Public concern about chemicals in the environment: regional differences based on threat potential.
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Public concern about chemicals in the environment: regional differences based on threat potential.

  • 1990 Mar-Apr

  • Source: Public Health Rep. 105(2):186-195
Filetype[PDF-1.46 MB]



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    Public Health Rep
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    While the hazards of chronic environmental pollution remain unclear, people are making decisions about their exposure to pollution and its possible effects on their health. To compare people's concerns about environmental problems, a systematic, stratified sample was surveyed. The sample was made up of residents, ages 25 through 74 years, of three areas of New York State. The three areas were western New York, with a high density of toxic dump sites; Long Island, with a major shallow ground water aquifer; and the remainder of the State, excluding New York City, as a comparison area. The sampling list was obtained from records of licensed drivers of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. A 66 percent response rate was obtained to the mailed survey. As expected, most concerns were greater for western New York and Long Island, the two areas with highest threat potential for exposure or contamination, than for the comparison area. The single exception was that no regional differences were noted for concerns about environmental pollution and contamination. All concerns were associated with perceived distance between one's residence and a source of potential exposure. Regardless of region, women were more concerned than men about exposures, pollution, and related health effects. No sex differences, however, were noted for economic concerns.
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