g. as food packaging). In line with this, plastic particles are found throughout the ecosphere and in various foods. As a result, plastics are also present in energy-rich waste biomass derived from the food industry, supermarkets, restaurants, etc. These waste streams are a valuable so...
Poster
Full-text available
Background Phthalates, plasticizers used to increase elasticity of plastic materials, can leach from medical devices into the human body. Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) was the most popular plasticizer. Due to various adverse health effects, the EU has restricted its use in medical devices (EU MDR 2017/45), urging the search for alternative pla...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims : Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a complementary epidemiological data source to monitor stimulant consumption. The aims were to: (i) study intra- and inter-year temporal changes in stimulant use in Belgium during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic; and (ii) evaluate the effect of COVID-19 restrictive measures on sti...
Article
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This paper describes the validation of a method for the simultaneous analysis of short-, medium-, and long-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs, MCCPs, and LCCPs, respectively) in indoor dust by ultrasonic extraction and liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF-HRMS). A series of spike and recovery...
Article
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European Biota Quality Standards (EQSbiota), for compounds with low water solubility and high biomagnification, were created to sustain water quality and protect top predators and humans from secondary poisoning. In reality, for multiple compounds, an exceedance of these standards is often reported in literature without a decrease in ecological wat...
Article
A novel analytical method for the monitoring of four newly identified plasticizers, namely di-propylene glycol dibenzoate (DiPGDB), tri-n-butyl trimellitate (TBTM), isooctyl 2-phenoxyethyl terephthalate (IOPhET) and bis 3,5,5-trimethylhexyl phosphate (TMHPh), in handwipes based on pulverization was developed and in-house validated. In total, 164 ha...
Article
Recent evidence has revealed that organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) elicit a variety of toxic effects, including endocrine disruption. The present study examined estrogenic and growth inhibitory responses to OPFR metabolites in comparison to their parent compounds using zebrafish eleutheroembryos.¹ Exposure to 4-hydroxylphenyl diphenyl phos...
Article
In this study, we evaluated the suitability of body feathers, preen oil and plasma for estimation of organohalogen compound (OHC) exposure in northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis nestlings (n = 37; 14 nests). In addition, body feathers received further examination concerning their potential to provide an integrated assessment of (1) OHC exposure, (2...
Article
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Introduction Previous studies suggested that green space is beneficial for the cognitive development in children. However, evidence in adolescents is limited. Therefore, we aim to investigate green space exposure in association with attention and behaviour in adolescents. Methods This study includes 596 Flemish adolescents between 13 and 17 years...
Article
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Telomeres are used as biomarkers of vertebrate health because of the link between their length, lifespan, and survival. Exposure to environmental stressors appears to alter telomere dynamics, but little is known about telomere length and persistent organic pollutant (POP) exposure in wildlife. The white-tailed eagle (WTE; Haliaeetus albicilla) is a...
Article
Organophosphorus Fipronil Neonicotinoids Urine Biomonitoring a b s t r a c t Pyrethroids, organophosphorus pesticides and fipronil have been listed as priority chemicals in human biomonitoring studies because of their wide use and potential health effects in humans. The determination of 13 pesticides, including pyrethroids (deltamethrin, cyper-meth...
Article
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FLEXiGUT is the first large-scale exposomics study focused on chronic low-grade inflammation. It aims to characterize human life course environmental exposure to assess and validate its impact on gut inflammation and related biological processes and diseases. The cumulative influences of environmental and food contaminants throughout the lifespan o...
Article
Migratory bird species may serve as vectors of contaminants to Antarctica through the local deposition of guano, egg abandonment, or mortality. To further investigate this chemical input pathway, we examined the contaminant burdens and profiles of the migratory South polar skua (Catharacta maccormicki) and compared them to the endemic Adélie pengui...
Article
Background: Children who have been critically ill face long-term developmental impairments. Iatrogenic exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), a plasticizer leaching from plastic indwelling medical devices used in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), has been associated with the pronounced attention deficit observed in children 4 years...
Article
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A 22-year-old man was hospitalized after stating he would ‘commit suicide in a non-detectable way’. He was admitted with a severe necrotizing pancreatitis and acute kidney injury, evolving to multiple organ failure. His condition rapidly deteriorated, and he died 11 days after hospital admission. Postmortem histopathology confirmed fulminant necrot...
Article
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are flame retardants widely used to manufacture several commercial plastic products. The major homologue in commercial PBDE mixtures are listed in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and are scheduled for global elimination. Hence, to understand more about unintentional contamination of p...
