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In Indiana, there are over 100,000 children attending child care in more than 4,000 facilities throughout the state. Child Care providers play a key role in protecting children from environmental health threats both in their own buildings and through education to parents about the homes in which children live. Children are more vulnerable to the negative effects of environmental hazards such as lead in paint and water, pesticides, mercury, asbestos, and radon. Children are exposed to more pollutants in their food, water, and air because they eat, drink and breathe more per pound of body weight than adults. They are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of toxic chemicals because their bodily defense mechanisms are not fully formed. And research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain develops by age four. That’s why it’s essential to provide children with a safe, clean environment.
Mercury containing items should not be thrown in the trash. Mercury can be released when the item is broken, contaminating the parking lot, street, or facility. Mercury containing items such as fluorescent bulbs, thermometers, and thermostats should be taken to a location which recycles them. Some household hazardous waste locations will accept these items for recycling. In addition, certain home improvement stores also offer recycling. Free downloadable recycling posters are available to promote battery and fluorescent bulb recycling.
Many thermostats contain mercury. If you choose to replace your existing thermostat, it is recommended that a professional heating and cooling contractor remove mercury thermostats to reduce chances of breaking the mercury containing capsule within the thermostat. Mercury thermostats should be recycled, never thrown in the trash. When replacing thermostats, be sure to purchase a digital thermostat.
If you have a mercury thermostat, there is no requirement to remove it, however, IDEM can provide you with a mini mercury spill kit for your facility. IDEM also has "Contains Mercury" Stickers to place on the thermostat as a reminder to recycle it rather than throw it away. Stickers and spill kits are available at no cost by contacting IDEM at (800) 988-7901.
Additional information about mercury is available on the IDEM Recycle Indiana website.
Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques involve eliminating potential food, water and living space for pests, and sealing up their entry routes into buildings and using pesticides only when a confirmed pest problem is present.
Additional IPM tools are available: