Judgments of chemical risks: comparisons among senior managers, toxicologists, and the public

Risk Anal. 1998 Aug;18(4):391-404. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.1998.tb00353.x.


Nineteen Senior Managers of a major chemical company in the United Kingdom participated in a survey to determine their attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions regarding risks from chemicals. Similar surveys had previously been conducted with toxicologists and members of the general public in the United States and Canada. In general, the Senior Managers tended to judge risks to be quite small for most chemicals. Moreover, they had lower risk perceptions than did members of the British Toxicological Society and even far lower perceptions of risk than a comparison group of members of the Canadian public. The managers held views that were similar to British toxicologists working in industry and government and dissimilar to the views of toxicologists working in academia. The observed differences between views of managers, toxicologists, and the public must be recognized and understood in order to facilitate communication and constructive efforts to manage chemical risks.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Canada
  • Chemical Industry*
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Government
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Judgment*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Opinion*
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Risk Factors
  • Societies, Scientific
  • Toxicology*
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Universities
  • Workforce