Uruguay

Chapter Leader Dr Nelly Manay, nmanay@fq.edu.uy, Dept of Toxicology and Environmental Hygiene, University of the Republic (Facultad de Química- Gral.), Flores 2124 Montevideo CP 11800, Uruguay
Member Name Science Discipline Research Interests
Cousillas, Adriana Dr. in Chemistry, Toxicologist
Occupational exposure, heath prevention and Ecoheatlh
Noguera, Ana Lía Chemistry
Torre, Maria H. Dr in Chemistry Bioinorganic Chemistry
Copper and Selenium deficiencies and development of therapeuti-cally agents.
Heller, Teresa Toxicologist, Chemistry Environmental Toxicology Education.
Pereira, Laura Toxicologist, Chemistry Occupational exposure, heath prevention and Ecohealth
Miguez, Diana Dr in Chemistry
Carrara, María Chemistry
Goso, César Dr in Geology
Mezzano, Adriana Geologist
Piston, Mariela Dr. in Analytical Chemistry
Analytical Chemistry: determination of trace elements of Toxico-logical and Environment relevance. Development, optimization and validation of analytical methods.
Alvarez, Ma. Cristina Toxicologist, Chemistry
Development of analytical methodologies for toxic metals bio-markers and epidemiologic studies.
Mañay, Nelly Dr, in Chemistry, Toxicologist
Environmental and Analytical Toxicology, Population Biomoni-toring, Medical Geology issues
Barros, Luis (*) Dr. in Veterinary
Laborde, Amalia (*) Medical Dr., toxicologist
Pose, Darío (*) Medical Dr., toxicologist
(*) new members about to join IMGA

2012

Medical Geology in Uruguay has developed a highly qualified team to carry out research work, teaching, hu-man resources training and extension. Some studies of trace elements that impact on health such as arsenic and fluoride in water, selenium in food , silica and asbestos in the air, deficiencies of essential elements such as copper in animals, among others, have already been initiated.
In 2011, Uruguay was very well represented in the 4th International Conference on Medical Geology held in Bari, Italy by 6 colleagues (Cousillas, Adriana; Heller, Teresa; Mañay, Nelly; Pereira, Laura; Kremer, Edu-ardo; Noguera, Ana Lía).
 3 oral presentations in different sessions
 5 poster presentations, one of them prize-winning, including some other 10 persons involved in these works, who were not able to attend the Conference personally.
 1 travel award.
This was a practical demonstration of interest and hard work regarding Medical Geology in our country.
Also in 2011, we created a Research Group on Medical Geology in the University of the Republic, with re-searchers from the Faculties of Chemistry, Sciences and Veterinary (chemists, toxicologists, geologists and veterinarians respectively), who worked together in order to create a framework for the presentation of future projects. Website: http://darwin.csic.edu.uy/grupos/grupos?tipo=unoro&id=798725
Furthermore, in November 2011, we applied for funds with a project for the creation of an Interdisciplinary Nucleus of Medical Geology within the University of the Republic, of which there is still no official resolu-tion. The leaders of this nucleus are Nelly Mañay, Maria Torre, Mariela Pistón, Cesar Goso, Adriana Cousil-las and Luis Barros, all professors from the University of the Republic. The formation of an Interdisciplinary Nucleus on Medical Geology consolidates a multidisciplinary team to approach the impact of geological fac-tors on human health and animals that have no systematic research in the country.
The aim of this Interdisciplinary Nucleus is to strengthen Medical Geology research teams, and the specializa-tion or training of human resources so as to integrate the different services from the University involved in this line of work, into their respective graduate and post graduate curricular programs.
In addition, the elective course of "Environmental Toxicology and Medical Geology" held in our Faculty of Chemistry since 2005, reaches also students from other Faculties and in 2011, this 3-month course was suc-cessfully conducted, with growing interest and enthusiastic participation, both of students, and lecturers. This course was also included last year, as an elective in the Master in Geosciences programs. In addition, one of the PhD studies going on in our Faculty, is analysing Medical Geology as one part of the history and contribu-tion of Toxicology to Environmental Education for Chemical Sciences students.
In early 2011 Dr. Centeno was going to visit us and give a short course on Arsenic issues so as to plan more activities on Medical Geology in Uruguay, but unfortunately he was not able to come, owing to his new job position. This course will be organised for April 2013
Finally, our aim is to motivate and include more colleagues involved in Medical Geology in Uruguay, because we have many interesting initiatives in sight. At the same time, we are willing to integrate Uruguay to propos-als coming from IMGA.
The following are the lists of abstracts and papers produced by our chapter Members.
Presentations in GEOMED 2011, Bari -Italy
Facing Arsenic Environmental and Health Issues in Uruguay with Medical Geology Approach. Nelly Mañay, Mariela Pistón, Cesar Goso
Biomonitoring and Biomarkers of Lead Exposure: Experience in Uruguay. Nelly Mañay, Adriana Cousillas, Teresa Heller, Laura Pereira
Development of arsenic analytical methodologies in water and urine by HG-AAS for routine determinations in Uruguay. Cristina Alvarez, Mariela Pistón, Giovanna Clavijo, María Elvira Gómez, Nelly Mañay
A toxicological Approach to Environmental Education in Chemical Sciences: Exploring a new field of study. Teresa Heller, Cristina Alvarez, Nelly Mañay
Portland cement and health impacts. Adriana Cousillas, Nelly Mañay, Laura Pereira Testa.
Occupational exposure evaluation of workers of Portland cement industry in Uruguay. Laura Pereira, Adriana Cousillas, Giovanna Clavijo.
Natural Environmental Radioactivity in valizas resort, Rocha, Uruguay. Ana Noguera, Heinkel Bentos Pereira, Laura Fornaro.
Speciation of Mo(VI) oxyanions in natural waters. Lorena Gonzatto, Guzmán Peinado, Julia Torres, Carlos Kremer, Eduardo Kremer
Publications
Impacts of multidisciplinary actions on environmental lead exposure in Uruguay. Cousillas A, Pereira L, Heller T, Alvarez C, Mañay N. Environ Geochem Health; 2012 Apr;34(2):207-11
Pistón M., Silva J, Pérez-Zambra R, Dol I., Knochen M. Automated method for the determination of total arsenic and selenium in natural and drinking water by HG-AAS.Environmental geochemistry and health. 10/2011; 34(2):273-8.

