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Public Awareness and Risk Perceptions of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: A Qualitative Study

Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast, BT9 5DL Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7778; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217778
Received: 21 September 2020 / Revised: 11 October 2020 / Accepted: 19 October 2020 / Published: 23 October 2020
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous chemicals found in food, consumer products, and the environment. EDCs are ubiquitous in modern life and exposure is associated with many negative health effects, such as reproductive disorders, metabolic disorders, and cancer. Scientists have deemed EDCs as a serious public health risk, yet the public’s perceptions of these chemicals is poorly understood. This study aimed to qualitatively explore how aware the public is of EDCs and their attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of EDC risk. Thirty-four participants (aged 19–65 years) took part in the six focus groups. Discussions were transcribed verbatim and Nvivo 11 was used for thematic analysis. Our results indicated that awareness of EDCs was low. Themes of EDC risk perception included perceived control, perceived severity, and similarity heuristics. Risk alleviation strategies were also discussed. Future research should use quantitative methodology and a larger sample size to validate the findings from this study. Findings from this study may aid the development of effective risk communication strategies and public health interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk perception; public perception; endocrine disruptors risk perception; public perception; endocrine disruptors
MDPI and ACS Style

Kelly, M.; Connolly, L.; Dean, M. Public Awareness and Risk Perceptions of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7778. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217778

AMA Style

Kelly M, Connolly L, Dean M. Public Awareness and Risk Perceptions of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):7778. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217778

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kelly, Melissa, Lisa Connolly, and Moira Dean. 2020. "Public Awareness and Risk Perceptions of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: A Qualitative Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 21: 7778. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217778

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