Protocol for Cryptosporidium Risk Communication for Drinking Water Utilities

EPA Grant Number: U915588
Title: Protocol for Cryptosporidium Risk Communication for Drinking Water Utilities
Investigators: Wu, Felicia
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: August 1, 1999 through August 1, 2002
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Social Sciences , Academic Fellowships , Environmental Justice


The objective of this research project is to improve methods by which water utilities communicate the risk of Cryptosporidium to the public, accounting for current levels of knowledge and available options for risk management, so that consumers can make informed decisions regarding their drinking water.


This study will employ the mental models strategy to determine lay people's current understanding of Cryptosporidium. An analytical expert model will first be created, linking concepts associated with water contamination, communication, and resulting health effects. Model parameters are based on previous cryptosporidiosis outbreaks. An elicitation protocol will be created, and 48 residents will be interviewed in the Pittsburgh region. Their beliefs will be mapped into the expert model, gaps and misconceptions will be identified, and statistical analyses will be performed relating knowledge, attitudes, and actions to different demographic factors.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, Cryptosporidium, risk communication, mental models, decisionmaking., RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Water, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Drinking Water, Social Science, other - exposure, exposure and effects, other - risk assessment, public health, cryptosporidium , drinking water contaminants, human health, outreach and education, environmental health education, decision making model

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • Final