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Bioaccessibility and exposure assessment of trace metals from urban airborne particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) in simulated digestive fluid

Gao, Peng, Guo, Huiyuan, Zhang, Zhaohan, Ou, Cuiyun, Hang, Jian, Fan, Qi, He, Chuan, Wu, Bing, Feng, Yujie, Xing, Baoshan
Environmental pollution 2018 v.242 pp. 1669-1677
antimony, arsenic, atomic absorption spectrometry, bioavailability, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, exposure assessment, gastric juice, lead, manganese, mercury, metal ions, nickel, pH, particle size, particulates, pepsin, pollution, saliva, seasonal variation, summer, toxicity, trypsin, winter, zinc
We describe a batch-extraction with simulated digestive fluid (salivary fluid, gastric fluid and intestinal fluid) to estimate the bioaccessibility of inhaled trace metals (TMs) in particulate matter less than 10 and 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10 and PM2.5). Concentrations of the assayed TMs (As, Cd, Cr, Ni, Mn, Cu, Zn, Sb, Hg and Pb) were determined in PM10 and PM2.5 samples by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The TMs with the largest soluble fractions for airborne PM collected from winter and summer in saliva were Mn and Sb, respectively; in seasons this became Co in gastric fluid and Cu in intestinal fluid. Clearly, bioaccessibility is strongly dependent on particle size, the component of simulated digestive fluids (e.g., pH, digestive enzymes pepsin and trypsin), and the chemical properties of metal ions. The particle size and seasonal variation affected the inhaled bioaccessible fraction of PM-bound TMs during mucociliary clearance, which transported PM from the tracheal and the bronchial region to the digestive system. This study provides direct evidence for TMs in airborne PM being bioaccessible TMs are likely to possess an enhanced digestive toxic potential due to airborne PM pollution.