Uptake and accumulation of pentachloronitrobenzene in pak choi and the human health risk

Environ Geochem Health. 2020 Jan;42(1):109-120. doi: 10.1007/s10653-019-00305-7. Epub 2019 Apr 29.


Nowadays, nanocarbon is widely employed to enwrap into fertilizers. However, the influence of nanocarbon on the transportation of contaminants from soil to plants and its mechanism remain unclear. In this study, pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB), a typical organochlorine fungicide utilized all over the world, was chosen as the target contaminant to investigate the influence of nanocarbon on its transportation in soil-pak choi system. The maximum PCNB concentration in the root and leaf reached to 112 and 86 ng/g, respectively, demonstrating that PCNB would be absorbed by pak choi. The ratio of PCNB between leaf and root indicated that nanocarbon promoted root of pak choi to absorb PCNB. The transportation of PCNB inside plant was inhibited when pak choi was planted in soil containing higher concentration of nanocarbon. Human risk assessment showed that people consuming the pak choi in this study would not experience risk. However, in vitro toxicity test indicated that PCNB could directly impair intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2 cells) and thus pose a potential risk to human intestine.

Keywords: In vitro toxicity test; Nanocarbon; PCNB; Pak choi; Transportation.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Brassica / chemistry
  • Brassica / metabolism*
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Dietary Exposure
  • Fertilizers*
  • Food Contamination
  • Fungicides, Industrial / pharmacokinetics
  • Fungicides, Industrial / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Nanostructures
  • Nitrobenzenes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Nitrobenzenes / toxicity*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Risk Assessment
  • Soil / chemistry
  • Soil Pollutants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Soil Pollutants / toxicity
  • Toxicity Tests, Acute


  • Fertilizers
  • Fungicides, Industrial
  • Nitrobenzenes
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • quintozene