Environmental Health News: Children breathing fumes from water-based paints have high risk of asthma, allergies, new study says.

Children who sleep in bedrooms containing fumes from water-based paints and solvents are two to four times more likely to suffer allergies or asthma, according to a new scientific study. Scientists measured the compounds – propylene glycol and glycol ethers, known as PGEs – in the bedroom air of 400 toddlers and preschoolers, and discovered that the children who breathed them had substantially higher rates of asthma, stuffy noses and eczema. It is the first human study to link harmful effects of these chemicals to common exposures in households, and it suggests that they exacerbate or even cause allergic disorders and asthma, according to the team of scientists from Harvard University and Sweden’s Kalstad University. “Apparent risks of PGEs at such low concentrations at home raise concerns for the vulnerability of infants and young children,” according to the report, published Monday in the journal of the Public Library of Science, PLoS ONE. Read more here.

Greenwire: Enviro groups press for expanded EPA oversight of household toxins.

Seeking fresh momentum in their push for stronger federal toxics law, environmental groups today are homing in on a nearly universal path of human exposure to chemicals: the home. A new report by the Ecology Center, a member of the broader coalition lobbying for greater U.S. EPA power over hazardous substances, found that household flooring made with vinyl is nearly twice as likely as non-PVC tiles to contain detectable levels of chemicals such as lead, cadmium and chlorine. Separate tests found some flooring brands carried elevated levels of phthalates, controversial plastic additives, that were banned in children’s items in 2008. Read more here.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Kiddie Kollege owners, parents settle suit over tots’ exposure to toxin for $1 million.

The owners and operators of the toxic Kiddie Kollege Day Care in Gloucester County have settled a class-action lawsuit filed by parents for $1 million. The case made national headlines and triggered new laws and congressional hearings after New Jersey inspectors in 2006 discovered babies and children playing inside a building that was once a thermometer factory. Read more here.