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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Perception of pesticide use by farmers and neighbors in two periurban areas

Ahmed, Nur; Englund, Jan-Eric; Åhman, Inger; Lieberg, Mats; Johansson, Eva

Abstract

Public concern about pesticide use is high although varying with social factors. Individual differences in 'perception' and attitude to pesticide use might be particularly evident in periurban regions where farmers and other people live together. This was investigated using a questionnaire sent to 600 farmers and 600 non-farmers in two periurban areas of Sweden. 'Neighbors'(1) were found to have a more negative attitude to pesticides than farmers, who were slightly positive to the use. Neighbors perceived pesticide use in agriculture to be more harmful to the environment than did farmers and also to reduce the quality of products. Both farmers and neighbors thought that farmers are the predominant users of pesticides. However, reported pesticide users within the home setting were just as common among the neighbors as among the farmers. Perceptions of pesticide use were also found to differ between periurban regions within the country. Attitudes and perceptions of pesticide use, as well as of who is the user, differ based on the group of people in a periurban environment and between different regions. Such differences might play a role for tensions and conflicts in the periurban area of a society and also for regulations of pesticide use. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords

Attitude; Harmfulness; Insecticide; Fungicide; Herbicide; Urban-rural fringe

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2011, Volume: 412, pages: 77-86
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV