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'Toxic' and 'Nontoxic': confirming critical terminology concepts and context for clear communication
Title of the book
Encyclopedia of toxicology
Amsterdam : Elsevier
If 'the dose makes the poison', and if the context of an exposure to a hazard shapes the risk as much as the innate character of the hazard itself, then what is 'toxic' and what is 'nontoxic'? This article is intended to help readers and communicators: anticipate that concepts such as 'toxic' and 'nontoxic' may have different meanings to different stakeholders in different contexts of general use, commerce, science, and the law; recognize specific situations in which terms and related information could potentially be misperceived or misinterpreted; evaluate the relevance, reliability, and other attributes of information for a given situation; control actions, assumptions, interpretations, conclusions, and decisions to avoid flaws and achieve a desired outcome; and confirm that the desired outcome has been achieved. To meet those objectives, we provide some examples of differing toxicology terminology concepts and contexts; a comprehensive decision-making framework for understanding and managing risk; along with a communication and education message and audience-planning matrix to support the involvement of all relevant stakeholders; a set of CLEAR-communication assessment criteria for use by both readers and communicators; example flaws in decision-making; a suite of three tools to assign relevance vs reliability, align know vs show, and refine perception vs reality aspects of information; and four steps to foster effective community involvement and support. The framework and supporting process are generally applicable to meeting any objective.
Toxicology , Terminology as Topic , Communication Barriers ,
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