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Your Environment. Your Health.

Risk Communication Strategies to Reduce Exposures and Improve Health

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) is hosting a Risk e-Learning webinar series focused on strategies to communicate potential environmental health risks to reduce exposures and improve health.

The four-part series will showcase effective risk communication strategies and how they have been tailored to needs of diverse communities. Presentations will also highlight first-hand experiences designing risk communication messages and campaigns, evaluating impact, and adapting communication strategies for different populations. The webinar series builds on an SRP workshop held in June 2021.

Session I - Designing and Tailoring Messages

Friday, September 24, 2021, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM EDT

To register, visit the EPA’s CLU-IN Training & Events webpage.

The first session focuses on designing and tailoring messages to better communicate risks to vulnerable communities. Presenters will include how they have worked with communities and other stakeholders to develop targeted messages and create effective communication tools.


  • Maida Galvez, M.D., and Joseph Wilson, M.H.S., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Esther Erdei, Ph.D., University of New Mexico SRP Center
  • Rachel Morello-Frosch, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley SRP Center
  • Moderator: Sara Amolegbe, M.S.P.H., NIEHS Superfund Research Program

Maida Galvez, M.D., and Joseph Wilson, M.H.S., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will share foundational principles of messaging development routinely used by the Region 2 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, New York State Children’s Environmental Health Center, and the Mount Sinai NIEHS Community Engagement Core. They will discuss case examples that highlight partnered messaging development featuring the Prescription for Prevention Program and other examples of environmental public health messaging which were enhanced by inclusion of diverse perspectives.  

Esther Erdei, Ph.D., of the University of New Mexico will explain how Tribal communities are in increased risk to be exposed to various toxicants through numerous pathways that are associated with their traditional land use patterns, ceremonies, and overall dependence on their outdoor, rural and built environment. The presentation will highlight successful methods of engaging the communities in risk communication, environmental health education, and the report-back process.

Rachel Morello-Frosch, Ph.D., of the University of California, Berkeley will discuss processes for engaging community collaborators in the development of online and other digital tools to inform individual and collective exposure reduction strategies and regulatory decision-making. The presentation will highlight community- and data-driven strategies such as the Water Equity Science Shop Statewide drinking water tool, spatial maps of sea level rise threats to hazardous facilities in communities in California, and application of a Digital Report-Back Interface to report back biomonitoring results to study participants. 

Session II - Combatting Misinformation and Mistrust When Communicating Health Risks

Friday, October 8, 2021, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM EDT

To register, visit the EPA’s CLU-IN Training & Events webpage.

In the second session, presenters will describe research on designing and framing communication messages so that they are sensitive to the cultural and social context of communities. These efforts aim to combat misinformation and mistrust when communicating health and environmental risks.


  • Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou, Ph.D., National Cancer Institute
  • James Dearing, Ph.D., Michigan State University SRP Center
  • Karletta Chief, Ph.D., University of Arizona SRP Center
  • Moderator: Jamie Rayman, M.P.H., Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry


Session III - Engaging Communities and Tailoring Messages to Advance Equity and Justice

Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM EDT

To register, visit the EPA’s CLU-IN Training & Events webpage.

In the third session, presenters will discuss how they have engaged and communicated with underserved and vulnerable communities and developed strategies to tailor messages to these communities so they can participate and use the information equitably. The session will also include a presentation on the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostic-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) Program, which funds community engagement programs with a focus on communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Louie Rivers, Ph.D., North Carolina State University
  • Sharon Croisant, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch and the Baylor College of Medicine SRP Center
  • Al Richmond, M.S.W., Community-Campus Partnerships for Health
  • Moderator: Madeline Beal, M.P.H., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Session IV - Communication Toolkits to Communicate Environmental Risks

Friday, October 22, 2021, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM EDT

To register, visit the EPA’s CLU-IN Training & Events webpage.

The fourth and final session will feature work by SRP-funded researchers who are translating research into communication tools and tailoring them for specific community needs. These specialized tools work to successfully communicate health risks and increase environmental health literacy.


  • BJ Cummings, M.A., and Lisa Hayward Watts, Ph.D., University of Washington SRP Center
  • Julia Brody, Ph.D., Silent Spring Institute and Northeastern University SRP Center and Phil Brown, Ph.D., Northeastern University SRP Center
  • Kathleen Gray, Ph.D., Sarah Yelton, M.S., and Megan Rodgers, M.E.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SRP Center
  • Moderator: Demia Wright, M.P.H., NIEHS Worker Training Program

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