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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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Publication Date

Spring 1988




Boston University School of Law




Risk communication has become an important element of public policy in the United States and the European Community (E.C.) for reducing technological risks to workers, product users and community residents. The risk communication process involves disclosure by an industrial firm (or other party) of information about the hazardous attributes of its activity or product to a regulatory agency or to persons who may be at risk, thereby facilitating a shared understanding of the risk and enabling interpretation of various risk prevention and response measures.

There are two general patterns of risk communication. One involves industrial disclosure to a government agency, followed by agency transfer of the information on request to the public or persons at risk, a two-step process. The other, which is the subject of this paper, involves industrial disclosure directly to persons at risk or their local or personal representatives, essentially a one-step process.

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