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Exploring the Interior Exposome Using Citizen Science: Initial Results From the New DustSafe Initiative
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  • Gabriel Filippelli,
  • Mark Taylor,
  • Jane Entwistle,
  • Emeline Frix
Gabriel Filippelli
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Mark Taylor
Macquarie University
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Jane Entwistle
Northumbria University
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Emeline Frix
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Studies of interior air exposures to various human and non-human components has largely been restricted to industrial exposures for the purpose of regulation. In contrast, little attention has been paid to exposure at the residential scale, where people spend much of their day and may be exposed to particulate sources ranging from known toxins, such as lead, arsenic, and asbestos, to human-produced chemicals of yet unknown toxicity, such as flame retardants. To capitalize on experience with citizen science initiatives as they pertain to environmental health, researchers formed an international network called 360 Dust Analysis, which provides guidance on citizen science and interior dust collection, as well as research tools to examine dust through analysis in regional labs. We present initial results from the July 2018 launch of this program in the USA, called DustSafe USA and operated under approved human subjects protocols by Indiana University (http://www.urbanhealth.iupui.edu/). We launched via multiple media strategies, including an extended television news segment, an article in several Indiana newspapers, appearances in several statewide radio shows, and via a widely distributed press release. As of this abstract submission, well over 300 queries were received, and after only two weeks of the launch the lab has received nearly 100 dust samples. Participants are largely from central Indiana where most of the media play occurred, but samples have also come from all over the country. We will present geochemical and compositional results from the dust analysis, but perhaps more importantly we will discuss how citizens were engaged, how the funding model for such efforts might be developed, and the general approach to research translation and citizen science.