240209 HEAN Study: Identification of air quality “Hot-Spots” near schools and green spaces within four Hispanic communities

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:10 AM

Edgar Gil, MBA , Center for Science and Policy, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Washington, DC
Adolph Falcon, MPP , Senior Vice President, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Washington, DC
Hector A. Olvera, PhD, PE , Civil Engineering Department, University of Texas at El Paso., El Paso, TX
Rebecca Knowlton Jackson , National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Washington, DC
Abstract: The Alliance works to address the need for environmental action through an innovative program called the Health and Environment Action Network (HEAN). HEAN's first initiative—a mobile pollution monitoring program—empowers community members to be environmental health scientists and advocates for a healthy environment. Using innovative mobile monitoring technology, HEAN's community-lead study findings expose environmental hazards in Hispanic communities and provide community-based recommendations to improve health and the environment. A growing body of evidence shows exposure to pollution and toxins impacts health, and a higher exposure to those environmental risks in Hispanic communities. HEAN's model trains and supports community members, including youth “eco-teams,” to collect air and water measurements, map those exposures using a Google Earth® maps platform, and share findings globally on the web through a site that includes community results on Google Earth® maps, community produced videos, and a bilingual (Spanish and English) text messaging service providing daily air quality information.

Results: In addition to the “Hot Spots” and harmful average concentrations identified in this study, HEAN demonstrates the power of a community-grounded effort and recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing environmental health concerns. Using the HEAN protocol, four Hispanic communities have documented environmental risks using regular data collection on a neighborhood representative route and translated that data into community action such as new urban plans for green space, regulation of truck idling in neighborhoods, and youth environmental summer camps. HEAN impact has been measured through: 1) Transforming Risk Assessment, Monitoring, Mapping, and Dissemination of Data; 2) Community Leaders engagement; 3) Awareness, Advocacy, Policy, and Regulation activities; 4) HEAN Partnerships; 5) Media Activities; and 6) Process Measures.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss a community-based and implemented protocol for measuring air pollutant levels at various locations within a community 2) Determine the severity of concentration peaks and identify the potential “hot-spots” within each site. 3) Discuss HEAN Pollution-Free School Zone and the Walk to Green Space initiatives.

Keywords: Hispanic, Community Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 3 years of experience in project management in the community development arena. I have been working with the Alliance overseeing Hispanic outreach initiatives and I have served as a project manager of the HEAN initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.