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Inadequate disposal of effluents in soil: ecotoxicity and bioaccumulation of pharmaceuticals in terrestrial organisms.

Grant number: 23/02569-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2023
Effective date (End): May 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Environmental Sanitation
Principal Investigator:Allan Pretti Ogura
Grantee:Vinicius Silveira Leite
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Pharmaceuticals are highly used compounds by many sectors of society and, when disposed of incorrectly, they can cause toxic effects in different organisms. In this context, anaerobic reactors operated with phase separation have already shown efficiency in mitigating these potential micropollutants in sewage treatment plants. This research is part of the Project SABESP-FAPESP ATIVA-ETE (2020/09912-6) and six drugs will be studied: atenolol, carbamazepine, diclofenac, ibuprofen, propranolol and triclosan. Initially, synthetic sewage samples will be produced for the study and contaminated by the target compounds. After that, the treatment process will be done using an anaerobic batch reactor operated with phase separation (acidogenesis and methanogenesis). Then, the lethal and sublethal ecotoxicity effects will be analyzed, as well as the analysis of the potential for bioaccumulation, with bioindicator species of two trophic levels of the terrestrial environment: the enchytreid Enchytraeus crypticus and the plants Phaseolus vulgaris L. and Eruca sativa L. For this, the effluents before and after the proposed treatment process will be used in order that the results can verify the efficiency of anaerobic bioreactors from the application of ecotoxicity assays. It is expected that there will be a reduction in the ecotoxicological effects of the exposed organisms after the treatment process and that the potential for bioaccumulation of drugs in plants translates into the risks of contamination by ingestion of vegetables.

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