© 2019

Environmental Health Literacy

  • Symma Finn
  • Liam R. O'Fallon

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Foundations of Environmental Health Literacy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Anna Goodman Hoover
      Pages 3-18
    3. Kathleen M. Gray, Marti Lindsey
      Pages 19-43
    4. Kami J. Silk, Daniel Totzkay
      Pages 45-64
  3. Raising EHL in the Research Context among Diverse Audiences

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 65-65
    2. Monica Ramirez-Andreotta
      Pages 67-96
    3. Catalina Garzón-Galvis, Michelle Wong, Daniel Madrigal, Luis Olmedo, Melissa Brown, Paul English
      Pages 97-134
    4. Julia Green Brody, Phil Brown, Rachel A. Morello-Frosch
      Pages 135-163
    5. Phil Brown, Stephanie Clark, Emily Zimmerman, Maria Valenti, Mark D. Miller
      Pages 195-227
  4. Types of Communication Styles and their Effectiveness at Raising EHL

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 333-344

About this book


This book explores various and distinct aspects of environmental health literacy (EHL) from the perspective of investigators working in this emerging field and their community partners in research. Chapters aim to distinguish EHL from health literacy and environmental health education in order to classify it as a unique field with its own purposes and outcomes. Contributions in this book represent the key aspects of communication, dissemination and implementation, and social scientific research related to environmental health sciences and the range of expertise and interest in EHL. 

Readers will learn about the conceptual framework and underlying philosophical tenets of EHL, and its relation to health literacy and communications research. Special attention is given to topics like dissemination and implementation of culturally relevant environmental risk messaging, and promotion of EHL through visual technologies. Authoritative entries by experts also focus on important approaches to advancing EHL through community-engaged research and by engaging teachers and students at an early age through developing innovative STEM curriculum. The significance of theater is highlighted by describing the use of an interactive theater experience as an approach that enables community residents to express themselves in non-verbal ways.


Health risk communication Generic risk messages Disproportionate exposure to environmental stressors Community-engaged research Persistent bioaccumulative toxics Dissemination of health information Public health education Visually accessible health information Environmental and social stressors

Editors and affiliations

  • Symma Finn
    • 1
  • Liam R. O'Fallon
    • 2
  1. 1.Population Health Branch (PHB)National Institute of Environmental Health SciencesDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Population Health Branch (PHB)National Institute of Environmental Health SciencesDurhamUSA

About the editors

Dr. Symma Finn received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the University of Florida (UF) in 2008 for her work on quantifying empowerment in a rare genetic disease community. She administers social and behavioral research, develops new areas of interest in communications and environmental health literacy, and oversees communication and outreach activities for the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program and for the Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research. Her areas of specialty include social and behavioral research, environmental health disparities, environmental health literacy, dissemination and implementation research, and community-engaged research and citizen science. Dr. Finn serves as point of contact for Tribal research at NIEHS and participates in a number of federal committees related to Tribal affairs, environmental justice and workforce diversity in biomedical and environmental health professions.

Liam O'Fallon received his Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Tulane University in 1997, where he specialized in medical anthropology and international health .  He leads the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Services. He directs the Community Engagement Cores that are a part of the network of Environmental Health Science Core Centers, the Centers for Children’s Environmental Health Program, and the Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research . He formerly worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the Office of International and Refugee Health, where he coordinated an interagency, binational working group addressing environmental health issues along the U.S.-Mexico border.  His areas of specialty include community-engaged research, environmental justice, science education and environmental health literacy.

Bibliographic information