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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11209-11226; doi:10.3390/ijerph120911209

Pollution Prevention through Peer Education: A Community Health Worker and Small and Home-Based Business Initiative on the Arizona-Sonora Border

1
Superfund Research Program, The University of Arizona, Saguaro Hall Room 325, 1110 East South Campus Drive, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2
Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, 1177 East 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
3
Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc., 3202 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85716, USA
4
Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, The University of Arizona, 1064 East Lowell Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
5
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Arizona, 1118 East 4th Street, P.O. Box 210081, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 13 August 2015 / Accepted: 31 August 2015 / Published: 9 September 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [697 KB, uploaded 9 September 2015]   |  

Abstract

Government-led pollution prevention programs tend to focus on large businesses due to their potential to pollute larger quantities, therefore leaving a gap in programs targeting small and home-based businesses. In light of this gap, we set out to determine if a voluntary, peer education approach led by female, Hispanic community health workers (promotoras) can influence small and home-based businesses to implement pollution prevention strategies on-site. This paper describes a partnership between promotoras from a non-profit organization and researchers from a university working together to reach these businesses in a predominately Hispanic area of Tucson, Arizona. From 2008 to 2011, the promotora-led pollution prevention program reached a total of 640 small and home-based businesses. Program activities include technical trainings for promotoras and businesses, generation of culturally and language appropriate educational materials, and face-to-face peer education via multiple on-site visits. To determine the overall effectiveness of the program, surveys were used to measure best practices implemented on-site, perceptions towards pollution prevention, and overall satisfaction with the industry-specific trainings. This paper demonstrates that promotoras can promote the implementation of pollution prevention best practices by Hispanic small and home-based businesses considered “hard-to-reach” by government-led programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: pollution prevention; promotoras; small businesses; minority; home-based businesses; peer education pollution prevention; promotoras; small businesses; minority; home-based businesses; peer education
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ramírez, D.M.; Ramírez-Andreotta, M.D.; Vea, L.; Estrella-Sánchez, R.; Wolf, A.M.A.; Kilungo, A.; Spitz, A.H.; Betterton, E.A. Pollution Prevention through Peer Education: A Community Health Worker and Small and Home-Based Business Initiative on the Arizona-Sonora Border. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 11209-11226.

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