Latino and Non-Latino Perceptions of the Air Quality in California’s San Joaquin Valley


The San Joaquin Valley (SJV) of California has poor air quality, high rates of asthma, and high rates of obesity. Informational campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of the health impacts of poor air quality and promoting behavior change need to be tailored to the specific target audiences. The study examined perceptions of air quality, perceived health impacts, and methods of accessing information about air quality between Latinos and other groups in the SJV. Residents of the SJV (n = 744) where surveyed via one of three methods: community organizations (256), public locations (251), and an internet panel (237). The results suggest that people perceive the air quality in their region to be generally unhealthy, particularly for sensitive groups. The air quality is more likely to be reported as being unhealthy by people with health problems and less unhealthy by Latinos and people who report regularly exercising. Latinos are more likely to report working outdoors regularly, but also more likely to report being able to reduce their exposure if the air quality is unhealthy. The results report differences in informational sources about air quality, suggesting that informational campaigns should target high risk groups using a variety of media.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 13(12), 1242