The use of large amounts of chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment threatens water, sediment and biota. Although thousands of organic chemicals are being constantly produced, environmental studies and routine monitoring programs are usually focused on a short list of contaminants, especially well-known persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and, more recently, emerging contaminants (e.g. pharmaceuticals and personal care products). These targeted analyses are developed to exclusively measure specific compounds, inevitably failing to consider thousands of anthropogenic compounds whose occurrence in the environment is still unknown or, at the very least, poorly understood. On the other hand, non-target analysis is emerging as an attempt to identify and screen all the contaminants present in the environment. A fraction of these "neglected" chemicals (including metabolites and degradation products of some POPs) has been recently detected in the environment, especially in water and high trophic marine species, and are suspected to exhibit environmental persistence and toxicity, highlighting the importance of this subject in environmental studies. Thus, this project aims to evaluate the occurrence and identify non-target contaminants in surface sediments and dolphins from selected areas along the southern and southeastern Brazilian coast. This will not only enlarge the previous project but also apply state-of-the-art techniques that will allow the acquisition of new and rather scarce data, contributing with valuable information for this field of study.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: