Florida - Choose Safe Places
Hazardous Waste Site Health Risk Assessment Program
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A-08
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1710
- ATDSR (2017). Last update 08-25-2017.
- Axelrad, D., K. Adams, F. Chowdhury, L. D’Amico, E. Douglass and G. Hudson (2013). America’s Children and the Environment (Third Edition). Environmental Protection Agency, 2013.
- Meyer PA, Pivetz T, Dignam TA, Homa DM, Schoonover J, Brody D (2003). Surveillance for elevated blood lead levels among children—United States, 1997-2001 MMWR Surveil Summ 12:52(10)1-21.
- National Association of Regulatory Administration (2014). Research Brief #1, Trends in Child Care Center Licensing Regulations and Policies for 2014. 26pp.
Children are the most sensitive populations when exposed to environmental hazards. They are more vulnerable and sensitive to toxic materials as certain chemicals degrade less, or slower, and/or are accumulated in greater amounts than in adults. Some of these chemicals can be harmful for children’s development (Meyer et al., 2003).
Children (below the age of 18) spend most of their time in a care setting outside their homes (Axelrad et al., 2013). The term “Early Care and Education” (ECE) includes places where young children may be cared for outside their homes. In the United States alone, more than eight million children less than five years of age are cared for in a licensed child care facility (National Association of Regulatory Administration, 2014). Limited data are available to determine the number of children at risk to harmful chemical exposures and how many ECE programs might be at risk. Therefore, current estimates of possible risk for children in ECE programs are based on extrapolated data. Estimation based on extrapolation has the advantage of using a relatively small observed dataset, e.g. data from one state, and apply it to a non-observed data set, e.g. all other states. Though, as there is less data available, there is higher uncertainty.
To help protect children from health risks that may be caused by ECE program locations on or near places where chemical or radiological hazards are present, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) created the Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education (CSPECE) Guidance Manual (ATSDR, 2017) that offers tools and resources to build programs to protect children in their communities (ATSDR, 2017). The Florida Department of Health has teamed with the ATSDR “Partnership to Promote Local Efforts to Reduce Environmental Exposure (APPLETREE) Program” to execute its mission to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts. Due to previous experiences the Department has had with environmental hazards in ECE facilities, we aim to achieve CSPECE program goals to protect the health of children, especially children at ECE facilities. Goals include defining the selection process for ECE program locations, developing methods to help ensure ECE programs are placed on safe sites, and implementing a pilot Choose Safe Places Program.
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