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Combining Community Engagement and Scientific Approaches in Next-Generation Monitor Siting: The Case of the Imperial County Community Air Network

1
California Environmental Health Tracking Program, Public Health Institute, 850 Marina Bay Parkway P-3, Richmond, CA 94804, USA
2
Comite Civico del Valle, 235 Main St, Brawley, CA 92227, USA
3
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Chair’s Office F463, Box 357234, Seattle, WA 98195-7234, USA
4
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, University of California Los Angeles, 650 Charles E. Young Drive South, 56-070B CHS, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
5
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University, 950 New Hampshire Ave. NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20052, USA
6
California Department of Public Health, 850 Marina Bay Parkway P-3, Richmond, CA 94804, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030523
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
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Abstract

Air pollution continues to be a global public health threat, and the expanding availability of small, low-cost air sensors has led to increased interest in both personal and crowd-sourced air monitoring. However, to date, few low-cost air monitoring networks have been developed with the scientific rigor or continuity needed to conduct public health surveillance and inform policy. In Imperial County, California, near the U.S./Mexico border, we used a collaborative, community-engaged process to develop a community air monitoring network that attains the scientific rigor required for research, while also achieving community priorities. By engaging community residents in the project design, monitor siting processes, data dissemination, and other key activities, the resulting air monitoring network data are relevant, trusted, understandable, and used by community residents. Integration of spatial analysis and air monitoring best practices into the network development process ensures that the data are reliable and appropriate for use in research activities. This combined approach results in a community air monitoring network that is better able to inform community residents, support research activities, guide public policy, and improve public health. Here we detail the monitor siting process and outline the advantages and challenges of this approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: air monitors; community air monitoring; sensors; community-engaged research; air quality; particulate matter; citizen science air monitors; community air monitoring; sensors; community-engaged research; air quality; particulate matter; citizen science
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Wong, M.; Bejarano, E.; Carvlin, G.; Fellows, K.; King, G.; Lugo, H.; Jerrett, M.; Meltzer, D.; Northcross, A.; Olmedo, L.; Seto, E.; Wilkie, A.; English, P. Combining Community Engagement and Scientific Approaches in Next-Generation Monitor Siting: The Case of the Imperial County Community Air Network. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 523.

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