LUCIR Study Youth Participatory Action Research

Nearly everyone uses cleaning products. On average, more cleaning tasks are done by women than men, while the vast majority of professional household cleaners in California are Latina women. Yet, little is publicly known about what chemicals are in these products, and companies are not required to disclose all of this information. Several previous studies indicate that some products contain chemicals which may adversely affect people's health.


The Lifting Up Communities by Intervening with Research (LUCIR, which means "to shine", and "to show" in Spanish) study was designed to engage high school aged students in the CHAMACOS Youth Council in environmental health research, characterizing what chemicals are in popular household cleaning products in a lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and estimating exposures to chemicals that women may be inhaling while doing their normal cleaning work using a special air pump backpack. We will then replace these products with "green" products, measure any changes in exposures, and youth will lead community education activities.

Cleaning Product Test Vial

Study at a Glance:

  • Study ObjectivesCharacterize chemicals in common household cleaning products, estimate exposures during normal cleaning practices, and determine whether substituting these products with "green" products reduces potential exposures
  • Geographic Area: Salinas, CA
  • Study Tools: Laboratory testing of popular cleaning products, active breathing zone air sampling, ambient air pollutant sampling, and questionnaires
  • Community Partner: La Clinica de Salud de Valle Salinas and 8 local youth research assistants 
  • Principal Investigators: Dr. Kim Harley and Ms. Norma Calderon
  • Study Manager: Mr. James Nolan
  • Funder: California Breast Cancer Research Program
  • Contact: James Nolan,