Tag Archives: Brazil

The Amazon rainforest is not the “lungs of the world”

“But both publications repeated the claim that the Amazon is the “lungs” of the world. “The Amazon remains a net source of oxygen today,” saidCNN. “The Amazon is often referred to as Earth’s ‘lungs,’ because its vast forests release oxygen and store carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that is a major cause of global warming,” claimed The New York Times.” click here

Amazon fires normal agriculture, not climate change

“The driest years in Brazil will have the most fires set by farmers,” the professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville said in an email. “That isn’t a climate story, it’s normal agriculture in a country where 50 million people living in poverty are trying to survive.” click here

Brazil leads the way back to climate reality

“In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro is “dismantling” environmental agencies and missions. Brazil pulled out of hosting the 2019 U.N. climate summit, and has now canceled a United Nations climate change event that was to be held in August.” click here

Contaminants in drinking water stored in plastic cisterns, Brazil

de Oliveira Moura T, Oliveira Santana F, Palmeira Campos V, de Oliveira IB, Medeiros YDP. Inorganic and organic contaminants in drinking water stored in polyethylene cisterns. Food chemistry. 2019 Feb 1;273:45-51. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.03.104.

This work evaluated the presence of contaminants in stored rainwater in 36 polyethylene tanks installed in two rural communities of the semiarid of Bahia, Brazil. Carbonyl compounds were analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC-UV), BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes) by gas chromatoghaphy (GC-FID), and trace elements by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Seven carbonyl compounds were quantified including acrolein (<3-115 µg L-1), which is considered a potent mutagenic agent, above the potability limit in 75% of the cases. Trace elements such as copper, zinc, barium, aluminum and lead, more frequently found, were also quantified, and lead (<0,56-99 µg L-1) was above the tolerable limit for drinking water of 10 μg L-1 in 73% of the cases. The results show that the stored water in polyethylene cisterns in the Brazilian semiarid region does not present satisfactory conditions for human consumption.

Emerging Contaminants in Brazil Drinking and Source Waters

Machado KC, Grassi MT, Vidal C, Pescara IC, Jardim WF, Fernandes AN, Sodré FF, Almeida FV, Santana JS, Canela MC, Nunes CR, Bichinho KM, Severo FJ. A preliminary nationwide survey of the presence of emerging contaminants in drinking and source waters in Brazil. The Science of the total environment. 2016 Aug 2;572:138-146. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.210.

This is the first nationwide survey of emerging contaminants in Brazilian waters. One hundred drinking water samples were investigated in 22 Brazilian state capitals. In addition, seven source water samples from two of the most populous regions of the country were evaluated. Samples were collected from June to September of 2011 and again during the same period in 2012. The study covered emerging contaminants of different classes, including hormones, plasticizers, herbicides, triclosan and caffeine. The analytical method for the determination of the compounds was based on solid-phase extraction followed by analysis via liquid chromatography electrospray triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Caffeine, triclosan, atrazine, phenolphthalein and bisphenol A were found in at least one of the samples collected in the two sampling campaigns. Caffeine and atrazine were the most frequently detected substances in both drinking and source water. Caffeine concentrations in drinking water ranged from 1.8ngL-1 to values above 2.0μgL-1 while source-water concentrations varied from 40ngL-1 to about 19μgL-1. For atrazine, concentrations were found in the range from 2.0 to 6.0ngL-1 in drinking water and at concentrations of up to 15ngL-1 in source water. The widespread presence of caffeine in samples of treated water is an indication of the presence of domestic sewage in the source water, considering that caffeine is a compound of anthropogenic origin.

Fluoride in Milk, Infant Flormulae, and Soy-Based Products, Brazil

Fluoride in drinking water is also an important source of fluoride exposure in infants.

Nagata ME, Delbem AC, Kondo KY, de Castro LP, Hall KB, Percinoto C, Aguiar SM, Pessan JP. Fluoride concentrations of milk, infant formulae, and soy-based products commercially available in Brazil. J Public Health Dent. 2015 Oct 9. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12121.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the fluoride (F) content in commercially available milk formulae in Brazil and to estimate the F intake in children from this source in the first year of life.

METHODS: Samples of cow’s milk (n = 51), infant formulae (n = 15), powdered milk (n = 13), and soy-based products (n = 4) purchased in Araçatuba (Brazil) had their F content measured using an ion-specific electrode, after hexamethyldisiloxane-facilitated diffusion. Powdered milk and infant formulae were reconstituted with deionized water, while ready-to-drink products were analyzed without any dilution. Using average infant body masses and suggested volumes of formula consumption for infants 1-12 months of age, possible F ingestion per body mass was estimated. Data were analyzed by descriptive analysis.

RESULTS: Mean F content ranged from 0.02 to 2.52 mg/L in all samples. None of the cow’s milk provided F intake higher than 0.07 mg/kg. However, two infant formulae, one powdered milk, and one soy-milk led to a daily F intake above the suggested threshold for fluorosis when reconstituted with deionized water. Assuming reconstitution of products with tap water at 0.7 ppm F, two infant formulae, five powdered milk, and four soymilks led to daily F intake ranging from 0.108 to 0.851 mg/kg.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the consumption of some brands of infant formulae, powdered milk, and soy-based milk in the first year of age could increase the risk of dental fluorosis, reinforcing the need for periodic surveillance of the F content of foods and beverages typically consumed by young children.

Diarrhea Prevalence High for Indigenous Children in Brazil

BMC Public Health. 2015 Feb 27;15:191. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1534-7.
Diarrhea and health inequity among Indigenous children in Brazil: results from the First National Survey of Indigenous People’s Health and Nutrition.
Escobar AL, Coimbra CE Jr, Welch JR, Horta BL, Santos RV, Cardoso AM.

Background: Globally, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under five. In Brazil, mortality due to diarrhea underwent a significant reduction in recent decades principally due to expansion of the primary healthcare network, use of oral rehydration therapy, reduced child undernutrition, and improved access to safe drinking water. The First National Survey of Indigenous People’s Health and Nutrition in Brazil, conducted in 2008-2009, was the first survey based on a nationwide representative sample to study the prevalence of diarrhea and associated factors among Indigenous children in the country.

Methods: The survey assessed the health and nutritional status of Indigenous children < 5 years of age based on a representative sample of major Brazilian geopolitical regions. A stratified probabilistic sampling was carried out for Indigenous villages. Within villages, children < 5 years of age in sampled households were included in the study. Interviews were based on a seven day recall period. Prevalence rates of acute diarrhea were calculated for independent variables and hierarchical multivariable analyses were conducted to assess associations.

Results: Information on diarrhea was obtained for 5,828 children (95.1% of the total sample). The overall prevalence of diarrhea was 23.5%. Regional differences were observed, with the highest rate being in the North (38.1%). Higher risk of diarrhea was observed among younger children and those who had less maternal schooling, lower household socioeconomic status, undernutrition (weight-for-age deficit), presence of another child with diarrhea in the household, and occurrence of upper respiratory infection.

Conclusions: According to results of the First National Survey of Indigenous People’s Health and Nutrition, almost a quarter of Indigenous children throughout the country had diarrhea during the previous week. This prevalence is substantially higher than that documented in 2006 for Brazilian children < 5 years generally (9.4%). Due to its exceedingly multicausal nature, the set of associated variables that remained associated with child diarrhea in the final multivariable model provide an excellent reflection of the diverse social and health inequities faced by Indigenous peoples in contemporary Brazil.

Click here for article (Open Access).