Understanding the respiratory effects of volcanogenic air pollution: a toxicogenomic approach

  • Estado
  • Nome
    Ricardo Alexandre Dias dos Santos Camarinho
  • Entidade de acolhimento
    CVARG – Instituto de Investigação em Vulcanologia e Avaliação de Riscos


Volcanogenic air pollution has been widely ignored as a potential source of pollutants. In the Azorean archipelago, the Furnas volcano is responsible for the emission of 1000 tons-per-day of CO2, and volcanic activity is marked by active fumarolic fields, hot and cold CO2-rich springs and soil diffuse degassing phenomena. Several hazardous gases (some radioactive) are released along with particulate matter and heavy metals. Previous studies have revealed an association between chronic exposures to volcanogenic pollution and persistent respiratory inflammation, genotoxicity and carcinogenic incidences. However, the molecular/genetic mechanisms underlying these respiratory effects are not understood and early biomarkers of exposure and effect in humans inhabiting environments with volcanic activity are not available. The present project will employ a bioindicator species, Mus musculus, for identifying histological (histomorphometry, immunohistochemistry), cytogenetic (DNA damage) and genomic (gene expression profiling) changes that potentially contribute to volcanogenic related respiratory effects and identify gene markers for human biomonitoring.