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EMF Study
(Database last updated on Feb 18, 2020)

ID Number 1925
Study Type Social Sciences
Model Mobile phone use and risk perception in Canada.

Canadian adults (n = 1503) were interviewd to gather information on their perception of risk from 5 different hazards using random digit dialing. Of the respondents, 17.7% felt that mobile phones posed a high risk to Canadian health and 7% thought they were a personal health risk. Almost half of the respondents felt that no level of risk from mobile phones was acceptable. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Krewski et al. 2006 (#5092): Anational survey of health risk perception among 1,503 Canadians was conducted in 2004. The current survey follows-up a previous national survey conducted in 1992 and documents changes in risk perception since that time and investigates new risk issues not previously examined. This article presents a description of the ratings of perceived risk of thirty specific hazards to the Canadian population, sources of information about health issues and risk, and confidence in these information sources. Of the specific hazards considered, behavioral risks such as cigarette smoking, obesity, and unprotected sex were seen to present the greatest risk to the health of Canadians. Hazards related to the social environment (e.g., homelessness, street crime, unemployment) were seen as posing moderately high health risks. Medical devices or therapies (e.g., prescription drugs, vaccines, laser eye surgery) tended to rank the lowest in terms of health risk. Women, older respondents, and those with less education reported risks as being higher than men, younger respondents, and those with more education respectively. Large geographical differences in risk perception were also observed. Participants described receiving a lot of information from the news media, medical doctors, and the Internet but reported the greatest amount of confidence in medical doctors, university scientists/scientific journals, and health brochures/pamphlets. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Krewski et al. 2008 (#5093): A national survey of health risk perception among 1,503 adult Canadians was conducted in 2004 as a follow-up to a previous survey in 1992. Respondents were asked to indicate their personal opinion regarding a range of risk perception belief statements reflecting environmental concern, social concern, genetic concern, dependence on regulators, locus of health risk control (internal, powerful others, chance), risk acceptability and technological enthusiasm. The results indicated considerable concern over the state of the environment in general, however, less concern existed for the environment nearest to the individual. A high degree of concern was expressed over stress in the workplace, and poverty was perceived to represent an important health risk for Canadians. A strong sense of the importance of personal lifestyle factors and personal control over ones health was also observed as were notable increases in trust and dependence on the ability of government and experts to make decisions and regulate health risks in Canada as compared to the previous survey. Belief statements reflecting environmental and social concern correlated with the level of risk perceived for a variety of health hazards and outcomes.

Findings Not Applicable to Bioeffects
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator Univeristy of Ottawa, Canada -
Funding Agency Inst. Health Research, Canada
Country CANADA
  • Krewski, D et al. Int J Risk Assess Management, (2009) 11:315-334
  • Krewski, D et al. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment., (2006) 12:626-644
  • Krewski , D et al. Health, Risk & Society., (2008) 10:167-179
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