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Is Pesticide Use Socially Acceptable? A Comparison between Urban and Rural Settings

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Objective. This study examines key factors that are identified as theoretically probable influences on levels of public acceptance of pesticide use. Research questions were generated about the relationship between levels of acceptability of pesticide use and measures of trust in information about pesticides from various sources, perceptions of the safety of pesticides, concerns about exposure, personal experiences with pesticides, place of residence (urban/rural), and several other demographic variables. Methods. These factors were examined using data gathered in a random-sample, self-completion survey of residents in urban and rural areas in a northern Utah county. Results. Bivariate analysis indicates significant differences between urban and rural respondents that disappear when examined in multivariate analyses. The perception of the safety of pesticides is the variable most strongly associated with levels of acceptability of pesticide use. Conclusions. Personal experience with pesticides is more important than residency in predicting acceptability levels. Trust is a significant predictor for perceptions of safety, but not for acceptability.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Illinois, 2: Utah State University

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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