Article
Three plasticizers, namely bis (3,5,5-trimethylhexyl) phosphate (TMHPh), di(propylene glycol) dibenzoate (DiPGDB), and tri-n-butyl trimellitate (TBTM), were recently identified and reported in high concentrations in indoor dust from Belgian homes. In this study, their behavior within the human body was investigated by generating Phase I biotransfor...
Article
Full-text available
Indoor spaces contain several classes of persistent organic chemicals, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). However, concentrations of PFAS and persistent chemical mixtures and their associations with building characteris...
Article
Background Edible insects are a nutritious and sustainable alternative source of animal proteins, and consequently are nowadays promoted as human food and animal feed worldwide. Ensuring the quality, safety, and traceability of insect foods is thus critical to maintain a safe and economically sustainable supply chain. Providing a simultaneous analy...
Article
Background Increasing animal studies have indicated that organophosphate esters (OPEs) have endocrine-disruptive potential. However, human epidemiological evidence is limited, especially in susceptible populations, such as pregnant women and neonates. The purpose of this present study was to examine the trimester-specific relationships of prenatal...
Article
Objectives Only little is known about degradation of methacrylate monomers. Therefore, using in vitro chemical and saliva degradation this study aimed to identify the degradation products of organic compounds present in resin-based dental materials. Methods Ten dental monomers and nine polymerized dental resin-based materials were immersed for 24...
Article
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The occurrence of organohalogenated compounds (OHCs) in wildlife has received considerable attention over the last decades. Among the matrices used for OHC biomonitoring, feathers are particularly useful as they can be collected in a minimally or non-invasive manner. In this study, concentrations of various legacy OHCs –polychlorinated biphenyls (P...
Article
Objectives : There is still much debate about the release of bisphenol A (BPA) from resin-based dental materials. Therefore, this study aimed to quantify BPA present as an impurity and to evaluate whether their degradation by salivary, bacterial, and chemical challenges could increase its release. Methods : BPA was determined in three different am...
Article
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Chronic biological stress may adversely affect adolescents' physical and mental health, but insight in the personal and environmental factors that determine chronic stress is limited. We measured 3-month cumulative hair cortisol concentration (HCC) in 419 adolescents, participating in the Flemish Environment and Health Study. Adolescents' health an...
Article
Objective The biocompatibility of resin based dental composites has not yet been fully characterized even though certain monomers used in these composites are synthesized from Bisphenol A (BPA), a well-known estrogenic endocrine disruptor. As a result, they show structural relationship to BPA and can contain it as an impurity. Therefore, the estrog...
Poster
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Plasticizers, chemicals used to increase the elasticity of plastic materials, can leach from medical devices into the human body. Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) was the most popular plasticizer. Yet, due to various adverse health effects, the EU has banned its use in medical devices in 2017, urging the search for alternative plastici...
Article
Full-text available
Metabolomics has achieved great progress over the last 20 years, and it is currently considered a mature research field. As a result, the number of applications in toxicology, biomarker, and drug discovery has also increased. Toxicometabolomics has emerged as a powerful strategy to provide complementary information to study molecular-level toxic ef...
Article
Full-text available
Plasticizers, used to increase the flexibility of plastic materials, can leach into the environment and the human body. Various adverse health effects are attributed to exposure to plasticizers, particularly phthalates. Premature newborns admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are exposed to many indwelling plastic devices containing pla...
Article
Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) employs the analysis of human metabolic biomarkers in influent wastewater (IWW) to estimate community-wide exposure to xenobiotics (e.g. prescription opioids). The low ng/L range of concentrations of these biomarkers and the complex matrix composition pose bioanalytical challenges related to sample preparation an...
Article
Objectives BPA release from composites on the short term has been reported in several in-vitro and in-vivo studies. However, it remains unclear whether these materials also leach BPA on the long term. Even though composites may release various (BPA-based) methacrylate monomers up to one year, quantitative data about BPA have not been reported due t...
Article
To improve our understanding of internal exposure to multiple chemicals, the concept exposure load (EL) was used on human biomonitoring (HBM) data of the 4th FLEHS (Flemish Environment and Health Study; 2016-2020). The investigated chemicals were per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), bisphenols, phthalates and alternative plasticizers, flame...
Article
This study reports on concentrations of short- and medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs and MCCPs, respectively) in a wide range of food samples (n = 211) purchased in Belgium during 2020. Samples were analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and quantified using chlorine content calibration. ∑SCCPs were present above LOQ in 25...
Article
Introduction: Pharmaceutical reimbursement policies should aim for satisfactory health care at reasonable prices and assure treatment adherence while avoiding wasteful pharmaceutical spending. In Belgium, the maximum billing system, also called "Maximum Amount Fixed" system (MAF), ensures that out-of-pocket payments beyond a ceiling are fully reim...
