Marietta-Parkersburg Metropolitan Area is a rural Appalachian community. The area has been home to the only manganese (Mn) refinery in the US and Canada for over 50 years. The residents are very concerned about the quality of their air and related health effects. Caroline Beidler, a local resident, has created and directs, Neighbors for Clean Air (NCA). Beidler has sought the assistance of Dr. Erin Haynes at the University of Cincinnati to help her and her community understand the health effects of chronic exposure to air Mn. Together we have conducted a community-wide survey to evaluate the community's level of concern about environmental air pollution in their region caused by industrial emissions and to learn about their perceptions of air quality and its impact on their health. Their sources of information related to local industrial emissions, their level of trust for these information sources, and how they rate the level of knowledge from each information source was also evaluated. We found that the community relies upon local media for air quality information, yet these reporters are not trained in science or environmental journalism. The community also uses websites to search for information on industrial emissions and health effects;however, reliable sites are difficult to find, navigate, and interpret. Thus, Beidler and Haynes have created a """"""""University of Cincinnati-Marietta- Parkersburg Metropolitan Area Reciprocal Research Relationship"""""""" Project. The goal of this project is to create reciprocal research partnerships to determine the health effects associated with the Marietta-Parkersburg Metropolitan Area community's exposure to Mn while engaging the community in the research process to ultimately inform regional and national policy for Mn emissions. Our main objective is to implement and evaluate a multifaceted Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) program that bridges the gap between an affected community and the research scientists. The following specific aims for the project are:
Specific Aim 1 : Create reciprocal training and research opportunities for the Marietta-Parkersburg Metropolitan Area community and University of Cincinnati scientific researchers;
Specific Aim 2 : Create a reciprocal educational relationship among Marietta-Parkersburg Metropolitan Area journalists (radio, newspaper and TV reporters), University of Cincinnati research scientists and environmental journalists to establish a well-defined network between journalists and research scientists;
and Specific Aim 3 : Evaluate the success of the overall community-research partnership through qualitative research methods. Given the community's intense interest in understanding their air quality and resulting health effects, the developing partnership between UC and the Marietta-Parkersburg Metropolitan area, and the opportunity for community involvement in innovative research studies, we anticipate that the results of this proposal will provide a model community-research partnership with reproducible deliverables for national and international community-based participatory research studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-H (OD))
Program Officer
O'Fallon, Liam
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Cincinnati
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Haynes, Erin N; Sucharew, Heidi; Kuhnell, Pierce et al. (2015) Manganese Exposure and Neurocognitive Outcomes in Rural School-Age Children: The Communities Actively Researching Exposure Study (Ohio, USA). Environ Health Perspect 123:1066-71
Rugless, Fedoria; Bhattacharya, Amit; Succop, Paul et al. (2014) Childhood exposure to manganese and postural instability in children living near a ferromanganese refinery in Southeastern Ohio. Neurotoxicol Teratol 41:71-9
Parin, Megan L; Yancey, Elissa; Beidler, Caroline et al. (2014) Efficacy of Environmental Health E-Training for Journalists. Stud Media Commun 2:71-80
Ouyang, Bin; Baxter, C Stuart; Lam, Hung-Ming et al. (2012) Hypomethylation of dual specificity phosphatase 22 promoter correlates with duration of service in firefighters and is inducible by low-dose benzo[a]pyrene. J Occup Environ Med 54:774-80
Jothimuthu, Preetha; Wilson, Robert A; Herren, Josi et al. (2011) Lab-on-a-chip sensor for detection of highly electronegative heavy metals by anodic stripping voltammetry. Biomed Microdevices 13:695-703
Haynes, Erin N; Chen, Aimin; Ryan, Patrick et al. (2011) Exposure to airborne metals and particulate matter and risk for youth adjudicated for criminal activity. Environ Res 111:1243-8
Meloncon, Lisa; Haynes, Erin; Varelmann, Megan et al. (2010) Building a Playground: General Guidelines for Creating Educational Web Sites for Children. Tech Commun 57:398-416