Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Regarding Chemical Exposure among a Population Sample of Reproductive-Aged Women

Isabel J Ricke, Ashley Oglesby, Grace Lyden, Emily S. Barrett, Stacey G Moe, Ruby H.N. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We examined the knowledge and attitudes of reproductive-age women toward environmental chemicals and determined how these affect consumer behaviors. At the 2018 Minnesota State Fair, a large community sample of reproductive-age women was recruited to complete a survey on environmental health attitudes and behaviors. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and logistic regression models were used to characterize current attitudes about chemicals. Multivariable logistic regression models examined how sociodemographic characteristics predict knowledge, attitudes, and consumer behaviors. A total of 871 women completed the survey; 74% strongly agreed that chemicals in the environment are dangerous, and 44% of women reported having heard of phthalates, while only 29% reported always practicing at least one environmentally healthy behavior (such as consuming food and beverages from safe plastics). Older age (35–39 versus 18–24: aOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3, 4.3; 40–44 versus 18–24; aOR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2, 3.2) and working in a healthcare profession (aOR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.5) were associated with strong agreement that chemicals in the environmental are dangerous. Women who strongly agreed chemicals are dangerous were more likely to practice consumer behaviors to reduce their exposure. Interventions targeting knowledge and attitudes towards environmental chemicals could be an effective strategy for reducing harmful exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3015
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by University of Minnesota J.B. Hawley Student Research Award. Additional support from the following grant: NIH-NIEHS P30 ES005022.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • BPA
  • Knowledge
  • Phthalate
  • Pre-conception
  • Women
  • Environmental Health
  • Humans
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Behavior
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Beverages

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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