Pollution prevention through peer education: A community health worker and small and home-based business initiative on the arizona-sonora border

Denise Moreno Ramírez, Mónica D. Ramírez-Andreotta, Lourdes Vea, Rocío Estrella-Sánchez, Ann Marie A Wolf, Aminata Kilungo, Anna H. Spitz, Eric Betterton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Government-led pollution prevention programs tend to focus on large businesses due to their potential to pollute larger quantities, therefore leaving a gap in programs targeting small and home-based businesses. In light of this gap, we set out to determine if a voluntary, peer education approach led by female, Hispanic community health workers (promotoras) can influence small and home-based businesses to implement pollution prevention strategies on-site. This paper describes a partnership between promotoras from a non-profit organization and researchers from a university working together to reach these businesses in a predominately Hispanic area of Tucson, Arizona. From 2008 to 2011, the promotora-led pollution prevention program reached a total of 640 small and home-based businesses. Program activities include technical trainings for promotoras and businesses, generation of culturally and language appropriate educational materials, and face-to-face peer education via multiple on-site visits. To determine the overall effectiveness of the program, surveys were used to measure best practices implemented on-site, perceptions towards pollution prevention, and overall satisfaction with the industry-specific trainings. This paper demonstrates that promotoras can promote the implementation of pollution prevention best practices by Hispanic small and home-based businesses considered “hard-to-reach” by government-led programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11209-11226
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 7 2015



  • Home-based businesses
  • Minority
  • Peer education
  • Pollution prevention
  • Promotoras
  • Small businesses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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