Los Laureles Canyon Dust Pilot Study

Overview. Continuing the efforts of the UCSD Superfund Research Center’s (SRC) Community Engagement Core (CEC), a community-university partnership to help reduce exposures to crossborder flows of hazardous wastes and to improve environmental public health in the San Diego-Tijuana city-region, the CEC conducted a Dust Pilot Study in two Tijuana neighborhoods, one within and one adjacent to the Los Laureles Canyon. Los Laureles Canyon covers a 4.6 square mile area of the Tijuana River Watershed, where rainfall and water runoff flows through it as it travels across the U.S.-Mexico border and into the Tijuana Estuary. This canyon is home to roughly 80,000 people, who are exposed to environmental toxicants as result of rapid population growth under conditions of poverty, disorganized settlement and deficient infrastructure.

Dust Pilot Study Details

  • The study was conducted during March of 2014
  • Household dust, urine, and demographic data was collected from 46 residents
  • Household dust was analyzed for: heavy metals, bisphenol A, phthalates, and triclosan
  • Urine samples will be analyzed for triclosan by our UC Davis Superfund partners
  • Battery powered cordless vacuums with Dustream® collectors and filters were used
  • This community-university effort lays groundwork for a larger scale environmental epidemiological study that addresses a major concern (dust) identified by the community
  • Results will be presented to the community

Below Dr. Gabriel Anaya ascends makeshift stairs in Tijuana to collect household dust for analysis

Principal Investigators


UCSD Superfund Research Center
University of California, San Diego
Pharmacology Department
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0722
La Jolla, CA 92093-0722