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Sustainable development and traditional communities in the Amazon: contributing to the generation of data to minimize the impact of large projects on the health of the local population (Sustentamazon Project)

Grant number: 22/10120-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2023 - February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy - Toxicological Analysis
Convênio/Acordo: CONFAP - National Council of State Research Support Foundations
Principal Investigator:Fernando Barbosa Júnior
Grantee:Fernando Barbosa Júnior
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Barbarella de Matos Macchi ; Carlos Barbosa Alves de Souza ; Gabriela de Paula Fonseca Arrifano ; Gustavo Rafael Mazzaron Barcelos ; José Rogério Souza Monteiro ; Laurent Ouerdane ; Marcus Augusto de Oliveira ; Rosa Carmen Rodríguez Martín-Doimeadios ; Ycarim Melgaco Barbosa ; Zoyne Pedrero Zayas


The hydroelectric power plants (HPP) are one of the largest economic resources in the Amazon that, however, can disproportionately impact traditional communities such as the riverines communities. Pará is home to the fifth largest HPP in the world, the HPP Tucuruí, constituting a unique model for generating data that can support actions to minimize the impact on the most vulnerable populations such as children. Mercury contamination is known to be one of the most serious problems in the Amazon, being amplified by the UHEs by flooding and closing the ecosystems. Although there is no mining that uses mercury in the region, the exposure of adult riverine population in Tucuruí is significantly higher than that found in mining regions, and up to 75 times higher than that recommended by the WHO. However, the situation of the children is completely unknown. Thus, using a multidisciplinary approach (environmental, nutritional, behavioral, biochemical and genetic) this project will analyze: 1) the contamination and toxicokinetics of the metal in the environment and in riverine children; 2) the neurodevelopmental status, general health, and possible long-term consequences associated with exposure. With these data, an overview of the environmental exposure to mercury, via diet, in children in the UHE Tucuruí region, will be obtained for the first time, constituting the basis for developing early intervention strategies and public health policies aimed at the identification and adequate management of risk individuals who live under the areas of influence of these large projects. It is worth mentioning the potential impact of the present proposal, especially in the North region, considering the scarce number of epidemiological studies available on the impact of large-scale projects, and the different characteristics (miscegenation, eating habits, mercury intoxication...) and vulnerability (geographic isolation, low economic and educational levels...) of these traditional communities. (AU)

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