Projets de recherche
Porteur: Lopes Isabel
Mots clés:Microbial consortiaSoilMetalsRemediationSustainability
Participants:Cátia Venâncio, Etelvina Figueira, Paulo Cardoso, Bruno Carneiro
Porteur: Jean-Philippe Bedell
Coporteurs: Yann Philippe Tastevin
Disciplines:BiogeochimieBiologieBotaniqueEcologie de la santeSante publique
Mots clés:BiocapteursBiomagnétismeMagnétisme environnementalParticules atmosphériquesQualité de l'airSusceptibilité magnétiqueVégétation
Participants:Eduardo Anselmo Ferreira da Silva, Carla Alexandra Patinha, Duraes Nuno Miguel dos Santos, Helena Maria Sant’Ovaia Mendes da Silva, Yann Philippe Tastevin, Moustapha B. SAGNA, Priscilla Duboz, Mélina Macouin, Sonia Rousse, Jean-François Leon, Myriam Hammada
Porteur: Célia Alves
Coporteurs: Teresa Nunes, Ana Vicente, Margarita Evtyugina, Carla Viegas, Nóra Kóvats, Xavier Querol
Mots clés:Indoor air qualitySchoolsISAACabsenteismbioburden
Children are in school for one-third of their normal day where bad indoor air quality (IAQ) emerges as a real problem. As in most countries, schools in Portugal are not subject to regular monitoring of IAQ and its health effects. STEP has Estarreja as a case study, and aims to answer the following 3 main questions: What causes air pollution in and around schools? What are the effects? What are the possible solutions to tackle it? A citizen-science initiative to monitor indoor and outdoor air quality in and around primary and kindergarten school classrooms is proposed, involving multipollutant monitoring and the application, for the first time, of new disciplines, such as analytical toxicology, microbial genomics, and occupational epidemiology. In addition to regulated pollutants and comfort parameters, a bioburden assessment will be done, including the detection of toxigenic fungi and antimicrobial-resistance genes. Dust will be chemically characterised and subject to a toxicological screening to obtain stressor-response patterns. A cross-sectional study in which pupils will be diagnosed by means of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire will be conducted to estimate the burden and risk factors of diseases. Multivariate models will be applied to search for associations between air quality, respiratory health, and absenteeism. A dosimetry model will be used for risk assessment and development of occupational exposure limits for inhaled particles. A set of guidelines and good practices will be proposed for effective IAQ management and behavioural changes towards a healthy school environment.
Participants:Teresa Nunes, Margarita Evtyugina, Ana Vicente, Carla Viegas, Nóra Kóvats, Xavier Querol
Porteur: Marta Tacão
Coporteurs: Isabel Henriques, UC, Carla Patinha, UA
Mots clés:ContaminationvegetablesAntibiotic resistancepathogens
Microbiological contamination in domestic productions represents a high danger for consumers’ health since there is no quality control. What is produced goes from farm to fork, with higher risks associated with produce usually eaten raw. As consequence of the industrialization for the last 50 years, Estarreja area became one of the most polluted in Portugal. Hence, the putative contamination of soil and water may question food security of vegetables grown in this region. In a previous project our team examined vegetables and irrigation water from domestic farms in Estarreja. The microbiological quality and the presence of different contaminants were examined. Results showed that in fact in some farms, irrigation water and leafy greens were contaminated with metals and antibiotic resistant bacteria, with some strains identified as putative human pathogens. Hence, we propose a follow-up project, ten years apart, to perform a farm-to-fork chain analysis of the Estarreja municipality domestic farms. Considering that fresh produce may be contaminated at any point, we will determine the level of chemical and microbiological contamination of soils, irrigation water and vegetables, but also we will examine farmers hands and tools surfaces. Putative pathogenic strains will be characterized in detail to identify possible health-risk traits. We will register information regarding the farm setting and agricultural practices, as for example irrigation water origin, use of fertilizers and the harvest procedures. We will provide guidance for good agricultural and hygiene practices to minimize microbiological threats, and ultimately, we will propose a monitoring program for household farms.
Participants:Isabel Henriques, Carla Patinha
Porteur: Isabel Henriques
Coporteurs: Marta Tacão, Isabel Silva, Filipa Bessa, Maria Paula Marques
Mots clés:MicroplasticsIndustryAquatic SystemsPathogensAntibiotic ResistancePublic Health
The intense industrial activity in Estarreja region predictably resulted in contamination of aquatic systems with microplastics (MPs). These contaminants provide an ideal niche where pathogens and antibiotic resistant bacteria can proliferate, being transported along rivers and entering the food chain. However, risk assessment of MPs and associated microbes is limited by the scarce information available for these ecosystems. This project aims to determine the abundance and diversity of MPs in Estarreja rivers and to quantify and characterize pathogenic agents and antibiotic resistant bacteria associated to these contaminants. Mesocosm-based studies exposing MPs in rivers will also be carried out to compare the microbes that settle on different types of MPs and in different locations. MICRANT will provide solid quantitative and qualitative data for assessing and predicting the risks related to exposure to MPs and associated microbes.
Participants:Marta Tacão, Isabel Silva, Filipa Bessa, Maia Paula Marques
Porteur: Flavio Silva
Coporteurs: Luis Tarelho, Marija Prodana
Mots clés:PyrolysisResidual forest biomassEcotoxicitySoil amendmentWildfires preventionEnvironmental engineering
Circular economy has emerged for sustainable management of natural resources aligned with good industrial practices. New-generation fertilisers are an example of industrial synergies and environmental compatibility. The recently revised EU Fertilisers Regulation creates room for development of waste-based fertilisers, as long as their agronomic value and environmental safety are proven. In this sense, there are still on-going discussions at the stakeholders/regulators’ level in order to systematically assess the effectiveness and environmental safety of new waste-based fertilisers. Such discussions are an excellent opportunity for the OHM-E to provide scientific insights on the safe and effective application of local-based fertilisers and turn Estarreja into an example of good agronomic practices aligned with industrial synergies and environmental protection. Biochar is a potential candidate for EU fertilisers. It has raised great interest as a way of managing organic residues through pyrolysis, as well as recycling of carbon and nutrients, thus improving soil quality/productivity. Former (DRuMBEAT) and on-going (MOSAIC) research has proven the merit of biochar in improving Estarreja soil quality. MOSAIC project is currently assessing the cost-effectiveness of biochar production from Estarreja-based byproducts. Coupling of agronomic value with environmental safety of recycling biochar to soils is still lacking in the equation, especially regarding the impact on non-target soil and aquatic organisms as consequence of leaching of potentially toxic compounds. By taking advantage of on-going research and inter-disciplinary networking, SAYFERT research relies in two fundamental axes – pyrolysis and ecotoxicology – for pursuing biochar application rate thresholds that yields trade-offs between agronomic productivity and environmental safety.
Participants:Luis Tarelho, Marija Prodana
Porteur: Patrícia Silva
Coporteurs: Roberto Martins, Ana Rita R. Silva, Carlos Pinheiro, João Tedim, Susana Loureiro
Mots clés:NANOCLAYSWATER REMEDIATONWATER QUALITYSALINIZATIONEUTROFICATIONSUSTAINABILITYGLOBAL CHANGE
Global sea-level rise and eutrophication constitute serious threats to freshwater bodies worldwide, posing severe risks to economy and to environmental and human health. Given its location and its higher industrialization and population density, coastal regions are particularly in danger. It is predicted that coastal areas will suffer from seawater intrusion, causing salinization of freshwater and terrestrial systems. Furthermore, the excessive nutrient loadings from industrial and domestic effluents and leaching from agricultural fields may increase the risk for eutrophication. Consequently, these phenomena may potentially cause the deterioration of water quality and loss of aquatic fauna and flora. Even though some technologies are available in the market to remediate waters, there is a need to find more environmentally safe alternatives to overcome this problem without harming aquatic life. Innovative remediation alternatives based on nanotechnology, such as the use of layered double hydroxides (LDHs), are emerging and have proven to be suitable alternatives for remediation. The overarching aim of this proposal is to evaluate the potential of LDHs to remediate waters of Estarreja region. Even though waters from any region could be used for this purpose, waters of the Estarreja municipality are ideal for this project due to their low-lying coastal lagoon location and to the historically pressure from the intense industrial and agricultural activities. This study will provide information on the water quality and the degree of eutrophication and salinization of waters of Estarreja, and will promote the use of more sustainable alternatives for water remediation and water quality improvement.
