NEW YORK, April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "For decades, we have waited for the government to tell us whether or not we have clean air and clean water, and too often they have failed in this basic public health task," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. "That is why today we begin a new cutting-edge program which will match students and local volunteers with the latest mobile pollution monitoring technology (Eco-Pacs), GPS systems, and video recording devices that will help establish a national database for reporting on local air and water quality where people live, learn and work."
The new program, Health Environment Action Network (HEAN), is being launched by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance), the nation's leading Hispanic health advocacy group, in partnership with Environmental Countdown and community-based agencies in four states. The program is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.
Program participants will carry portable digital video cameras to document their experiences and the local causes of pollution. All videos and summary data will be posted to the Environmental Countdown website (http://www.environmentalcountdown.com/) giving access to people from across the nation and around the world. Organizers believe this new effort will help Americans to better understand the connection between health and the environment.
Air pollution presents a significant threat to all communities. Moreover, nearly twenty-six million Hispanics, or two-thirds of Hispanics in the United States, live in areas that fall short of federal air quality standards. These areas include major urban areas, suburban communities, and population areas along the U.S.-Mexico border.
This month the program launches in four cities across the United States: Brooklyn, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Brownsville, Texas; and Watsonville, California. This means that students in South Brooklyn will be able to compare their findings with peers in northern California. Furthermore, community volunteers in Detroit will be building a record of environmental concerns along with program participants along the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas. More cities are expected to be added to the Health and Environment Action Network next year.
Data gathered by the dozens of program participants will be uploaded, each day, to a national website that will allow the local and national public to track the results and compare them to EPA standards.
"Many of us not only live in high-pollution neighborhoods, but also work in pollution-heavy industries," said Dr. Delgado. "And this is precisely why we sought a mobile monitoring device that would allow us to understand the levels of air pollutant exposure that we're experiencing throughout each day."
The initiative will provide community participants with the technology they need to measure and record, on video, local environmental hazards. The hard data and evidence will be put to use in formulating sensible responses.
For more information, please see the attached document for additional details on the Health Environment Action Network (HEAN) program.
About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health
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