Special Issue "Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Liliana Cori
E-Mail Website
Leading Guest Editor
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council, (CNR-IFC) Research Unit of Environmental Epidemiology and Disease Registries, Pisa, Italy
Interests: risk communication; risk perception; environment and health research; health impact assessment; ethics; environmental epidemiology; governance; public participation
Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Bianchi
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council, (CNR-IFC) Research Unit of Environmental Epidemiology and Disease Registries, Pisa, Italy
Interests: environmental epidemiology; statistics; environment and health research; ethics and philosophy; governance
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ennio Cadum
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Health Protection Agency, Department of Hygiene and Health Prevention and Complex Operative Unit Health and Environment and Innovative Projects, Pavia, Italy
Interests: environmental epidemiology; environmental pollution; risk assessment; health impact assessment; hygiene and public health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research in the environment and health domain is mainly focused on the prevention or limitation of risks to people and biodiversity, using multidisciplinary approaches. Environmental and health research often develops in conflictual contexts from a social and scientific point of view. The knowledge of each of the actors involved can be partial, but, despite this, the results of the research must be usable for making decisions. To pursue these objectives, a broad picture must be taken into account, including the different perspectives of policymakers, citizen, and stakeholders, to reinforce, on the one hand, the validity of research results, and, on the other, the usability of results in decision making all along the governance cycle.

In the environment and health context, the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and preferences of each of the actors involved are not an element of an outline, but form a part of, and substantially influence, research design, its results, and its uptake. Risk perception is a person’s judgment about a certain risk, influenced by facts, knowledge (lay and scientific), personal preferences, and attitudes (dread, trust, interpretation of uncertainty), individual’s assessments (general and specific), and his/her social role (defined “agency” by sociology disciplines, that is, the possibility/ability to act to change one’s condition). The study of risk perception has become increasingly relevant with the recognition that beliefs, knowledge, values, and attitudes influence not only decisions, but also behaviors, and, directly, the exposure of people to environmental pressures. The role of the social, cultural, and contextual factors that influence risk perception has been investigated by many researchers, who have proposed different interpretative models. The studies on risk perception can use direct measurements, via questionnaires, interviews, or qualitative investigations, and indirect methods, like the hedonic-price evaluation, which economists use to attribute costs to different kinds of “goods”.

We are experiencing an unprecedented crisis at a global level, with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic shaking the foundations of public health governance all over the world, and the lives of billions of people in different ways. The Covid-19 outbreak, which exploded at the beginning of 2020, is being examined by thousands of researchers worldwide, and, being a highly transmittable viral infection, social and environmental conditions of overcrowding and closeness between people and animals are among the causes that led to the outbreak. The global consequences are hardly predictable, but due consideration of risk communication and public perception can be a strong instrument to improve governance processes, to support social dialog and mutual cooperation.

This Special Issue offers an opportunity to publish high-quality interdisciplinary research and reviews on environmental health and risk perception, including research developed in the framework of the COVID-19 viral infection outbreak. We welcome manuscripts specifically focusing on the risk perception evaluation of different stakeholders, on the use of risk perception data for decision making, to support governance or to provide information to nourish research design and dissemination. We will also consider articles tackling the issue of risk perception in the framework of political decision-making, and as a tool to reinforce and fine-tune communication campaigns and awareness-raising activities.


Dr. Liliana Cori
Prof. Fabrizio Bianchi
Dr. Ennio Cadum
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • risk perception
  • environmental health
  • decision making
  • risk governance
  • risk communication
  • stakeholder participation
  • risk perception and Covid-19

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Risk Perception and COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3114; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093114 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 72 | Viewed by 9751
Abstract
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is shaking the foundations of public health governance all over the world. Researchers are challenged by informing and supporting authorities on acquired knowledge and practical implications. This Editorial applies established theories of risk perception research to COVID-19 pandemic, and [...] Read more.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is shaking the foundations of public health governance all over the world. Researchers are challenged by informing and supporting authorities on acquired knowledge and practical implications. This Editorial applies established theories of risk perception research to COVID-19 pandemic, and reflects on the role of risk perceptions in these unprecedented times, and specifically in the framework of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Special Issue “Research about risk perception in the Environmental Health domain”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Determinants of Intention to Purchase Bottled Water Based on Business Online Strategy in China: The Role of Perceived Risk in the Theory of Planned Behavior
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10729; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010729 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 253
Abstract
With the development of the network economy, especially the promotion and popularization of mobile networks, traditional offline businesses are further integrated with online businesses, promoting the development of business online strategies. However, with the growth of enterprises’ business, their negative externalities on the [...] Read more.
