TITANIUM AS A CONTAMINANT OF EMERGING CONCERN IN THE AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT AND THE CURRENT KNOWLEDGE GAP REGARDING SEABIRD CONTAMINATION

Rachel Ann Hauser-Davis, Fernanda Monteiro, Rafael Christian Chávez da Rocha, Leila Lemos, Maíra Duarte Cardoso, Salvatore Siciliano

Resumo


Titanium (Ti) is considered a contaminant of emerging concern, since its use, mainly in the
form of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles, has drastically increased in the last decades, due to its
presence in several products, such as personal care products, cosmetics, sunscreens, photocatalysts and
drug delivery systems, among others. Although its mechanisms of action are not yet fully understood,
effective bioaccumulation, biomagnification and trophic transfer of these compounds in aquatic plants
and fish have been reported in the literature. In addition, certain deleterious effects have been reported,
including oxidative stress and adsorption and transfer of other metals and metalloids throughout the
food chain, including apex predators and commercially important species. Thus, this contaminant may
pose risks to both environmental and human health, leading to public health concerns. Seabirds are most
likely exposed to Ti contamination through the trophic food web, as they are apex predators. However,
investigations regarding Ti contamination in seabirds are almost nonexistent, and none delve further
into possible deleterious Ti effects, indicating a significant knowledge scientific gap on the subject. In
this context, Ti contamination in the aquatic environment is discussed herein. The few reports published
in the literature on Ti contamination in seabirds are examined and wildlife and public health implications
are evaluated. Ti concentrations ranged from 0.35 to 6.23 mg kg-1 in liver, 1.85 to 3.78 mg kg-1 in kidneys
and from 0.1 to 17 mg kg-1 in feathers, presenting significant interspecies variations. The Mariana/
Bento Rodrigues dam disaster and its potential deleterious effects on seabirds due to increased metal
bioavailability are also discussed. This study, thus, demonstrates a huge knowledge gap concerning Ti in
seabirds and indicates the urgent need to establish baseline data for this element in this group.

Palavras-chave


Environmental contamination; marine birds; public health; TiO2; toxicity

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