Comparison of five in vitro digestion models to study the bioaccessibility of soil contaminants

Oomen, Agnes G.; Hack, Alfons; Minekus, Mans; Zeijdner, Evelijn; Cornelis, Christa; Schoeters, Greet; Verstraete, Willy; Van de Wiele, Tom; Wragg, Joanna; Rompelberg, Cathy J.M.; Sips, Adrienne J.A.M.; van Wijnen, Joop H.. 2002 Comparison of five in vitro digestion models to study the bioaccessibility of soil contaminants. Environmental Science & Technology, 36 (15). 3326-3334.

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Soil ingestion can be a major exposure route for humans to many immobile soil contaminants. Exposure to soil contaminants can be overestimated if oral bioavailability is not taken into account. Several in vitro digestion models simulating the human gastrointestinal tract have been developed to assess mobilization of contaminants from soil during digestion, i.e., bioaccessibility. Bioaccessibility is a crucial step in controlling the oral bioavailability for soil contaminants. To what extent in vitro determination of bioaccessibility is method dependent has, until now, not been studied. This paper describes a multi-laboratory comparison and evaluation of five in vitro digestion models. Their experimental design and the results of a round robin evaluation of three soils, each contaminated with arsenic, cadmium, and lead, are presented and discussed. A wide range of bioaccessibility values were found for the three soils: for As 6-95%, 1-19%, and 10-59%; for Cd 7-92%, 5-92%, and 6-99%; and for Pb 4-91%, 1-56%, and 3-90%. Bioaccessibility in many cases is less than 50%, indicating that a reduction of bioavailability can have implications for health risk assessment. Although the experimental designs of the different digestion systems are distinct, the main differences in test results of bioaccessibility can be explained on the basis of the applied gastric pH. High values are typically observed for a simple gastric method, which measures bioaccessibility in the gastric compartment at low pHs of 1.5. Other methods that also apply a low gastric pH, and include intestinal conditions, produce lower bioaccessibility values. The lowest bioaccessibility values are observed for a gastrointestinal method which employs a high gastric pH of 4.0.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Chemical and Biological Hazards
ISSN: 0013-936X
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 31 Jul 2012 10:18 +0 (UTC)

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