Saúde e Sociedade
Print version ISSN 0104-1290
MEDEIROS, Marcilio Sandro de; HURTADO-GUERRERO, José Camilo and SILVA, Lia Giraldo Augusto. Health in the context of the gypsum production area of the city of Araripina, State of Pernambuco, Brazil. Saude soc. [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.2, pp. 358-370. ISSN 0104-1290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902010000200012.
The socio-environmental deterioration process of the gypsum production area of the State of Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil, must be better known. We aimed at investigating the epidemiological factors that coexist with people's health. A cross-sectional epidemiological study was carried out between 2001 and 2003 by means of the administration of a closed questionnaire in the district of Morais, municipality of Araripina, considered as one of the main production areas of gypsum and artifacts. A random sample was extracted from the 2,486 inhabitants, and a 5% error was considered acceptable for the Confidence Interval of Katz of 95%. Four hundred and sixty-two people were interviewed and the most common health problems mentioned by them were: itching eyes (42.92%), bleeding nose (37.39%), coughing (28.26%), fatigue (21.73%), itching skin (18.48%), shortness of breath (16.26%) and history of former breathing diseases (16.34%), all statistically significant. In general, children (1 to 9 years old) and elderly people (> 60 years old) reported more breathing symptoms. Gypsum dust inside the houses proved to be an important qualitative indicator to evaluate the impact over people's health. In those houses, the presence of dust prevailed more concerning complaints about itching eyes (PR = 1.91), itching skin (PR = 1.79), fatigue (PR = 1.77) and coughing (PR = 1.70).
Keywords : Mining; Lime and Plaster Industry; Dust; Environmental Pollution; Impacts on Health; Cross-Sectional Studies.