SERI's Children's Health program is helping to improve the health of children in Nogales, Arizona. SERI staff evaluate the homes of participating families for health risks such as fall and trip hazards, and as a result the health and environment of families and the community are improved. All participating families receive a packet of information and free installation of smoke alarms in their homes. We will be holding community workshops to talk about the most common risks in homes; how to reduce these risks; and how to be more prepared for possible emergencies. We are also visiting all the child care and health clinics in the area in order to share information. If you are interested in receiving more information contact Jacobo Sandoval of SERI at (520)306-0938.
Residents of Nogales, Arizona in Santa Cruz County (SC) have limited resources to address their children’s environmental health, yet they face many health issues. According to the 2015 American Community Survey the population is 20,601 with 95% Hispanic. 32.7% of the population lives below the poverty level, including 48.4% of children under five. The City is designated as a Colonia, a lead poisoning high-risk area and an Arizona Medically Underserved Area. The NHEXAS U.S. Border 2012 Program found that 96% of households in SC had atrazine residues. SC had the highest childhood cancer incidence from 2001-2002 and 2010-2011 of any Arizona border county. Of those children screened in SC for lead from 2011-2015 over 30% had elevated blood lead levels. University of Arizona (UA) researchers recently found that asthma prevalence was higher in the Nogales, Arizona than Sonora. (“Prevalence of Asthma in School Children on the Arizona-Sonora Border”, Frontiers in Public Health, June 2017) Also of concern is that childcare facilities that care for four or fewer children do not need to be certified by the State and may not receive inspections. All of these data indicate the great need for the project. We are taking a comprehensive approach and will address multiple environmental health and safety hazards with a focus on lead including lead-based paint, pest infestations (integrated pest management), indoor air quality, hazardous chemicals, asthma and fire and safety hazards.