Experiencing an Environmental Health Crisis
in your Community?

When an environmental exposure occurs in a community, you may not know where to begin, what has happened, and how to fix the problem.
  • Who is responsible?
  • What are the best strategies to remediate the situation?
  • And what should residents do and not do?
Three university research centers, working with their respective community groups and with regulatory agencies, industry, and government sources, developed the following helpful resource, “Lessons Learned along the Road to Environmental Cleanup.” 
  • The university teams identified several key strategies to make progress.
  • The lessons learned are conveyed through personal interviews and print, photos, and news reports.
  • Interactive questions will prompt you to make choices and learn from these online experiences.

Recommendations for Group Viewing: The course takes about 3 hours for all three modules. Thus, viewing and discussing one module at a time at three separate sessions works well. View Module One first for context.  Note: To view or hide the menu, click on the 3 horizontal bars at the top left-hand corner of the screen. The interactive components, such as Case Scenario 1, have no sound.


MODULE 1provides background information about three sites where significant contaminant exposures occurred to community members.

  • Ambler, PA, has asbestos contamination in the soil from a manufacturing process.
  • Wilmington, MA, had a chemical contaminant in their drinking water.
  • Fernald, OH, had a radioactive release into the air from a uranium refinery.

MODULE 2 provides helpful information on forming community groups and on building respectful relationships.

MODULE 3provides helpful information for government agencies and companies on approaches for building respectful relationships.

To access the modules, click the link below:

Three Centers contributed to this project:

  • University of Cincinnati, Center for Environmental Genetics; Susan Pinney, Center Director.
  • University of Pennsylvania, Center for Excellence in Environmental Toxicology; CEC Director, Marilyn Howarth.
  • MIT Superfund Research Program Center; CEC Director, Kathleen Vandiver.

See Full Acknowledgements on the Modules

For inquiries or comments, contact Dr. Susan Pinney at susan.pinney@uc.edu.

Funding for this project was provided by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH) (NIEHS) to the following institutions: University of Cincinnati Center for Environmental Genetics (P30-ES006096); MIT Superfund Research Program (P42-ES027707); University of Pennsylvania Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (P3-ES013508).  Additional financial support was provided by the Fernald Community Alliance through a small grant from the Fluor Corporation.