Press Coverage: Study finds elevated levels of formaldehyde, other contaminants, in day care centers

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Child in a child care settingA new, comprehensive survey of day care centers by University of California, Berkeley, researchers found that, overall, the environmental quality in child care settings was similar to other indoor environments, but that levels of formaldehyde and several other contaminants exceeded state health guidelines. Cleaning- and sanitizing-related chemicals were also present in the air, and sometimes at higher levels, than in comparable studies on homes.

The study, funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), is the first detailed analysis of environmental contaminants and exposures for California day care centers. It covered 40 early childhood education facilities in Alameda and Monterey counties. Researchers found that 35 of the centers, or 87.5 percent, had levels of formaldehyde greater than 9 micrograms per cubic meters over eight hours, which is above California’s guideline for safe exposure.

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