Health Risk Communication and Perception: A Case Study of the EPA’s Pesticide Awareness Program
by Heather Glock & Stephanie Sprague

On August 3, 1996 President Clinton signed into law the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), changing the way the United States regulates pesticides. The FQPA mandates that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consider the cumulative risk of pesticide exposure to infants and children. In an effort to provide the public with more information regarding pesticide residue on food and the potential risk, the FQPA includes a consumer “right-to-know” provision.  The law requires the EPA to publish a pamphlet containing consumer-friendly information on the risks and benefits of pesticides, any threshold levels the EPA has established, and recommendations for reducing exposure to food-based pesticide residues.  This information is to be updated and distributed each year to “large retail grocers for public display in a manner determined by the grocer.”  The pamphlet was first distributed in summer 1999.

A team of graduate students at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources & Environment is evaluating the EPA's pesticide awareness efforts.  As a component of the Master's Project, Stephanie and I will illustrate the EPA's efforts in our local area (Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan) to distribute information regarding pesticides on food.  Our analysis will include demographic information about the areas surrounding the grocery stores.
Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA)
EPA's "Pesticides and Food" pamphlet
Mail Surveys to Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti, MI
With EPA Brochure / Without EPA Brochure
Index of Maps
University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources & Environment
Geography: Spatial Analysis, Theory & Practice (NRE 530) with Sandra Arlinghaus at the University of Michigan