Participants:Roberto Martins, Ana Rita Silva, Carlos Pinheiro, João Tedim, Susana Loureiro
Porteur: Marie-Laure Trémélo
Coporteurs: Corinne PARDO
Mots clés:Science ouverteOuverture des donnéesPrincipes FAIRInterdisciplinarité
Informer et former la communauté scientifique aux bénéfices du partage et de l’ouverture des données pour tendre vers un changement progressif des pratiques de gestion et de diffusion de la donnée sont les objectifs du WP1 du projet SO-DRIIHM (ANR 2020) conduit par le groupe Data-DRIIHM. Dans ce cadre, il est important de prendre en compte aussi bien les chercheurs qui croulent sous les informations de leurs établissements que ceux isolés qui ne bénéficient d’aucun accompagnement sur cette thématique. Le groupe Data-DRIIHM se pose désormais en « Aiguilleur de la Science Ouverte » pour l’ensemble de la communauté DRIIHM en regroupant les informations et supports pédagogiques, en mettant à disposition ces ressources tout en accompagnant et conseillant au mieux les chercheurs. L’objectif de ce projet est donc de recenser et faciliter l’accès aux ressources pédagogiques en matière de Science Ouverte, dans son acception large, pour les chercheurs de la communauté DRIIHM et de répondre à leurs questionnements : comment créer un PGD ? Comment gérer les données personnelles et respecter le RGDP ? Mes recherches sont-elles soumises à l’APA ? Comment répondre aux principes FAIR pour la mise à disposition de mes données ? Dans quel entrepôt puis-je déposer mes données ? Comment publier en Open access ? etc. Le tout en tenant compte des spécificités disciplinaires et interdisciplinaires du DRIIHM.
Participants:Corinne PARDO, Mathieu MASSAVIOL
Porteur: Ana Rita Silva
Coporteurs: Nazaret González-Alcaraz, Marija Prodana, Patrícia V. Silva, Susana Loureiro
Mots clés:climate changeextreme eventsmultiple climate factorscontaminationecotoxicology.
Although great efforts have been made over the last years, climate change continues to impact our planet. According to IPCC predictions, atmospheric CO2 levels and mean temperature are expected to continue rising jointly with the frequency/intensity/duration of extreme weather events (e.g., droughts and floods). The impact of climate change may be exacerbated in metal(loid)-contaminated areas, such as the Estarreja municipality, where ecosystems have been under stress for decades. TERRA aims to understand the effects of climate change alterations on the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, using contaminated soils from Estarreja. For that, extreme climate events/predicted climate change scenarios (including changes in combined climate factors according to IPCC) will be simulated to evaluate their effects on the ecotoxicity in terrestrial and aquatic inhabitants. Moreover, soil/water properties, e.g. pH, metal(loid) content, soil organic carbon, will be evaluated to establish the link between soil/water properties and effects under changing climate factors. Considering that extreme climate events have been reported in the last years in Portugal, the project intends to understand the dynamics behind contamination in this region after these events, by evaluating contamination level in Estarreja region five years later (by comparing with previous works). TERRA will provide crucial data for Portugal and worldwide regarding the consequences of climate changes in contaminated areas. The present project will also promote an easy and active communication with the society, with the final aim of increasing awareness about climate change and its environmental impacts.
Participants:María Nazaret González Alcaraz, Marija Prodana, Patrícia V. Silva, Susana Loureiro
Porteur: Sirine Bouguerra
Coporteurs: João Oliveira-Pacheco, Anabela Cachada, Carla Patinha, Nuno Durães & Ruth Pereira
Mots clés:AGRICULTURAL SOILSMETAL(LOIDS)SALINIZATIONMAIZEBIOINOCULANTSPRODUCTIVITY
The threatens to agriculture soils from the Estarreja and Baixo Vouga Lagunar (BVL) regions include the combination of several anthropogenic and environmental factors, such as industrial pollution, intensive farming practices, overuse of fertilizers, the use of contaminated groundwater for irrigation, and salinization due to surface saltwater intrusion. For instance, these factors contributed to land degradation and therefore to crop productivity and safety decreasing. Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important crops in these regions and boosting maize production in affected soils can have a significant socio-economic impact. Thus, the need of sustainable and eco-friendly solutions to improve productivity is one of the major challenges of agriculture activity in these regions. Estarreja and BVL may also be living labs, providing experience to other sites, where these approaches may be transferred. Several studies have demonstrated that inoculation with indigenous rhizobacteria can enhance plant performance and growth. Driven by described issues and based on knowledges acquired from our previous OHM projects (e.g: SoilGenomic, 2016; NotillAgri-Estarreja, 2017; Nameless, 2017; SoilSalt, 2017; SoilRice, 2018), this proposal aims to explore the potential of a consortium of indigenous plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPB) that are resistant to metal(loids) present in those soils, as well as PGPB well adapted to high levels of salinity and re-applied them to reduce problems associated with stressful environments via ex-situ bioinoculation of new seeds (before sowing) and in-situ bioinoculation of new plantlets. Accordingly, this may contribute to minimizing impacts on crops productivity and assure more sustainable agriculture practices.
