Environmental pollution of oil extractive industry and lead-based ammunition in indigenous territories of tropical rainforests and remote ecosystems (TROPOIL&LEAD)


Up to 30% of worlds rainforests overlap with conventional oil and natural gas reserves. Despite the world economic crisis, the growing global demand in oil increased from 85.3 to 95.0 million barrels per day from 2006 to 2015. On the other hand, nowadays, the most important source of direct lead release to soil at the global level is the use of lead-based ammunition, which in 2003 had a global consumption of 120,000 tons. By the 1970s, although the use of firearms was firstly recognized as a key source of lead exposure in the USA and Europe, the extension of firearms and lead shot in the Amazon people occurred. Although both are known pollutants, related health risks to the environment have traditionally been considered circumscribed in industrialized countries and their impact on the ecosystem in remote areas is still unknown. This study aims at providing new insights into chemical pollution in remote areas of the planet, and establish cause-effect relationships of potential sources with the environment and wildlife, as an indicator of bioaccumulation and as an actor in the transmission route to humans. This project pretends 1) to determine whether the geophagy behaviour directed to oil-polluted sites is a widespread behaviour in wildlife and domestic species in a range of very distinctive ecosystems with oil extraction activities: the Amazonian rainforests, the Siberian taiga, the Argentinian pampa and the South Apennines mixed forests, and 2) to determine the environmental health risk associated to lead-based ammunition in tropical rainforests of the world were local indigenous people rely on subsistence hunting: the Western and the Central Amazon, and the Central African rainforests.

Project dates

 January 2019 to December 2021


Convocatoria 2018 Proyectos I+D+I “RETOS INVESTIGACIÓN”

Research area


Team members

Research Professor
Guillermo Ros
Guillermo Ros
John Fa
John Fa
Joao Valsecchi
Joao Valsecchi
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.