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Chemical contamination at the Cidade dos Meninos, Duque de Caxias, Brazil


Since the 1990, the residents of the neighborhood of Cidade dos Meninos, in Duque de Caxias/RJ, struggle for remediation of chemical contamination that threatens their health and for their permanence in the site. They demand remediation of contamination in order to continue to live safely in that neighborhood. Despite the contamination, in fact, it is considered better than other localities of the municipality, marked by urban violence, and a lack of infrastructure and public services.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Chemical contamination at the Cidade dos Meninos, Duque de Caxias, Brazil
State or province:Rio de Janeiro
Location of conflict:Duque de Caxias
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Chemical industries
Specific commodities:Chemical products
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Between 200 and 400 tons of pesticides were abandoned in this place.

Project area:1900
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:850000
Start of the conflict:1990
Relevant government actors:Governo Federal, Ministerio da Saude (former Ministerio da Educacao e Saude), Prefeitura Municipal de Duque de Caxias
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Associacao de Moradores da Cidade do Menino
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Soil contamination
Potential: Air pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Deaths, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of alternatives:Restoration of the area and no forced displacement which will surely worsen peoples living conditions.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Some of the material is contaminating the region and local residents are still fighting for not being displaced.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

CAMARA DOS DEPUTADOS. Consulta Tramitacao das Proposicoes: Proposicao: PL-3034/2004. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 29 set. 2009.
[click to view]

OLIVEIRA, Rosalia M. et al. Contaminacao por hexaclorociclohexanos em area urbana da regiao Sudeste do Brasil. Rev. Saude Publica, Sao Paulo, v. 29, n. 3, Jun. 1995. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 29 set. 2009. doi: 10.1590/S0034-89101995000300011.
[click to view]

HERCULANO, Selene. A Cidade dos Meninos e o caso de contaminacao por HCH (hexaclorociclohexano). In: ACSELRAD, Henri, HERCULANO, Selene e PADUA, Jose Augusto. (Orgs.). Justica Ambiental e Cidadania. 2.ed. Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumara: Fundacao Ford, 2004. pp. 291-302. ISBN 85-7316-353-4.

BRASIL Ministerio da Saúde. Secretaria de Políticas de Saude. Atuacao do Ministerio da Saude no caso de contaminação ambiental por pesticidas organoclorados, na Cidade dos Meninos, municipio de Duque de Caxias, RJ. Brasilia: Ministerio da Saude, 2002. 60
[click to view]

ANDRADE, Hanrrikson. A margem da Rio 20, Cidade dos Meninos tem mais de 90% de moradores contaminados por pesticida. UOL, 17 jun. 2012. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 31 mai. 2013.
[click to view]

JUNIA, Raquel. O outro lado da cidade modelo. EPSJV/ Fiocruz, 17 jun. 2012. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 31 mai. 2013.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

View the city of boys at the time of boarding school
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Contaminated area:
[click to view]

Animals grazing near the board warning of chemical contamination
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Meta information
Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update18/08/2019
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