Participants:Sirine Bouguerra, João Oliveira-Pacheco, Anabela Cachada, Carla Patinha, Nuno Durães, Ruth Pereira
Porteur: Nuno Durães
Coporteurs: Carla Patinha, Anabela Cachada, Ruth Pereira, Luís Portela
Mots clés:Alluvial soilsPotential toxic elementsREEsecotoxicology essaysbioaccumulationgeogenicanthropogenic inputs
The Baixo Vouga Laugar (BVL) is a very particular example of the harmonious coexistence between man and nature. This region, characterised by highly productive soils, enticed humankind to take advantage of its land and surface water reservoirs for the development of various agricultural practices (e.g., rice paddies, cornfields, pasture, among others). The high fertility of BVL's soils is owed to their development under the influence of alluvial deposits, materials with loamy texture, high porosity and marked organic matter enrichment. However, as demonstrated by the results obtained in other OHM projects, some of these soils are enriched in several potential toxic elements (PTEs). For this reason, the TracEnviSoil project intends to obtain a screening of the distribution of metal(loid)s of greater concern, as well as of rare earth elements (REEs), in order to ascertain the most probable sources (geogenic versus anthropogenic) of these trace elements, but also their (bio)availability and eco-toxicity in agriculture soils. This would allow to infer the potential risks for soil productivity, by creating harmful conditions for the soil microbiome and plant growth. Finally, the bioaccumulation of PTEs in the edible parts of plants will be evaluated in order to estimate the risk of their entry into the food chain, namely of animals and humans that feed on the vegetable products grown on these soils.
Participants:Carla Patinha, Anabela Cachada, Ruth Pereira, Luís Portela
Porteur: Hugo Vieira
Coporteurs: Maria Bordalo e Sá, Andreia Rodrigues, Diana Campos, Sónia Coelho, Sizenando Abreu and Fernando Morgado
Mots clés:Risk-benefits analysisSociety engagementEnvironmental and human healthFood safetyDietary guidelines
Estarreja region, located nearby Ria de Aveiro, is widely known for its mercury (Hg) historical contamination (e.g. Largo do Laranjo) due to previous activities of a chlor-alkali industry. At the same time, a variety of fishing activities are usual in this lagoon. Due to its high nutritional value, fish and seafood consumption have been linked to the prevention of some human diseases, especially regarding cardiac and circulatory disorders. Unfortunately, fish and seafood are also considered as the major pathway of Hg exposure in humans. More than 90% of the Hg present in fish tissue is found mainly as methylmercury (MeHg), the most toxic form. Due to the potential adverse human health effects, international agencies have established Reference Doses (RfD) as recommendations concerning Hg intake. Despite the recognized importance of fish/seafood to the human Hg intake, studies that assess this exposure risk in Portugal have been focusing on only some species and mostly restricted to Academia. In addition, scientific language is often not clear for the general public. So, in order to contribute to a knowledge transfer from Academia to Society, this proposal aims to evaluate fish consumption habits and potential Hg exposure of Estarreja population and to develop and share tools with simple and precise language that will contribute to an informed decisions on the consumption of fish/seafood involving not only decision makers and but also the target population.
