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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

REGO, Rita de Cássia Franco; BARRETO, Maurício L.  and  KILLINGER, Cristina Larrea. What is garbage, anyway? The opinions of women from an outlying neighborhood in a large Brazilian city. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.18, n.6, pp. 1583-1591. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2002000600012.

Domestic solid waste is cause for current environmental concern in large cities around the world. Little is known about the human health consequences of solid waste disposal in open-air dumps. In addition, there are few studies on people's health practices in relation to solid waste. As the initial step in epidemiological research on the relationship between solid waste and diarrhea, this study describes women's perception of the definition of garbage and the popular understanding of the relationships between garbage and disease, and between garbage and the environment. The study used a qualitative approach in a slum neighborhood in Salvador, Bahia. A total of 13 women were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire in 1999. The FileMaker "diaricamp" application was used for data analysis. Interviewees defined garbage as anything useless and considered it a problem whenever it accumulated in the surroundings producing a bad smell or visual pollution, attracted animals, caused disease in children or adults, or was shifted from the individual to the collective/institutional sphere of action to solve the problem.

Keywords : Garbage; Solid Waste; Environment; Sanitation.

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