Article
There is an increasing need for comparable and harmonized retention times (tR) in liquid chromatography (LC) among different laboratories, to provide supplementary evidence for the identity of compounds in high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS)-based suspect and nontarget screening investigations. In this study, a rigorously tested, flexible, and...
Article
Marine animals, plants or bacteria are a source of bioactive naturally-occurring halogenated compounds (NHCs) such as bromophenols (BPs), bromoanisoles (BAs) and hydroxylated or methoxylated analogues of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (HO-PBDEs, MeO-PBDEs) and bromobiphenyls (HO-BBs, MeO-BBs). This study applied a comprehensive screening approach u...
Article
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Many aquatic ecosystems are under persistent stress due to influxes of anthropogenic chemical pollutants. High concentrations can harm entire ecosystems and be toxic to humans. However, in case of highly hydrophobic compounds, their low water solubility precludes direct measurement in water, and thus alternative monitoring strategies are needed. In...
Article
Analytical methods to evaluate the lipidome of biological samples need to provide high data quality to ensure comprehensive profiling and reliable structural elucidation. In this perspective, liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) is the state-of-the-art technique for lipidomic analysis of biological samples. There are th...
Article
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Background Chemicals of Emerging Concern (CECs) include a very wide group of chemicals that are suspected to be responsible for adverse effects on health, but for which very limited information is available. Chromatographic techniques coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) can be used for non-targeted screening and detection of CECs,...
Article
Concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs); are reported in specimens of fish notothenioids Chaenocephalus aceratus (SSI), Trematomus bernacchii (ERN), and Nototheniops nudifrons (NOD) from the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Significant differences in the accumulation of...
Article
Human biomonitoring is a powerful approach in assessing exposure to environmental pollutants. Flame retardants (FRs) are of particular concern due to their wide distribution in the environment and adverse health effects. This article reviews studies published in 2009-2020 on the chemical analysis of FRs in a variety of human samples and discusses t...
Article
Non‐polar narcosis, also known as baseline toxicity, has been described as the minimal toxicity that an organic chemical may elicit based on its lipophilicity. While lethal effects of narcosis‐inducing chemicals (NICs) have been thoroughly investigated, knowledge of sublethal effects is still very limited. We investigated the effects of three well‐...
Article
Due to the growth of the world’s population, edible insects have been considered a valuable alternative food source for humans. Japan has a long-lasting traditional culture of eating wild insects, a practice that has recently evolved towards farming and selling reared edible insects. In this study, we investigated the contamination loads, profiles,...
Article
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Background: Exposure to air pollution and traffic noise are associated with adverse health outcomes in adolescents. Chronic endocrine stress and systemic inflammation have been hypothesized to underlie the adverse health effects. Simultaneous assessment of inflammation and chronic endocrine stress in epidemiological studies is lacking. The aim of...
Article
Full-text available
Human biomonitoring (HBM) monitors levels of environmental pollutants in human samples, which often is a topic of concern for residents near industrially contaminated sites (ICSs). Around an ICS area in Menen (Belgium), including a (former) municipal waste incinerator and a metal recovery plant, increasing environmental concentrations of dioxins an...
Article
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Due to their neurodevelopmental toxicity, flame retardants (FRs) like polybrominated diphenyl ethers are banned from the market and replaced by alternative FRs, like organophosphorus FRs, that have mostly unknown toxicological profiles. To study their neurodevelopmental toxicity, we evaluated the hazard of several FRs including phased-out polybromi...
Article
Exposure to certain perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) can have considerable effects on the endocrine and immune systems, although such effects remain largely uncharacterized in wildlife. Using an apex avian predator, we investigated possible relationships of thyroid hormones (THs), specifically free (F) and total (T) thyroxine (FT4; TT4) and triiodothyr...
Article
The medical and societal consequences of the misuse of pharmaceuticals clearly justifies the need for comprehensive drug utilization research (DUR). Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) employs the analysis of human metabolic excretion products in wastewater to monitor consumption patterns of xenobiotics at the population level. Recently, WBE has de...
Article
Six newly identified compounds, dimethyl azelate (DMA), dimethyl sebacate (DMS), di-propylene glycol dibenzoate (DiPGDB), tri-n-butyl trimellitate (TBTM), isooctyl 2-phenoxyethyl terephthalate (IOPhET) and bis-3,5,5-trimethylhexyl phosphate (TMHPh), were quantified in residential dust using a modified and in-house validated method. The method was b...