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Environ Health Perspect. 2002 April; 110(Suppl 2): 303–310.
PMCID: PMC1241177
Research Article

Do Mexican Americans perceive environmental issues differently than Caucasians: a study of cross-ethnic variation in perceptions related to water in Tucson.


Little is known about the environmental perceptions of our nation's Mexican and Mexican American population, especially in the area of water quality. We examined these perceptions to determine the extent to which Caucasians and Mexican Americans living in the Tucson, Arizona, metropolitan area differ in their perceptions of water quality-related risk, inequity, trust, and participation in civic activities. Ethnic variations in perceptions toward inequity, trust, and public participation were observed even when socioeconomic variation between Caucasians and Mexican Americans was controlled. However, significant ethnic variations in perceptions of water quality-related risks were observed only when socioeconomic variation was not controlled. Implications of these findings to environmental justice efforts in Mexican American communities are discussed.

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