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Metabolic effects of atmospheric microplastics and nanoplastics collected in cities in the state of São Paulo

Grant number: 23/06768-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Effective date (End): November 30, 2026
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering
Principal Investigator:Roberta Cerasi Urban
Grantee:Gabriel Marcondes Ferraz
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:22/03087-9 - Plastic pandemic: current exposures to microplastics in cities of the São Paulo State, their implications on health, and the impact of the COVID-19, AP.PNGP.PI


The production and use of plastics have revolutionized the modern world, contributing for example to improvements in health through disposable medical equipment (PPE), which had the demand increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, poor management of this waste results in plastic pollution, including in the atmosphere. Although occupational diseases and the presence of these materials in human tissues have already been reported, the implications of atmospheric microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) on human health must be better understood. The objective of this project is to evaluate the presence of MPs in the atmosphere and their impacts on human health. To this end, samples will be collected in two regions (pristine and with anthropic influence) in some cities from the state of São Paulo, the most populous in the country. In addition, a chromatographic method for the qualification and quantification of polymers will be optimized and validated. Furthermore, metabolites and proteins coronas formed in lung cells exposed to atmospheric MPs and NPs will be analyzed using an air-liquid interface in vitro cellular model to mimic inhalation exposure. These toxicological studies are innovative and will help to understand the implications of MPs and NPs on human health.

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