Participants:Hugo Vieira, Maria Bordalo e Sá, Andreia Rodrigues, Diana Campos, Sónia Coelho, Sizenando Abreu, Fernando Morgado
Porteur: Flavio Silva
Coporteurs: Luis Tarelho, Mara Madaleno
Mots clés:BioremediationBiofilmsBiocharSoil fertiliserProof-of-concept
Over ten years the OHM-E has unravelled negative impacts of the industry on the quality of soils surrounding Estarreja. Yet, it is not all bad news. Previous research (DRuMBEAT) has conceptualized and tested a path for bioremediation of contaminated soils based on exploitation of their indigenous microbiomes coupled with biochar (pyrolysed biomass). Model organic contaminants in Estarreja-surrounding soils were successfully biodegraded by biochar-attached biofilms naturally engineered from contaminated soils, which proved them to be better adapted to inhibitory environments than those retrieved from “clean” sites. Though the hypotheses were successfully demonstrated, the biochar-microbial synergisms in contaminated soils surpassed the initial expectations by significantly boosting the biochemical activity, thus anticipating further benefits in development of a broader quality strategy for Estarreja soils. Additionally, biochar production can be tuned to target local-based feedstocks management, yield optimal porosity and redox chemistry to carry biofilms and immobilise contaminants, and provide further long-lasting fertilisation. While the former research answered to “How does it work?”, MOSAIC project aims at addressing “How feasible/profitable is it?” to consolidate and transfer the following purposes: (i) biochar can be produced from renewable feedstocks existing in Estarreja; (ii) pyrolysis parameters can be tuned to match both immobilisation of soil contaminants and controlled release of valuable plant nutrients; (iii) enhanced activity of the soil microorganisms enriched onto biochar benefits both soil remediation and fertility; and (iv) the microbial-laden biochar can turn into an innovative Estarreja-based fertiliser, providing that its agronomic value and cost-effectiveness are ensured through proper evaluation towards a proof-of-concept development.
Participants:Luis Tarelho, Mara Madaleno
Porteur: Renata Tavares
Mots clés:ToxicologyIndustrial ContaminationHeavy MetalsFemale (In)FertilityFemale Reproductive Potential
Exposure to toxicants generated from (or used in) industrial processes has contributed towards the decrease of female fertility and reproductive potential worldwide. Considering the increased risk of exposure in the modern world due to industrial growth, it is crucial the assessment of the reproductive potential of women living in an industrial-related area, particularly if there is already a history of local contamination. The city of Estarreja presents the second largest chemical complex in Portugal and contamination of heavy metals was earlier reported. After efforts to counteract this issue, the fertility and reproductive potential of women from Estarreja is still lacking. Importantly, heavy metal measurements in women folicular fluid will be performed and using an in vitro animal model system developed in our lab we will further unveil if female reproductive potential is affected. Oocyte maturation and both oocyte and cumulus cells viability will be evaluated as well as indicators of oxidative stress. Finally, other parameters of oocyte quality such as ooplasmic volume, spindle configuration and chromossomal alignment will be analyzed. Further lectures addressing environmental pollution and its implications on female, and general human fertility will be given to infants and teenagers at schools of the municipality.
Participants:Teresa Almeida Santos, João Ramalho-Santos, Ana Paula Sousa, Maria Inês Alfaiate, Maria Soares
Porteur: Anabela Cachada
Coporteurs: Ruth Pereira, Nuno Durães, Carla Patinha
Mots clés:Volatile Organic ContaminantsPotentially Toxic ElementsPotential risksSoil saturated layerContamination hotspots
The Estarreja Chemical Complex (ECC), composed essentially by chemical plants that produce, among others, aniline, nitrobenzene, PVC, isocyanide polymers of aromatic base and polystyrene polymers for thermal isolation, has been pointed as a major threat to the environment and to public health in the region. For decades, the different ECC industries disposed off solid wastes directly on the permeable sands without containment, and untreated liquid effluents were discharged directly on streams connected to the coastal lagoon. Due to the geological features (unconsolidated detritic sedimentary rocks) of this region, that allows the contaminant’s dispersion, there is a high vulnerability of the aquifer to environmental hazards. Although waste management practices improved significantly in the last years, there are still signs of groundwater contamination. Indeed, previous studies indicate that the ECC is a vulnerable area due to the presence of multiple pressures (agriculture, industry and urban activities) and hotspots of organic and inorganic contaminants were already identified. However, there is a space-temporal variation of these hotspots that was not yet fully understood and it is not clear yet how contaminants are reaching the aquifer. Thus, this project aims at understand the dynamics behind the groundwater contamination and the processes that result in specific hotspots, and consequently identify sources and pathways of contaminants. Moreover, since some of the contaminants previously identified are classified as carcinogenic and highly toxic, the potential risks to the environment and human health will be also evaluated.