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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


CATAPRETA, Cícero Antônio Antunes  and  HELLER, Léo. Association between household solid waste collection and health. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.5, n.2, pp.88-96. ISSN 1680-5348.

There are few published studies about the effects of inadequate solid waste collection on the health of the population exposed to this situation. The objective of the present work was to describe this association in a sample of children under 5 years of age living in seven low-income neighborhoods and favelas in the city of Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. We defined as "exposed" those children whose families were not served by waste collection; "not-exposed" were children who lived in areas with waste collection. The study employed data collected in 1994 and organized as a database by the municipal department of health. We employed a cross-sectional design, in which a "case" was defined as a child whose outpatient clinic record indicated a diagnosis of diarrheal, parasitic, or dermatological disease. Other diagnoses for the same age group composed the control group. Our epidemiological study revealed an association between the absence of domestic solid waste collection and public health. Our results suggest that the children exposed to the absence of solid waste collection have a 40% higher odds (OR = 1.40) of presenting diarrheal, parasitic, and dermatological diseases than not-exposed children. In addition, the calculation of attributable risk revealed that the presence of waste collection could prevent (based on the 1995 situation) 512 cases in the neighborhoods studied and (based on the 1994 conditions) 2 316 cases among children in the entire city of Belo Horizonte.

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