University of Oulu

Päivärinta-Antikainen, S., Huovinen, M., Ojala, S., Matějová, L., Keiski, R. L., & Vähäkangas, K. H. (2023). Leaching of metals from red mud and toxicity in human cells in vitro. In Chemosphere (Vol. 332, p. 138807). Elsevier BV.

Leaching of metals from red mud and toxicity in human cells in vitro

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Author: Päivärinta-Antikainen, Sanna1; Huovinen, Marjo2; Ojala, Satu1;
Organizations: 1Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2School of Pharmacy/Toxicology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
3Institute of Environmental Technology, CEET, VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-11


Toxicity of red mud, a waste from alumina production, was studied using human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Culture medium was prepared by mixing water for 3 days with the red mud and removing solid particles afterwards (red mud water). Culture for 48 h of the cells in this medium in neutral pH decreased the cell viability, as analyzed by the MTT-test, and increased the formation of reactive oxygen species. Thus, neutralization does not eliminate the toxicity of red mud. In preliminary experiments, a combined effect of five metals (Cr, Li, V, Al, As) increased the formation of ROS (reactive oxygen species) statistically significantly. Each element separately did not have a similar effect. In environmental applications, red mud is likely to be used after activation. In this work, the red mud was activated using hydrochloric acid to study the physical and chemical properties before and after the treatment. Activation increased the specific surface area of red mud from 16 m2 g−1 to 148 m2 g−1, which is beneficial in many environmental applications such as in the adsorptive removal of pollutants. After activation, leaching of some elements from the red mud decreased (e.g. Al from 38.0 to 0.56 mg L−1, As from 21.0 to 2.1 μg L−1, V from 172.0 to 29.8 μg L−1) while some increased (e.g. Li from 0.04 to 2.81 mg L−1, Cr from 0.35 to 3.23 mg L−1)

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Series: Chemosphere
ISSN: 0045-6535
ISSN-E: 1879-1298
ISSN-L: 0045-6535
Volume: 332
Article number: 138807
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.138807
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 119 Other natural sciences
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: Sanna Päivärinta-Antikainen: Emil Aaltonen Foundation, the North Ostrobothnia Regional Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and the University of Oulu Graduate School. The funding sources provided personal grants that have supported the different steps of the doctoral thesis work.
Dataset Reference: Data will be made available on request.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (