Day-care chemical contamination

Study finds respiratory irritant in many day-care centers in California

High levels of formaldehyde were discovered in 35 day-care centers in Alameda and Monterey counties.

A study funded by the California Air Resources Board and conducted by UC Berkeley researchers was the first to examine air pollution and contaminants in California’s day-care centers and preschools, covering 40 such facilities that served 1,764 children, according to

Thirty-five of the centers exceeded state guidelines for formaldehyde, a carcinogenic respiratory irritant often used to manufacture household items like particle board for shelving. The researchers also discovered other chemicals exceeding levels recommended by the state, but concluded the health risks of many of them could not be evaluated.

Dismayingly perhaps, the study found that the chemical levels found in the day-care centers were typical of many indoor environments.