Development of broad-acting clays for the tight adsorption of benzo[a]pyrene and aldicarb. Academic Article uri icon


  • People and animals can be unintentionally exposed to complex mixtures of hazardous chemicals that can threaten the safety of food and water supplies following natural and man-made disasters and emergencies. Our research has focused on the development of broad-acting adsorbents that will tightly bind environmental contaminants in the gastrointestinal tract and decrease their bioavailability to humans and animals during these events. In this study, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and aldicarb were used as representative chemicals due to their high toxicity and extensive distribution in the environment. Both chemicals have been commonly detected in water and sediments in the US, and their distribution and concentrations can be enhanced during disasters. To address this problem, we have amended and functionalized montmorillonite clays with the nutrients, L-carnitine and choline to enhance their attraction for lipophilic toxins, such as BaP and aldicarb. Based on equilibrium isothermal analyses, we have demonstrated a significantly increased binding capacity (Qmax) and affinity (Kd) for BaP and aldicarb compared to the parent clay. Adsorption isotherms also showed that talc bound strongly to BaP with the highest Qmax, which was twice that of activated carbon. Additionally, cultures of adult hydra with a metabolism activation package were used as an in vivo toxicity indicator to confirm the ability of test adsorbents to protect against toxicity at low inclusion levels. We anticipate that the optimal adsorbents developed can be delivered in food and flavored water, or administered by sachet or capsule during emergencies and disasters to decrease human and animals exposures to environmental toxins.

published proceedings

  • Appl Clay Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, M., Hearon, S. E., Johnson, N. M., & Phillips, T. D.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Meichen||Hearon, Sara E||Johnson, Natalie M||Phillips, Timothy D

publication date

  • January 2019