Patrícia Santos
ChemREs2 – PAHs and inorganic contaminants in Estarreja’s rainwater: sources, spatial-temporal changes, and implications for the environment and human health
The atmospheric pollution in Estarreja is a matter of concern, and its impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, as well as on human health, are still unknown. A previous project studied the chemical composition of rainwater in Estarreja and identified that local rainwater contains some contaminants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals, with higher content at the industrial area than at a nearby background site, suggesting that industrial area may be a focus of contaminant emissions.
The present project intends to evaluate whether five years later the industrial activities in Estarreja continues contributing for the emission of contaminants into the atmosphere, namely PAHs, metals and ionic constituents, which are then removed by precipitation. Thus, rainwater samples will be collected during one year simultaneously in different sites at the industrial area, and in an industrial background. The results from this study will be important to understand the sources of contamination in the industrial area of Estarreja, and to evaluate space-time changes, as well as the impacts of the contaminants on the environment and human beings (since rainwater is a way of availability of freshwater). In addition, the results will contribute to adopt strategies to reduce emissions of air pollutants, and to mitigate adverse effects to the environment and human health.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • OHM Estarreja
Chimie, Hydrologie, Santé publique


Patrícia Santos graduated in Industrial Chemistry at University of Coimbra in 2002, and completed the MSc in Instrumental Methods and Analytical Control at University of Aveiro (UA) in 2006. In 2006 Patrícia was awarded with a FCT scholarship to pursue her PhD in Chemistry at UA under the subject “Origin, seasonality and chemical characteristics of rainwater in Aveiro” and completed the PhD degree in January 2011. Since obtaining her PhD degree Patrícia was awarded with 2 FCT PostDoc grants and has worked on studying chemical characteristics of rainwater, oxidation reactions in atmospheric waters and removal of contaminants from rainwater, in Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) at UA. Since January 2019 Patrícia is Junior Researcher in CESAM at UA.
Patrícia has participated in various European projects, namely SAPPHIRE (2002-2005), and in 2015/2016 she was the principal investigator of a project funded by LabEx DRIIHM and CNRS, entitled ChemREs-Chemical Composition of Rainwater in Estarreja: identification of major contaminants, source assessment and evaluation of implications for the environment and humans, at UA.
Patrícia published 26 papers in international peer review journals (631 citations, h-index of 13),and has 21 poster communications and 5 oral communications in national/international meetings. She has been invited for peer review referee work in international journals (e.g. Chemosphere, Geophys Res Lett, Sci Total Environ).


Gabriela Santos PhD student in Chemistry at the Aveiro University is supervised by the Professor Armando Duarte and the researcher Patrícia Santos. Gabriela Santos completed at Aveiro University the graduation in Chemistry in 2015 and the master's degree in Chemistry in 2017, and the last one with the theme ''Identificação e quantificação de hidratos de carbono na água da chuva de Estarreja''. Gabriela published 1 paper in international peer review journals and has 1 poster communications in national/international meetings.