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      Chromium Pollution in European Water, Sources, Health Risk, and Remediation Strategies: An Overview


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          Chromium is a potentially toxic metal occurring in water and groundwater as a result of natural and anthropogenic sources. Microbial interaction with mafic and ultramafic rocks together with geogenic processes release Cr (VI) in natural environment by chromite oxidation. Moreover, Cr (VI) pollution is largely related to several Cr (VI) industrial applications in the field of energy production, manufacturing of metals and chemicals, and subsequent waste and wastewater management. Chromium discharge in European Union (EU) waters is subjected to nationwide recommendations, which vary depending on the type of industry and receiving water body. Once in water, chromium mainly occurs in two oxidation states Cr (III) and Cr (VI) and related ion forms depending on pH values, redox potential, and presence of natural reducing agents. Public concerns with chromium are primarily related to hexavalent compounds owing to their toxic effects on humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms. Risks for human health range from skin irritation to DNA damages and cancer development, depending on dose, exposure level, and duration. Remediation strategies commonly used for Cr (VI) removal include physico-chemical and biological methods. This work critically presents their advantages and disadvantages, suggesting a site-specific and accurate evaluation for choosing the best available recovering technology.

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          Waste Mismanagement in Developing Countries: A Review of Global Issues

          Environmental contamination due to solid waste mismanagement is a global issue. Open dumping and open burning are the main implemented waste treatment and final disposal systems, mainly visible in low-income countries. This paper reviews the main impacts due to waste mismanagement in developing countries, focusing on environmental contamination and social issues. The activity of the informal sector in developing cities was also reviewed, focusing on the main health risks due to waste scavenging. Results reported that the environmental impacts are pervasive worldwide: marine litter, air, soil and water contamination, and the direct interaction of waste pickers with hazardous waste are the most important issues. Many reviews were published in the scientific literature about specific waste streams, in order to quantify its effect on the environment. This narrative literature review assessed global issues due to different waste fractions showing how several sources of pollution are affecting the environment, population health, and sustainable development. The results and case studies presented can be of reference for scholars and stakeholders for quantifying the comprehensive impacts and for planning integrated solid waste collection and treatment systems, for improving sustainability at a global level.
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            Chromium in Drinking Water: Sources, Metabolism, and Cancer Risks

            Drinking water supplies in many geographic areas contain chromium in the +3 and +6 oxidation states. Public health concerns are centered on the presence of hexavalent Cr that is classified as a known human carcinogen via inhalation. Cr(VI) has high environmental mobility and can originate from anthropogenic and natural sources. Acidic environments with high organic content promote the reduction of Cr(VI) to nontoxic Cr(III). The opposite process of Cr(VI) formation from Cr(III) also occurs, particularly in the presence of common minerals containing Mn(IV) oxides. Limited epidemiological evidence for Cr(VI) ingestion is suggestive of elevated risks for stomach cancers. Exposure of animals to Cr(VI) in drinking water induced tumors in the alimentary tract, with linear and supralinear responses in the mouse small intestine. Chromate, the predominant form of Cr(VI) at neutral pH, is taken up by all cells through sulfate channels and is activated nonenzymatically by ubiquitously present ascorbate and small thiols. The most abundant form of DNA damage induced by Cr(VI) is Cr-DNA adducts, which cause mutations and chromosomal breaks. Emerging evidence points to two-way interactions between DNA damage and epigenetic changes that collectively determine the spectrum of genomic rearrangements and profiles of gene expression in tumors. Extensive formation of DNA adducts, clear positivity in genotoxicity assays with high predictive values for carcinogenicity, the shape of tumor–dose responses in mice, and a biological signature of mutagenic carcinogens (multispecies, multisite, and trans-sex tumorigenic potency) strongly support the importance of the DNA-reactive mutagenic mechanisms in carcinogenic effects of Cr(VI). Bioavailability results and kinetic considerations suggest that 10–20% of ingested low-dose Cr(VI) escapes human gastric inactivation. The directly mutagenic mode of action and the incompleteness of gastric detoxification argue against a threshold in low-dose extrapolation of cancer risk for ingested Cr(VI).
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              Chemical and microbial remediation of hexavalent chromium from contaminated soil and mining/metallurgical solid waste: a review.

              Chromium is a highly toxic non-essential metal for microorganisms and plants, and its occurrence is rare in nature. Lower to higher chromium containing effluents and solid wastes released by activities such as mining, metal plating, wood preservation, ink manufacture, dyes, pigments, glass and ceramics, tanning and textile industries, and corrosion inhibitors in cooling water, induce pollution and may cause major health hazards. Besides, natural processes (weathering and biochemical) also contribute to the mobility of chromium which enters in to the soil affecting the plant growth and metabolic functions of the living species. Generally, chemical processes are used for Cr- remediation. However, with the inference derived from the diverse Cr-resistance mechanism displayed by microorganisms and the plants including biosorption, diminished accumulation, precipitation, reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III), and chromate efflux, bioremediation is emerging as a potential tool to address the problem of Cr(VI) pollution. This review focuses on the chemistry of chromium, its use, and toxicity and mobility in soil, while assessing its concentration in effluents/wastes which becomes the source of pollution. In order to conserve the environment and resources, the chemical/biological remediation processes for Cr(VI) and their efficiency have been summarised in some detail. The interaction of chromium with various microbial/bacterial strains isolated and their reduction capacity towards Cr(VI) are also discussed.

                Author and article information

                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                28 July 2020
                August 2020
                : 17
                : 15
                : 5438
                [1 ]Water Research, Institute-Italian National Research Council (IRSA-CNR), 70132 Bari, Italy; marina.tumolo@ 123456ba.irsa.cnr.it (M.T.); daniela.losacco@ 123456ba.irsa.cnr.it (D.L.); claudia.campanale@ 123456ba.irsa.cnr.it (C.C.); carmine.massarelli@ 123456ba.irsa.cnr.it (C.M.); vito.uricchio@ 123456ba.irsa.cnr.it (V.F.U.)
                [2 ]Department of Biology, University of Bari, 70126 Bari, Italy
                [3 ]Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources, Italian National Research Council (IBBR-CNR), 70126 Bari, Italy; domenico.depaola@ 123456ibbr.cnr.it
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: ancona@ 123456irsa.cnr.it
                Author information
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 26 June 2020
                : 24 July 2020

                Public health
                chromium,pollution,health risk,remediation
                Public health
                chromium, pollution, health risk, remediation


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