Evaluating Determinants of Environmental Risk Perception for Risk Management in Contaminated Sites

Piyapong Janmaimool*, Tsunemi Watanabe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
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Understanding the differences in the risk judgments of residents of industrial communities potentially provides insights into how to develop appropriate risk communication strategies. This study aimed to explore citizens’ fundamental understanding of risk-related judgments and to identify the factors contributing to perceived risks. An exploratory model was created to investigate the public’s risk judgments. In this model, the relationship between laypeople’s perceived risks and the factors related to the physical nature of risks (such as perceived probability of environmental contamination, probability of receiving impacts, and severity of catastrophic consequences) were examined by means of multiple regression analysis. Psychological factors, such as the ability to control the risks, concerns, experiences, and perceived benefits of industrial development were also included in the analysis. The Maptaphut industrial area in Rayong Province, Thailand was selected as a case study. A survey of 181 residents of communities experiencing different levels of hazardous gas contamination revealed rational risk judgments by inhabitants of high-risk and moderate-risk communities, based on their perceived probability of contamination, probability of receiving impacts, and perceived catastrophic consequences. However, risks assessed by people in low-risk communities could not be rationally explained and were influenced by their collective experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6291-6313
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


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