Academic journal article Human Ecology

Indoor Air Pollutants in Homes and Child-Care Centers May Put Children at Risk: Unsafe Levels of Radon, Lead, and Mold Present in Some Low-Income Households and Child-Care Facilities Threaten the Health of Children

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Indoor Air Pollutants in Homes and Child-Care Centers May Put Children at Risk: Unsafe Levels of Radon, Lead, and Mold Present in Some Low-Income Households and Child-Care Facilities Threaten the Health of Children

Article excerpt

IN AREAS PRONE TO HIGH radon levels, homes occupied by limited-resource households have significantly higher levels of radon than those occupied by higher-income households, and some child-care centers have unsafe levels of radon, lead, and mold, according to a new study by researchers in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis.

"We found levels of pollutants in homes and child-care facilities that we should be concerned about." says Joseph Laquatra, associate professor. "Even low levels of exposure to some of these pollutants is dangerous, and if you have a child who lives in a home with high radon, lead, and mold levels and then spends the day being exposed to those same pollutants in a child-care facility, that child may be at significantly higher risk for lead poisoning, cancer, asthma attacks, and allergies."

Laquatra, who conducted the study with Lorraine Maxwell and Mark Pierce, reported findings at the International Conference on Indoor Air and Climate in Monterey, California, in July.

The indoor environmental experts tested indoor air-pollution levels in a representative sample of 328 houses and 75 child-care facilities in six nonmetropolitan counties (Chenango, Columbia, Essex, Franklin, Wyoming, and Hamilton) in New York State.

They also found that the homes of lower-income residents had higher levels of carbon monoxide, probably because 60 percent of the homes in the study had no functioning kitchen exhaust fan, the researchers said. …

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