Researchers studying day care facilities in the Southern United States have found the facilities to be a significant source for indoor allergen levels. A new study of 89 day care settings in two central North Carolina counties found detectable levels of seven common allergens from fungus, cats, cockroaches, dogs, dust mites, and mice in each facility tested. The levels were similar to those found in Southern homes.
Because children spend a significant portion of time in day care settings, it is important that parents understand the risks of allergen exposure and know where these allergens can be found, said David A. Schwartz, M.D., the new Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the part of the National Institutes of Health that supported the study. The study is available online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 63 percent of children under five spend 37 hours per week in child care. Exposure to indoor allergens has been shown in previous studies to increase the likelihood of developing asthma or allergic diseases, especially in vulnerable children.
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