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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123


HENRIQUES, Alen Batista  and  PORTO, Marcelo Firpo Souza. The unbearable lightness of aluminum: the social and environmental impacts of Brazil's insertion in the primary aluminum global market. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2013, vol.18, n.11, pp.3223-3234. ISSN 1413-8123.

This article assesses aluminum production in Brazil and its social, environmental and public health impacts. The effects of the aluminum production chain challenge the idea of sustainable growth affirmed by business groups that operate in the sector. This article upholds the theory that the insertion of Brazil in the global aluminum market is part of a new configuration of the International Division of Labor (IDL), the polluting economic and highly energy dependent activities of which - as is the case of aluminum - have been moving to peripheral nations or emerging countries. The laws in such countries are less stringent, and similarly the environmental movements and the claims of the affected populations in the territories prejudiced in their rights to health, a healthy environment and culture are less influential. The competitiveness of this commodity is guaranteed in the international market, from the production of external factors such as environmental damage, deforestation, emissions of greenhouse gases and scenarios of environmental injustice. This includes undertakings in the construction of hydroelectric dams that expose traditional communities to situations involving the loss of their territories.

Keywords : Primary aluminum industry; Environmental impacts; Environmental justice.

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