Risk communication, or the exchange of information about health, safety, and environmental hazards, occurs every day between institutions, industries, scientists, medical experts, mass media, and the general public. It serves to increase knowledge of risks like cancer, climate change, and HIV/AIDS while helping people make more informed decisions. In the event of a crisis or natural disaster, risk communication can be used strategically to motivate individuals to take immediate protective action. The siting of a potentially hazardous landfill or changing environmental regulations can spark debate in a community, and techniques for weighing risks and benefits through shared decision-making processes may also be applied to help reach consensus. Media coverage of emerging issues, such as vaccine safety, nanotechnology, and hydraulic fracturing, also influences how people perceive ...

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