Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some people are so damn stupid...

Day-care air quality focus of bill, By Angela Delli Santi, Associated Press

TRENTON - Two months after a South Jersey day-care center was found to be operating in a former mercury-thermometer factory - and a third of the preschoolers enrolled there were found to have elevated levels of mercury - lawmakers yesterday advanced legislation that would monitor air quality inside such sites. The measure would require the state Departments of Health and Environmental Protection to establish guidelines for day-care centers built on or near contaminated sites, and to ensure that the operators meet the standards before the facilities are licensed to open.

The proposal stems from revelations that three day-care centers in Franklinville, Gloucester County, were on or near contaminated sites. At one, Kiddie Kollege, 20 of the 60 children enrolled tested positive for elevated levels of mercury. Officials said the effects of the exposure should not be long-term, although tests found mercury levels in the air to be 25 times the allowable limit and the center was closed. One of the other day-care centers, also closed, was atop a former fuel company site. The third is on the site of a former gas station with leaking underground storage tanks.

Ron Corcory, an assistant director in the DEP's Site Remediation Program, said that the agency had already inspected the 38 other day cares identified as on or near contaminated sites and that none posed a health risk to children. The agency is currently inspecting 1,400 other day cares located within 400 feet of a site that could be contaminated, he said.

The DEP ordered the inspections as soon as it found out about Kiddie Kollege, and the state Attorney General's Office is looking into how Kiddie Kollege was allowed to open in 2004 without remediating the mercury.

So, maybe it would be a good idea not to put daycare centers anywhere near contaminated sites in the first place? What the hell is wrong with these people?

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