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Your Environment. Your Health.

New Digital Method Helps Researchers Offer Personal Exposure Results

Julia Brody, Ph.D.
Silent Spring Institute

NIEHS grantees developed a digital tool to communicate individual exposure results and environmental health information to study participants. A prototype of the Digital Exposure Report-Back Interface(DERBI) automates many of the time-intensive processes associated with producing personalized reports of exposure study results.

DERBI can generate user-centered reports, including comparisons with the study group and with benchmark populations. Each report includes the chemical found, health concerns raised by the exposures, actions people can take to protect their health, and an explanation of the study’s overall findings.

The researchers worked with the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention Green Housing Study and the Child Health and Development Studies to refine and field test DERBI with culturally and economically diverse participants. User feedback showed that many participants understood their results and found the report helpful.

As a next step, the researchers are working to adapt DERBI to report results for four more studies and are conducting detailed analysis of participants’ experiences. The goal of DERBI is to help study participants understand the connections between exposures and health, and to provide participants with knowledge to make informed choices to help reduce harmful exposures.

Citation: Boronow KE, Susmann HP, Gajos KZ, Rudel RA, Arnold KC, Brown P, Morello-Frosch R, Havas L, Brody JG. 2017. DERBI: a digital method to help researchers offer "right-to-know" Personal Exposure Results. Environ Health Perspect 125:A27-A33

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