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Challenges of interdisciplinarity in the study of microplastic contamination in Brazil: chemical and toxicological analyzes for environmental risk assessment

Grant number: 17/21113-9
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: January 21, 2018 - February 03, 2018
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Cassiana Carolina Montagner
Grantee:Cassiana Carolina Montagner
Visiting researcher: Theodore Burdick Henry
Visiting researcher institution: Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Pollution of the environment by plastics is recognized as among the most prominent anthropogenic factors to affect biodiversity and environmental quality globally. Research on the extent of plastic pollution and effects on organisms has progressed swiftly and been focused on marine environments; however, recent studies are emerging that demonstrate freshwater ecosystems can be extensively polluted by plastics and the effects on these ecosystems are relatively unknown. Studies involving this theme are still scarce in Brazil, even though it is a country that presents serious deficiencies in basic sanitation. Microplastics are also considered emerging contaminants and have recently been studied in the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory of the Institute of Chemistry at University of Campinas (LQA-IQ-UNICAMP) after several discussions of the coordinator (Prof. Montagner) at international congresses and forums on the subject . For this, the experience of Prof. Theodore B. Henry will be very important to implementing a leading line of research in Brazil.Prof. Henry coordinates at Heriot-Watt University two projects on this subject (RealRiskNano,; and MARMICROTOX (, and is very interested in working on this subject in the Brazilian scenario. Therefore, the main objective of the visit of Prof. Henry to the LQA-IQ-UNICAMP is to approach a multidisciplinary investigate the environmental fate, physicochemical properties and exposure of organisms to microplastics in several important ecosystems of Brazil. Besides fomenting discussions about the subject in the scientific community in general. (AU)

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