Perception of Potential Health Risk of Climate Change and Utilization of Fans and Air Conditioners in a Representative Population of Hong Kong

Yang Gao, Emily Y.Y. Chan*, Holly C.Y. Lam, Aiwei Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Climate change, especially as reflected in heat waves, is a rising threat worldwide. Appropriate use of cooling devices can protect people from health impacts during a heat wave. A population-based telephone survey was conducted in a representative sample of residents in Hong Kong to investigate ownership and use of domestic cooling devices, identify correlates, and examine their associations with risk perception of potential health impact of climate change. More than 90% of the 1002 respondents owned and used cooling devices at home. The majority (57.7%) perceived the potential health risk of climate change at a high level. However, risk perception had no relationship with ownership and utilization of cooling devices. Old people (≥ 65 years), the low-educated, those with low income, and those with chronic diseases were more likely not to use air conditioners when feeling hot. Our findings suggest that there are no signs showing people have taken more protective actions although half of respondents recognized climate change as a threat. Familial economic condition may be a major determinant in ownership and use of air conditioners at home. Old people and those with chronic diseases are at high risk of adverse exposure to climate change and therefore should be equipped with appropriate measures to use cooling devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-118
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Science
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Safety Research
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

User-Defined Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Domestic cooling device
  • Heat wave health impact
  • Hong Kong
  • Risk perception

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