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Communicating Radon Risks Effectively: The Maryland Experience

William H. Desvousges, V. Kerry Smith and Hillery H. Rink III
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing
Vol. 11, No. 2 (Fall, 1992), pp. 68-78
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30000275
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Communicating Radon Risks Effectively: The Maryland Experience
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Abstract

The authors address the effectiveness of two pilot programs for encouraging radon testing: a targeted mass media approach and mass media combined with a community-based implementation program. To measure the effectiveness of these radon risk communication efforts, they used a design that included three Maryland communities with high radon concentrations. Hagerstown received an integrated radon risks/testing media campaign during the winter heating season. Frederick received the same media campaign but also received a community outreach program that included presentations and posters. Randallstown served as the comparison community with no special radon risk testing information. Pre- and post-campaign telephone surveys with 500 randomly selected homeowners were conducted in each area. The post-campaign surveys included an additional independent sample of 500 homeowners in each area to test for presensitization bias. Frederick, which received both the community-based program and the media program, had a 15-percentage-point increase in attitudes favorable toward radon testing, 15-percentage-point increase in knowledge, and an 8.2-percentage-point increase in testing in comparison with Randallstown, the control community. Hagerstown, which received only the media program, had an 8-percentage-point increase in favorable attitudes. There was no detectable increase in testing in Hagerstown.

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