Chemical speciation determines combined cytotoxicity: Examples of biochar and arsenic/chromium


As both electron donors and acceptors, biochars (BCs) may interact with multivalent metal ions in the environment, causing changes in ionic valence states and resulting in unknown combined toxicity. Therefore, we systematically investigated the interaction between BCs and Cr (Cr(III) & Cr(VI)) or As (As(III) & As(V)) and their combined cytotoxicity in human colorectal mucosal (FHC) cells. Our results suggest that the redox-induced valence state change is a critical factor in the combined cytotoxicity of BCs with Cr/As. Specifically, when Cr(VI) was adsorbed on BCs, 86.4 % of Cr(VI) was reduced to Cr(III). In contrast, As(III) was partially oxidized to As(V) with a ratio of 37.2 %, thus reaching a reaction equilibrium. Meanwhile, only As(V) was released in the cell, which could cause more As(III) to be oxidized. As both Cr(III) and As(V) are less toxic than their corresponding counterparts Cr(VI) and As(III), different redox interactions between BCs and Cr/As and release profiles between BCs and Cr/As together lead to reduced combined cytotoxicity of BP-BC-Cr(VI) and BP-BC-As(III). It suggests that the valence state changes of metal ions due to redox effects is one of the parameters to be focused on when studying the combined toxicity of complexes of BCs with different heavy metal ions.

Authors: Jian Liu, Yuting Wen, Yucong Mo, Weizhen Liu, Xiliang Yan, Hongyu Zhou, Bing Yan
; Full Source: Journal of hazardous materials 2023 Jan 23;448:130855. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2023.130855.