Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
MONIZ, Marcela de Abreu; CASTRO, Hermano Albuquerque de and PERES, Frederico. Asbestos, danger and invisibility: perception of environmental risks and health of the residents of Bom Jesus da Serra/ Bahia state. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.2, pp.327-336. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000200007.
It is important for society as a whole to know how environmentally exposed populations understand and respond to technological chemical risks. This study aimed to analyze the perception of environmental risks and health of the residents of BJS/BA, which is an area especially subjected to environmental exposure to asbestos in Brazil. Mixed questionnaires were used on residents who attend the "Family Health Program" of this city. The subjects of the study were selected according to the following characteristics: specific age groups - one group from 20 to 35 and the other group over 60; sex; length of time and location of dwelling. The intentional sample reached comprised 83 individuals. The results showed that there was general concern about contamination by dust in the air, but general denial of the environmental risks related to asbestos. With respect to health risks, there was lack of visibility by the majority of informants regarding greater risk of getting cancer and pulmonary diseases, mainly for the group of the residents close to the mine and elderly ex-workers.
Keywords : Risk perception; Asbestos; Environmental exposure.