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Revista Pan-Amazônica de Saúde

versão impressa ISSN 2176-6215versão On-line ISSN 2176-6223


JESUS, Iracina Maura de et al. Pioneering contribution of the Instituto Evandro Chagas's Environmental Section to environmental health in the Amazon over the last 25 years. Rev Pan-Amaz Saude [online]. 2016, vol.7, n.esp, pp.83-92. ISSN 2176-6215.

The emergence of environmental problems and their effects on public health, especially in populations of the Brazilian Amazon, led to the creation of the Environment Section (Seção de Meio Ambiente - SAMAM) of Instituto Evandro Chagas. It represents an institutional innovation, contextualized in the national and world debate on the environmental effects of anthropogenic origin in the early 1990s. SAMAM's initial research program, dedicated to the study of populations exposed to mercury in the Amazon, gathered information on epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory characteristics of riverside, rural, urban, and indigenous populations. The need for intensifying the health surveillance of these populations should be highlighted, due to the persistence and magnitude of the exposure in some places. Such mercury exposure is associated with morbidity and a risk of adverse effects. In addition to the mercury project, SAMAM has also developed studies on other contaminants and on the quality of drinking water, surface water, and groundwater, to evaluate various indicators (e.g., bacteria, physicochemical parameters, metals, pesticides) and other potential biomarkers of interest such as plankton and viruses. SAMAM's performance in the National Environmental Health Surveillance System is recognized in areas such as water quality, metals, and pesticides and is expanding into other areas such as cyanobacteria and environmental virology. SAMAM has also contributed to the training of professionals from Brazil and abroad in analytical methodologies and environmental health.

Palavras-chave : Environmental Health; Exposure; Mercury; Surveillance.

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