Cleaning products at child care centers could expose kids to toxic PFAS

March 4, 2020

A study co-authored by two Indiana University researchers found that high levels of potentially toxic PFAS chemicals are making their way into child care centers through the products intended to keep kids healthy.

PFAS are a group of manmade chemicals used in industrial goods since the 1940s. The chemicals are used to make products grease-, fire- and water-proof.

The chemicals have been known to leach into food from kitchenware and get into indoor air and dust through evaporation from consumer products.

They have been linked to a series of adverse health conditions and an increased risk of developing certain types of cancers.

“Children are especially vulnerable to environmental exposures because of how quickly they’re developing,” said co-author Amina Salamova, researcher at IU’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. “We really need to better understand the exposures children experience in places where they spend a significant amount of time such as their home, child care facilities and even vehicles. These early exposures could have harmful effects later in life.”

The researchers analyzed dust and mats used by children for naps and tested for 37 types of PFAS chemicals at child care facilities in the Seattle, Washington area and in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The researchers found 28 different PFAS compounds in dust. Some were found in levels higher than in homes in the U.S. and Canada.

You can read more about the study here.

Cleaning products at child care centers could expose kids to toxic PFAS