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Open AccessArticle

Perceived Risk and Intentions to Practice Health Protective Behaviors in a Mining-Impacted Region

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Water Resources Graduate Program, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
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Department of Geological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
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Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
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Department of Movement Sciences and WWAMI Medical Education Program, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
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Department of Natural Resources and Society, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7916; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217916
Received: 7 October 2020 / Revised: 20 October 2020 / Accepted: 24 October 2020 / Published: 28 October 2020
Effective risk communication strategies are critical to reducing lead exposure in mining-impacted communities. Understanding the strength of the associations between perceived risk and individuals’ behavioral intentions to protect their health is important for developing these strategies. We conducted a survey within three communities of northern Idaho, USA (n = 306) in or near a Superfund Megasite with legacy mining contamination. Survey data were used to test a theoretical model based on the Health Belief Model. Respondents had higher intentions to practice health protective behaviors when they perceived the risk of lead contamination as severe and recognized the benefits of practicing health protective behaviors. Women reported higher behavioral intentions than men, but age and mining affiliation were not significantly associated with behavioral intentions. Although managing lead hazards in communities impacted by mining is challenging due to widely distributed contamination, effective health risk messages, paired with remediation, are powerful tools to protect the health and safety of residents. View Full-Text
Keywords: Health Belief Model; risk perception; behavioral intentions; lead contamination; mining Health Belief Model; risk perception; behavioral intentions; lead contamination; mining
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Cooper, C.M.; Langman, J.B.; Sarathchandra, D.; Vella, C.A.; Wardropper, C.B. Perceived Risk and Intentions to Practice Health Protective Behaviors in a Mining-Impacted Region. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7916.

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