We are all exposed to chemicals in some way in our modern world. But children in daycares, where some might spend up to 10 hours a day indoors, are at a particularly high risk of developing health problems (such as asthma) due to chemical exposure. This happens because young children are at a developmental stage and their heart and respiration rates are faster than adults'.
A study conducted by University of Missouri to test a new "electronic nose" air quality measurement tool they developed, found that the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) at daycares come from common school supplies, cleaning products, paints, solvents and refrigerants. The experts agree there is no need to panic though. There are things teachers can do today to reduce the VOCs in their classroom.
Here's a list of quick fixes that will reduce VOCs:
2) Replace the Sharpies. If you can smell the sharpie pen, those smells are VOCs. Opt for more environmentally friendly options.
3) Buy organic school supplies. Although they were hard to find just a year or two ago, there are many organic, chemical-free school supplies available in the market these. At prices that won't break the bank. Try organic glue, organic finger paints, or organic tempera paints for example. Tessa Bunny's (tessabunny.com) has a great selection of these made in the U.S.A, from only certified organic ingredients.
4) Use "clean" cleaning sprays. Considering the amount of toxic chemicals present in common cleaning sprays, they themselves can be viewed as not clean at all. Choose plant based, paraben free cleaning solutions such as the ones provided by the Method brand.