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"The Role of Qualitative Risk Assessment in Environmental Management: A Kazakhstani Case Study"

Pavlodar Chemical Plant, May 2007
Arani Kajenthira Photo

"The Role of Qualitative Risk Assessment in Environmental Management: A Kazakhstani Case Study"

Journal Article, Science of the Total Environment, volume 420, pages 24-32

March 2012

Authors: Arani Kajenthira, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, April–June 2013; Former Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, September 2010–March 2013, John Holmes, Rachael McDonnell

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Science, Technology, and Public Policy

 

ABSTRACT

Successful environmental management is partly contingent on the effective recognition and communication of environmental health risks to the public. Yet risk perceptions are known to differ between experts and laypeople; laypeople often exhibit higher perceptions of risk in comparison to experts, particularly when these risks are associated with radiation, nuclear power, or nuclear waste. This paper consequently explores stakeholder risk perceptions associated with a mercury-contaminated chloralkali production facility in Kazakhstan. Using field observations and in-depth interviews conducted in the vicinity of the Pavlodar Chemical Plant, this work assesses the relevance of the substantial on-site mercury contamination to the health and livelihoods of the local population with the goal of informing remediation activity through a combination of quantitative and qualitative risk assessments. The findings of this research study cannot be broadly generalized to all the primary stakeholders of the site due to the small sample size; however, the indifference of the local population towards both the possibility of mercury-related health risks and the need for mitigation activity could pose a substantial barrier to successful site remediation and also suggests that a qualitative understanding of stakeholder risk perceptions could play an important role in striving towards sustainable, long-term environmental risk management.

 

Access the entire article here (log in required): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969711015294

 

For more information about this publication please contact the STPP Program Assistant at 617-495-1498.

Full text of this publication is available at:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969711015294

For Academic Citation:

Kajenthira, Arani, John Holmes, and Rachael McDonnell. "The Role of Qualitative Risk Assessment in Environmental Management: A Kazakhstani Case Study." Science of the Total Environment 420 (March 2012): 24-32.

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