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15 - Communicating with patients and the public about environmental exposures and reproductive risk

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 February 2010

Tracey J. Woodruff
Affiliation:
University of California, San Francisco
Sarah J. Janssen
Affiliation:
University of California, San Francisco
Louis J. Guillette, Jr
Affiliation:
University of Florida
Linda C. Giudice
Affiliation:
University of California, San Francisco
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Summary

There is widespread concern among the general public about environmental health risks, especially risks to infants and children. Discussions about reproductive risk and the environment can occur in an office setting with an individual patient, in a group at a workplace or community meeting, or in a public policy context. The health-care provider should take a screening occupational and environmental health history in all patients to assess for potential reproductive hazards. Health-care providers can and should communicate to the press and the general public about the implications of population-level shifts in reproductive outcomes, such as birthweight, preterm labor, or age of onset of puberty. Communicating with the media or with policy makers requires a different set of considerations than communicating with individual patients or small groups of people. Health-care providers can offer advice to groups or individuals about reducing exposure to other contaminants.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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