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Environmental Health Risks, Article Review Example

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Article Review

Flynn, Slovic & Mertz (1994) state that “it has become apparent that people of color are subjected to higher levels of exposure from many toxic substances”(p. 1101). The authors call this environmental racism. However, the real focus of the research is the risk perceptions of people of color.

The second quote I would like to investigate further from the study of Flynn et al. (1994) is the question they ask in the discussion section: “What does it mean for the explanations of gender differences when we see that the sizable differences between white males and white females do not exist for nonwhite males and nonwhite females?” (p. 1107) Indeed, if there is no difference in risk perception of people based on gender and race, the real focus of the study should be to measure actual risks instead of people’s awareness and fear.

McCormick, Brown & Zavetovski (2003) researched the public paradigm of the environmental breast cancer movement. The authors state that “because of public attention in the past twenty years largely caused by the breast cancer movement, the popular conception of breast

cancer has changed radically from a private occurrence to a politicized experience”. This statement emphasizes the responsibility of health care decision-makers and the society in prevention and support system development.

McCormick et al. (2003, p. 572) use the “personal is political” framework to prove that “this movement has influenced the production of science and policy by beginning to produce a new public paradigm that informs the scientific study of women’s health issues and the creation of environmental policy”. Whether or not the article proves that the social movement has a direct implication on policies and science, however, is not proven by the study. Indeed, the responsibility of health care professionals to collaborate with activists and support groups to improve treatment, information and health education in the United States should not be neglected. Without collaboration with the health care system, activists are unable to achieve their goals and make an impact on health policies related to breast cancer.

References

Flynn, J., Slovic, P., Mertz, C. (1994) Gender, race, and perception of environmental health risks. Risk Analysis, Vol. 14, No. 4

McCormick, S., Brown, P., Zavetovski, S. (2003) The Personal is scientific, the scientific is political: the public paradigm of the environmental breast cancer movement. Sociological Forum, Vol. 18, No. 4

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