Medical Geology in Uruguay has been continuing with the development of research work, teaching train-ing and extension carried out with its chapter’s highly qualified members. As it was mentioned in our last re-port, studies on trace elements that impact on health such as arsenic and fluoride in water, selenium in food, silica and asbestos in the air, deficiencies of essential elements such as copper in animals, and child environ-mental lead exposure among other issues, are being carried out currently.
In 2012, Nelly Mañay and Mariela Pistón, applied for a call of interdisciplinary activities with a proposal for holding a regional Medical Geology scientific activity under the framework of the Program of Development of Basic Sciences of the Ministry of Education of Uruguay.
This proposal was approved and financial support was got to cover Latin-American experts travel expenses as well as to fund logistical issues necessary for these kind of activities, such as the conference room, coffee breaks, and support materials (CD, folders, certificates, brochures, etc).
This Interdisciplinary Medical Geology Seminar was held in Montevideo on 17th October with the partici-pation of 23 students and 27 junior / senior researchers and various professionals (physicians, veterinarians, geologists, chemists, and biologists).
We presented 10 lectures, three of them held by colleagues from Brazil, México and Chile and the others were from our Uruguayan Chapter. Below is a photo and program. More information (in Spanish) is available on the website: http://de.amiando.com/LPGXSUD.html.
PROGRAM summary
Accreditations and Inauguration Ceremony, Dr. Enrique Lessa (PEDECIBA)
Topic 1: Introduction to Medical Geology and the examples of lead contamination in Brazil and Uruguay.
 Introduction : Dr. Nelly Mañay ( Fac. Of Chemistry – UdelaR; IMGA Uruguay)
 Keynote: "Lead Pollution in Brazil"
Invited Speaker: Dr. Eduardo M. Capitani (U of Campinas, Brazil)
 National Lecture: "Lead Contamination in Uruguay. An Update". Dr. Darío Pose (CIAT-UPA)
 Comments: Dr. Nelly Mañay
 Questions and discussion
Topic 2: Presence of Arsenic in Aquifers: Their environmental and health impacts.
 Lecture: "Problems of arsenic in groundwater of Mexico"
 Invited Speaker: Dr. Aurora Armienta (UNAM, Mexico)
 National Lecture: "The presence of arsenic in groundwater in Uruguay: status and challenges," Dr. Cesar Goso (Fac Sciences- UdelaR)
 Comments: Dr. Eduardo M. Capitani / / Quim. Ana María Sancha
 Questions and Discussion
Topic 3: Technology Assessment and Remediation:
 Lecture: " Abatement Technology for Arsenic. Case study: Chile".
 Invited Speaker: Quim. Ana María Sancha (U de Chile, Chile)
 National Lecture: "Automated systems for the determination of selenium and arsenic in water." Dr. Mariela Piston (Fac. of Chemistry - UdelaR)
 Comments: Dr. Aurora Armienta
 Questions and Discussion

Round Table: Environmental problems of the metals in the environment and their impacts on health: present and future actions.
Chair: Dr. Nelly Mañay
National speakers from different areas:
 Animal Health - "Fluorosis in cattle: case in Uruguay" Dr Luis Barros (Veterinary Fac-UdelaR).
 Chemical Toxicology. Environmental Assessment of Cement Powder. QF. Laura Pereira (Fac. of Chemis-try UdelaR)
 Bio-organic Chemistry - "Deficiency of essential elements detected in Uruguay and its impact on health." Dr. María H. Torre (Faculty of Chemistry UdelaR)
 Environmental Health. "Medical Geology Research in Environmental health practice". Dr. Amalia Laborde (Faculty of Medicine-UdelaR)
 Questions and Discussion

