Published: 2022-07-27

Effects of dishwashing detergents residues on redox status and cell proliferation in mice liver and kidney

Chantal R. Chahine, Fadi F. El-Teres, Nathalie R. Chahine, Wissam W. Chalhoub


Background: Commonly known for their cleaning and disinfecting properties, dishwashing detergents containing anionic surfactants can be potentially toxic due to misuse. This study aims to investigate the possible harmful effects of detergents residues persisting on utensils after dishwashing.

Methods: Residues were collected after cleaning the utensils in 100 mL of water from 100 households in Beirut, Lebanon. After anionic surfactant determination, water with detergent residues (WDR) was added to drinking water of white mice versus tap water as control: G1 (TW for 2 months), G2 (WDR for 2 months), G3 (TW for 3 months) and G4 (WDR for 3 months), N=6 for each group. Animals were then sacrificed. Biopsies from liver and kidneys were taken for histological examination or preserved at -80°C for biochemical analysis of lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase activity, and expression of PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway proteins by western blotting.

Results: Our results showed no significant difference in body weight or histological alteration in groups given WDR versus TW groups. An increase of LP (30%) and a decrease of SOD activity (25%) were noted in the liver tissue of G2 and G4 versus G1 and G3 respectively (p<0.05). In addition, p-AKT and p-mTOR proteins expression regulating cell proliferation were significantly increased in the liver of G4 versus G3 (p<0.05).

Conclusions: We concluded that traces of detergents on utensils do not cause an acute pathology, but they could cause oxidative stress to the liver and an over-expression of cancer pathway over a relative long period of time.


Dishwashing residues, Detergents, Surfactants, Mice, Oxidative stress, PI3K/AKT/mTOR

Full Text:



Bockmühl DP, Schages J, Rehberg L. Laundry and textile hygiene in healthcare and beyond. Microb Cell. 2019;6:299-306.

Linke D. Detergents: an overview. Methods Enzymol. 2009;463:603-17.

Day R, Bradberry SM, Thomas SHL, Vale JA. Liquid laundry detergent capsules (PODS): a review of their composition and mechanisms of toxicity, and of the circumstances, routes, features, and management of exposure. Clin Toxicol. 2019;57:1053-63.

Resto W, Hernández D, Rey R, Colón H, Zayas J. Cleaning validation 2: Development and validation of an ion chromatographic method for the detection of traces of CIP-100 detergent. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2007;44:265-9.

Lawler SP. Environmental safety review of methoprene and bacterially-derived pesticides commonly used for sustained mosquito control. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2017;139:335-43.

Mostafalou S, Abdollahi M. Pesticides and human chronic diseases: Evidences, mechanisms, and perspectives. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2013;268:157-77.

Vincent MJ, Parker A, Maier A. Cleaning and asthma: A systematic review and approach for effective safety assessment. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017;90:231-43.

Beuhler MC, Gala PK, Wolfe HA, Meaney PA, Henretig FM. Laundry detergent “pod” ingestions: a case series and discussion of recent literature. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2013;29:743-47.

Sjogren PP, Skarda DE, Park AH. Upper aerodigestive injuries from detergent ingestion in children. Laryngoscope. 2017;127:509-12.

Misik J, Vodáková E, Pavlikova R, Cabal J, Novotný L, Kuča K. Acute toxicity of surfactants and detergent-based decontaminants in mice and rats. Military Med Sci Letters. 2012;81:171-6.

Bertinelli A, Hamill J, Mahadevan M, Miles F. Serious injuries from dishwasher powder ingestions in small children. J Paediatr Child Health. 2006;42:129-33.

US EPA O. Drinking water regulations and contaminants. Available at: sdwa/drinking-water-regulation. Accessed on 20 January 2022.

Chirani MR, Kowsari E, Teymourian T, Ramakrishna S. Environmental impact of increased soap consumption during COVID-19 pandemic: Biodegradable soap production and sustainable packaging. Sci Total Environ. 2021;796:149013.

Gummin DD, Mowry JB, Beuhler MC, Spyker DA, Bronstein AC, Rivers LJ, et al. 2020 Annual report of the american association of poison control centers' national poison data system (NPDS): 38th annual report. Clin Toxicol. 2021;59(12):1282-89.

Leu HG, Lin SH, Lin TM. Enhanced electrochemical oxidation of anionic surfactants. J Environ Sci Health. 1998;33:681-99.

As SF. Evaluation of oxidative stress and genetic damage caused by detergents in the zebrafish Danio rerio (Cyprinidae). Comp Biochem Physiol Mol Integr Physiol. 2013;23:165.

Shukla A, Trivedi SP. An in vitro analysis of the rat C6 glioma cells to elucidate the linear alkylbenzene sulfonate induced oxidative stress and consequent G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and cellular apoptosis. Chemosphere. 2018;205:443-51.

Henkler F, Brinkmann J, Luch A. The role of oxidative stress in carcinogenesis induced by metals and xenobiotics. Cancers 2010;2:376-96.

