Saturday, July 10, 2010

Latest News: Schools and Nurseries in the UK expose kids to toxins

I've been thinking about the toxins in nurseries lately -- and wishing that their was some resource or certifying body that could guarantee that I was sending my son to a relatively toxic-free environment. (It's been my dream to start something like that.) I've toured my fair share of nurseries/schools here and the smell of bleach and chemicals in some is overwhelming. And when asked about their organic food practices, nurseries tend to dodge the question. (But I must say there are some schools and nurseries that really get it right though. Like the Steiner School down the road, but that is a story for another post.)

So it wasn't a shock that according to a recent study published by the University of Birmingham on the "Dust from U.K. Primary School Classrooms and Daycare Centers: The Significance of Dust As a Pathway of Exposure of Young U.K. Children to Brominated Flame Retardants and Polychlorinated Biphenyls." 

Inhabitots had a great article on  the University of Birmingham research:

Since kids spend a lot of time in classroom settings, this raises a red flag. Researchers looked for seven PCBs and three main types of brominated flame retardants: hexabromocyclododecane(HCBD), a derivative of bisphenol-A tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBP-A), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which are now banned, yet they were still detected in all of the 43 United Kingdom classrooms tested.
HBCD is one of the biggest concerns. The chemical was detected in all dust samples and levels were significantly higher than those recorded in homes and offices. Even though animal studies have linked HBCD exposure to endocrine disruption, the largely used flame retardant is currently unrestricted in the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom. The chemical has been identified as a concern under REACH, a new European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use.
What are we to do? Get out there and talk to your schools/nurseries. Urge them to consider a different way to clean, to cook, etc. It's important - it's for our kids' health.

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