Chemical form (i.e., species) can influence metal toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics and should be considered to improve human health risk assessment. Factors that influence metal speciation (and examples) include: (1) carrier-mediated processes for specific metal species (arsenic, chromium, lead and manganese), (2) valence state (arsenic, chromium, manganese and mercury), (3) particle size (lead and manganese), (4) the nature of metal binding ligands (aluminum, arsenic, chromium, lead, and manganese), (5) whether the metal is an organic versus inorganic species (arsenic, lead, and mercury), and (6) biotransformation of metal species (aluminum, arsenic, chromium, lead, manganese and mercury). The influence of speciation on metal toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics in mammals, and therefore the adverse effects of metals, is reviewed to illustrate how the physicochemical characteristics of metals and their handling in the body (toxicokinetics) can influence toxicity (toxicodynamics). Generalizing from mercury, arsenic, lead, aluminum, chromium, and manganese, it is clear that metal speciation influences mammalian toxicity. Methods used in aquatic toxicology to predict the interaction among metal speciation, uptake, and toxicity are evaluated. A classification system is presented to show that the chemical nature of the metal can predict metal ion toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics. Essential metals, such as iron, are considered. These metals produce low oral toxicity under most exposure conditions but become toxic when biological processes that utilize or transport them are overwhelmed, or bypassed. Risk assessments for essential and nonessential metals should consider toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic factors in setting exposure standards. Because speciation can influence a metal's fate and toxicity, different exposure standards should be established for different metal species. Many examples are provided which consider metal essentiality and toxicity and that illustrate how consideration of metal speciation can improve the risk assessment process. More examples are available at a website established as a repository for summaries of the literature on how the speciation of metals affects their toxicokinetics.

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Published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, v. 9, issue 1.

This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B.

Yokel, R. A., Lasley, S. M., & Dorman, D. C. (2006). The speciation of metals in mammals influences their toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics and therefore human health risk assessment. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, 9(1), 63-85. https://doi.org/10.1080/15287390500196230

It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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