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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA awards $84,500 for children’s health protection along U.S.-Mexico Border

Funds will be used for projects in Santa Cruz County and Nogales, Ariz.

Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $84,500 to local community organizations for projects to protect children in US-Mexico border communities from environmental hazards where they live, learn and play.

Children are often more vulnerable to pollutants than adults, due to differences in behavior and biology that lead to greater exposure and susceptibility. The EPA-funded projects will focus on training child care providers, parents, caretakers and others to protect children from environmental exposures at home, child care and other settings. The projects benefit communities by reducing environmental health disparities for minority and low-income populations.

“Protecting children’s health is one of EPA’s most important priorities,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By funding projects such as these, we are ensuring that families and children along the border share the benefits of clean air and clean water.”

The Mariposa Community Health Center in Santa Cruz County will receive $45,000 to train Promotoras (community health workers) to educate local parents and caregivers on preventing exposure to lead, pesticides, and air pollutants in their homes. The Ambos Nogales Binational Health Council support the curriculum design. The goal is to reach at least 400 parents and caregivers, benefiting approximately 1,000 children.

“Mariposa Community Health Center is excited to have been awarded this funding. Protecting our children by ensuring a healthy living environment is essential to their long-term health and well-being,” said Ed Sicurello, CEO, Mariposa Community Health Center. “These funds will provide education to Community Health Workers along the U.S./Mexico border to assist them in identifying environmental pollutants and train parents and caregivers in appropriate methods to reduce or eliminate exposure within their homes”

The Sonora Environmental Research Institute will receive $39,500 to expand Pima County’s Healthy Homes and Healthy Childcare programs to Nogales, where the institute is based.  SERI will hold workshops for community members and child care providers, and conduct home and child care visits to identify, prevent and address environmental hazards commonly found in homes and child care facilities. SERI’s project will address multiple environmental health and safety hazards with a focus on lead-based paint, pest infestations, indoor air quality, hazardous chemicals, asthma and fire and safety hazards.  SERI will also conduct outreach to medical providers on childhood lead poisoning prevention.

Learn more about EPA’s U.S. – Mexico Border 2020 Program and EPA’s Children’s Health Program.

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