Special Issue "Environmental Health Literacy and Equity"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Communication and Informatics".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2021.
Interests: health literacy; social determinants
Interests: health communication; risk communication; health literacy
Interests: environmental health; exposure assessment; health literacy; social justice
Interests: health literacy; community-based participatory research; American Indian populations
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
This Special Issue will be devoted to environmental health literacy inquiries. We call for papers focused on Issues such as inhibiting access to information or establishing barriers to engagement, as well as papers exploring efficacious actions.
Environmental health issues including those related to the climate crisis, natural and anthropogenic disasters, air and water quality, workplace exposures, and increased industrialization require more widespread awareness. If environmental scientific findings, evidence of health consequences of environmental degradation, risk analyses, local and national policy options, and/or emerging issues are “available” but not “accessible” to the general public, then knowledge as well as action is stymied.
Accumulated health literacy studies over the past two decades indicate that, on average, adults’ health-related literacy and numeracy skills are quite limited and that such limitations carry health consequences. Rigorous international surveys of adult literacy indicate that, across all industrialized nations, lower literacy and numeracy skills are more likely to be found among members of minority population groups as compared to those with majority status in their country, among those living in under-resourced areas compared to more affluent areas, those un- or underemployed compared to those fully employed, and those living in poverty compared to those with higher income. These inequities are exacerbated by the overwhelming findings that health materials are generally written at levels of complexity far beyond the reading skills of average high-school graduates. These information inequities are further compounded by other social and environmental inequities related to communities’ and workers’ exposures, hazards, and polluted and degraded spaces.
Scientists, researchers, and health practitioners are being challenged to re-examine their own assumptions, expectations, and communication skills. This is a necessary step in reducing barriers that impede access to information and that constrain risk perceptions, decision making, and healthful action on multiple levels, including individual/family, neighborhood/community, and geo-political. The “translation” of scientific findings into public discourse can support local, national, and international advocacy and policy responses. Citizen science is one approach, for example, that provides opportunities for the general public to collaborate with scientists, gain knowledge, and translate findings into action. Environmental justice is another approach that envisions fair access, involvement, and treatment for all with respect to environmental laws, policies, and regulations (https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice).
Submissions should address environmental health literacy—the intersection of health literacy and environmental studies. Papers that document problems as well as interventions and options for equitable and effective engagement and action are welcome.
Dr. Rima E. Rudd
Dr. Cynthia Baur
Ms. Kathryn Tomsho
Dr. Vanessa Simonds
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Health literacy
- Environmental literacy
- Risk communication
- Environmental justice