Artificial turf infill associated with systematic toxicity in an amniote vertebrate

E.G. Xu, N. Lin, R.S. Cheong, C. Ridsdale, R. Tahara, T.Y. Du, D. Das, L.P. Silva, A. Azimzada, H.C.E. Larsson*, N. Tufenkji*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Artificial athletic turf containing crumb rubber (CR) from shredded tires is a growing environmental and public health concern. However, the associated health risk is unknown due to the lack of toxicity data for higher vertebrates. We evaluated the toxic effects of CR in a developing amniote vertebrate embryo. CR water leachate was administered to fertilized chicken eggs via different exposure routes, i.e., coating by dropping CR leachate on the eggshell; dipping the eggs into CR leachate; microinjecting CR leachate into the air cell or yolk. After 3 or 7 d of incubation, embryonic morphology, organ development, physiology, and molecular pathways were measured. The results showed that CR leachate injected into the yolk caused mild to severe developmental malformations, reduced growth, and specifically impaired the development of the brain and cardiovascular system, which were associated with gene dysregulation in aryl hydrocarbon receptor, stress-response, and thyroid hormone pathways. The observed systematic effects were probably due to a complex mixture of toxic chemicals leaching from CR, such as metals (e.g., Zn, Cr, Pb) and amines (e.g., benzothiazole). This study points to a need to closely examine the potential regulation of the use of CR on playgrounds and artificial fields.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume116
Issue number50
Pages (from-to)25156-25161
Number of pages6
ISSN0027-8424
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amniote model
  • Artificial turf
  • Embryonic development
  • Environmental health
  • Tire crumb

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    Xu, E. G., Lin, N., Cheong, R. S., Ridsdale, C., Tahara, R., Du, T. Y., Das, D., Silva, L. P., Azimzada, A., Larsson, H. C. E., & Tufenkji, N. (2019). Artificial turf infill associated with systematic toxicity in an amniote vertebrate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(50), 25156-25161. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1909886116