Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education – Who will benefit?

We are developing this program with ATSDR to protect children and staff in early care and education programs from environmental contaminants.

Understanding the problem

Licensing and zoning regulations and policies don't take into account the potential for exposure to hazardous chemicals when early care and education facility siting decisions are made. A new program might open in a contaminated industrial building or in the same building as a dry cleaner or automotive shop using harmful chemicals. This can put children and staff at risk.

Children are especially vulnerable to the health effects of exposure to chemicals. Pregnant staff are also vulnerable because some chemicals can harm fetal development.

How DPH is helping

We’re establishing a new program to put early care and education programs in touch with state environmental health professionals during the siting process to screen proposed locations for environmental hazards. The purpose is to prevent or minimize avoidable environmental exposures to children at these facilities due to poor siting choices, such as locating a facility at a hazardous waste site or in the same building as a facility that uses hazardous chemicals.

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