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EnviroTools: A portal that empowers communities to answer the question “How do we clean up this mess?”

Saradhi Balla, MS1, Errol Mazursky, MPH2, Thomas Voice, Ph D1, and Dale E. Manty, PhD2. (1) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University, B100 Research Complex - Engineering, East Lansing, MI 48824, 517-432-2689, ballasar@egr.msu.edu, (2) Office of Research and Development - National Center for Environmental Research, United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, Mail Code 8723R, Washington, DC 20004

EnviroTools (http://www.envirotools.org) is a user-friendly web portal developed at Michigan State University in conjunction with the Hazardous Substance Research Centers (HSRCs) of the USEPA and funded by the Superfund Basic Research Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. This portal was created to give educators, community leaders and community members the tools necessary to understand the environmental health risks associated with hazardous waste and toxins in their neighborhoods as well as information on remediation, environmental regulations and environmental management. EnviroTools provides community outreach experts with a variety of field-tested tools such as fact sheets and presentations to educate their communities. The information in this portal, which includes 140 fact sheets, 40 presentation visuals, 250 web links and a glossary of 1300 technical terms was carefully chosen to provide users of diverse backgrounds with tools appropriate to their knowledge and interest. The community outreach programs of the HSRCs, Technical Outreach Services to Communities (TOSC) and Technical Assistance for Brownfields (TAB) as well as state and federal community involvement coordinators, are currently using EnviroTools. The HSRCs are one of the USEPA’s longest running and most successful community outreach programs having helped more than 500 communities over the past 15 years with an investment in research and outreach totaling $175 million.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Community Outreach

Related Web page: www.envirotools.org/

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Empowering Communities to Face Emerging Environmental Health Challenges

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA