Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and University Honors
Environmental Science and Management
PFAS, media, policy, environment, toxic, health
News media analysis allows for a greater understanding of mainstream public concerns throughout time. The history of US news articles covering per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of chemicals posing increasing threats to public health and the environment, demonstrates Americans' awareness and perceptions of these chemicals over time. Based on the quantitative and qualitative analyses of PFAS-related national news articles in 2012-2022, this study discusses media representations and public perceptions of PFAS during the stated period. Results indicate an over 5700% increase in PFAS-related news articles over the 10-year timespan. Further, thematic analysis reveals that PFAS-related news articles are generally framed via three main themes: public health concerns, critique of government/industry, and environmental concerns. Overall, this study illustrates a substantial increase in PFAS-related news media alongside rising public interest and concern over time. Government agencies and other regulatory bodies can use news media analyses like this one to inform policy decision-making and public outreach efforts.
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Haley, Madison, "PFAS in News Media: A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis" (2023). University Honors Theses. Paper 1363.