Why are parks a concern?
Parks provide valuable recreational land, habitat, and green space in towns and cities. Because parks are outdoors, they can pose human health risks from air pollution, pests, plants, and the weather.
People who go to a park in a town or city may be exposed to outdoor air pollution and its potential health risks. Pests and insects can sting, bite, or carry disease. If pesticides have been used at parks or on playground equipment, people who use the parks or playgrounds may be exposed to those chemicals. Some wild plants, such as poison ivy, oak, and sumac, can cause skin rashes or allergic reactions if they are touched. Because of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, overexposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, cataracts, and weakened immune systems. If a park includes a stream or creek, the water may be contaminated with pollutants that cause human health problems.
Safety concerns at parks include playground equipment, water recreation and swimming, exposure to extreme heat or cold, and wildlife.
This description is based on the information found in the Web links listed with this topic.
Web Links from MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine)
Insect Bites and Stings
Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac
Reducing Illnesses at Indoor Waterparks (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) (PDF — 278.70 KB)
Water Safety (Recreational)
Backpacking and Camping (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) (PDF — 2.24 MB)
Grounds Maintenance Workers. Haz-Map (National Library of Medicine)
Healthy Swimming (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Playground Safety (Consumer Product Safety Commission)
Woods and Camping Safety for the Whole Family (Nemours Foundation)
Chemicals at the Park
Are these chemicals in MY community?
Perchloroethylene (PCE, PERC)
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Last Updated: December 10, 2012