Solutions For A Changing World

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Program Overview

Did you know that occupational diseases and injuries are often preventable at work? Through our Solutions for A Changing World program, we aim to support the health of small business owners and workers and eliminate health disparities in limited-income and Latino communities.

What are VOCs? “VOCs” stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. Products you use at work may contain high concentrations of VOCs. These chemicals easily evaporate into the air when used. These VOCs can be harmful for your health and prolonged exposure may make you at high risk for negative health outcomes. Reducing VOCs at work can improve the health of you, your employees and their families.

Hazardous Chemicals

If you are a beauty salon or an auto repair shop with 4-25 employees and located in the Tucson metropolitan area you have the opportunity to participate in the program. We are providing you solutions for a changing world by helping you create a healthier environment at your workplace and helping reduce your exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). We have a limited number of beauty salons and an auto repair shops that can participate in the program so don’t miss your chance to create a healthier environment at your small business.

Benefits From Participating

It’s a FREE program!

Benefits

The program will take place over the course of 8-12 months. Many of those months will focus on identifying VOCs at your workplace, consulting with Community Health Workers (CHWs) and health screenings. Then the intervention phase will focus on providing you information and resources to create a better environment and share with you what we identified at your workplace and in your industry. Lastly, you will be recognized for supporting a cleaner workplace having completed the program.

This program is in partnership with the University of Arizona College of Public Health, SERI and El Rio Community Health.

Contact Us

Take the first step to become a healthier business by joining the program or if you would like more information, please fill out the form below.Thank you for your interest!

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Program Material

To learn more about our program and share it with your co-workers and employees please download our presentation. If you would like us to present the program to you at your business or virtually, please contact us at seri@seriaz.org.

General Program Information

Reduction of Hazardous Exposures in Small Businesses through a Community Health Worker Intervention.

The project provides bilingual pollution prevention technical assistance through on-site visits and workshops to small business sectors in our environmental justice community utilizing a community health worker intervention. It is aimed at reducing worker exposure to volatile organic compounds at small business through source reduction. Our community-based approach is accepted by the small business community and provides an enhanced opportunity to reduce the use of hazardous materials.

Our team has received a National Institutes of Health Grant for “Tu Trabajo no te Debe Dañar: Reduction of Hazardous Exposures in Small Businesses through a Community Health Worker Intervention” to continue and expand the work under the pilot.

Through a community-engaged research framework we are: 1) quantifying and identifying exposures to hazardous chemicals in two high risk small business sectors common in our target area (auto body and mechanic shops and beauty salons); 2) working collaboratively with business owners, trade groups, and workers to design an industrial hygiene enhanced CHW intervention tailored for each small business sector; and 3) conducting a cluster randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the CHW intervention at reducing workplace exposures to VOCs and assess which factors lead to successful utilization of exposure control strategies in both male and female dominated businesses. The interventions will overcome current barriers by helping marginalized Latino workers and small business owners who may have limited education, literacy, and computer skills to understand the hazards associated with their work, and will empower them to have greater control over their occupational exposures, with the ultimate goal of preventing occupational disease and reducing health disparities.

The team has already quantified actual pre-intervention VOC exposures at 18 small businesses using real-time photoionization detectors at parts per billion level, recorded activity logs of each worker’s job tasks for their entire work shift, and used a stationary monitor to measure the concentration of 61 individual VOCs in the workplace air. We have conducted site audits at the businesses to document VOC sources (e.g., VOC-generating materials and processes, quantity and type of chemicals used), existing engineering controls (e.g., ventilation, fume hoods), administrative controls (e.g., job rotation, housekeeping, worker training), and personal protective equipment (e.g., respirator, gloves).

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