Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
VALENCIA, Jesús A.; ESPINOSA, Adriana; PARRA, Adela and PENA, Miguel R.. Perception of risk arising from atmospheric emissions from an open solid-waste disposal site. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.6, pp. 930-941. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642011000600006.
Objective Identifying social factors determining the perception of risk in a population exposed to atmospheric emissions from a solid waste final disposal site in the city of Cali, Colombia (Basurero de Navarro - BN). Methods This was a quantitative study; a stratified sample of 199 people were surveyed, distributed according to socio-economic level. Results The main problem for 73% of the respondents was insecurity and 50% considered this to be air pollution. Respondents described pollution manifesting itself as pain in the throat and burning eyes; 64% who had lived longer in the sector believed that pollution was more concentrated in other parts of the city and did not affect their sector. 83.4% believed that the BN produced pollution and associated it with the air (42%). 48% rated the pollution caused by the BN as being severe and 29% as being very serious. Discussion Risk perception was associated with the length of residence in the sector and individuals' age. Many gaps in information and the need to implement outreach programmes were highlighted. It is important that the community become better informed about the risks of pollution caused by the BN and what mitigation measures can be taken.
Keywords : Social perception; air pollution; environmental health; refuse disposal; sanitation.