With the development of the network economy, especially the promotion and popularization of mobile networks, traditional offline businesses are further integrated with online businesses, promoting the development of business online strategies. However, with the growth of enterprises’ business, their negative externalities on the environment have gradually become prominent, further affecting sustainable consumption. The relationships between businesses, the environment, and consumption have become the focus of attention. China’s fast-growing bottled water companies face similar challenges. The pollution that occurs due to bottled water packaging poses great threats to consumers. Hence, this study extended the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) by integrating three risk aspects, namely, water pollution risk perception (WPRP), non-degradable package pollution risk perception (NPPRP), and false information risk perception (FIRP), to examine the consumers’ perceptions toward these risk aspects before purchasing bottled water online. This study employed a cross-sectional approach to collect data from online consumers via a survey method. A total of 401 valid samples were collected and then analyzed via a structural equation model using the AMOS statistical package. The results showed that attitude (AT), subjective norm (SN), and perceived behavior control (PBC) toward online bottled water purchase had significant and positive effects on the consumers’ purchase intentions (PIs). However, under the influence of risk perception, the consumers’ attitudes, SNs and PBC became suppressed by WPRP, and SN became suppressed due to the impact of FIRP. Furthermore, the negative impacts of NPPRP and FIRP on PI were partially mediated by AT, SN and PBC. Meanwhile, WPRP imposed the most significant direct effect on PI. The study results will help businesses to develop better online strategies to reduce the risk perception of bottled water and provide theoretical value and practical guidance for realizing sustainable consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Measuring Risk Perception in Pregnant Women in Heavily Polluted Areas: A New Methodological Approach from the NEHO Birth Cohort
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10616; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010616 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 291
Abstract
Risk perception (RP) evaluation during pregnancy and its relationship with lifestyles are considered useful tools for understanding communities living in high-risk areas and preventing dangerous exposure. It is well known that exposure to pollutants and less-healthy lifestyles may result in increased disease occurrence [...] Read more.
Risk perception (RP) evaluation during pregnancy and its relationship with lifestyles are considered useful tools for understanding communities living in high-risk areas and preventing dangerous exposure. It is well known that exposure to pollutants and less-healthy lifestyles may result in increased disease occurrence during life. Our work investigated environmental RP through ad hoc questionnaires administered to 611 mothers within the NEHO birth cohort, recruited in three heavily contaminated areas of Southern Italy. Four different RP indices, an exploratory factorial analysis (EFA), and a latent class analysis were evaluated from questionnaires. The highest values of risk perception index were observed in the Milazzo site (0.64 ± 0.16) and the lowest in the Crotone site (0.5 ± 0.18). EFA revealed four latent factors, including different items describing environmental pollution, and subjects were classified into four latent classes with different RP indices. Significant RP profiles were different among the sites (p < 0.001). Our results did not demonstrate any association between RP and lifestyles during pregnancy. Improving healthy lifestyle behaviours, particularly in polluted areas, would generate co-benefits by preventing further risk factors. As remediation interventions can take a long time, it needs to improve healthy lifestyles in residents until remediation is completed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Environmental Risk Perception and Preventive Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Central Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9920; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189920 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 509
Abstract
Due to traffic and industrial and seasonal air pollution, wearing masks outside the home has long been a daily habit for many people in Taiwan. After the emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has an incubation period of up to 14 days, [...] Read more.
Due to traffic and industrial and seasonal air pollution, wearing masks outside the home has long been a daily habit for many people in Taiwan. After the emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has an incubation period of up to 14 days, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing was advised to reduce exposure to this new environmental risk. This study investigates open and semi-open spaces in three districts in central Taiwan, using a non-participant observation method, with the aim of understanding people’s mask-wearing behavior. The results indicate that mask-wearing rates were higher in urban areas than in rural ones and among females than males. By age cohort, mask-wearing was most prevalent among young adults and middle-aged people and least prevalent among minors, with the elderly occupying a middle position. Masks were also more likely to be worn in semi-open spaces than in open ones. This study enriches our understanding of environmental risk perception of the pandemic and of public perceptions, which are vital to increasing the adoption of preventative measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Evaluation of Knowledge and Risk Perception about Antibiotic Resistance in Biology and Mathematics Young Students in Nîmes University in France
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9692; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189692 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 783
Abstract
In response to the antimicrobial resistance issue, the World Health Organization developed and conducted a survey in 2015 dealing with habits, antibiotic use, awareness of appropriate use and sensitization to the issue of antibacterial resistance. In France, we conducted a similar survey to [...] Read more.
In response to the antimicrobial resistance issue, the World Health Organization developed and conducted a survey in 2015 dealing with habits, antibiotic use, awareness of appropriate use and sensitization to the issue of antibacterial resistance. In France, we conducted a similar survey to investigate the use of antibiotics and students’ perceptions of the antibiotic resistance risk. Our results indicated that antibiotics are moderately taken (42% in the last six months), but mistakes remain in appropriate practices and knowledge. Many people still believe that the body develops resistance to antibiotics and 24% responded that antibiotics can be stopped before the end of the treatment if they feel better. Furthermore, only 14% said antibiotics could be used to treat gonorrhea while 57% indicated that influenza could be treated with antibiotics. We looked at risk perception as well, and noticed that students in biology were more aware of risk (mean score = 48.87) and health consequences (mean score = 40.33) than mathematics students (mean score = 44.11 and 37.44). They were more aware of the threat, had a better understanding of antibiotic resistance and their denial of this risk was less significant (mean score = 27.04 against 23.81). However, the importance of providing a minimum level of knowledge to young students has been emphasized, regardless of the field of expertise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Perceived Risk in the Population Living near the Turin Incinerator: Comparison between before and at Three Years of Operation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9003; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179003 - 26 Aug 2021
Viewed by 385
Abstract
When the Turin incinerator went into operation in 2013, it was accompanied by surveillance of health effects that included a human biomonitoring survey of 394 residents. They responded to items investigating their awareness of environmental and health issues and perception of environmental health [...] Read more.
When the Turin incinerator went into operation in 2013, it was accompanied by surveillance of health effects that included a human biomonitoring survey of 394 residents. They responded to items investigating their awareness of environmental and health issues and perception of environmental health risks. In this study, we compared the questionnaire responses before plant startup and at 3 years of operation. To accomplish this, we investigated changes in perceived risk and evaluated the efficacy of communication strategies. A total of 344 participants equally distributed in an exposed and an unexposed group responded to the follow-up questionnaire. Survey items investigated the perception of a relationship between illness and exposure to environmental pollution, feeling at risk of developing an illness, and concern about natural and anthropogenic hazards. The proportion of ‘certain’ and ‘very probable’ responses was compared to the total using the difference-in-differences method. Analyses showed an overall decrease in the differences between the two groups, which suggests that the communication actions undertaken for the exposed group were effective. Future communication plans should also include initiatives targeting the unexposed group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Students’ Intention of Visiting Urban Green Spaces after the COVID-19 Lockdown in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8601; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168601 - 14 Aug 2021
Viewed by 664
Abstract
This study addresses students’ perceptions of using urban green spaces (UGSs) after the easing of COVID-19 lockdown in China. We questioned whether they are still mindful of the risks from the outdoor gathering, or conversely, starting to learn the restoration benefits from the [...] Read more.
