American Indians (AI) have the highest rate of severe physical housing problems in the U.S. (3.9%). Little information exists about the environmental hazards in AI homes. The purposes of this paper are to discuss challenges that were encountered when recruiting AI for a home-and employment-based environmental health assessments, highlight major successes, and propose recommendations for future indoor environmental health studies. The Center for American Indian Community Health (CAICH) and Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Center for Environmental Health and Allergy and Immunology Research Lab collaborated to provide educational sessions and healthy home assessments for AI. Through educational trainings, more than 240 AI were trained on the primary causes of health problems in homes. A total of 72 homes and places of employment were assessed by AI environmental health specialists. The top three categories with the most concerns observed in the homes/places of employment were allergens/dust (98%), safety/injury (89%) and chemical exposure (82%). While some information on smoking inside the home was collected, these numbers may have been underreported due to stigma. This was CAICH’s first endeavor in environmental health and although challenges arose, many more successes were achieved.
A grant from the One-University Open Access Fund at the University of Kansas was used to defray the author’s publication fees in this Open Access journal. The Open Access Fund, administered by librarians from the KU, KU Law, and KUMC libraries, is made possible by contributions from the offices of KU Provost, KU Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Studies, and KUMC Vice Chancellor for Research. For more information about the Open Access Fund, please see http://library.kumc.edu/authors-fund.xml.
Pacheco, Joseph, Christina Pacheco, Charley Lewis, Chandler Williams, Charles Barnes, Lanny Rosenwasser, Won Choi, and Christine Daley. "Ensuring Healthy American Indian Generations for Tomorrow through Safe and Healthy Indoor Environments." IJERPH International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12.3 (2015): 2810-822. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120302810.