1st Edition

Rare Earth Elements in Human and Environmental Health
At the Crossroads Between Toxicity and Safety

ISBN 9789814745000
Published November 11, 2016 by Jenny Stanford Publishing
292 Pages 10 Color & 28 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book presents the multifaceted aspects of rare earth elements (REEs), focusing on both their potential benefits and adverse health effects. The adverse impacts of REEs on human and environmental health raise a growing concern not only in the scientific community but also among a number of stakeholders, potentially including students, media workers, and decision makers. The recognized and potential benefits arising from REE-related technological applications may envisage their further advantages.

A limited number of books have been devoted so far to REEs, and they mainly focus on REE-related chemistry, mineralogy, economy, and developing technologies for these elements. This book presents recent research achievements in REE-associated health effects, which have been mostly confined to journal reports on individual laboratory studies so far. It is an updated and balanced approach to REE research and technology. It provides novel yet established information as stated in the title "At the Crossroads between Toxicity and Safety," with particular emphasis on the hormesis phenomenon.

Table of Contents

Trends in Occupational Toxicology of Rare Earth Elements

Industrial Use of REEs

Evaluation of Workers’ Health for REE-Related Hazards

Recent Trends in Occupational Toxicology of REEs

Additional Efforts to Promote REE Occupational Health

Conclusions and Prospects

Rare Earth Elements, Oxidative Stress, and Disease


Redox Chemistry of REEs

Oxidative Stress and Diseases: Roles of REEs


Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles–Associated Oxidant and Antioxidant Effects and Mechanisms


Physicochemical Properties and Catalytic Activities of Nanoceria Are Dictated by Their Synthesis Methods

Biological Effects of Nanoceria: Antioxidative, Oxidative, and Modulation of Oxygen Level

Catalytic Activity of Nanoceria in Biological Tissues

Molecular Mechanisms of Nanoceria in Biological Systems



Rare Earth Elements and Plants


REEs in Mosses and Lichens

REEs and Ferns

REEs in Seed Plants

Mechanisms of REE Effects

Critical Remarks and Research Perspectives

Rare Earth Elements and Microorganisms


REEs and Microorganisms


Rare Earth Element Toxicity to Marine and Freshwater Algae


REE-Associated Toxicity Database in Algae

REE Uptake and Bioaccumulation in Algae

Critical Remarks and Research Prospects

Exposure to Rare Earth Elements in Animals: A Systematic Review of Biological Effects in Mammals, Fish, and Invertebrates

Rare Earth Elements: An Overview




Conclusion and Future Directions

Hazard Assessment and the Evaluation of Rare Earth Element Dose–Response Relationships

Risk-Based Standards and Dose–Response Assessment

Features of the Hormetic Response

REE Dose–Response

Implications for REE Assessments

Rare Earth Elements as Phosphate Binders: From Kidneys to Lakes


The P-REE Relationship


Rare Earth Elements: Modulation of Calcium-Driven Processes in Epithelium and Stroma


Growth Control in Epithelium and Stroma: Role(s) of Calcium

REE: Modulation of Epithelial Cell Biology

REE and Stromal Cell Biology

Summary and Conclusion

Rare Earth Elements Equilibria in Aqueous Media

Hints to Chemical Speciation

Equilibrium Analysis at a Glance

Aspects of Cerium Oxides Nanoparticles Speciation in Biological Systems

Conclusion: Identifying Main Research Priorities

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Giovanni Pagano has 40 years’ experience in environmental research, including projects supported by grants from the European Commission and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He has been a senior scientist at the Italian National Cancer Institute in Naples, Italy, and a contractor scientist at the University of Naples Federico II, Italy. He is a visiting professor in various universities of France, Greece, and Croatia. Prof. Pagano has published 105 journal articles and 22 book chapters, with 1900 ResearchGate citations.


"Rare earth elements are involved in a number of essential technological applications. Their effects raise a number of challenges in environmental sciences and in human health. The present book provides an extensive and balanced survey of the manifold—adverse and favorable—effects associated with rare earth elements."

—Prof. Dr. José L. Domingo, Rovira i Virgili University, Spain

"The present book is a valuable tool to gain insight into the complex and sometimes surprising health effects of rare earth elements. Especially interesting—due to my field of research—are the chapters addressed to the study of the changes in redox endpoints in a number of organisms and cell systems. This carefully edited book, with a multidisciplinary view of rare earth elements, is really an important scientific contribution."

—Prof. Dr. Federico V. Pallardó, University of Valencia, Spain

"I congratulate the authors for this timely production of an extensive overview of an important topic in environmental and medical sciences: the risks and challenges that may be connected with increasing use and distribution of rare earth elements. It is essential to increase our knowledge about the environmental fate and biological effects of these technologically so important metals in order to prevent unforeseen long-term consequences of our doing. This book will surely become an important resource for scientists, engineers, and decision makers who understand the need of a sensible exploitation of this resource."

—Prof. Dr. Susanne Heise, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany