A Community-Based Approach to Developing a Mobile Device for Measuring Ambient Air Exposure, Location, and Respiratory Health

Diana Rohlman, Laura Syron, Kevin Hobbie, Kim A. Anderson, Christopher Scaffidi, Daniel Sudakin, Elena S. Peterson, Katrina M. Waters, Erin Haynes, Lisa Arkin, Paul Feezel, Laurel Kincl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In west Eugene (Oregon), community research indicates residents are disproportionately exposed to industrial air pollution and exhibit increased asthma incidence. In Carroll County (Ohio), recent increases in unconventional natural gas drilling sparked air quality concerns. These community concerns led to the development of a prototype mobile device to measure personal chemical exposure, location, and respiratory function. Working directly with the environmental justice (EJ) communities, the prototype was developed to 1) meet the needs of the community and 2) evaluate the use in EJ communities. The prototype was evaluated in three community focus groups (n = 25) to obtain feedback on the prototype and feasibility study design to evaluate the efficacy of the device to address community concerns. Focus groups were recorded and qualitatively analyzed with discrete feedback tabulated for further refinement. The prototype was improved by community feedback resulting in eight alterations/additions to software and instructional materials. Overall, focus group participants were supportive of the device and believed it would be a useful environmental health tool. The use of focus groups ensured that community members were engaged in the research design and development of a novel environmental health tool. We found that community-based research strategies resulted in a refined device as well as relevant research questions, specific to the EJ community needs and concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2015.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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