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Saúde e Sociedade

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SILVA, Genival Nunes; MADI, Rubens Riscala; MELO, Cláudia Moura de  and  FONSECA, Vania. Public slaughterhouses and environmental health in Sergipe. Saude soc. [online]. 2012, vol.21, n.4, pp.1013-1021. ISSN 0104-1290.

The incorporation of environmental issues to the public health field resulted, more recently, in the flourishing of the term environmental health, which is related to environmental degradation on a global scale, as a result of human activity whose consequences affect population's health. Food production for human consumption affects the environment and can also affect human health through the production and marketing processes. Cattle slaughter, a major source of animal protein used in Brazil, in spite of regulatory legislation, is often an activity that degrades the environment and jeopardizes the health of workers employed in the production chain and consumers. This study aimed to identify and evaluate risks to the environment and to human health due to the implantation and operation of public slaughterhouses in all the 75 municipalities of the state of Sergipe. To achieve this goal, a census was made of the municipal slaughterhouses operating in the state, their physical, sanitary and technological conditions were examined, as well as livestock slaughtering and meat storage conditions and, the existence of environmental licensing and veterinary supervision. Data were gathered by direct observation in the field and through the existing registers at Sergipe's Environment Administration offices (Administração Estadual do Meio Ambiente de Sergipe). The study concluded that there is significant damage to natural environment, particularly water resources and very high risk to the health of slaughterhouse workers and of consumers who receive a product without quality control and without any sanitary inspection.

Keywords : Slaughterhouses; Environmental Health; Sergipe.

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