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In this tour, you will find information on the following topics:

Campus Housing Topics 

  • Best Practices
  • Lead paint
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Mercury-containing items
  • Asbestos
  • Household hazardous materials.

Daycare/Playgrounds Topics

Integrated Pest Management in Child Care 

EPA Powerpoint on Integrated Pest Management in Child Care Settings - Information on risks of pesticides in CCCs, & how to manage/eliminate pests using IPM.

Playground Safety

Playground Safety Topics from the National Safety Council

Wooden Playsets and Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)

Outdoor wooden playground equipment, playsets or decks built or installed before 2004, are likely to have been constructed with CCA-treated wood. CCA was the principal chemical used to treat wood for decks and other outdoor uses around the home as well as schools. Generally, if the deck or playset has not been constructed with redwood or cedar, it is likely the deck or playset was constructed with CCA-treated wood. Playsets have been constructed from a variety of materials, including CCA-treated wood, but CCA-treated playset represent a smaller percentage than CCA-treated decks. Sealants other than paint have been found in preliminary studies to be effective at reducing chemical migration.

EPA advice for existing CCA structures

  • Children should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after outdoor play.
  • Children also should be discouraged from eating near CCA-treated wood.
  • Avoid planting crops for human consumption near CCA structures.
  • EPA does not believe there is any reason to remove or replace CCA-treated structures, including decks and playground equipment.
  • EPA is not recommending surrounding soils be removed or replaced.
  • While available data are very limited, some studies suggest that applying certain penetrating coatings (e.g., oil-based, semi-transparent stains) on a regular basis (e.g., once per year or every other year depending upon wear and weathering) may reduce the migration of wood preservative chemicals from CCA-treated wood. In selecting a finish, consumers should be aware that, in some cases, "film-forming" or non-penetrating stains (e.g., latex semitransparent, latex opaque, and oil-based opaque stains) on outdoor surfaces such as decks and fences are not recommended, as subsequent peeling and flaking may ultimately have an impact on durability as well as exposure to the preservatives in the wood.
  • Consumers should use the same precautions that workers should take: wear gloves when handling wood, wear goggles and dust-mask when sawing and sanding, always wash hands before eating, and never burn CCA-treated wood.

Arsenic Fact Sheet (Source: Rocky Mountain Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit)

 ·   CCA and other pesticides are registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since arsenic is a known human carcinogen and, thus, the Agency believes that any reduction in the levels of potential exposure to arsenic is desirable.

 ·   In March 2003, the EPA granted a request by manufacturers to cancel the registration of CCA for use in wood for most residential structures (e.g., playgrounds, decks, picnic tables, etc.) after December 30, 2003. While this action prohibits the future residential use of wood treated with CCA, it does not address the potential exposure to chemical residues (e.g., arsenic) from existing structures made with CCA-treated wood or from structures made with new CCA-treated wood from existing stock supplies that were available to consumers after the cancellation date.

 ·   CCA was first produced over 60 years ago and in 1997 the American Wood-Preservers' Association (AWPA) estimated that there were over 85 million metric tons of "in service" CCA-treated wood in the U.S. (Cooper, 2004).

Lead Poisoning Prevention

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, elevated blood lead levels in children are mostly due to ingestion of lead-contaminated dust, paint, and soil.  Lead dust can be so fine that it cannot be seen by the naked eye. The lead equivalent of about three grains of sugar per day can place a child in danger.

Common renovation, repair, and painting activities that disturb lead-based paint (like sanding, cutting, replacing windows, and more) can create hazardous lead dust and chips which can be harmful to adults and children.  But with careful work practices and thorough clean-up, renovations can be done safely.   EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) lowers the risk of lead contamination from renovation activities. When performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and schools built before 1978 in areas where children under 6 years old spend time, workers must be trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.  Lead paint also must be inspected in certain cases - many local jurisdictions require lead paint inspections for areas serving students under 6, i.e. preK, Kindergarten, in-school daycares; and also mandate health dept screening for blood lead levels in students before entering kindergarten.

Testing for lead in drinking water is a voluntary program to minimize exposure to lead from solder and from other lead sources such as full or partial lead service lines that carry drinking water into the building from the water mains.  An EPA guidance document, 3T's for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools is intended for use by school officials responsible for the maintenance and/or safety of school facilities including the drinking water. The guidance introduces the 3Ts for reducing lead in drinking water: Training, Testing, and Telling.

Lead Paint Safety Field Guide 

Safe Drinking Water Hotline 1-800-426-4791

Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities

Nutrition, Anemia and Lead Poisoning - Information about proper nutrition to fight lead poisoning 

Bradley and the Bad Pb - an online story about childhood lead exposure from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services / National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 

The Lead Buster's Club - A pictorial story and interactive form about childhood lead exposure from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services / National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Lead Free - One million children today are affected by lead poisoning, but when you know what to look for and what to do, lead poisoning is 100% preventable.

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