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Bioavailability and bioaccessibility of pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in food. A public health risk assessment and creation of a risk-benefit tool for Brazilian consumers


Over the years, a potential increase in industrialization, agricultural practices, and animal production has occurring to attend the growing demand for food, due to the increase of population worldwide. In general, this increase is not associated with the supply of food free of pollutants. In Brazil, agriculture is one of the main economic pillars and has shown exponential growth in recent years. The intense use of pesticides, mainly glyphosate, 2,4-D, and atrazine, constitute an important factor in the viability of this great agricultural productivity, however, makes the country one of the largest consumers of pesticides around the world. Residues of pesticides and other environmental pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), have been frequently detected in food and are currently becoming a major concern for human and environmental health. Pesticides are routinely applied to plants to control pests and improve agricultural yields, on the other hand, they contaminate the environment increasing human exposure. PAHs are another important class of organic compounds that humans also are highly exposed to since these compounds are ubiquitous, environmentally persistent, and considered the major class that contributes to global pollution from human activity in urban areas. In this sense, the adoption of programs for the systematic evaluation of the chemical composition of food is of fundamental importance to guarantee food security. Worldwide, the development of toxicological reference values in foods is a growing area of scientific research, but in Brazil, these data are scarce. Human exposure to these compounds reflects a combined exposure through several pathways, and several studies have shown that oral ingestion is a very important pathway for many organic pollutants. Despite this, most studies that evaluate human exposure to pollutants by oral ingestion do not consider the complex processes of absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, absolute bioavailability, or relative bioavailability. Thus, omitting the absorption factor would overestimate or underestimate human exposure and associated health risks. In this context, both bioavailability and bioaccessibility studies aim to provide a more realistic health risk assessment, measuring the portion of a given substance released from food through digestion. From this, it is possible to estimate the real daily consumption of pollutants by the population. Given the above, the main objective of this proposal is to determine the levels of pesticides and PAHs in foods from the five Brazilian regions and to evaluate the bioavailability and bioaccessibility of these organic pollutants by employing in vivo and in vitro approaches. Besides, the project also aims to calculate the estimated doses of exposure to these two classes of compounds by Brazilians through food and risk assessment against these exposures. The present study intends to meet a need in Brazil to ensure food safety for our population through extensive knowledge of the quality of food consumed in terms of the presence of environmental pollutants, as well as providing subsidies for future public health programs in the toxicological scope. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CESILA, CIBELE APARECIDA; SOUZA, MARILIA CRISTINA OLIVEIRA; CRUZ, JONAS CARNEIRO; BOCATO, MARIANA ZUCCHERATO; CAMPIGLIA, ANDRES DOBAL; BARBOSA, FERNANDO. Biomonitoring of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Brazilian pregnant women: Urinary levels and health risk assessment. Environmental Research, v. 235, p. 10-pg., . (19/07161-6, 22/06443-0, 18/24069-3)
SOUZA, MARILIA CRISTINA OLIVEIRA; GONZALEZ, NEUS; ROVIRA, JOAQUIM; HERRERO, MARTA; MARQUES, MONTSE; NADAL, MARTI; BARBOSA JR, FERNANDO; DOMINGO, JOSE LUIS. Assessment of urinary aromatic amines in Brazilian pregnant women and association with DNA damage: Influence of genetic diversity, lifestyle, and environmental and socioeconomic factors. Environmental Pollution, v. 335, p. 8-pg., . (19/07161-6, 21/07994-8, 22/06443-0)
SOUZA, MARILIA CRISTINA OLIVEIRA; ROCHA, BRUNO ALVES; CRUZ, JONAS CARNEIRO; PALIR, NEZA; CAMPIGLIA, ANDRES DOBAL; DOMINGO, JOSE L.; BARBOSA, FERNANDO. Risk characterization of human exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in vulnerable groups. Science of The Total Environment, v. 892, p. 6-pg., . (19/07161-6, 22/06443-0, 18/24069-3)

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