Sosa V, Moliné T, Somoza R, Paciucci R, Kondoh H, LLeonart ME. Oxidative stress and cancer: An overview. Ageing Res Rev. 2013;12:376-90.

Kumar Jha S. Solving the water crisis in Beirut. Available at: solving-water-crisis-beirut. Accessed on 20 January 2022.

Jurado E, Fernández-Serrano M, Núñez-Olea J, Luzón G, Lechuga M. Simplified spectrophotometric method using methylene blue for determining anionic surfactants: applications to the study of primary biodegradation in aerobic screening tests. Chemosphere. 2006;65:278-85.

Chahine N, Hanna J, Makhlouf H, Duca L, Martiny L, Chahine R. Protective effect of saffron extract against doxorubicin cardiotoxicity in isolated rabbit heart. Pharm Biol. 2013;51:1564-71.

Chahine N, Nader M, Duca L, Martiny L, Chahine R. Saffron extracts alleviate cardiomyocytes injury induced by doxorubicin and ischemia-reperfusion in vitro. Drug Chem Toxicol. 2016;39:87-96.

Choubaya C, Chahine N, Aoun G, Anil S, Zalloua P, Salameh Z. Expression of inflammatory mediators in periodontitis over established diabetes: an experimental study in rats. Med Arch. 2022;75:436-43.

El-Nahhal I, El-Nahhal Y. Pesticide residues in drinking water, their potential risk to human health and removal options. J Environ Manage. 2021;299:113611.

Hołyńska-Iwan I, Szewczyk-Golec K. Pyrethroids: how they affect human and animal health? Medicina. 2020;56:582.

Gloxhuber CH. Toxicological properties of surfactants. Arch Toxicol. 1974;32:245-69.

Hesselmar B, Hicke-Roberts A, Wennergren G. Allergy in children in hand versus machine dishwashing. Pediatrics 2015;135:e590-7.

Yahaya T, Okpuzor J, Oladele EO. Investigation of toxicity of detergents. J Environ Sci Technol. 2011;4(6):638-45.

Yost LJ, Rodricks JD, Turnbull D, DeLeo PC, Nash JF, Quiñones-Rivera A, et al. Human health risk assessment of chloroxylenol in liquid hand soap and dishwashing soap used by consumers and health-care professionals. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016;80:116-24.

WHO. A global overview of national regulations and standards for drinking-water quality. Available at: Accessed on 20 January 2022.

Xue Y, Zhang S, Tang M, Zhang T, Wang Y, Hieda Y, et al. Comparative study on toxic effects induced by oral or intravascular administration of commonly used disinfectants and surfactants in rats. J Appl Toxicol. 2012;32: 480-7.

Kong H, Chandel NS. Reactive oxygen species and cancer. In: Oxidative Stress. Netherlands: Elsevier; 2019:619-37.

Wu MY, Yiang GT, Cheng PW, Chu PY, Li CJ. Molecular targets in hepatocarcinogenesis and implications for therapy. J Clin Med. 2018;7:213.

Nunes B, Carvalho F, Guilhermino L. Effects of widely used pharmaceuticals and a detergent on oxidative stress biomarkers of the crustacean Artemia parthenogenetica. Chemosphere. 2006;62:581-94.

Hayes JD, Dinkova-Kostova AT, Tew KD. Oxidative stress in cancer. Cancer Cell. 2020;38:167-97.

Showkat M, Beigh MA, Andrabi KI. mTOR Signaling in protein translation regulation: implications in cancer genesis and therapeutic interventions. Mol Biol Int. 2014;2014:e686984.

Franco-Belussi L, Jones-Costa M, Salla RF, Souza BFS, Pinto-Vidal FA, Oliveira CR, et al. Hepatotoxicity of the anionic surfactant linear alkylbenzene sulphonate (LAS) in bullfrog tadpoles. Chemosphere. 2021;266:129014.

Zhang X-Q, Yao C, Bian W-H, Chen X, Xue J-X, Zhu Z-Y, et al. Effects of Astragaloside IV on treatment of breast cancer cells execute possibly through regulation of Nrf2 via PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Food Sci Nutr. 2019;7:3403-13.

Elmore AR. Final report on the safety assessment of potassium silicate, sodium metasilicate, and sodium silicate. Int J Toxicol. 2005;24(1):103-17.

Kenna JG. Human biology-based drug safety evaluation: scientific rationale, current status and future challenges. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2017;13:567-74.

Bidhe RM, Ghosh S. Acute and subchronic (28-day) oral toxicity study in rats fed with novel surfactants. AAPS J. 2004;6:7-16.

Zhang J, Ye L, Wang W, Du G, Yu X, Zhu X, et al. A 12-week subchronic intramuscular toxicity study of risperidone-loaded microspheres in rats. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2015;34(2):205-23.

Gad SC, Cassidy CD, Aubert N, Spainhour B, Robbe H. Nonclinical vehicle use in studies by multiple routes in multiple species. Int J Toxicol. 2006;25:499-521.

Parasuraman S. Toxicological screening. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2011;2(2):74-9.