Understanding toxic exposures in childcare centers, and why it's so hard to mitigate them

My second feature for Environmental Health Perspectives (here was the first) addresses the persistent issue of environmental exposures in the child care setting, including important recent efforts to define and mitigate indoor air pollution. You may be surprised at the range and extent of toxins we've discovered in this sensitive setting, potentially contributing to asthma, developmental issues, and other problems in our youngest and most vulnerable citizens -- I know I was, especially with a new baby of my own. While many of these exposures are also common in schools and homes, the difference -- and the most surprising part of the story, in my view -- is the particular challenge of mitigating them in childcare centers. Due to a variety of factors including a complex regulatory picture, environmental health protection in child cares tends to lag behind that of schools, where kids are older, larger, and less sensitive to toxic exposures. The good news is that awareness of this issue is escalating, and a sea change in the industry may be taking place over the next five to ten years in regards to environmental health protection. Read the story here.

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