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September 1, 2011

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Parents fear harm to kids at new facility

FEAR of air pollution and other potential harm from interior paint and other finishing touches is preventing some parents from sending their kids to a new kindergarten.

The public kindergarten is among the first to be licensed by the local government to open separate branches for expatriates' children. But whether its brand new facility is safe for its 200 registered toddlers is under debate. The Wunan Kindergarten has been relocated to downtown Huaihai Road M.

Some parents said the school authority had promised that the rooms would be finished in April to prepare for the new semester.

"Routinely, people would expect several months to ventilate a newly decorated building to dilute the level of harmful substances from painting oils and furniture," said one parent.

She complained parents saw painting still going on inside the school hall yesterday, only one day before the opening day of a new semester.

Some parents said they had protested to the school authority over the "alarming potential risks" in the new environment.

"The kids would be exposed to air pollution as well as dangers of the remaining decorative operations close to them," the woman stressed.

Some parents said they would delay sending the children to the facility or consider changing to other schools.

But Gong Min, the kindergarten head, told Shanghai Daily the school had passed all inspections required by the city's education watchdog and would open as scheduled today despite complaints "from a small string of parents."


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