This study addresses students’ perceptions of using urban green spaces (UGSs) after the easing of COVID-19 lockdown in China. We questioned whether they are still mindful of the risks from the outdoor gathering, or conversely, starting to learn the restoration benefits from the green spaces. Online self-reported surveys were distributed to the Chinese students aging from 14 to 30 who study in Hunan and Jiangsu Provinces, China. We finally obtained 608 complete and valid questionnaire forms from all participants. Their intentions of visiting UGSs were investigated based on the extended theory of planned behavior model. Structural equation modeling was employed to test the hypothesized psychological model. The results have shown good estimation performance on risk perception and perceived knowledge to explain the variances in their attitudes, social norms, and perceived behavior control. Among these three endogenous variables, the perceived behavior control owns the greatest and positive influence on the behavioral intention, inferring that controllability is crucial for students to make decisions of visiting green spaces in a post-pandemic context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Environmental Health Risk Perception: Adaptation of a Population-Based Questionnaire from Latin America
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8600; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168600 - 14 Aug 2021
Viewed by 647
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Environmental risk assessments and interventions to mitigate environmental risks are essential to protect public health. While the objective measurement of environmental hazards is important, it is also critical to address the subjective perception of health risks. A population’s perception of environmental health [...] Read more.
BACKGROUND: Environmental risk assessments and interventions to mitigate environmental risks are essential to protect public health. While the objective measurement of environmental hazards is important, it is also critical to address the subjective perception of health risks. A population’s perception of environmental health hazards is a powerful driving force for action and engagement in safety and health behaviors and can also inform the development of effective and more sustainable environmental health policies. To date, no instruments are available to assess risk perception of environmental health hazards in South America even though there are many concerning issues in the region, including mining. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to adapt and validate an environmental health risk perception questionnaire in a Chilean population affected by mining activity among other risks frequently reported in Latin American countries and included the collection of information on trust on public information sources. METHODS: We adapted an Australian risk perception questionnaire for validation in an adult population from a Chilean mining community. This adaptation included two blinded translations (direct, inverse), a pre-test study (n = 20) and a review by environmental health experts. Principal Component Analyses (PCA) was used to identify factors within major domains of interest. The Bartlett test of sphericity, Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure and the Cronbach α test were used to assess the instrument’s validity and reliability. The instrument was pilot tested in 205 adults from a mining community in Chañaral. RESULTS: The final adapted questionnaire proved to be a good instrument to measure risk perception in a community chronically exposed to mining waste. For community risks, four factors explained 59.4% of the variance. “Global Issues” (30.2%) included air pollution, contamination of mining, ozone layer depletion and vector diseases. For personal risks, the first two components explained 59.5% of the variance, the main factor (36.7%) was “unhealthy behaviors within the household”. For trust in information, the first factor (36.2%) included as main sources “Media and authorities”. The Cronbach α ranged between 0.68 and 0.75; and the KMO test between 0.7 to 0.79 for community and personal risks and trust. CONCLUSIONS: The final questionnaire is a simple, reliable and useful instrument that can assist in evaluating environmental health risk perceptions in Latin American countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Public Knowledge, Perceptions and Practices in the High-Risk Lightning Zone of South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7448; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147448 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Lightning activity is a hazard for human societies and the environment, and a common feature of South Africa’s climate system, although with great regional variation. The north-eastern section of the country, including the predominantly rural uMkhanyakude District Municipality, is among the most vulnerable [...] Read more.
