The paper presents the results of an empirical study of the change in perception of air quality in Toronto, Canada from 1968–1978. The data show a shift in public concern with and awareness of air quality. Despite the fact that the 1978 population regarded air quality as degraded, air pollution declined as a public concern, requiring a less serious response by government than other societal problems. The results of the study were reviewed in the context of existing perception studies. In explaining change, the study found: (1) perception of ambient air quality was not related to air pollution levels; (2) air pollution declines as a public concern as other socioeconomic problems surface; and, (3) the mass media has an important role in affecting public attitudes and behavior over environmental quality issues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Computers in Earth Sciences