On the 30th anniversary of the Principles of Environmental Justice established at the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991 (Principles of Environmental Justice), we continue to call for these principles to be more widely adopted. We propose an environmental justice framework for exposure science to be implemented by all researchers. This framework should be the standard and not an afterthought or trend dismissed by those who believe that science should not be politicized. Most notably, this framework should be centered on the community it seeks to serve. Researchers should meet with community members and stakeholders to learn more about the community, involve them in the research process, collectively determine the environmental exposure issues of highest concern for the community, and develop sustainable interventions and implementation strategies to address them. Incorporating community “funds of knowledge” will also inform the study design by incorporating the knowledge about the issue that community members have based on their lived experiences. Institutional and funding agency funds should also be directed to supporting community needs both during the “active” research phase and at the conclusion of the research, such as mechanisms for dissemination, capacity building, and engagement with policymakers. This multidirectional framework for exposure science will increase the sustainability of the research and its impact for long-term success.
Yoshira Ornelas Van Horne1,10✉, Cecilia S. Alcala2,10, Richard E. Peltier3 , Penelope J. E. Quintana4 , Edmund Seto5 , Melissa Gonzales6 , Jill E. Johnston1 , Lupita D. Montoya7 , Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá8,11 and Paloma I. Beamer9,11