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Open AccessArticle

Perceptions and Attitudes of Gynecologic and Pediatric Professionals Regarding Dietary Exposure to Chemical Pollutants

1
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
2
Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria de Granada (ibs.GRANADA), 18012 Granada, Spain
3
CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), 28029 Madrid, Spain
4
School of Social Work, University of Barcelona, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
5
Food Observatory, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Barcelona, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
6
Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sant Joan de Déu University Hospital, 08950 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3946; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113946
Received: 18 April 2020 / Revised: 21 May 2020 / Accepted: 26 May 2020 / Published: 2 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Environmental Levels of Bisphenol A on Health)
There is increasing concern regarding the potential implications of continuous dietary exposure to low doses of artificial chemical pollutants, particularly in critical life stages such as pregnancy and lactation. Within a wider social research, we analyzed the risk perception, discourses, and attitudes of health professionals regarding dietary exposure to artificial chemical contaminants. Data was collected by personal interviews on 35 health professionals from two Spanish regions. Although the participants’ discourses were strongly dominated by the nutritional composition and microbiological contamination, 34 expressed some concern regarding metals, and 23 regarding pesticides. Although only one participant mentioned a plasticizer (i.e., bisphenol A), we noted an underlying concern, since six professionals admitted to recommending pregnant women to somewhat avoid plastic food containers, and were aware of mother-to-child transmission and accumulation of artificial chemicals. The ubiquity of the exposure, the inability to locate the threat, and contradictory messages can all create a sense of helplessness and subsequent cognitive adjustments. Our participants also reported a lack of information, particularly on emerging pollutants. In conclusion, we found a range of valuable discourses that can aid in orienting public health strategies aimed at health professionals who have a substantial influence on their patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk perception; attitudes; health professionals; chemical pollutants; food; mercury; bisphenol A; pesticides risk perception; attitudes; health professionals; chemical pollutants; food; mercury; bisphenol A; pesticides
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Arrebola, J.P.; Muñoz, A.; Ferrero, S.; Larrea-Killinger, C. Perceptions and Attitudes of Gynecologic and Pediatric Professionals Regarding Dietary Exposure to Chemical Pollutants. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3946.

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