Don’t Let Overheated Sidewalks and Railings Harm People

Target: Katie Hobbs, Governor of Arizona

Goal: Stop overheated sidewalks and other public areas from seriously injuring residents.

One of the more underreported effects of the climate crisis is the contact injuries individuals are suffering from even the shortest exposure to overheated surfaces. Arizona’s burn centers, for instance, saw an overwhelming uptick in cases of both adults and children enduring severe injuries from contact with asphalt sidewalks and other searing hot objects over the summer. A wheelchair-bound politician even received burns from temporarily grabbing a railing for assistance.

Asphalt in particular is dangerous when overheated because temperatures can soar to nearly 200 degrees F. And even when the surface touches skin, its sizzling nature remains the same. Bad burns can also affect the nervous system and create serious long-term health repercussions. Houseless people who often sleep or rest on these surfaces face particular risk of harm.

Sign the petition below to urge officials in this state to enact more warnings, public education, and mitigation measures to curtail this serious threat to public health and well-being.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Hobbs,

In the midst of Arizona’s record-shattering summer heatwave, too many residents (including at-risk houseless individuals) suffered debilitating burns that impacted their health in both the short and long-term. And these injuries came not from fires or flames but from objects the public utilizes every day, such as sidewalks and railings. Citizens of Phoenix especially suffered this fate.

In order to prevent a repeat of this trend when hot weather once again arrives, the state must take action. For one, signs should be clearly posted in asphalt-heavy areas warning of potential harm. In addition, a broader public outreach campaign must be launched so that residents (both housed and unhoused) know how to protect themselves. And investments that could lessen the heat-trapping effect of public venues would be ideal.

Please advocate for and implement any actions that could curb a lingering public health threat.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Eric Mclean


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169 Signatures

  • Dakotah Woller
  • Evan Jane Kriss
  • Jacqueline Forte
  • Laura De la Garza
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  • Judy Hershkowitz
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