Using community-based participatory research to shape policy and prevent lead exposure among Native American children

Author Name: 
Petersen, D. M., Minkler, M., Vasquez, V. B., Kegler, M. C., Malcoe, L. H. and Whitecrow, S.
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Private File Attachment: 
In the mid 1990s, the Indian Health Service (IHS) observed that the percent of Native American children in northeast Oklahoma with elevated blood lead levels was higher than in other comparable areas. Although lead and zinc mining operations in the area ceased in the early 1970s, more than 75 million tons of lead-contaminated mine tailings and 800 acres of former floatation ponds still affect 40 square miles of land in this area, much of which is owned by Native Americans. During this period, the IHS observed that a high percentage of Native American children in the area were anemic and had elevated blood lead levels. Using a case study approach, Petersen et al studied the impacts of this community-based participatory research (CBPR) project on health-promoting public policy. This article uses the CBPR approach to social studies to document impacts of social networking and public policy.