Lightning activity is a hazard for human societies and the environment, and a common feature of South Africa’s climate system, although with great regional variation. The north-eastern section of the country, including the predominantly rural uMkhanyakude District Municipality, is among the most vulnerable regions, where a growing trend of lightning-related deaths and injuries has been observed in recent years. Despite this, and the Disaster Management Act (No. 57 of 2002), which mandates the implementation of hazard and risk assessments at all scales, no detailed research on the community risk perception of lightning incidents has yet been conducted, although such information could help to facilitate mitigation strategies. This explorative study involved a questionnaire survey of 150 community members that aimed to address this gap. Our results suggest that lightning is a real danger and the community had failed to effectively and successfully respond to its various socio-economic implications at the community and individual levels; this demonstrated the vulnerability of the community to the lightning activity in the study area. The contribution of this study is the identification and explanation of how lightning is regarded, understood, interpreted and responded to and how this information provides an opportunity for effective government intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Psychological Factors Affecting Risk Perception of COVID-19: Evidence from Peru and China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6513; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126513 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
COVID-19 has spread around the world, causing a global pandemic, and to date is impacting in various ways in both developed and developing countries. We know that the spread of this virus is through people’s behavior despite the perceived risks. Risk perception plays [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has spread around the world, causing a global pandemic, and to date is impacting in various ways in both developed and developing countries. We know that the spread of this virus is through people’s behavior despite the perceived risks. Risk perception plays an important role in decision-making to prevent infection. Using data from the online survey of participants in Peru and China (N = 1594), data were collected between 8 July 31 and August 2020. We found that levels of risk perception are relatively moderate, but higher in Peru compared to China. In both countries, anxiety, threat perception, self-confidence, and sex were found to be significant predictors of risk perception; however, trust in the information received by government and experts was significant only in Peru, whereas self-confidence had a significant negative effect only for China. Risk communication should be implemented through information programs aimed at reducing anxiety and improving self-confidence, taking into consideration gender differences. In addition, the information generated by the government should be based on empirical sources. Finally, the implications for effective risk communication and its impacts on the health field are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
Article
Fear of COVID-19 for Individuals and Family Members: Indications from the National Cross-Sectional Study of the EPICOVID19 Web-Based Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3248; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063248 - 21 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1166
Abstract
The study analyzed the association of the fear of contagion for oneself and for family members (FMs) during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with demographic and socioeconomic status (SES) and health factors. The study was performed within the EPICOVID19 web-based Italian [...] Read more.
The study analyzed the association of the fear of contagion for oneself and for family members (FMs) during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with demographic and socioeconomic status (SES) and health factors. The study was performed within the EPICOVID19 web-based Italian survey, involving adults from April–June 2020. Out of 207,341 respondents, 95.9% completed the questionnaire (60% women with an average age of 47.3 vs. 48.9 years among men). The association between fear and demographic and SES characteristics, contacts with COVID-19 cases, nasopharyngeal swab, self-perceived health, flu vaccination, chronic diseases and specific symptoms was analyzed by logistic regression model; odds ratios adjusted for sex, age, education and occupation were calculated (aORs). Fear for FMs prevailed over fear for oneself and was higher among women than men. Fear for oneself decreased with higher levels of education and in those who perceived good health. Among those vaccinated for the flu, 40.8% responded they had feelings of fear for themselves vs. 34.2% of the not vaccinated. Fear increased when diseases were declared and it was higher when associated with symptoms such as chest pain, olfactory/taste disorders, heart palpitations (aORs > 1.5), lung or kidney diseases, hypertension, depression and/or anxiety. Trends in fear by region showed the highest percentage of positive responses in the southern regions. The knowledge gained from these results should be used to produce tailored messages and shared public health decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
Article
Searching for New Directions for Energy Policy: Testing Three Causal Models of Risk Perception, Attitude, and Behavior in Nuclear Energy Context
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7403; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207403 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Although many risk studies investigate perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors, the causal relationships among them have not yet been verified. Thus, further investigations of these relationships are necessary. This study analyzes three causal models consisting of three components: perceptions (i.e., perceived risk in this [...] Read more.
Although many risk studies investigate perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors, the causal relationships among them have not yet been verified. Thus, further investigations of these relationships are necessary. This study analyzes three causal models consisting of three components: perceptions (i.e., perceived risk in this study), attitudes (i.e., satisfaction), and behavior (i.e., support for policy). This study checks these relationships in the context of nuclear energy policy. Using a hierarchical regression model, this study tests three different models between the three components: (1) Model 1 (a high-involvement model), (2) Model 2 (a low-involvement model), and (3) Model 3 (a hedonic model). First, in the high-involvement model, behavior is affected by perceptions and attitudes. In particular, attitudes mediate the relationship between risk perceptions and satisfaction. Second, in the low-involvement model, attitudes indirectly affect perceptions through behaviors. Third, in the hedonic model, behaviors affect attitudes, and risk perceptions do not mediate that relationship. This causal model does not depend on perceptions of the benefits and drawbacks of nuclear power. Our analysis shows that Model 1 is fully significant, and Model 2 and 3 are only partially significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Factors Impacting Risk Perception under Typhoon Disaster in Macao SAR, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7357; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207357 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 792
Abstract
Studying typhoon risk perception and its influencing factors help reveal potential risk factors from the perspective of the public and provide a basis for decision-making for reducing the risk of typhoon disasters. The purpose of this study is to assess the risk perception [...] Read more.
