Risk Communication Strategies: Lessons Learned from Previous Disasters with a Focus on the Fukushima Radiation Accident

Erik R. Svendsen, Ichiro Yamaguchi, Toshihide Tsuda, Jean Remy Davee Guimaraes, Martin Tondel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW: It has been difficult to both mitigate the health consequences and effectively provide health risk information to the public affected by the Fukushima radiological disaster. Often, there are contrasting public health ethics within these activities which complicate risk communication. Although no risk communication strategy is perfect in such disasters, the ethical principles of risk communication provide good practical guidance.

FINDINGS: These discussions will be made in the context of similar lessons learned after radiation exposures in Goiania, Brazil, in 1987; the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, Ukraine, in 1986; and the attack at the World Trade Center, New York, USA, in 2001. Neither of the two strategies is perfect nor fatally flawed. Yet, this discussion and lessons from prior events should assist decision makers with navigating difficult risk communication strategies in similar environmental health disasters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-359
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent environmental health reports
Volume3
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Ethics
  • Fukushima accident
  • Management
  • Radiation
  • Risk communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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