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Three Cities Join Nationwide Program To Protect Babies from Toxic Chemical Exposures

New cities include: Jackson, Mississippi Providence, Rhode Island Tempe, Arizona

Post Date:03/26/2019 11:52 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 26, 2019 MEDIA CONTACTS:
Stephanie Stohler, sstohler@hbbf.org
Akshay Anikhindi, aanikhindi@hbbf.org

Healthy Babies Bright Futures announces Three Cities Join Nationwide Program
To Protect Babies from Toxic Chemical Exposures

New cities include: Jackson, Mississippi, Providence, Rhode Island and Tempe, Arizona

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) today announced that three
new cities have joined the “Bright Cities” program. These three cities join the existing seven
cities in customized, strategic efforts to eliminate toxic chemical exposures to babies and
children. New cities include: Jackson, Mississippi; Providence, Rhode Island; and Tempe,
Arizona. The program is also continuing its work in seven cities including Anchorage, Alaska;
Columbia, South Carolina; Dearborn, Michigan; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Missoula, Montana;
Salt Lake City, Utah; and Seattle, Washington.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jackson, Providence, and Tempe to our family of Bright Cities,”
said Heidi Gerbracht, Bright Cities Program Director. “Each of these cities have shown us that
they are both dedicated and strategic in their existing efforts. We look forward to supporting
additional action to protect the health of their youngest residents—babies and children.”

Designed by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, the Bright Cities program partners with local
nonprofits and city governments to reduce their community’s exposures to neurotoxic chemicals
that interfere with children’s ability to learn and thrive. The program is designed to lower the
levels of these chemicals in air, water, food, soil and everyday consumer products.
For children, lower exposures mean lower incidences of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Scientific evidence links exposures to toxic chemicals to neurodevelopmental disorders including
autism, learning disabilities, attention deficits, behavior problems, hyperactivity and decreased
IQ.

“City governments are pragmatic, service-oriented, and deeply involved in relevant policy and
program areas, while local, health-focused nonprofits are filled with critical knowledge,
connections and unique skill sets in the area,” explains Gerbracht. “Our program harnesses the
existing powers of these local entities and works hand-in-hand with them to take a range of
actions to limit exposures to these chemicals.”

Existing cities in the program have implemented a variety of actions to decrease toxic chemical
exposures. These actions include replacing toxic nap mats and providing HEPA air filters in
child cares, addressing lead in homes, improving water quality, increasing access to healthier
foods, providing public education about neurotoxic chemicals; and limiting exposure to
secondhand smoke, among others. The Bright Cities program provides tailored support from
HBBF, including a small grant.

ABOUT HEALTHY BABIES BRIGHT FUTURES

Bright Cities is a program of Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF). HBBF is an alliance of
nonprofit organizations, scientists and donors that designs and implements outcomes-based
programs to measurably reduce babies’ exposures to toxic chemicals in the first 1,000 days of
development. HBBF brings together the strongest and latest science, data analysis, critical
thinking, performance measurement, campaign talent, communications skills and commitment to
collaboration. For more information, please visit www.hbbf.org.

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