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 Abstract

  Risk Communication as a Risk Management Tool: A Risk Communication Workbook (75 pp, 1.78 MB) (EPA/625/R-05/003) August 2007

Communicating information about environmental risk to the people most affected by it is one of the major challenges faced by risk managers and community decision makers. Changing human behavior is a far more complex task than designing water retention systems or managing storm water overflows. On an individual level, many people resist warnings to stop smoking, to wear a seatbelt, to reduce calorie intake, or to practice safe sex. On a communitywide scale, people often resist programs to improve traffic flow or to preserve wetlands or limit construction in ecologically fragile areas.

The purpose of this workbook is to provide a better understanding of the elements of successful risk communication to public health officials, local environmental managers, and community decision makers. The workbook describes concepts of risk communication based on perceptions, value differences, persuasion. and presentation of data in new ways. EPA sample documents are included to show a unique demonstration of communicating risk. Following these examples, this document provides a section on communication tools and techniques. Case studies and workbook exercises are included, as well as an extensive bibliography.

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Dan Petersen


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