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Abstract  

In 2006, elementary schools of inner-city Lisbon, Portugal were given questionnaires to identify respiratory problems. In 1,175 children aged 5–10 years, 27.7% reported rhinitis, 2.5% reported hay fever and 25.9% reported asthma symptoms. April and August were the months with higher incidence of rhinitis, with a considerable difference nonetheless (10.5% and 2.3%, respectively.). The former trends are addressed here by using meteorological data, PM2.5, and its elemental speciation. Mann-Whitney U-tests were applied to the data sets. Significantly higher values were found for humidity, K+, NH4 +, Sb and Zn in April, and for temperature, Cl, Mg2+ and Na+ in August. Commuter and heavy-duty traffic may contribute to rhinitis episodes.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: S. Almeida, M. Freitas, C. Repolho, I. Dionísio, H. Dung, C. Pio, C. Alves, A. Caseiro, and A. Pacheco

Abstract  

Recent health studies evidence that epidemiological studies must be combined with accurate analyses of the physico-chemical properties of the particles in order to determine the effects of atmospheric aerosols on human health. The project “Atmospheric Aerosol Impacts on Human Health” focuses on the chemical characterization of PM2.5 aerosols with the aim to analyze the health risks associated with exposure to aerosols and understand how their chemical composition contributes to the toxicity and human health problems traditionally associated with fine particles. During one year, PM2.5 was collected daily, with a Partisol sampler, in the centre of Lisbon. The aerosols were analyzed by Neutron Activation Analysis and Ion Chromatography in order to determine their chemical composition. In parallel the clinical situation of students from the schools situated around the sampler was followed. The incidence of asthma and rhinitis episodes was registered. Results showed that students were exposed to PM2.5 concentrations that exceed the World Health Organization recommended levels. A marked sea influence in the aerosol characteristics was identified by the use of air masses trajectories and by the concentrations of chloride, sodium and magnesium.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: S. Almeida, M. Freitas, C. Repolho, I. Dionísio, H. Dung, A. Caseiro, C. Alves, C. Pio, and A. Pacheco

Abstract  

The goal of this research is to determine trends and sources of airborne particulates in the centre of Lisbon, by using speciated particulate-matter data and back-trajectory analyses. Results showed that, in 2007, the annual PM2.5 concentration exceeded the World Health Organization recommended levels. PM2.5 diurnal variability and the ratio between weekdays’ and weekends’ concentrations indicated that traffic contributed highly to decreasing air quality. Air back-trajectory analysis showed that maritime air mass transport had a significant role on air quality in Lisbon, promoting the decrease of anthropogenic aerosol concentrations.

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Abstract  

The number of children reporting rhinitis by month is compared with air pollutant concentrations in Lisbon, where they live and attend school. INAA, ionic exchange chromatography and data accessed through the internet were statistically processed with the children rhinitis data. Association between rhinitis and atmospheric variables are processed using Spearman non-parametric statistics and principal component analysis. It is pointed out that traffic, soil resuspension from traffic, meteorological conditions, and industry air pollutants contribute to respiratory trends. Ir (Pt group), a vehicle catalyst, may have some contribution.

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Abstract  

Archaeological ceramic fragments from Água Limpa site, in São Paulo, Brazil, were analyzed using instrumental neutron activation analysis. Multivariate statistical methods including Pearson correlation coefficient, cluster and principal components analysis were used to interpret the concentration data. Rare earth and alkaline elements were highly correlated. Six principal components explained 74.9% of the total variance and five clusters were found. The sample chemical composition showed that all samples have the same provenance.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: Crislene Morais, C. Gameiro, P. Santa-Cruz, S. Alves Jr, L. Soledade, and A. Souza

Abstract  

The complexes of general formula Ln(btfa)3L, where Ln=Eu or Tb, btfa=4,4,4-trifluoro-1-phenyl-1,3-butanedione, L=1,10-phenanthroline (phen) or 2,2-bipyridine (bipy), were synthesized by reacting the corresponding metal chloride with the proper β-diketone and the other ligand. The complexes were obtained in the powder form and were characterized by photoluminescence and TG. Their thermal decomposition was studied by non-isothermal thermogravimetric techniques. The Eu(btfa)3bipy complex presented the highest thermal stability and it melts before being decomposed. The complex Eu(btfa)3phen presented the largest activation energy for a heating rate of 5C min–1.

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Abstract  

Forty one ceramic fragment samples from Rezende archaeological site, Centralina city, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, were analyzed using INAA to determine the concentration of 24 chemical elements: As, Ba, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Eu, Fe, Hf, K, La, Lu, Na, Nd, Rb, Sb, Sc, Sm, Ta, Tb, Th, U, Yb and Zn. Three multivariate statistical methods, cluster, discriminant and principal components analysis were performed on the data set. The results showed that the large majority of the samples (94%) can be considered to be manufactured using the same source of raw material.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: J. A. Alves da Silva, E. Muramoto, M. T. C. P. Ribela, J. R. Rogero, and M. A. P. Camillo

Summary  

The use of radiotracers in the research of animal venom has been scarce, although it allows an excellent approach to follow the process of bioavailability, biodistribution and kinetics of toxins. The purpose of this study was to assess gyroxin action mechanism, transport, compartments and action sites. This toxin is a thrombin-like and causes the barrel rotation syndrome. The gyroxin was labeled with 125I and used as a tracer for the in vivo assay in mice. Blood samples and organs were collected at different time intervals, weighed and analyzed in a gamma-counter. The data was related with tissues distribution of protease activated receptor (PAR). Biodistribution assay allowed dividing the organs into three groups. The first one with the organs that followed the blood kinetics, the second with the organs related to metabolisms and elimination, and the third with the organs in which the gyroxin concentration increased during the observation period.

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