[The Hwankyung Ilbo] The Ministry of Environment conducted an inspection of 4,639 small-scale children's activity areas, which are subject to the Environmental Health Act from January 1 of this year. As a result, 1170 of them, which is equal to 25.2%, were found to need improvement.
The small children's activity space to have been inspected is kindergartens with a floor space of less than 430㎡ established before March 22,2009, and there are 21,000 small-scale children's activity areas covered by environmental safety standards.
The assessment of the environmental safety management standard measures whether the contents of heavy metals, total volatile organic compounds, and formaldehyde concentrations in the paints and finishing materials used in the children's activity space are managed within the standard values in accordance with the ‘Environmental Health Act’.
According to the inspection, 559 facilities were found to exceed the standard of heavy metal content in paints and finishing materials. The total volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde concentrations of the indoor air were measured, and 723 facilities were found to be required improvement.
A total of 3,469 facilities (74.8%) met both the heavy metal content and indoor air quality standards.
The Ministry of Environment has requested the owner of the facility for the improvement of facilities that did not meet the criteria.
"From January 1 of this year, environmental safety management standards apply to all children's activity spaces regardless of the time of establishment and size," said the Ministry of Environment. "We plan to actively pursue environmental safety inspection, education and publicity so that children's activity space can be kept environmentally safe."
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