On average, we breathe about 8 to 15 cubic metres air on a daily basis. The air quality at work, at home and during leisure activities is an essential part of our health. We spend more than 85 % of our time in an indoor environment where we are exposed to pollutants contributing significantly to a large number of health effects.
The reason why we give particular attention to the indoor environment of childcare facilities such as nurseries, is that they are one of the most important living places for young children. Yet children are not miniature adults. Developing organisms, especiallyduring embryonic and foetal periods and early years of life, are particularly susceptible, and may be more exposed than adults to many environmental factors such as polluted air, contaminated water and soil, chemicals, radiation, etc. Our understanding of the nature and the amount of health effects produced by exposure to environmental agents is still incomplete. However, the evidence we already have of this impact makes it mandatory to commit ourselves to coordinated and sustained large-scale action now to protect children's health, today and for the future.
One of the recommendations of the National Environment Health Action Plan encourages the development of a “prevention policy for relationships between the environment and health”. This project, financed and supported by the Joint-Interministerial Conference on Environment and Health, is developed in close co-operation with the competent regional authorities (ONE, Kind en Gezin and Dienst für Kinder und Familie).