A $1.5 million fund will provide long-term medical monitoring for kids who attended a “toxic day care.”
New Jersey Judge James E. Rafferty ruled the state, the county, Franklin Township, and the building owners will all contribute to the fund for negligently allowing Kiddie Kollege day care to open inside a former thermometer factory in 2004.
The class-action lawsuit, which represents more than 100 kids, said the children inhaled mercury vapors which can lead to brain and kidney dysfunction. The low levels of exposure didn’t cause immediate harm, put parents will now have peace of mind if something goes wrong in the future.
Fred Henretig is with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s toxicology department. He said the children probably won’t have long-term health issues especially if they are not showing signs of health problems now, but that doesn’t matter. “I think mercury and young children is a serious concern and the people being worried about it is entirely appropriate,” he said. “There’s no reason for kids to have excess exposure to mercury beyond the minimum that is possible in the environment that we all live in.”
The day care was closed in 2006 and the building has since been demolished.
Wayne Adair had his three kids in Kiddie Kollege. The youngest was only 1 month old at the time. He says he’s happy the kids will get monitored, but he wishes more was done.
“At least their getting the neurological testing. That’s definitely a big thing, but everything else that we asked for and I believe the kids would really benefit from got thrown out.”
The Judge turned down a request for immunological testing for the kids and monitoring for the teachers and the staff.