Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health (CAFEH) Study

Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health Study (CAFEH) is a community-based participatory research project that has full participation of the community partners in all aspects of the science including: developing the proposal, leading the study, collecting, analyzing and interpreting the data. Our plan to work in three neighborhoods in succession, each for one year.  Data collection in all study areas including Somerville, Dorchester, South Boston, and Chinatown has been completed as of 2012. Much of the major analyses have been conducted, and more results will continue to be published.

Our aim is to assess the association between exposure to air pollutants emanating from highway traffic and cardiac health in communities near highways. We are collecting and comparing measurements of highway-generated air pollution including ultrafine particulates (UFP) less than a millionth of a meter in diameter, with measures of health including blood pressure and C-reactive protein (CRP), a measure of systemic inflammation in adults. We are measuring changes in air pollution levels and health impacts as a function of distance from highways in six communities in greater Boston.

Another aim of our study has been to investigate the community and cultural understanding of the effects of air pollution on health among people living in neighborhoods adjacent to major highways. Building on this work, we will develop and field test culturally appropriate, educational modules that will raise awareness of risks and countermeasures.

2013 NIEHS Environmental Justice Conference, Research Triangle Park

2013 NIEHS Environmental Justice Conference, Research Triangle Park