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Formaldehyde found in California day care study

A study of environmental contaminants and exposures for California day care centers has revealed that the facilities often contained elevated levels of some contaminants, particularly formaldehyde, a respiratory irritant and carcinogen often...


A study of environmental contaminants and exposures for California day care centers has revealed that the facilities often contained elevated levels of some contaminants, particularly formaldehyde, a respiratory irritant and carcinogen often found in glue, paint and laminates.

The University of California researchers found that 35 of the 40 investigated day cares had levels of formaldehyde greater than nine micrograms per cubic meters over eight hours, which is above California’s guideline for safe exposure.

The 40 centers in the study were located in a mix of urban, rural and agricultural areas, and serve a total of 1,764 children. The researchers collected air and floor dust samples when the children were present and tested for a broad array of chemicals.

Particles in the air were also measured, including ultrafine particles, which are extremely small and can be inhaled deeply into lungs.

The researchers also detected other chemicals, including phthalates (found in plastics), flame retardants, pesticides and perfluorinated compounds (found in Teflon and stain resistant carpets).


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2 Comments » for Formaldehyde found in California day care study
  1. Michael Halliwell says:

    I can’t say that I find the results surprising.

    Indoor air quality has been an issue for quite a long time (I did some Master’s level work on the subject in 1999). We want low heating costs and energy efficiency but we also want our new furniture, new toys, new carpet, high tech cookware, attached garages, etc., etc. Unfortunately, the two wants don’t play well together when it comes to indoor air quality.

    A day care centre is not really that much different than a home…sure, no attached garage and (hopefully) no storage of solvents or gasoline, but people want it looking clean (i.e. fresh paint and carpet), the toys and furniture new and in great shape, fire retardant everything so if there is a fire their kids are safe and so on and so forth. It introduces a lot of chemicals into an indoor environment where it’s not easy to get them out of.

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