Brazil is one of the largest iron producers in the world, with high industrial activity in iron minning, ironwork, steel and metallurgical process. Most of these activities emit a metallic smoke that may contain several metals from production process and the original ore. In the search for different alloys, most of the industries have developed metal alloys with compounds that have no limit in current legislation, such as bismuth, titanium, zirconium, tungsten, yttrium and other emerging metallic compounds. Tubarão Complex, located in Grande Vitória, ES, has recognized emission of atmospheric particulate material contaminated with metals from this process, in which several emerging metal contaminants have already been founded. These metals are dispersed in the atmosphere and can passively internalize the human lung through respiratory system. We propose to evaluate and quantify the internalization of metallic nanoparticles present in the atmospheric particulate matter from the iron ore, pelletizing and steel industries present in the Tubarão Complex, in human lung cells (in vitro). Ultra and nanostructural morphological techniques will be applied to identify emerging metallic nanoparticles at the subcellular level, to evaluate the internalization of these nanoparticles as well as the oxidation state and crystallographic structure of these metallic nanoparticles. Considering the concentration of these emerging metals in the particulate material and their internalization in the human lung cells and cellular action will be possible to evaluate their bioavailability and in what biological processes these particles could cause damage.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: