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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 690; doi:10.3390/ijerph13070690

Improving Environmental Health Literacy and Justice through Environmental Exposure Results Communication

1
Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, 1177 East 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2
Silent Spring Institute, 320 Nevada Street, Suite 302, Newton, MA 02460, USA
3
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona 1295 N Martin Ave, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA
4
Institute of Occupational Medicine, Research Avenue North Riccarton, Currie EH14 4AP, UK
5
Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Department of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, 310INV, Boston, MA 02115, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jayajit Chakraborty and Sara E. Grineski
Received: 1 May 2016 / Revised: 18 June 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1654 KB, uploaded 8 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

Understanding the short- and long-term impacts of a biomonitoring and exposure project and reporting personal results back to study participants is critical for guiding future efforts, especially in the context of environmental justice. The purpose of this study was to evaluate learning outcomes from environmental communication efforts and whether environmental health literacy goals were met in an environmental justice community. We conducted 14 interviews with parents who had participated in the University of Arizona’s Metals Exposure Study in Homes and analyzed their responses using NVivo, a qualitative data management and analysis program. Key findings were that participants used the data to cope with their challenging circumstances, the majority of participants described changing their families’ household behaviors, and participants reported specific interventions to reduce family exposures. The strength of this study is that it provides insight into what people learn and gain from such results communication efforts, what participants want to know, and what type of additional information participants need to advance their environmental health literacy. This information can help improve future report back efforts and advance environmental health and justice. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomonitoring; exposure assessment; environmental health literacy; environmental justice; hazardous waste; contextual model of learning biomonitoring; exposure assessment; environmental health literacy; environmental justice; hazardous waste; contextual model of learning
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

Ramirez-Andreotta, M.D.; Brody, J.G.; Lothrop, N.; Loh, M.; Beamer, P.I.; Brown, P. Improving Environmental Health Literacy and Justice through Environmental Exposure Results Communication. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 690.

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