Danger from the outside in: Resident perceptions of environmental contamination in home environments

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Human Ecology Review, 2018, 24 (2), pp. 129 - 151
Issue Date:
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© 2018, Society for Human Ecology. All rights reserved. Research examining human experiences of environmental contamination highlights the significance of place in influencing responses. However, a dearth of information exists on how indoor contamination affects experiences of living with legacies of land and groundwater pollution. This paper addresses this shortfall by drawing on evidence derived from an online survey, 10 semi-structured interviews, and a focus group to examine factors associated with lifescape change in home environments. The findings suggest that perceptions of the visibility and transferability of contaminants, and whether such contaminants are located in either indoor or outdoor domestic spaces, influence residents’ experiences, in turn. Through its focus on interactions between people and pollution, this article makes an original contribution to research on the spatial dynamics of individuals’ experiences with contamination. In concluding, this paper highlights the need for public health communication to provide clear guidance aimed at reducing feelings of uncertainty within domestic spheres.
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