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Do Perception Factors Affect Adaptation Behaviours against Air Pollution among Vulnerable Occupation Groups? Evidence from Chittagong and Dehradun

  • Sugat B Bajracharya
  • Amina Maharjan
  • Nidhi Singh
  • Nandini Sanyal
  • Vishal Singh
  • Sheikh Tawhidul Islam
  • Summary

Air pollution is a key environmental issue affecting the urban population in the urban cities of Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) countries. It is particularly detrimental to marginalized occupation groups like street vendors, labourers and drivers who work outdoors for their livelihood. There are mitigation strategies to reduce the brunt of air pollution that work in the long run. However, these strategies will need time to implement and operationalize. Adaptation behaviours and measures, in this context, are urgently required and become vital to cope with the impacts of air pollution exposure especially for highly exposed informal workers who have very little means of avoiding it. Adaptation behaviour is very complex and depends on socioeconomic and psychological factors. In this paper, we assess the impact of psychological factors like perception and motivation on the adaptive behaviour of the informal workers using Protection Motivation Theory (PMT). Our findings from Dehradun show that concern behaviour towards air pollution was strongly affected by motivation and perception factors. Adaptive behaviour in the form of both concern behavior and the extent of use of additional protective measures is dependent on how the risks of air pollution and related adaptation measures are perceived by the workers. In addition to this, certain adaptation behaviours like changing or adjusting the daily normal behaviour to avoid air pollution exposure are not feasible as they have direct implications on daily wage earnings. © 2024 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.

  • Published in:
    Environmental Research Communications, 6 (2)
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