Communicating radon risks effectively. The Maryland experience

William H. Desvousges, Hillery H. Rink, V. Kerry Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper reports the findings from a joint study that involved EPA, the Maryland Department of the Environment, and the authors. The objective of the study was to develop and to evaluate risk communication programs that could be easily transferred to other areas. The programs had to recognize that state and local risk communication budgets are limited and they could not be too area-specific. The programs included a risk communication media campaign and a community-based program that emphasized local communication activities - radon awareness week, posters, and presentations - supplemented by the same media campaign. This paper focuses primarily on our evaluation of the risk communication program's effectiveness. In this evaluation we use perceptual and behavioral measures of effectiveness, including changes in awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and actual radon testing decisions. Such measures provide a useful basis for isolating the relative performance patterns of alternatives. We conclude the paper by developing some implications for the future direction of EPA's radon risk communication program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - A&WMA Annual Meeting
Editors Anon
Place of PublicationPittsburgh, PA, United States
PublisherPubl by Air & Waste Management Assoc
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings - 82nd A&WMA Annual Meeting - Anaheim, CA, USA
Duration: Jun 25 1989Jun 30 1989


OtherProceedings - 82nd A&WMA Annual Meeting
CityAnaheim, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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