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Annoyance and health symptoms and their influencing factors: A population-based air pollution intervention study
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro Hospital, Sweden.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro Hospital, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2009 (English)In: Public Health, ISSN 0033-3506, E-ISSN 1476-5616, Vol. 123, no 4, 339-345 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: Interventions for reducing air pollution are important means for improving public health. The role of psychological factors in understanding annoyance and health symptoms due to air pollution is limited and further investigation is required. This study aimed to investigate the effects of an intervention to reduce air pollution (predominantly dust and soot) with respect to perceived pollution, risk perception, annoyance and health symptoms. Another objective was to test a model that describes interrelationsbetween air pollution, perceived pollution, health risk perception, annoyance and health symptoms.

Study design: An interventional, population-based questionnaire study.

Methods: Surveys were performed before (pre-test) and after (post-test) closure of a sinter plant. Instead,pellets were shipped to the community’s harbour for steel production. Individuals in the community aged 18–75 years were selected at random for participation in the pre-test (n ¼ 738; 74% of the sample participated) and post-test (n ¼ 684; 68% of the sample participated). The two samples were representative of the populations at the two points in time, and thus not identical.

Results: After the sinter plant was closed, the environment was perceived as being less dusty, the residentswere more positive in their risk perception, and they reported less annoyance due to dust, soot andodorous substances. No difference was found for health symptoms between the pre-test and the posttest.Based on path analyses, a model is proposed of inter-relations between air pollution, perceived pollution, health risk perception, annoyance and health symptoms.

Conclusion: The intervention was successful with respect to perceived dust and soot pollution; toannoyance attributed to dust, soot and odorous substances; and to risk perception. The path analysessuggest that perceived pollution and health risk perception play important roles in understanding and predicting environmentally induced annoyance and health symptoms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Academic P. , 2009. Vol. 123, no 4, 339-345 p.
Keyword [en]
epidemiology, dust, soot, odour, perception, risk
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22182DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2008.12.021OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-22182DiVA: diva2:213068
Available from: 2009-04-27 Created: 2009-04-27 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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