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Med Anthropol. 2017 Feb-Mar;36(2):125-140. doi: 10.1080/01459740.2016.1182999. Epub 2016 May 4.

Discourses on the Toxic Effects of Internal Chemical Contamination in Catalonia, Spain.

Author information

1
a Department of Social Anthropology , University of Barcelona , Barcelona , Spain.
2
b Department of Philosophy , University of Barcelona , Barcelona , Spain.
3
c Hospital del Mar Institute of Medical Research , Barcelona , Spain.

Abstract

Human exposure to and contamination by environmental toxic compounds generates discourses and practices that merit greater attention. In this article, we assess internal chemical contamination and the risk of toxic effects as an experience related to the production of meaning in everyday life. Drawing on the analysis of semantic networks of narratives from semi-structured interviews conducted with 43 informants in Catalonia, Spain, we consider participants' perceptions of the health risks of toxic compounds, including social discourses on exposure, toxicity, and internal chemical contamination, and on responsibilities, consequences, and proposed strategies for controlling toxic compounds. Informants' narratives on the relationships between nature and nurture suggest that they no longer perceive rigid boundaries separating the human body from the external environment and its chemical pollutants.

KEYWORDS:

Body burden; Spain; internal chemical contamination; risk of toxic effects; social perception of danger

PMID:
27142961
DOI:
10.1080/01459740.2016.1182999
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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