The intensive use of pesticides has raised global awareness and concern about pesticides potential cocktail effects on soil quality and on food quality. Over the years, multiple studies have reported pesticide residues in environmental and biological matrices, and in agricultural commodities. In the Europe Union , a few recent studies have shown the presence of multiple pesticide residues in agricultural soils and in food products, and Portugal has one of the highest incidences of residues in both matrices. The understanding and characterization of cocktail effects of pesticide residues in soil and food products demand a comprehensive and more realistic hazard assessment. This covers potential interactions among pesticide residues, and direct and indirect risks to the ecosystem and human health. At present, it exists a scientific gap between the knowledge of cocktail effects of multiple pesticide residues present in agricultural soil and the knowledge of their potential interactions in food products. There is now a scientific gap between our understanding of the cocktail effects of multiple pesticide residues found in agricultural soil and our knowledge of their possible interactions in products. This PhD project focuses i)_ the distribution of pesticide residues on soil and food products, ii) the cocktail effects of these residues to soil and human health, and iii) thermal degradation of these residues in food matrices. Thermal degradation of multiple pesticide residues will be assessed in food matrices to better understand the impact of temperature, moisture content and oxidative mechanisms on the toxicokinetic of pesticide residues. Pesticides distribution will be assessed via a comprehensive field campaign in the central region of Portugal, covering (i.e permanent and vegetable crops). Cocktail effects will be assessed via lab assessment will be conducted to assess the cocktail effect and the toxicokinetic of the pesticide’s residues. The gained knowledge on distribution, interactions and toxicokinetics of pesticides will contribute to a realistic risk estimation for the hazard assessment of pesticides residues, areas of crucial and timely importance given the farm-to-fork strategy of 50% reduction goals of pesticide use and risk by 2030.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.