Title: Assessment of particulate matter toxicity and physicochemistry at the Claim 28 uranium mine site in Blue Gap, AZ.
Authors: Begay, Jessica; Sanchez, Bethany; Wheeler, Abigail; Baldwin Jr, Floyd; Lucas, Selita; Herbert, Guy; Ordonez Suarez, Yoselin; Shuey, Chris; Klaver, Zachary; Harkema, Jack R; Wagner, James G; Morishita, Masako; Bleske, Barry; Zychowski, Katherine E; Campen, Matthew J
Published In J Toxicol Environ Health A, (2021 01 02)
Abstract: Thousands of abandoned uranium mines (AUMs) exist in the western United States. Due to improper remediation, windblown dusts generated from AUMs are of significant community concern. A mobile inhalation lab was sited near an AUM of high community concern ("Claim 28") with three primary objectives: to (1) determine the composition of the regional ambient particulate matter (PM), (2) assess meteorological characteristics (wind speed and direction), and (3) assess immunological and physiological responses of mice after exposures to concentrated ambient PM (or CAPs). C57BL/6 and apolipoprotein E-null (ApoE-/-) mice were exposed to CAPs in AirCARE1 located approximately 1 km to the SW of Claim 28, for 1 or 28 days for 4 hr/day at approximately 80 µg/m3 CAPs. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) analysis revealed a significant influx of neutrophils after a single-day exposure in C57BL/6 mice (average PM2.5 concentration = 68 µg/m3). Lungs from mice exposed for 1 day exhibited modest increases in Tnfa and Tgfb mRNA levels in the CAPs exposure group compared to filtered air (FA). Lungs from mice exposed for 28 days exhibited reduced Tgfb (C57BL/6) and Tnfa (ApoE-/-) mRNA levels. Wind direction was typically moving from SW to NE (away from the community) and, while detectable in all samples, uranium concentrations in the PM2.5 fraction were not markedly different from published-reported values. Overall, exposure to CAPs in the region of the Blue GAP Tachee's Claim-28 uranium mine demonstrated little evidence of overt pulmonary injury or inflammation or ambient air contamination attributed to uranium or vanadium.
PubMed ID: 33050837
MeSH Terms: Air Pollutants/toxicity*; Animals; Female; Inhalation Exposure/adverse effects*; Male; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Mining*; Particulate Matter/toxicity*; Toxicity Tests, Acute; Toxicity Tests, Subchronic; Uranium*