Psychological reactions to air pollution

Environ Res. 1988 Feb;45(1):1-15. doi: 10.1016/s0013-9351(88)80002-1.


Interviews with a large representative sample of Los Angeles residents reveal that these citizens are somewhat aware and concerned about air pollution, but not knowledgeable about its causes. Direct behaviors to reduce causes of pollution or one's exposure to it are rare. A moderate percentage of people seek out information about air pollution or complain about it. Fewer follow state health advisories by reducing automobile driving or restricting activity during air pollution episodes. Preliminary modeling of citizen compliance with air pollution health advisories suggest that personal beliefs about negative health effects are a important predictor of compliance. Finally, modest but significant relationships are noted between ambient photochemical oxidants and anxiety symptoms. The latter finding controls for age, socioeconomic status, and temperature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • California
  • Community Participation
  • Data Collection
  • Environmental Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health