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Title: Household pesticides in the UK : use, risk perception and policy implications
Author: Grey, Charlotte Natalie Bakken
ISNI:       0000 0001 3519 0412
Awarding Body: Imperial College London (University of London)
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2003
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Parental pesticide use in UK homes and gardens was investigated using a sample of 147 parents from the ALSPAC cohort in Bristol. Variables studied were the type, frequency, and manner of pesticide use; risk perception and underlying attitudes. These were identified as strongly lacking in current scientific knowledge, and several disciplines and methodologies were combined to fully understand their underlying relationships. An in-depth interview was developed together with a pesticide product inventory, which took place at the subjects' houses during August to November 2001. The results show that self-administered questionnaires do not accurately reflect actual pesticide use and lead to underreporting and recall bias, suggesting that some products may not be considered as pesticides, but do reflect trends in pesticide products used and stored. From the interview, 93% of parents were found to have used a pesticide product in their home and garden over the last year, with the majority of parents using between 1-5 products. Insecticides were the most commonly used pesticide both indoors and outdoors. 85 different pesticide products were stored by 76% of households, with 76 different active ingredients. Pyrethroids and pyrethrins were the main class of active ingredient found. Parents are using pesticides and so clearly perceive a benefit from their use. This benefit was found to have an inverse relationship to perceived risk. Different pesticide types are perceived differently, some as more of a hazard than others. Increasing risk perception was found to have a weak inverse relationship with use and a positive linear relationship with careful behaviour. A number of attitudes were found to be important particularly voluntariness, experience, imaginability and trust. Overall, it was felt that a more precautionary approach to pesticide policy was needed particularly in the light that labels on pesticides were felt to be weak.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available