Design of risk communication strategies based on risk perception among farmers exposed to pesticides in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil

Authors

  • Frederico Peres PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Studies in Workers Health and Human Ecology, National School of Public Health, The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    2. Department of Preventive Medicine, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
    • Researcher, Center for Studies in Workers Health and Human Ecology, National School of Public Health, The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rua Leopoldo Bulhoes 1480 – CESTEH, Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro/RJ 21.041-210, Brazil; Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Preventive Medicine, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.

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  • Karla Meneses Rodrigues PhD,

    1. Center for Studies in Workers Health and Human Ecology, National School of Public Health, The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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    • Visiting Researcher.

  • Mariana Soares da Silva Peixoto Belo MSc,

    1. Center for Studies in Workers Health and Human Ecology, National School of Public Health, The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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    • PhD Student.

  • Josino Costa Moreira PhD,

    1. Center for Studies in Workers Health and Human Ecology, National School of Public Health, The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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    • Researcher.

  • Luz Claudio PhD

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
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    • Associate Professor.


  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

Abstract

Background

This study aims to assess pesticide exposure risk perception among farmers from three rural areas of Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.

Methods

Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 66 adults and participatory workshops with 27 teenagers and analyzed through content analysis techniques. Systematized results were discussed at local meetings, and two risk communication initiatives were devised.

Results

Study results demonstrated the use of defensive strategies by men and a diminished risk perception among women. Teenagers relied on parents to develop their own work practices. These findings supported the importance of cultural and social determinants of farmers' understandings of risk and of the relevance of different pesticide exposure pathways.

Conclusions

Risk perceptions and work practices are strongly influenced by local cultural patterns and, therefore, must be taken into account when developing effective intervention strategies, including risk communication initiatives. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:77–89, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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