Strategies for Effective Health Risk Communication during Wildfire Smoke Webinar Archive
This webinar, recorded on September 15, 2021, focused on strategies for effective health communication during wildfire smoke using EPA’s Smoke Sense app. Smoke Sense is a citizen science tool to self-report health and behavioral data during wildfire smoke exposure. The webinar explained the results of the study and implications of the data.
Air pollution and wildfire smoke can have immediate and lasting health effects. Individuals who are regularly exposed to poor air quality may report different health behaviors and conditions than those who are less exposed. EPA researchers set out to determine whether self-reported protective behaviors or health conditions differed by air quality.
To conduct this research EPA scientists developed Smoke Sense, a citizen science project which provides real-time information on wildfire smoke and air quality and allows users to engage in citizen science by reporting their experiences with smoke, heath symptoms, and exposure-reducing behaviors.
Through the participation of citizen scientists, EPA seeks to understand the relationship between health risk communication strategies and individuals’ adoption of health protective behaviors. The study explores the role of risk perceptions and personal motivations for engagement and changing behavior.
Smoke Sense also demonstrates effective use of technology for health research and risk communication. Using a mobile app, Smoke Sense advances methodology for rigorously collecting data during emergent and dynamic conditions while simultaneously encouraging adoption of exposure-reducing behaviors.