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Nriagu Lab - Trace Metals, Human Health and the Environment
Environmental Impacts on Arab-Americans in Metro Detroit
About this Project
The "South End" neighborhood in Dearborn, one of the most polluted areas of Michigan, serves as an immigrant reception area for a low-income, predominantly Arab American population. The focus of this study is to assess the exposures of the Arab American population, especially in this area, to environmental contaminants in their home and neighborhood. Specific aims of the project include: (I). Create a Community Council, a community action partnership involving representatives of various community based organizations, environmental justice organizations, neighborhood associations, local Arab American business council, health services providers, Detroit and Wayne County Public Health Department, local schools, and other environmental justice organizations, to strengthen the community's overall ability to eliminate environmental health disparities among the Arab Americans and promote environmental justice; (II). Expand the needs assessment process aimed at gauging existing experience and knowledge within the community, and developing consensus among community members about critical environmental health concerns; (III). Conduct a health assessment involving 600 households to be used in selecting the study population; (IV). Develop and implement a culturally appropriate household communication/intervention action plan to (a) increase knowledge of family members about environmental health concerns identified as priorities, such as outdoor air pollution and/or asthma; (b) inform residents about actions they can take regarding indoor/outdoor air pollution (or other environmental concern identified as a priority); (c) improve the health status of participants with respect to the environmental health endpoints of concern; (d) maximize participants' use of available medical, environmental and other services/resources; (V). Design a community level education action plan tailored to the cultural, literacy, and language needs of the low-income Arab American population so as to (a) increase awareness and knowledge about priority environmental health concerns/risk factors and environmental justice issues; (b) increase capacity of residents to recognize and work collectively to reduce the environmental health hazards; (c) increase knowledge about available resources (e.g., environmental justice organizations, health programs, medical services, regulatory and public health agencies, transportation, etc.) that improve the community's ability to address environmental concerns and improve the community's environmental health status; (d) increase understanding of regulations and policies related to community air pollution; (VI). Undertake a process and impact evaluation using concerns brought up by the community to identify factors that facilitate or hinder the implementation and success of both the household and neighborhood components of the intervention program.