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Published Online: 18 August 2015

A Community-Based Approach to Developing a Mobile Device for Measuring Ambient Air Exposure, Location, and Respiratory Health

Publication: Environmental Justice
Volume 8, Issue Number 4

Abstract

In west Eugene (Oregon), community research indicates residents are disproportionately exposed to industrial air pollution and exhibit increased asthma incidence. In Carroll County (Ohio), recent increases in unconventional natural gas drilling sparked air quality concerns. These community concerns led to the development of a prototype mobile device to measure personal chemical exposure, location, and respiratory function. Working directly with the environmental justice (EJ) communities, the prototype was developed to 1) meet the needs of the community and 2) evaluate the use in EJ communities. The prototype was evaluated in three community focus groups (n = 25) to obtain feedback on the prototype and feasibility study design to evaluate the efficacy of the device to address community concerns. Focus groups were recorded and qualitatively analyzed with discrete feedback tabulated for further refinement. The prototype was improved by community feedback resulting in eight alterations/additions to software and instructional materials. Overall, focus group participants were supportive of the device and believed it would be a useful environmental health tool. The use of focus groups ensured that community members were engaged in the research design and development of a novel environmental health tool. We found that community-based research strategies resulted in a refined device as well as relevant research questions, specific to the EJ community needs and concerns.

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Published In

cover image Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice
Volume 8Issue Number 4August 2015
Pages: 126 - 134

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Published online: 18 August 2015
Published in print: August 2015

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Notes

Dr. Rohlman is the program coordinator at the Environmental Health Sciences Center, College of Public Health and Human Services, Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Oregon. Ms. Syron is a graduate research assistant at the College of Public Health and Human Services, Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Oregon. Mr. Hobbie is the Assistant Director of Food Safety and Molecular Toxicology in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Oregon. Dr. Anderson is the director of the Food Safety and Environmental Stewardship Program in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Oregon. Dr. Scaffidi is an assistant professor in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Oregon. Dr. Sudakin was an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Oregon at the time of writing. Ms. Peterson is at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. Dr. Waters is the deputy division director for Biological Sciences at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. Dr. Haynes is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health, College of Medicine, and director of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core of the Center for Environmental Genetics at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ms. Arkin is the executive director of Beyond Toxics in Eugene, Oregon. Mr. Feezel is president of Carroll Concerned Citizens in Carrollton, Ohio. Dr. Kincl is the director of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core of the Environmental Health Sciences Center, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, at Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Oregon.
Address correspondence to:Laurel Kincl14B Milam HallOregon State UniversityCorvallis, OR 97331E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

Kim Anderson, Kevin Hobbie, and Diana Rohlman disclose a financial interest in MyExposome, Inc., which is marketing products related to the research being reported. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by Oregon State University in accordance with its policy on research conflicts of interest. The other authors have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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