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Risk Communication and Public Health$
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Peter Bennett, Kenneth Calman, Sarah Curtis, and Denis Fischbacher-Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562848.001.0001

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Radiation in London: Managing Risk Communication in the Litvinenko Affair

Radiation in London: Managing Risk Communication in the Litvinenko Affair

(p.115) Chapter 8 Radiation in London: Managing Risk Communication in the Litvinenko Affair
Risk Communication and Public Health

Pat Troop

Anton Dittner

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses risk communication during the incident involving Alexander Litvinenko, who died on 23 November 2006 from a massive dose of Polonium-210 (Po-210). The primary responsibility for managing and communicating the public health risk fell to the Health Protection Agency (HPA). The Agency had been established in 2003 to bring together a range of skills and knowledge in infectious diseases, chemical and radiation hazards, and emergency response, and included specialist centres and a national network of frontline staff. The HPA had emergency plans in place, but not surprisingly did not have a ‘polonium plan’, and fell back onto basic principles in its response.

Keywords:   risk communication, risk management, public health, Alexander Litvinenko, Health Protection Agency, radiation

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