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Evaluation of emerging pollutants in surface waters of a continent-ocean interface zone in Rio de Janeiro city.

Evaluation of emerging pollutants in surface waters of a continent-ocean interface zone in Rio de Janeiro city.

Corresponding Author: Dr. Rodrigo de Lima Sobrinho
Supervisor: Prof. Marcelo Corrêa Bernardes

The urban area of Rio de Janeiro city has the second higher demography and the second bigger industrial park in Brazil. The wide economic distinction among different actors of society, promotes distinct economic groups, which are concentrated in well-marked locations in the geopolitical territory. Accordingly, the use of water resources and the residuals derived from these activities are related not only by physical and chemical aspects of the ecosystems but also to the socioeconomic activities. This paradigm must be considered in scientific projects which aims to understand the dynamic of pollutants in these ecosystems, and also in sociopolitical efforts toward  mitigate, or even eliminate, eventual risks of contamination for the population.

In the last decades a global effort has been made to strength government laws concerning to the industrial and domestic use of toxic products, in order to minimize its emission in water bodies and the marine ecossystems. At the same time, the number of scientific publications about this topic has increased. The main targets in these studies concern to the behavior of such toxins in the environment and their effect to the fauna and flora, in particular to humans. Further, as the citizens are progressively aware about the risks of using such products, increases the demand by non governmental organizations for the use of non toxic products and efficient treatment of waste waters. In developing countries the risks are even higher due to the weak environmental laws and nescience of the average population. Thus, in such countries, it is imperative the enhancement of scientific knowledge about emerging pollutants and the application of consistent analytical technology (Deblonde et al., 2011; Gavrilescu et al., 2015; Geissen et al., 2015; Dulio et al., 2018).

Diverse organic pollutants have been used in pharmaceutical industries, food, fabric, cosmetics, toys, plastics, cleaning products, agriculture and horticulture. Consequently, a multidisciplinary approach is necessary to trace the sources and fate of these toxins in the environment and the respective consequences to public health. This involves field work, proper analytical chemistry, socioeconomic data, Geographic Information System (GIS) and computer modeling (Newman, 2015). In order to obtain coherent government responses, the studies must be performed in regional scale, namely, understanding the behavior of a toxin or group of toxins in a specific ecosystem and the risks for the local population. In this sense the studies concerning to emerging pollutants enhances the evaluations of cost-benefits utilization of natural resources. For such it is necessary to project future scenarios of the impacts caused by the socioeconomic guidelines and proposals for governmental responses. To produce plausible models the project must start with analysis of physical, chemical and biological parameters of the ecosystem. Further, socioeconomic data such as demography and industrial activity must be included in the dataset. Finally, the socioeconomic and environmental data are correlated using SIG and computer models. This approach enables that the results produced for an specific ecosystem can be compared with other regions.

Thus, the present work aims to estimate the flux of emerging contaminants from an important drainage basins of the brazilians southeast region to the marine environment. Further, it intends to collect socioeconomic data, concerning to the main sources of organic pollutants, and to present proposals for management and recovering of the polluted areas. The project started in September 2016 and will be concluded in August 2019. The sampling sites were the Jacarepagua lagoon system (JLS) located in the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan region. The water samples were collected in four seasons in order to consider the influence of the precipitation in the results. Besides, the sampling were performed always at the ebb tide. The sampling sets were the rivers, that supply fresh water to the lagoons, the connecting channel with the marine site and the into the lagoons (Fig. 1). Until 48 hours after the sampling the water samples were taken to the lab in order to perform the filtration and the Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) protocol. With that the particulate and dissolved fraction of the samples could be preserved for further analysis. The analysis performed where Elemental composition of C and N, Carbon Dioxide and Methane, Sterols and n-alkanes, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Fluorescence Index of the Dissolved Organic Matter (FI-DOM), Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine disruptors.

Due to the muldisciplinarity of our project, teams from diverse research institutions cooperate in order to share scientific knowledge and financialy support the analytical costs. Our partners are the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the Laboratory of Biogeochemistry ate the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), the Laboratory of Applied Analytical chemistry (UFF), the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO) and the Laboratory of Environmental Sciences at the Universidade Estadual Norte Fluminense (UENF). The project is supported by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ).

Figure 1: Sampling stations in the Jacarepaguá Lagoon System. E1 – Arroio Pavuna; E2 – Pavuninha river; E3 – Camorim River; E4 – Cortado channel; E5 – Arroio Fundo; E6 – Joá channel; E7 – Tijuca Lagoon; E8 – Marapendi channel; E9 – Marapendi lagoon.


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Dulio V., van Bavel B., Brorström‐Lundén E., Harmsen J., Hollender J., Schlabach M., Slobodnik J., Thomas K. and Koschorreck J., Emerging pollutants in the EU: 10 years of NORMAN in support of environmental policies and regulations. Environemental Sciences Europe, 30:5, 2018.

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Newman M.C., Current Need for Ecotoxicology Expertise., Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology: The science of polution. CRC Press, p. 6-22, 4th ed., 2015.

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