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Environ Anal Health Toxicol > Volume 37:2022 > Article
Environmental Analysis Health and Toxicology 2022;37(2):e2022014-0. doi: https://doi.org/10.5620/eaht.2022014
Public awareness and practices towards health impacts of PM2.5 in the Kingdom of Bahrain: identifying areas for intervention
Salman Alzayani1 , Maha Alsabbagh2
1Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, P.O. Box 26671, Bahrain
2Department of Natural Resources and Environment, College of Graduate Studies, Arabian Gulf University, P.O. Box 26671, Bahrain
Corresponding Author: Salman Alzayani ,Email: salmanhz@agu.edu.bh
Received: April 6, 2022;  Accepted: May 12, 2022.
ABSTRACT
Air quality has critical public health impacts as several diseases have been attributed to exposure to high PM2.5 concentrations. In the Kingdom of Bahrain context, while the sources of PM2.5 and prevailing trends have been studied, its social and health dimensions remain a gap in the literature. This study explores public perceptions of PM2.5 in the Kingdom of Bahrain, focusing especially on public awareness of PM2.5, its sources, and its health impacts. It further highlights actions taken by individuals to mitigate associated health impacts. This cross sectional study was based on the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response framework. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the public, a total sample size of 263 responses. Descriptive statistics, including frequencies and percentages of participants’ responses, were calculated. The Independent Samples t-test and a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were applied along with the Chi-Square test to identify factors associated with the public’s knowledge and practices relating to PM2.5 in Bahrain. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. A significant proportion of the participants were unaware of PM2.5, its concentration in Bahrain, and whether it is being measured. However, the majority of respondents had respiratory problems and took self-protective measures when the air quality was bad. There were statistically significant differences in the adoption of precautionary measures, which was prevalent among participants suffering from respiratory problems. Around 32% of the respondents were willing to pay monthly contributions to improve air quality and indicated their interest in receiving information on Bahrain’s air quality via social and mass media. The findings suggest that there is a need to raise public awareness towards air pollution and its health effects. Moreover, epidemiological studies should be conducted to advance understanding on how air pollution is linked to morbidity and mortality in Bahrain.
Keywords: awareness, Bahrain, respiratory diseases, public health, intervention, PM2.5
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