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Proximity of licensed child care facilities to near-roadway vehicle pollution.

  • Houston, Douglas
  • Ong, Paul
  • Wu, Jun
  • Winer, Arthur
Publication Date
Sep 27, 2006
eScholarship - University of California
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We assessed child care facilities' proximity to heavily traveled roadways in an attempt to estimate the extent of potential exposure of young children to vehicle-related pollution in this understudied microenvironment. We examined approximately 24,000 licensed child care facilities in California located within 200 m of heavily traveled roadways. Approximately 57000 of the available slots in California child care centers (7% of the overall capacity) are in facilities located within 200 m (650 ft) of roadways averaging 50000 or more vehicles per day, and another 172000 (21%) are in facilities located within 200 m of roadways averaging 25,000 to 49,000 vehicles per day. Facilities providing care to infants or preschool-aged children and facilities located in disadvantaged areas were more often situated in medium-or high-traffic areas. Additional research is needed to further clarify the significance of the child care microenvironment in terms of potential childhood exposures to vehicle-related pollutants. Design strategies, notification standards, and distance-based siting restrictions should be considered in the facility licensing process and in land use and transportation planning.

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