Skip to main content


Log in

Evaluation of the hydrogen-rich water alleviation potential on mercury toxicity in earthworms using ATR-FTIR and LC–ESI–MS/MS spectroscopy

  • Research Article
  • Published:
Environmental Science and Pollution Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The toxic effects of mercury in earthworms and the potential alleviation effect of hydrogen-rich water (HRW) using ATR-FTIR and LC–MS analysis methods were investigated. Different concentrations of mercury chloride (H1: 5 µg/mL, H2: 10 µg/mL, H3: 20 µg/mL, H4: 40 µg/mL, and C1: control) and mercury chloride prepared in hydrogen-rich water (H5: 5 µg/mL, H6: 10 µg/mL, H7: 20 µg/mL, H8: 40 µg/mL, and C2: control) were injected into earthworms. The changes and reductions in some bands representing proteins, lipids, and polysaccharides (3280 cm−1, 2922 cm−1, 2855 cm−1, 1170 cm−1, and 1047 cm−1) showed that protective effects could occur in groups prepared with hydrogen-rich water. In the FTIR results, it was found that these bands in the H3 group were more affected and decreased by the influence of mercury on earthworms than the H7 group prepared with hydrogen. LC–MS analysis showed that the changes in some ions of the highest dose groups (H4 and H8) were different, and mercury caused oxidative DNA damage in earthworms. When the high-level application groups of mercury, i.e., H4 and H8 were compared with the controls, the ion exchange ([M + H] + ; m/z 283.1) representing the 8-Oxo-dG level in earthworms was higher in the H4 group than the H8 group. This reveals that HRW exhibited the potential ability to alleviate the toxic effects of mercury; however, a longer period of HRW treatment may be necessary to distinguish an obvious effect. The ATR-FTIR spectroscopy provided a rapid and precise method for monitoring the changes in biological tissues caused by a toxic compound at the molecular level.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

Similar content being viewed by others

Data availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



All authors contributed to the study’s conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by MK, MNA, AO, and MB. The first draft of the manuscript was written by MK, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. The supervision was performed by DA. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Duried Alwazeer.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Communicated by Chris Lowe.

Publisher's note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Köktürk, M., Atalar, M.N., Odunkıran, A. et al. Evaluation of the hydrogen-rich water alleviation potential on mercury toxicity in earthworms using ATR-FTIR and LC–ESI–MS/MS spectroscopy. Environ Sci Pollut Res 29, 19642–19656 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: