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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


DI GIULIO, Gabriela Marques; FIGUEIREDO, Bernardino Ribeiro; FERREIRA, Lúcia da Costa  and  DOS ANJOS, José Ângelo Sebastião Araújo. Brazilian cases and the debate about risk communication and governance in areas contaminated by lead. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.2, pp.337-349. ISSN 1678-4561.

This investigation focused on lead contamination case studies in Brazil. The situations studied involve communities living in Santo Amaro da Purificação and Adrianópolis, in the north-east and south of Brazil, respectively. These communities have all had to live with environmental contamination and human exposure to lead as a consequence of industrial, mining and processing activities that were conducted by the same company for decades in a manner inconsistent with modern mining and industrial standards, with little control of environmental and human health impacts. The investigation sought to analyze the strategies of risk communication to local people, and to evaluate their engagement in risk management. The methodological approach included the analysis of newspaper articles, and interviews conducted with different stakeholders, such as residents, journalists, researchers and authorities. The results indicated the need to promote public involvement in the debate and in the decision-making process. The results also confirmed the hypothesis that associative models (represented by local neighborhood associations, for instance) are important for promoting and eliciting public participation in risk management.

Keywords : Risk communication; Risk governance; Lead contamination.

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