Hazardous chemicals found in day care centers, researchers say
Hazardous chemicals found in day care centers, researchers say

Hazardous chemicals found in day care centers, researchers say

Hazardous fire retardants have been found inside the U.S. child care centers, which implies children in those premises could be exposed to the chemical substances, a new study has showed.

Led by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and funded by the state’s Air Resources Board, a team collected samples of air and dust from 40 early childhood education facilities over a twelve month period.

They analysed the samples for the presence of 14 different PBDE (polybrominateddiphenyl ethers) and four non-PBDE flame retardants, including tris phosphate compounds.

The study results suggest a “generally low” presence of all the non PBDE flame retardants and six PBDE flame retardants in the air samples. However, tris phosphate compounds and PBDEs were identified in all the dust samples analysed. Overall the results “confirm the persistence of these chemicals in the indoor environment,” says the study.

“These findings underscore how widespread these materials are in indoor environments,” says lead author Asa Bradman, from the Center for Children’s Environmental Health Research at UC Berkeley. “A growing body of research has found links between flame retardants and a range of human health effects, including neurodevelopmental delays in children. Children are more vulnerable to the health effects of environmental contaminants, so we should be particularly careful to reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals.”

The authors concede that “further research is necessary to assess the potential health risks to children and adult staff and, if warranted, to develop and implement policies to mitigate these exposures.”


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