Particles, sweat, and tears: A comparative study on bioaccessibility of ferrochromium alloy and stainless steel particles, the pure metals and their metal oxides, in simulated skin and eye contact
2010 (English)In: Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, ISSN 1551-3793, ISSN 1551-3793, Vol. 6, no 3, 456-468 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Ferrochromium alloys are manufactured in large quantities and placed on the global market for use as master alloys (secondary raw materials), primarily for stainless steel production. Any potential human exposure to ferrochromium alloy particles is related to occupational activities during production and use, with 2 main exposure routes, dermal contact and inhalation and subsequent digestion. Alloy and reference particles exposed in vitro in synthetic biological fluids relevant for these main exposure routes have been investigated in a large research effort combining bioaccessibility; chemical speciation; and material, surface, and particle characteristics. In this paper, data for the dermal exposure route, including skin and eye contact, will be presented and discussed. Bioaccessibility data have been generated for particles of a ferrochromium alloy, stainless steel grade AISI 316L, pure Fe, pure Cr, iron(II,III)oxide, and chromium(III)oxide, upon immersion in artificial sweat (pH 6.5) and artificial tear (pH 8.0) fluids for various time periods. Measured released amounts of Fe, Cr, and Ni are presented in terms of average Fe and Cr release rates and amounts released per amount of particles loaded. The results are discussed in relation to bulk and surface composition of the particles. Additional information, essential to assess the bioavailability of Cr released, was generated by determining its chemical speciation and by providing information on its complexation and oxidation states in both media investigated. The effect of differences in experimental temperature, 30 °C and 37 °C, on the extent of metal release in artificial sweat is demonstrated. Iron was the preferentially released element in all test media and for all time periods and ironcontaining particles investigated. The extent of metal release was highly pH dependent and was also dependent on the medium composition. Released amounts of Cr and Fe were very low (close to the limit of detection, <0.008% of particles released or dissolved as iron or chromium) for the alloy particles (ferrochromium alloy and stainless steel), the pure Cr particles, and the metal oxide particles. The released fraction of Cr (Cr/[Cr + Fe]) varied with the material investigated, the test medium, and the exposure time and cannot be predicted from either the bulk or the surface composition. Chromium was released as noncomplexed Cr(III) and in addition in very low concentrations (<3 mg/L). Nickel released was under the limit of detection (0.5 mg/L), except for ultrafine stainless steel particles (<10 mg/L). It is evident that media chemistry and material properties from a bulk and surface perspective, as well as other particle characteristics, and the chemical speciation of released metals have to be considered when assessing any potential hazard or risk induced by sparingly soluble metal or alloy particles.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 6, no 3, 456-468 p.
Bioaccessibility, Chemical speciation, Dermal contact, Ferrochromium alloy, Metal particles
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-14307DOI: 10.1002/ieam.66PubMedID: 20821707ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77954692674OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-14307DiVA: diva2:332174
QC 201008032010-08-032010-08-032014-04-11Bibliographically approved