June 2020 JEH: Direct From CDC/Environmental Health Services
June 2020 Journal of Environmental Health (Volume 82, Number 10)
Risk Communication for Environmental Health Practitioners
Vivi Siegel, MPH, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Environmental health practitioners have many occasions to speak with the public about concerns regarding clean water, safe food, and a healthy environment. These occasions could happen during an unexpected event or disaster—a chemical spill in the local water supply, a foodborne illness outbreak, or a hurricane with power outages. Or, it could happen in the course of a normal workday, like during a routine inspection.
Our ability to explain a situation and the risk someone is facing clearly, succinctly, and with empathy can make the difference of whether or not they are able to make the best choices for themselves and their family. This month’s column highlights communications resources and trainings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that can help environmental health practitioners with these sometimes tricky conversations.