Also in 2012, we continued working within the framework of the Research Group on Medical Geology of the University of the Republic, with researchers from the Faculties of Chemistry, Sciences, Veterinary and Medicine. Website: http://darwin.csic.edu.uy/grupos/grupos?tipo=unoro&id=798725

Furthermore, in May 2012, we applied again for funds to conduct research with the creation of an Interdisci-plinary Nucleus of Medical Geology within the University of the Republic, of which there is still no official resolution. The leaders of these nucleus are Nelly Mañay (Chemical Toxicologist), Maria Torre (Bioinorganic Chemist), Mariela Pistón (Analytical Chemist), Cesar Goso ( Geologist), Adriana Cousillas ( Chemical Toxi-cologist) , Luis Barros ( Veterinary Clinician and Pathologist) and Amalia Laborde (Medical Toxicologist), all professors from the University of the Republic. The approval of an Interdisciplinary Nucleus on Medi-cal Geology in our University will consolidate a multidisciplinary team to strengthen and expand Medical Geology research teams in Uruguay in order to approach human and animal health issues that are not be-ing systematically investigated at present.
In addition, the elective course of "Environmental Toxicology and Medical Geology" held in our Faculty of Chemistry since 2005, reaches also students from other Faculties and Careers and in 2012, this 3 month course was successfully conducted, with growing interest and enthusiastic participation, both of students, and lectur-ers. This course is also included, in the Master in Geosciences programs. The PhD study by a member of our chapter is still going on in our Faculty, which is analysing Medical Geology as one part of the history and contribution of Toxicology to Environmental Education for Chemical Sciences students.
As we said before, the Uruguayan Chapter aims to incorporate more colleagues already working in Medical Geology in Uruguay, because we have many interesting initiatives in sight. At the same time, we are willing to integrate Uruguay to proposals coming from IMGA.

 

Medical Geology in Uruguay
Uruguay has been involved in the emerging discipline of Medical Geology since 2002, studying metals and metalloids exposure and environment health impacts within the Medical Geology International group (IGCP project # 454) and IMGA.
Environmental Toxicology, Epidemiology, Human and Veterinary Health, as well as Geology, Bioinorganic and Analytical Chemistry studies, have been the basis for the development of Medical Geology in Uruguay. Knowledge and performance of these disciplines have been improved by the joining of research teams and experts from different institutions, together with community delegates, to face environmental health problems arising from metals and metalloids exposure. Medical Geology has also been a topic of discussion in Ecohealth symposiums, to understand the relationships between ecosystems and human health impacts, providing additional sociological studies.

The main results of this new scientific approach in Uruguay have been the development of feasible technologies, diagnosis tools, health impairment, with social inclusion as well.

The 3rd Hemispheric Conference on Medical Geology held in Montevideo, 12-16th October, 2009 (www.geologiamedica.com), promoted interdisciplinary discussions and contributions from the geosciences and biosciences scientific communities to share recent advances on environmental and health problem studies in this part of the world, and was the basis of the IMGA Uruguayan Chapter organization.

IMGA Local Chapter in Uruguay
The IMGA Local Chapter in Uruguay was established in 2010. It currently has 18 members consisting of chem-ists (7), geologists (3), physicians (2), chemical engi-neers (2), veterinarians(3) and biologists (1). The first Uruguay IMGA Chapter formal meeting was held at the Faculty of Chemistry, with very interesting lectures on the research of working groups. These included: environmental surveillance with the development of analytical methodologies for metals and metalloids in biologic and environmental matrices, bioassays, validation and automatization of analytical methodologies, surveillance of toxic ions in aquifers of Uruguay including arsenic and fluorine, and developing technological studies of soils.
The future activities of this chapter will be focused on the addition of new members, with innovative strategies for multidisciplinary research in our coun-try, academics, and on technological and educational activities where a Medical Geology approach is taken into account in the development of future action plans.

2011

The Uruguay Chapter is very active and has 16 members. These are a mixture of chemists, geologists, physi-cians, veterinarians and engineers. The Chapter members organised the very successful 3rd Hemispheric Con-ference on Medical Geology in October 2009 and the Chapter arose out of this meeting. Conference reports are available in the 2009 IMGA Newsletters 15 and 14. Since then the Chapter has had a first meeting and contin-ues contact by e-mail. Most active scientists are researchers from the University of the Republic working to-gether in subjects of common interest such as environmental Pb and As. A Medical Geology short course was planned with Dr. Centeno but it had to be cancelled for several reasons. It is proposed for next year.

Contact:
Prof. Nelly Manay, Dept of Toxicology and Environmental Hygiene, University of the Republic, Montevideo, Uruguay. NellyManay@gmail.com