Assessment methods for concerns about contaminated sites

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4 Scopus citations


The management and protection of environmental resources from anthropogenic stressors require public support. Understanding the concerns of the public with respect to environmental problems allows policymakers and managers to make wise decisions. In this study, three methods of assessing public concerns about Brookhaven National Laboratory, a Department of Energy facility on Long Island, NY, were compared using (1) an open-ended question about concerns, (2) a rating of a list of concerns, and (3) a ranking of the highest and lowest concern from a list provided. The greatest global and local concerns (as expressed as an open-ended question) were pollution and environmental health, while the greatest concerns about Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) also included human health. Accidents, loss of public and ecological health, and nuclear material were rated the highest concerns on a rating scale. However, when asked to pick out the most important issue about BNL from a list, protecting human health and protecting ecology were the problems of most concern; protecting economic interests was rated the lowest. The three methods gave congruent results. No new concerns of major signifi-cance turned up on the open-ended question, suggesting that if a method is inclusive, a list of concerns can be given to stakeholders for quantitative analysis of public perceptions. Under-standing of public concerns is critical to making sound management decisions, and this article contributes to our understanding of how to evaluate concerns about contaminated sites, particularly in urban areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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