Objectives: To explore the application of evidence based risk communication to community messaging about naturally occurring asbestos (NOA).
Type of program or service: Risk communication education about NOA.
Methods: We apply principles and determinants of risk communication to the topic of NOA.
Results: We emphasise the importance of erring on the side of transparency and trust, even when officials may be concerned about inadvertently heightening needless public concern. We offer a range of practical suggestions for how to lower public concern and outrage relating to the issue of NOA when it arises in local contexts.
Lessons learnt: Public concern and outrage can be reduced by favouring early and frequent communication, awareness and use of the ‘rule of threes’ in media communication, open acknowledgement of uncertainty, prioritising response to community concern above narrow myth-busting strategies, and supporting community action.