Open Access

Perceptions, Choices and Usage of Ecological Household Chemicals: Results from an Online Citizen Survey in Latvia


Chemical products are widely used in our everyday activities. As the availability and accessibility of ecological chemical products increases, the usage of these products should be promoted and encouraged since it is better for the environmental and human health. However, there is a gap between individual perceptions on these products and actual usage, therefore the aim of this study was to compare the knowledge and perceptions on chemical products and their labelling in Latvian adult citizens and whether this knowledge impacts their choices and usage of chemical products. An online survey was used to gather data from 412 respondents (21.8 % (n = 90) men, 78.2 % (n = 322) women, average age 39.5 years, 77.2 % (n = 318) had obtained higher education). 62.2 % (n = 237) of respondents use household chemicals every day: 6.7 % (n = 25) more than five times a day, 25.9 % (n = 99) two to five times a day and 29.6 % (n = 113) at least once a day. Although 78.2 % (n = 257) of respondents indicated that it was important to them that the household chemicals are ‘ecofriendly’, only 7.4 % (n = 28) of them responded that they always purchase eco-labelled chemical products and 60.1 % (n = 229) do it sometimes. Almost a third of respondents (28.9 %, n = 110) have not payed attention whether the product has an eco-label. Survey data also shows that 91.9 % (n = 351) respondents’ choice regarding household chemicals is affected by their previous experience, including product effectiveness, product ‘ecofriendliness’ (62.1 %, n = 237) and product price (59.2 %, n = 226). Many respondents have correctly identified eco-labels, but at the same time, more than a third of respondents (17.9–39.8 %) mistake other labels to be eco-labels as well.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other