In vitro assessments of bioaccessibility and bioavailability of PM2.5 trace metals in respiratory and digestive systems and their oxidative potential

Zhen Zhao, Xiao San Luo, Yuanshu Jing, Hongbo Li, Yuting Pang, Lichun Wu, Qi Chen, Ling Jin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Air pollution is a serious environmental issue. As a key aerosol component, PM2.5 associated toxic trace metals pose significant health risks by inhalation and ingestion, but the evidences and mechanisms were insufficient and not well understood just by their total environmental concentrations. To accurately assess the potential risks of airborne metals, a series of in vitro physiologically based tests with synthetic human lung and gastrointestinal fluids were conducted to assess both the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of various PM2.5 bound metals in the respiratory and digestive systems from both urban and industrial areas of Nanjing city. Moreover, the chemical acellular toxicity test [dithiothreitol (DTT) assay] and source analysis were performed. Generally, the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of investigated metals were element and body fluid dependent. Source oriented metals in PM2.5 showed diverse bioaccessibility in different human organs. The PM2.5 induced oxidative potential was mainly contributed by the bioaccessible/bioavailable transition metals such as Fe, Ni and Co from metallurgic dust and traffic emission. Future researches on the toxicological mechanisms of airborne metals incorporating the bioaccessibility, bioavailability and toxicity tests are directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124638
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Aerosol pollution
  • Human health risk assessments
  • In vitro bioavailability
  • Inhalation bioaccessibility
  • Transition metals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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