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Your Environment. Your Health.


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Principal Investigator: Brugge, Doug
Institute Receiving Award University Of Connecticut Sch Of Med/Dnt
Location Farmington, CT
Grant Number R01ES026980
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 30 Sep 2016 to 31 Aug 2021
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Abstract Ultrafine particles (UFP) are elevated locally near areas of concentrated motor vehicles. Evidence is strong that living near highways or major roadways is associated with increased risk of respiratory, cardiovascular and other adverse health outcomes. In recent work, we have shown associations between chronic exposure to UFP and blood biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk. Our work has been conducted as community-based participatory research (CBPR) with involvement of community representatives in all aspects of the science. We have published almost 30 papers showing capacity for high productivity. This proposal builds on what we have learned regarding UFP characterization, risk assessment, and exposure mitigation. We propose a youth- engaged (N=45) project that translates our current knowledge base about use of air filtration in building ventilation systems into practice in two of our partner communities. We will use an adaption of the Interactive Systems Framework for Dissemination and Implementation (ISF) as a guide and we map each step of the process for translation onto this framework. We start with research on the surprisingly understudied problem of benefits of reducing exposure to traffic pollution. We will conduct exposure experiments with 75 adult participants from our two partner communities. Participants will be exposed to unfiltered and filtered air from a building ventilation system while their blood pressure and heart rate are measured. We will evaluate air quality indoors and outdoors by measuring UFP, black carbon and PM2.5 concentrations. Next, we will translate our research results into practice using Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) and a community-engagement process. The HIAs will assess the potential health benefits of widespread use of improved filtration in building ventilation systems in the communities. The subsequent community engaged process will consist of design charrettes (architectural planning exercises) followed by attempts to influence actual building designs. The charrettes will engage multidisciplinary teams seeking to alter the design of new or retrofitted housing or schools so that they use more protective air filtration. The process of moving our research knowledge into practice will be the subject of social science studies. We will use validated and standard scales as well as qualitative data to assess whether youth participation increases active citizenship and environmental health literacy. There will be a qualitative evaluation of the community processes to learn more about how the relevant science can influence community-level practice. The use of design charrettes in public health research is, to our knowledge, novel. Our proposed research is highly significant and innovative in that millions of Americans live near heavy traffic and little rigorous work has addressed either the health benefits of air filtration or how to influence air handling system design in communities. The combined impact of this work will be improved understanding of how to mitigate the effects of UFP exposure in local communities which could contribute to improving public health.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 97 - Partnerships for Environmental Public Health/Community Research
Publications See publications associated with this Grant.
Program Officer Lindsey Martin
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