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 Abstract

  Considerations in Risk Communication, A Digest of Risk Communication as a Risk Management Tool (22 pp, 1.22 MB) (EPA/625/R-02/004) November 2003

This communication digest describes how risk communication tools can be developed to help manage an environmental risk to a community. The tools are key components of effective risk communication programs. These tools can be used by public health departments, county governments, local environmental organizations, and other agencies faced with possible environmental or health risks to a community.

This document outlines some planning and implementation steps to consider when communicating risks to the public. Tools and techniques developed for successful environmental risk communication are also discussed, along with details on collaborative decision making and how it relates to risk communication.

EPA places a strong value on effectively communicating environmental risks to the public and has developed programs emphasizing risk communication. EPA's Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) program was established to demonstrate new monitoring and communication technologies that make it possible to provide environmental information to the public in near real time. This program involved working with the 86 largest metropolitan areas of the U.S. to help communities collect, manage and distribute time-relevant information, and provide residents with easy-to-understand information for making informed day-to-day decisions. Specific case studies on new technologies developed through the EMPACT program are cited in the "Risk Communication in Action: Case Studies" section of this digest.

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