Why is this important?
Factories and other industrial facilities, oil wells and refineries, chemical-intensive agricultural operations, mining, dry cleaners, gas stations, and traffic corridors are all examples of sources of pollution and toxic chemical emissions that can pose risks to children’s health. While these activities are generally outside of individual control, child care programs can take measures to reduce exposures and encourage pollution prevention.
What actions can we take?
- Be aware of potential sources of chemical exposures and noise in the vicinity of the centre (e.g., industrial facilities, dry cleaners, gas stations, high traffic corridors) and consider ways to reduce exposures, such as closing windows and minimizing outdoor play when pollutant levels are at their highest (e.g., at peak production times, rush hour)
- Check out available local information on emissions, such as through the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI).
- Talk to neighbouring businesses. Make them aware of the impact their releases can have on children in your care. For example, ask them not to idle their delivery trucks.
- Get involved: inform families, organize information sessions, become involved in local political decisions such as land-use planning and zoning of commercial and industrial facilities.