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Content archived on 2024-04-16

Risk communication and radiation protection


Theories and methods of risk communication have been evaluated in relation to environmental health risks from industrial processes and the effectiveness of radiation protection. The orthodox, psychometric approach is primarily individualistic but has been developed to include wider social, political and cultural considerations. The cultural theory approach is at the other end of the spectrum, being sociological and anthropological. The critical perspective draws upon elements of the former two, but is primarily concerned with individual and organizational distortions in the communication of risk.

With respect to environmental hazards, like radon, there is great potential for improvement of risk communication programmes so that the general public is aware of the risks. It is recommended that: more advice be provided at a local level (eg from environmental health officers); explicit warnings are used to convince people to act; risk comparisons are used which people can relate to; the action to be taken is notified; alternative information is given to different groups; listing of more information is given.


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University of East Anglia
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University Plain
NR4 7TJ Norwich
United Kingdom

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