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Atmospheric particulate matter from a region impacted by biomass burning: sources and toxicity

Grant number: 18/17931-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2018
Effective date (End): July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Maria Lúcia Arruda de Moura Campos
Grantee:Caroline Scaramboni
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Atmospheric Particulate Matter (PM) from biomass burning is often associated with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer. Among the organic compounds, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) have received special attention due to their high toxicity. Retene, which is not included in the 16 priority PAHs list of US-EPA, had a potential adverse effect on human lung cells, causing DNA damage and cell death. In sugarcane producing regions, retene mean concentration was about 18 times higher than in the Amazon arc of deforestation. It is therefore a matter of concern that Ribeirão Preto region is still particularly affected by biomass burning, despite the gradual elimination of sugarcane leaves burning. The aim of this project is to evaluate Ribeirão Preto's PM toxicity using in vitro tests, in order to infer about the current impact of biomass burning on human health in the region. The genotoxic potential of this material and retene will be evaluated using HepG2 liver cells, a cell line that is still little explored in toxicity studies of PM from biomass burning. Aerosol sampling (1.0, 2.5 and 10 ¼m) will be carried out in dry and wet seasons, both in the city center and near a rural area, in order to identify vehicular and biomass burning sources, and considering meteorological conditions. Levoglucosan will be used as biomass burning marker, and all PM extracts will be analyzed by GC-MS. Although this work focuses on a sugarcane producing region of Brazil, the results obtained here can be contextualized in both, the national context - due to the still frequent deforestation in Brazil - and the global context, in view of global warming, and increasingly recurrent forest fires. (AU)

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