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ERIC Number: EJ802503
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0965-4283
A Community-Based Initiative to Reduce Children's Exposure to Toxics in Household Products
Blackman, Anne Berlin; Luskin, Jack
Health Education, v106 n2 p98-113 2006
Purpose--The purpose of this paper is to explore the efficacy of a community-based outreach initiative, piloted in Worcester, Massachusetts, to reduce children's exposure to toxic chemicals in common household products by changing parental behavior regarding product purchase and use. Design/methodology/approach--The program model was based on the premise that community health workers have the potential to deliver health education messages with particular effectiveness. Community health workers in Worcester received customized training to learn about the impact of toxic chemicals on children's health and strategies to reduce children's exposure to toxics in household products. The health workers then delivered this information to low-income parents in English or Spanish. Through follow-up interviews, the health workers used short surveys to collect data regarding the effect, if any, of the outreach on parental behavior regarding household product purchase and use. Findings--Parents were receptive to receiving technical information about toxics and household products from outreach workers who could convey the message at an appropriate comprehension level. Parents' responses to the survey questions suggest that the outreach efforts increased their awareness and understanding of how toxics affect their children's health. Research limitations/implications--Design and implementation aspects of the initiative--notably the size of the cohort recruited to the project--make it difficult to draw robust conclusions from the survey data. Nevertheless, the data do reflect at least a modest degree of parental behavior change regarding household product purchase and use. Practical implications--Outreach efforts that reach parents individually in their homes are effective at communicating targeted information but do not necessarily result in parental behavior change. As consumers, many parents need to hear the message more than once before they will change their behavior regarding product use and purchase. Originality/value--This paper describes a health education model that addresses an important but often overlooked area of risk to children's health: their exposure to toxics in common household products. (Contains 1 figure, 5 tables, and 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts