Measuring societal attitudes and behaviours towards radon indoors: A case study of Slovenia

Tanja Perko, Peter Thijssen, David Hevey, Catrinel Turcanu, Melisa Murić

    Research outputpeer-review


    Public opinion surveys play a crucial role in assessing public awareness, knowledge, and radon risk perception in the context of national Radon Action Plans. However, many of these surveys are constructed without a solid foundation in behavioural theories, health protection theory, or social science methodology. This lack of foundation can lead to misguided priorities in radon mitigation interventions and ineffective communication strategies, ultimately resulting in low compliance with testing and mitigation in private homes. By developing and testing scales that measure a wide range of theory-based socio-psychological concepts influencing protective behaviour of individuals facing radon risk, this study provides researchers, authorities, and practitioners with a useful and versatile survey tool to explore the complexity of human behaviour in the context of radon. The results of this survey, conducted in Slovenia with a representative sample of respondents from low, middle, and high radon risk areas (N = 2012), offer a foundation for assessing gaps and strategies to increase testing and remediation of homes. The findings suggest that communication interventions need to be more precisely tailored to specific population groups and should go beyond enhancing awareness, knowledge and radon risk perception. Effective strategies should evoke emotions, share personal stories, highlight successful mitigation cases, and use personal testimonies from individuals affected by lung cancer. Moreover, incorporating positive social norms can inspire more individuals to engage in testing and mitigation measures. Assessing theory-driven socio-psychological concepts through a survey allows researchers and policymakers to craft more effective strategies aimed at promoting radon testing and mitigation, thereby enhancing overall public health.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107355
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
    StatePublished - Feb 2024

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pollution
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
    • Environmental Chemistry

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