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Tempe working to make city areas safer for babies by reducing risks of toxic chemical exposures

Posted at 3:53 AM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 09:17:51-04

TEMPE, AZ — One East Valley city has a goal of protecting children from the dangers parents cannot normally see.

The city of Tempe is researching where babies are most at risk right now due to toxic chemical exposure. They have joined the nationwide non-profit program, Healthy Babies Bright Futures.

"We're going to be looking really hard at our playgrounds because playgrounds are an area that the city controls and something that we take very seriously," said Dr. Braden Kay, the city's Sustainability Director.

The city is working with ASU researchers and the nationwide initiative to find solutions.

"They're doing a scan of our entire city looking at air quality, looking at playgrounds, looking at different areas of our city to figure out what we can do to make sure we're reducing toxicity in our city and making our city more friendly for babies," Dr. Kay explained.

Dr. Kay said the team is really interested in looking at extreme heat and air quality, as well.

"There's a really exciting new program that the county is funding for ASU to do increased work in this space," Dr. Kay described. "So, we're working to add sensors to indoor areas in people's homes, adding sensors to our parks, getting a better sense of what people are experiencing in terms of air quality issues and extreme heat issues."

All of these are proactive measures and Dr. Kay it is not because there is a current problem for infants within the city. They just want to take action now to protect the city's future.