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

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Superfund Research Program, The University of Arizona, Saguaro Hall Room 325, 1110 East South Campus Drive, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, 1177 East 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc., 3202 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85716, USA
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Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, The University of Arizona, 1064 East Lowell Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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Department of Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Arizona, 1118 East 4th Street, P.O. Box 210081, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11209-11226; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911209
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 13 August 2015 / Accepted: 31 August 2015 / Published: 9 September 2015
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
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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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