1Environmental Health Research Center AND Department of Environmental Health, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran
2Environmental Health Research Center AND Department of Public Health, School of Health Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran
3Department of Public Health, School of Health, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran
Given the presence of toxic metals in some local Iranian as well as some imported rice varieties, it may be of help to focus on public awareness for the implementation of educational interventions. This study aimed to assess awareness and attitudes of women in Sanandaj, Iran, regarding toxic metal-contaminated rice based on the Health Belief Model (HBM). This cross-sectional study was conducted on 1450 women aged 18 and above. The questionnaire used in the study consisted of three parts; demographic information, awareness assessment, and HBM constructs. Data were analyzed using chi-square test, t-test, ANOVA, and the logistic regression analysis in SPSS. The mean age of the study participants was 40.55 ± 13.8 years. The level of awareness regarding the presence of toxic metals in daily-consumed rice was low in 78.2% and moderate in 21.8% of the participants. Among the attitude factors, risk perception was the only one that increased the probability of falling in the group with moderate awareness instead of the group with low awareness by 1.37 times. The results support the necessity of raising public awareness and increasing risk perception in the population about the adverse effects of toxic metals.