How City Governments can Partner for Success

February 25, 2020
Two people holding a baby and a bucket of toxic-free supplies at SDEV event in Dearborn Michigan

"Dearborn applauds Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision’s work to help residents learn about and reduce exposure to toxic chemicals that harm babies’ brains,” said David Norwood, Director of Sustainability in Dearborn, Michigan. Examples of these toxic chemicals are arsenic, phthalates, flame retardants, lead, organophosphate pesticides (OPs), mercury, a banned industrial chemicals called PCBs, a fertilizer contaminant called perchlorate, and air pollutants called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). 

A local nonprofit, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV), held a community workshop in Dearborn to share information with expectant families about ways to reduce toxic exposures at home. Participants received a “baby shower” gift package with items like infant oatmeal and multi-grain cereal and shared recipes and supplies for chemical-free cleaning products. All tested infant rice cereals have included measurable amounts of toxic arsenic, while cereals made without rice do not contain arsenic.

“The workshop SDEV hosted was a great opportunity for residents to learn about ways to reduce exposure to arsenic in food and to volatile organic compounds through the use of eco-friendly cleaning products. We will continue to collaborate with SDEV on Bright City initiatives to benefit residents and the natural environment in and near Dearborn,” said Norwood.

As part of their work, SDEV staff also met with elected officials in Dearborn to support anti-idling and fugitive dust policies to reduce exposures from heavy trucks and industrial activities near vulnerable populations.

“We’re proud to participate with the Healthy Babies Bright Futures initiative and with Bright City Dearborn,” said SDEV executive director, Raquel Garcia. “Enhancing our Healthy Homes initiative to reduce exposures that harm babies’ brains is a great way for us to ensure our communities have information they need to keep their families safer from environmental toxins.”

Is there a program or project that you think would benefit from our Bright Cities collaboration? Or, perhaps you’d like to start one?

To discuss this and anything else, please contact Bright Cities Program Director, Kyra Naumoff Shields at knaumoff@hbbf.org.