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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 11; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010011

Application of Citizen Science Risk Communication Tools in a Vulnerable Urban Community

1
Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2
Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3
VERTICES, LLC 303 George Street Suite 406, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
4
Environmental Science Graduate Program, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
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Universities Space Research Association at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
6
Stambaugh-Elwood Citizens for the Environment, LLC Columbus, OH 43207, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mark Edberg, Barbara E. Hayes, Valerie Montgomery Rice and Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 11 August 2015 / Revised: 2 October 2015 / Accepted: 9 October 2015 / Published: 22 December 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6073 KB, uploaded 22 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

A public participatory geographical information systems (PPGIS) demographic, environmental, socioeconomic, health status portal was developed for the Stambaugh-Elwood (SE) community in Columbus, OH. We hypothesized that soil at SE residences would have metal concentrations above natural background levels. Three aims were developed that allowed testing of this hypothesis. Aim 1 focused on establishing partnerships between academia, state agencies and communities to assist in the development of a community voice. Aim 2 was to design and conduct soil sampling for residents of the SE community. Aim 3 was to utilize our interactive, customized portal as a risk communication tool by allowing residents to educate themselves as to the potential risks from industrial sources in close proximity to their community. Multiple comparisons of means were used to determine differences in soil element concentration by sampling location at p < 0.05. The results demonstrated that eight metals (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Mo, Se, Tl, Zn) occurred at statistically-significantly greater levels than natural background levels, but most were below risk-based residential soil screening levels. Results were conveyed to residents via an educational, risk-communication informational card. This study demonstrates that community-led coalitions in collaboration with academic teams and state agencies can effectively address environmental concerns. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental justice; environmental justice index; toxics release inventory; environmental contaminants; health disparities; public health exposome; public participatory geographical information systems; MapplerX environmental justice; environmental justice index; toxics release inventory; environmental contaminants; health disparities; public health exposome; public participatory geographical information systems; MapplerX
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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

Jiao, Y.; Bower, J.K.; Im, W.; Basta, N.; Obrycki, J.; Al-Hamdan, M.Z.; Wilder, A.; Bollinger, C.E.; Zhang, T.; Hatten, L.S.; Hatten, J.; Hood, D.B. Application of Citizen Science Risk Communication Tools in a Vulnerable Urban Community. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 11.

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