Centre de sociologie des organisations
19 rue Amélie
This article considers the reasons for the frequent disregard of the pathogenic effects on human health of toxic substances present in the environment. This study, based on cases of occupational diseases induced by pesticides, shows that this disregard is not a simple effect of the type of interactions between toxic substances and the human body, but is also the product of human activities. Contrary to approaches that stress the deliberate strategies of “doubt production” used by the manufacturers of dangerous products, the article shows that actions that obscure the association between environment and health can paradoxically be taken by social participants who are attempting to shed light on these pathogenic effects.