Indiana Honors 10 Daycare Centers for Preventing Exposure to Environmental Toxins, Asbestos

Ten Indiana daycare centers have been commended by the state for their on-going efforts to protect the health and safety of children by eliminating potential exposure to deadly pollutants and toxins.

Under the auspices of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the members of the Five Star Recognition Program for Child Care Facilities take additional measures to ensure that children attending their centers are not exposed to mercury, lead, mold, asbestos, radon, pesticides, carbon monoxide and PCBs. Though the level of potential exposure to these toxins is regulated by the department, these ten facilities have gone beyond the standard.

Exposure to any toxins can cause debilitating, often, long-term medical conditions, and can slow physical and mental development in children. Chronic lung conditions have been linked to exposure to asbestos and mold. Long term exposure to radon and asbestos can cause lung and mesothelioma cancer to develop later in life.

Though use of many of the pollutants have been banned, some still linger. This is especially true for lead, mercury and asbestos, substances that have been banned from use for decades. Levels of radon, for example, depend on what preventative steps individual child care facilities take. In some cases, radon exposure is caused by common underground rock formations, and the gas can be managed through proper ventilation.

Participants in the Five Star Program receive a star rating from the state based on their additional efforts to prevent or eliminate exposure threats. Depending on the steps taken, daycare centers receive one, three or five stars. Enrollment into the program provides free lead risk assessment, a radon test and no-idling signs.

According to Thomas Easterly, Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner, “The owners, teachers and staff of Indiana's Five Star child care programs can be proud of their work to provide cleaner, safer environments for the children in their care.”

Daycare facilities in seven Indiana counties were recognized by the Five Star Program. The complete list of daycare centers that participate in the Five Star program along with their starred rating is available through the Department.

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