The cultural parameters of lead poisoning

A medical anthropologist's view of intervention in environmental lead exposure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article identifies four culturally shaped sources of lead exposure in human societies: modern and historic technological sources; food habits; culturally defined health beliefs; and beauty practices. Examples of these potential sources of lead poisoning are presented from current cultures. They include the use of lead-glazed cooking pottery in Mexican-American households; folk medical use of lead in Hispanic, Arabic, South Asian, Chinese, and Hmong communities; as well as the use of lead a cosmetic in the Near East, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Four interacting cultural conditions that create barriers to the reduction of lead exposure and lead poisoning are identified and discussed. These are knowledge deficiencies, communication resistance, cultural reinterpretations, and incongruity of explanatory models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume89
StatePublished - 1990

Fingerprint

Industrial poisons
Lead Poisoning
Environmental Exposure
poisoning
Beauty
Southeastern Asia
Middle East
Far East
Cosmetics
Cooking
Feeding Behavior
health belief
Hispanic Americans
Communication
Health
Lead
exposure
parameter
communication
food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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