Studying typhoon risk perception and its influencing factors help reveal potential risk factors from the perspective of the public and provide a basis for decision-making for reducing the risk of typhoon disasters. The purpose of this study is to assess the risk perception and related factors of Macao residents in China. Information was collected from 983 participants using a structured questionnaire with an effective utilization rate of 94.2%. Descriptive statistics, univariate analysis and correlation analysis were used to analyze the data. The results show that, on the one hand, there are significant differences in risk perception on the factors included: (1) age, education and other demographic characteristics; (2) health status, occupation, length of stay, residence area, residence floor, family organization structure and individuals monthly income and other personal or family conditions; (3) channels and quantity of typhoon information acquisition; (4) degree of mastery of relevant risk aversion knowledge. On the other hand, some factors still have a moderate or high level of correlation with risk perception: (1) The older the respondent, the lower the education level, the lower the income, the lower the risk perception of property damage, health impact and life threat. (2) The more children or elderly people in the family, the higher the risk perception of respondents. (3) The more risk knowledge, the lower the risk perception. (4) The more channels for obtaining information, the lower the fear level and the overall impact of risk perception. (5) The stronger the risk perception, the more positive disaster response behaviors would be taken by the public. In addition, the more information acquisition channels and the less risk knowledge respondents have, the greater the risk perception of the overall impact and the fear of the typhoon; the fewer information access channels and less risk knowledge respondents have, the greater the risk perceptions of property damage, health effects and life threats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
How the Health Rumor Misleads People’s Perception in a Public Health Emergency: Lessons from a Purchase Craze during the COVID-19 Outbreak in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197213 - 02 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1387
Abstract
Health rumors often mislead people and cause adverse health behaviors. Especially during a public health emergency, health rumors may result in severe consequences for people’s health and risk governance. Insight into how these rumors form and harm people’s health behavior is critical for [...] Read more.
Health rumors often mislead people and cause adverse health behaviors. Especially during a public health emergency, health rumors may result in severe consequences for people’s health and risk governance. Insight into how these rumors form and harm people’s health behavior is critical for assisting people in establishing scientific health cognition and to enhance public health emergency responses. Using the case study with interview data of a salient purchase craze led by a health rumor during the COVID-19 outbreak in China, this article aimed to illustrate the process of how a piece of information becomes a health rumor. Furthermore, we identify factors that cause people to believe rumors and conduct behavior that leads to a purchase craze. Results show that a public misunderstanding of the unique psychology of uncertainty, cultural and social cognition, and conformity behavior jointly informs people’s beliefs in rumors and further causes purchase craze behavior. We developed a simplified model to demonstrate how an ordinary news report can lead to a rumor. Based on this model, some implications of effective health communication are suggested for managing rumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Explaining the Factors Influencing the Individuals’ Continuance Intention to Seek Information on Weibo during Rainstorm Disasters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6072; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176072 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
Being an interactive process, the success of risk communication needs to ensure the individuals’ right to know and influence their attitudes and perceptions of risk. Ubiquitous social media have expanded risk communication channels and innovated ways of risk communication. At the same time, [...] Read more.
Being an interactive process, the success of risk communication needs to ensure the individuals’ right to know and influence their attitudes and perceptions of risk. Ubiquitous social media have expanded risk communication channels and innovated ways of risk communication. At the same time, uncertainty also arises with the diversity and variety of social media. Taking the rainstorm disaster in China as an example, this study focuses on factors affecting the individuals’ continuance intention of information seeking on Weibo (a social media platform similar to Twitter). Based on 377 valid respondents, this study applied an extended expectation–confirmation model (ECM), from which the results of partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) suggested that continuance intention is positively influenced by factors including effort expectancy, social influence, facilitating conditions, and satisfaction. Among them, satisfaction contributes the most, which helps maintain a balance between performance expectancy and continuance intention. Taking the individuals’ continuance intention to seek information on Weibo as the clue, this research provides government agencies with practical advice on how to use social media for more efficient risk communication during disasters and establish emergency preplans to respond to natural disasters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Constructs of COVID-19 Health Beliefs: A Comparison Between Sexual Minority and Heterosexual Individuals in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124282 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2348
Abstract
This online survey study aimed to compare the cognitive, affective, and behavioral constructs of health beliefs related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between sexual minority and heterosexual individuals in Taiwan. In total, 533 sexual minority and 1421 heterosexual participants were recruited through a [...] Read more.
