Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.2 Quality of the Outdoor and Indoor Environment

5.2.1 Ventilation, Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water Ventilation to Control Odors

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 8/25/2016.


Odors in toilets, bathrooms, diaper changing areas, and other inhabited areas of the facility should be controlled by ventilation and appropriate cleaning and disinfecting. Toilets and bathrooms, janitorial closets, and rooms with utility sinks or where wet mops and chemicals are stored should be mechanically ventilated to the outdoors with local exhaust mechanical ventilation to control and remove odors in accordance with local building codes. Air fresheners or sanitizers (both manmade and natural) should not be used. Adequate ventilation should be maintained during any cleaning, sanitizing, or disinfecting procedure to prevent children and caregivers/teachers from inhaling potentially toxic fumes.
Air fresheners or sanitizers (both manmade and natural) may cause nausea, an allergic or asthmatic (airway tightening) response in some children (1). Ventilation and sanitation help control and prevent the spread of disease and contamination. The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for every chemical product that the facility uses should be checked and available to anyone who uses or who might be exposed to the chemical in the child care facility to be sure that the chemical does not pose a risk to children and adults.
The SDS gives legally required information about the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and the risk of exposure from all the chemicals in the product. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires the availability of the SDS to the workers who use chemicals (2). In addition these sheets should be available to anyone who might be exposed to the chemical in the child care facility.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Routine Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Ventilation Over Cooking Surfaces
  1. Elliott, L., M. P. Longnecker, G. E. Kissling, S. J. London. 2006. Volatile organic compounds and pulmonary function in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. Environmental Health Perspective 114:1210-14.
  2. U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 2009. Hazard communication: Foundation of workplace chemical safety programs.

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 8/25/2016.