Is Your Child's Daycare Tainted With Pesticides Too?

A daycare center may be a good place for your children, as it exposes your children to the dirt and germs that strengthen your child's immune system, but it won't protect your little one from being exposed to potentially toxic insecticide residues.

Out of 168 daycare centers examined across the United States by researchers from EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory, all of them were tainted with at least one pesticide. Technicians collected samples from common play surfaces: Indoor floors and tables along with soil samples from play areas.

Of the 39 pesticides for which technicians were on the lookout, as many as 10 different pesticides were found in an alarming 63 percent of the daycare centers tested. Among the most common pesticides identified: Pyrethroids and organophosphates, the latter being extremely to humans and animals.

Unfortunately, for the sake of protecting big business, the EPA didn't bother to take the next logic step -- measuring how much exposure to pesticides kids really face. This ignorance has forced a few states to consider or enact laws governing pesticides in schools and daycare centers.

By the way, pesticides aren't the only toxic chemicals you should be worried about when it comes to your child's health.

Environmental Science and Technology Online

Live Science October 20, 2006

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