This online survey study aimed to compare the cognitive, affective, and behavioral constructs of health beliefs related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between sexual minority and heterosexual individuals in Taiwan. In total, 533 sexual minority and 1421 heterosexual participants were recruited through a Facebook advertisement. The constructs pertaining to cognition (perceived relative susceptibility to COVID-19, perceived COVID-19 severity, having sufficient knowledge and information on COVID-19, and confidence in coping with COVID-19), affect (worry toward COVID-19), and behavior (adoption of health-protective behaviors) in relation to health beliefs about COVID-19 were compared between sexual minority and heterosexual participants. The results indicated that sexual minority participants had lower perceived susceptibility to COVID-19, greater self-confidence in coping with COVID-19, and lower worry about COVID-19 and were less likely to maintain good indoor ventilation and disinfect their household than heterosexual individuals. Sexual orientation is the modifying factor for the Health Belief Model in the COVID-19 pandemic and should be taken into consideration when medical professionals establish prevention programs for COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
Article
The Emergence of Risk Communication Networks and the Development of Citizen Health-Related Behaviors during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Social Selection and Contagion Processes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114148 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1945
Abstract
Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a variety of public health strategies have been implemented by governments worldwide. However, the fact that strict government mandates focus on physical distancing does not mean that social connectedness for voluntary risk communication among citizens should be sacrificed. [...] Read more.
Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a variety of public health strategies have been implemented by governments worldwide. However, the fact that strict government mandates focus on physical distancing does not mean that social connectedness for voluntary risk communication among citizens should be sacrificed. Furthermore, we lack an understanding of citizens’ behaviors regarding the voluntary adoption of public health measures and the control of mental wellbeing in the age of physical distancing. Key variables in the response to the global pandemic are the emergence of risk deliberation networks, voluntary compliance with government guidelines, and the restoration of citizens’ subjective health. However, little is known about how citizens’ health-related behaviors coevolve with social connections for sharing information and discussing urgent pandemic issues. The findings show that selection and social influence mechanisms coexist by affecting each citizen’s health-related behaviors and community-led risk discourses in the face of the urgent health crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
A Comparison of Infection Venues of COVID-19 Case Clusters in Northeast China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113955 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1426
Abstract
The world has been suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic since late 2019. In this study, we compared various types of infection locations in which COVID-19 cases clustered, based on the data from three adjacent provinces in Northeast China. The collected data include all [...] Read more.
The world has been suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic since late 2019. In this study, we compared various types of infection locations in which COVID-19 cases clustered, based on the data from three adjacent provinces in Northeast China. The collected data include all officially reported cases in this area until 8 March 2020. We explored the associations between the cases and the frequency of infection locations. The COVID-19 epidemic situation was worse in Heilongjiang Province than in Liaoning and Jilin Provinces. Most clustered cases occurred in individual families and/or between relatives. The transmission in public venues served as a hub for transmitting the disease to other families and results in new clusters. The public transport spread the infection over long distances by transporting infected individuals, and most infections did not seem to occur within vehicles. This field study shows the effect of indoor environments on SARS-CoV-2 transmission and our data may be useful in developing guidance for future disease prevention and control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Media Exposure, Disaster Experience, and Risk Perception of Rural Households in Earthquake-Stricken Areas: Evidence from Rural China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3246; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093246 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
For effective communication and management of disaster risks, it is important to explore how media exposure and disaster experience related to earthquake events affect residents’ prospect ranks of disaster risk perceptions. Using survey data from 327 households located in the Wenchuan and Lushan [...] Read more.
