How do people perceive the risk of endocrine-disrupting chemicals?

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Abstract

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals that affect the normal functioning of the endocrine system, which can lead to negative health effects such as infertility, cancer, and obesity. EDCs are everywhere: in foods as pesticides; in packaging and toys as bisphenols and phthalates; and in personal-care products as parabens. Unfortunately, even after learning about EDC risks, many people continue to underestimate them and do nothing to prevent them. Therefore, in order to communicate EDC risks to people in the most effective ways, we must first understand the underlying factors behind individual EDC risk perceptions. As a result, we have conducted a systematic literature review to answer the following research question: How do people perceive the risk of endocrine-disrupting chemicals? Our findings show that EDCs are generally perceived to be risky and that there are eight major factors influencing individual EDC risk perceptions: age, gender, race, presence of children in the household, knowledge of and familiarity with EDCs, education and income, trust in institutions, and health-related concerns. Although our results show clear patterns, more research is needed to fully understand individual EDC risk perceptions and to develop effective strategies for communicating EDC information to people.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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