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Study Finds Formaldehyde in California Daycare Centers

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, October 25, 2012
The study found 87 percent of childcare centers had formaldehyde levels above California's guidelines for safe exposure. Formaldehyde can aggravate asthma, irritate the nose and throat and has been linked to a kind of throat cancer.
But study author Asa Bradman of UC Berkeley says the levels were not high enough to cause panic. He says scientists also found airborne chemicals from cleaning products and air-fresheners as well as ultrafine particles likely coming from gas stoves.  
Bradman: "For most of the chemicals that we measured, there is no reference level or exposure standard that we can compare it to. A lot of the chemicals have not been evaluated by either the federal government or the state."
The study sampled 40 daycare centers in a mix of urban, rural and agricultural areas of Alameda and Monterey counties.

California Air Resources Board implemented tougher regulations on a formaldehyde adhesive use in pressed wood furniture several years ago, however older furniture may still contain the chemical. 
Many of the other air pollutants can be reduced by changing cleaning products and insecticides -- and increasing ventilation when cooking with gas stoves.
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