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ToxBioColour: toxicology of bio-based colourants for a sustainable environment

Grant number: 20/04628-8
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: November 01, 2020 - October 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Mutagenesis
Principal researcher:Gisela de Aragão Umbuzeiro
Grantee:Gisela de Aragão Umbuzeiro
Home Institution: Faculdade de Tecnologia (FT). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Limeira , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Riikka Raisanen


Synthetic dyes and pigments are widely used in the textile industry, and the potential risks of colourants such as azo dyes to human health and the environment are already recognized. Certain natural compounds have a long history as colourants but after the 20th century transition to synthetic dyes, their usage in textile coloration has been minimal. There is a trend in the world to produce sustainable materials, but the possibility of using natural dyes to help achieve this vision has not been properly explored. This fact motivated the BioColour project to design and develop novel sustainable products with the aid of environmentally sound natural colourants. The BioColour (Bio-based Dyes and Pigments for Colour Palette,, is a consortium recently approved by the Academy of Finland ( The Laboratory of Ecotoxicoloy and Genotoxicity (LAEG) from UNICAMP is participating in the Work Package WP3 (Toxicological safety assessment of biocolourants) component of the BioColour project, performing acute toxicity testing with Daphnia and in vitro mutagenicity assays of natural dyes. The objective of the proposed ToxBioColour project is to provide an in-depth toxicological characterization of the most promising natural dyes selected by the BioColour consortium and the effluents from simulated dyeing process. These studies will use different aquatic models (algae and fish) to verify acute and chronic toxicity including in vivo genotoxicity evaluations (comet assay in fish). We expect the outcome to be a family of environmentally friendly natural dyes for traditional and waterless dyeing technologies. (AU)

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