For effective communication and management of disaster risks, it is important to explore how media exposure and disaster experience related to earthquake events affect residents’ prospect ranks of disaster risk perceptions. Using survey data from 327 households located in the Wenchuan and Lushan earthquake regions in China, the ordinary least square method was used to explore the associations among media exposure, severity of disaster experience, and residents’ perception of prospect ranks of the possibility and severity of disasters. The results showed the following. (1) Rural households relied predominately on television broadcasts from traditional media, and on mobile phones and internet content from new media to obtain disaster information. From the residents surveyed, 90% believed that a disaster experience was serious, 82% considered that another major earthquake would seriously affect their lives and property, while approximately 40% of the residents did not believe there would be another major earthquake in the next 10 years. (2) Media exposure was negatively correlated with the perceived prospect ranks of the probability and severity of disasters, with traditional media exposure significantly negatively correlated with the perceived prospect ranks of the severity of disasters and new media exposure significantly negatively correlated with the perceived prospect ranks of the probability of disasters. Severity experience was significantly and positively correlated with the perceived prospect ranks of the probability and severity of disasters. (3) New media exposure moderated the relationship between residents’ disaster experience and their perception of prospect ranks of the severity of disasters. This study can help deepen our understanding of disaster risk communication and better guide the practice of disaster risk management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Article
Generational Differences in Perceptions of Food Health/Risk and Attitudes toward Organic Food and Game Meat: The Case of the COVID-19 Crisis in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093148 - 30 Apr 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 4174
Abstract
In December 2019, a novel laboratory-confirmed coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, which has caused clusters of severe illnesses, was first reported in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China. This foodborne illness, which reportedly most likely originated in a seafood market where wild animals are [...] Read more.
In December 2019, a novel laboratory-confirmed coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, which has caused clusters of severe illnesses, was first reported in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China. This foodborne illness, which reportedly most likely originated in a seafood market where wild animals are sold illegally, has transmitted among humans through close contact, across the world. The aim of this study is to explore health/risk perceptions of and attitudes toward healthy/risky food in the immediate context of food crisis. More specifically, by using the data collected from 1008 respondents in January 2020, the time when China was hit hard by the “Corona Virus Disease 2019” (COVID-19), this study investigates the overall and different generational respondents’ health/risk perceptions of and attitudes toward organic food and game meat. The results reveal that, firstly, based on their food health and risk perceptions of healthy and risky food, the respondents’ general attitudes are positive toward organic food but relatively negative toward game meat. Secondly, older generations have a more positive attitude and are more committed to organic food. Younger generations’ attitude toward game meat is more negative whereas older generations attach more importance to it because of its nutritional and medicinal values. In addition, this research also indicates that the COVID-19 crisis influences the respondents’ perceptions of and attitudes toward organic food and game meat consumption. However, the likelihood of its impact on older generations’ future change in diets is smaller, which implies that older generations’ food beliefs are more stable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)

Review

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Review
Risk Perception of Air Pollution: A Systematic Review Focused on Particulate Matter Exposure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176424 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1890
Abstract
The adverse health effects of exposure to air pollutants, notably to particulate matter (PM), are well-known, as well as the association with measured or estimated concentration levels. The role of perception can be relevant in exploring effects and pollution control actions. The purpose [...] Read more.
The adverse health effects of exposure to air pollutants, notably to particulate matter (PM), are well-known, as well as the association with measured or estimated concentration levels. The role of perception can be relevant in exploring effects and pollution control actions. The purpose of this study was to explore studies that analyse people’s perception, together with the measurement of air pollution, in order to elucidate the relationship between them. We conducted a systematic review in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. In March 2020, PubMed, EMBASE, and Scopus databases were explored in an attempt to search for studies published from 2000 to 2020. The review included 38 studies, most of which were conducted in China (n = 13) and the United States (n = 11) and published over the last four years (n = 26). Three studies were multicenter investigations, while five articles were based on a national-level survey. The air quality (AQ) was assessed by monitoring stations (n = 24) or dispersion models (n = 7). Many studies were population questionnaire-based, air monitoring and time-series studies, and web-based investigations. A direct association between exposure and perception emerged in 20 studies. This systematic review has shown that most of the studies establish a relationship between risk perception measurement. A broad spectrum of concepts and notions related to perception also emerged, which is undoubtedly an indicator of the wealth of available knowledge and is promising for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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