Air Quality Forecasting and Public Health Warnings as a Tool to Promote Public Engagement with Air Quality Issues: A Survey Investigation of Citizens’ Attitudes and Preferences in Cork, Ireland
29 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2022 Last revised: 21 Mar 2023
Raising the public’s awareness on the causes and consequences of air pollution is crucial to incentivise behavioural and policy change that can benefit the health of people and the environment. Air quality forecasting (AQF) can inform early public health warnings and help manage exposure and behaviour; however, it is important to understand people’s attitudes towards air quality and views on the potential benefits of AQF-based warnings to inform policy on the most optimal ways to engage the public on this matter. This area of research is currently underexplored. This study addressed this gap by investigating views on AQF-based warnings among 509 adults in Cork City (Ireland) via an online survey that included both quantitative and qualitative questions. Content analysis identified overall positive views, with perceived benefits including education, exposure management, and behavioural change. Quantitative analysis showed moderate levels of concern, low awareness of air quality monitoring and low sense of personal control, thus supporting the need for accessible and actionable messaging. However, men, people without children and those with low air quality concern had more reservations about AQF-based warnings. Furthermore, engagement preferences varied across age groups, highlighting the need for air quality messaging strategies tailored to different populations.
Keywords: air quality forecasting, public health warnings, citizen's views, communication reach, information strategies
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation