Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

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

Version 1 : Received: 7 October 2020 / Approved: 8 October 2020 / Online: 8 October 2020 (09:15:26 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

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. 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.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7916
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17217916

Abstract

Understanding the strength of the associations between perceived risk and individuals’ behavioral intentions to protect their health is important for determining appropriate risk communication strategies in communities impacted by lead contamination. We conducted a survey within communities of northern Idaho, USA (n = 306) near a Superfund megasite with legacy mining contamination. We empirically test a theoretical model based on the Health Belief Model. Survey respondents had higher intentions to practice health protective behaviors when they perceived the risk of lead contamination as severe, recognized the benefits of health protective behaviors, and considered the risks of lead contamination. Women reported higher behavioral intentions than men, but age and mining affiliation did not have an association. Survey comments indicated that perceptions about the long-term environmental remediation in the region influenced risk perceptions. Understanding risk perceptions, behavioral intentions, and related factors can aid public health agencies in tailoring risk communication for increasing protective behaviors in mining-impacted communities internationally.

Subject Areas

Health Belief Model; risk perception; behavioral intentions; lead contamination; mining

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