Design of risk communication strategies based on risk perception among farmers exposed to pesticides in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil
Background This study aims to assess pesticide exposure risk perception among farmers from three rural areas of Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.
Methods Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 66 adults and participatory workshops with 27 teenagers and analyzed through content analysis techniques. Systematized results were discussed at local meetings, and two risk communication initiatives were devised.
Results Study results demonstrated the use of defensive strategies by men and a diminished risk perception among women. Teenagers relied on parents to develop their own work practices. These findings supported the importance of cultural and social determinants of farmers' understandings of risk and of the relevance of different pesticide exposure pathways.
Conclusions Risk perceptions and work practices are strongly influenced by local cultural patterns and, therefore, must be taken into account when developing effective intervention strategies, including risk communication initiatives.