Marta Monteiro
Prof. Elisa Cairrão (Medical Sciences, Univeristy of Beira Interior); Dr Carla Quintaneiro (CESAM/UA)
Implications of exposure to plasticizers during pregnancy and childhood in the incidence of obesity and cardiovascular diseases: a case study in Estarreja county
Human population is continuously exposed to different types of plasticizers. Monitoring the level of exposure to phthalates and alternative plasticizers in use, and their potential associated risks to human health is essential, particularly in sensitive windows of development such as the prenatal and childhood period. In this context, the main goal of this project is to assess the exposure of pregnant women and children resident in Estarreja county to plasticizers and their relation with the incidence of obesity and cardiovascular associated risks.
In this work we will assess the levels of different plasticizers (Phthalates, DINCH) metabolites in urine of pregnant women and children as biomarkers of exposure in order to improve the knowledge about exposure to these harmful substances. The potential influence variables (sociodemographic factors, eating habits and lifestyle) that contribute to the exposure will be investigated. Furthermore, the level of exposure to plasticizers will be correlated with indicators of obesity (e.g. corporal mass index), incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular risk (e.g. arterial pressure). The level of exposure to these contaminants will be compared with those from other Portuguese and European cohorts and with Human Biomonitoring Values from different agencies. This proposal will improve the knowledge on the exposure to plasticizers in the Estarreja county, their relation with incidence of obesity and cardiovascular diseases and will provide relevant information for the potential action of local authorities if results show concern to human health.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja
Biologie, Chimie, Éco-épidémiologie, Santé publique


Marta S. Monteiro, 42-years-old, is presently Researcher at UA/CESAM (since 31/01/2019), with 10 years of post-doc experience (2 FCT fellowships). She graduated in Biology (2000) at Aveiro University (UAVR). Her MSc thesis (2003) introduced her on environmental toxicology, assessing contamination effects on estuarine fish populations. She obtained her PhD in Biology at UAVR (2009) with a thesis devoted to cadmium phytotoxicity biomarkers and cadmium trophic transfer to animals. She started as post-doc in 2009 (EPOMEX, Mexico; UAVR) investigating effects of endocrine disruptors in fish. Currently, she is working with aquatic embryos as alternative models for the assessment of endocrine disruptors. She has worked on human exposure to contaminants and their effects, particularly in sensitive phases of development such as pre-natal period.
Overall, she has 36 papers published (h-index=12, w-index=4, 539 citations). She is also author of 1 book, 1 book-chapter and over 50 communications in international meetings. She has been involved as team member in 1 European project (FENOMENO), 7 national projects funded by FCT, one as PI (DOMINO EFFECT), and was PI in 2 OHM-Estarreja funded projects. Since her PhD she has (co-)supervised 5 undergraduate student, 3 research technicians and 5 MSc students, 2 of them as main supervisor, 1 PhD student and 1 pos-doc. She has been actively involved in outreaching activities conducted at local organizations and schools and in dissemination of results to general public.

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Carla Quintaneiro, 40-years-old, researcher at CESAM, University of Aveiro (UA). She graduated in Biology in 2000 at Aveiro University (UA) and got the MSc degree on Toxicology (2013, UA) assessing the contamination effects on shrimp natural populations using enzymatic endpoints. Obtained her PhD in Biology (UA, 2012) and, her thesis was focused on the evaluation of effects of essential metals in freshwater detritivores. As a pos-doc researcher (2013-2019, FCT) she was focused on alternative models for the assessment of endocrine disruptors (including synthetic steroid hormones) using fish and amphibian embryos complemented. Currently, she is interested in linking the effects of emergent contaminants at sub-cellular levels with adverse outcomes at individual level and relate them with development and progression of cardiovascular diseases.
Overall, she has published 29 papers and has h-index of 10 (total of 311 citations, 13 cit/article). She is also co-author of a book chapter, and delivered over 40 oral/painel communications at (inter)national meetings (1 best poster awarded). She has been colaborating in 7 national R&D projects.
In the last 5 yr, published 17 ISI papers, 8 of them as 1st author and 1 as senior, 76% independently from PhD supervisors and 70.6% with foreign co-authors. She has been invited as jury for 1 PhD and 6 MSc thesis and to peer review to 11 indexed journals. She is co-supervising a PhD student with Univ. Beira Interior (UBI) researchers and has actively contributed to young students training by (co)supervising 5 undergraduate students.

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Orcid: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1151-8177
Elisa Cairrao, 41-years-old, assistant Professor at Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Beira Interior. She graduated in Biology in 2000 at Aveiro University. In 2004 she finished her MSc on Toxicology, about Fucus spp. as an indicator of environmental contamination. The PhD in Biomedicine was obtained in the University of Beira Interior, in 2009. Her PhD thesis with Fellowship Grant (ref. SFRH/BDE/15532/2004) was focused on the Study of vasodilator mechanism of testosterone at arterial level. She has won a prize for best poster presentation in group of Vascular Biology in vitro at the European Council for Cardiovascular Research (ECCR). At the present, the scientist activity area reflects the interconnection between their masters and PhD. Her main research interests are cardiovascular endocrinology, endocrine disruptors, electrophysiology, vascular contractility and Cardiovascular Diseases. Overall, she has published 35 papers, has h-index of 11, has an approximately of 400 citations, average of 11 citations per article. She also has one National patent and 3 book chapters. She has been invited as jury for 2 PhD theses, several master theses and to peer review articles for indexed journals (Environmental international, Circulation, etc). She has been involved as team member in 2 projects funded by FCT or national entities. She has supervised 19 master students and at the present has three doctoral students.

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Orcid: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4823-5701