Children are more susceptible to environmental threats than adults. With equal exposure, children’s bodies become more heavily concentrated than that of adults due to higher respiratory rates and smaller body sizes. And where do young, developing people spend a large portion of their school-age years? That’s right: at childcare and school. That is why Improving Kids’ Environment works to make school and childcare facilities as healthy as possible. Download our Healthy Schools Checklist.
Improve Asthma Management at Your School can help in two ways.First, asthma is a leading cause of school absenteeism. In 2008, asthma accounted for an estimated 14.4 million lost days of school among children nationally. Also when a student’s asthma is not under control, it negatively impacts academic performance and limits participation in school activities and sports. Schools with an effective and systematic approach to asthma management have the potential to enable students with asthma to gain and keep control of their disease, resulting in a healthier student body. When asthma is under control, students are ready and able to learn and less likely to miss school. Studies have also shown an increase in academic performance and test scores. read more »
Enacting a green cleaning program involves using environmentally safe products and procedures to effectively clean in a way that protects health without harming the environment.There are many reasons to implement a green cleaning program at your school. Here are a few from the Healthy Schools Campaign.(more…) read more »
According to U.S. EPA, 20 percent of the U.S. population spend their days in elementary and secondary schools.Studies show that one-half of our nation's 115,000 schools have problems linked to indoor air quality. Students are at greater risk because of the hours spent in school facilities and because children are especially susceptible to pollutants.
With the high toxicity of lead to children, it is important for schools to find and remove any lead from their buildings.This means checking paint in buildings or parts of buildings built before 1978 and removing lead-bearing parts from schools’ drinking water systems and service lines. Because this work will take time, schools can install filters certified to remove lead at every tap used for drinking or cooking and begin regular testing of all water outlets to ensure that the remediation steps being taken are effective. Visits the sites below for guidance for schools who want to evaluate their buildings and remedy any hazards found.(more…) read more »
Pesticide exposures can cause problems to children’s health in schools.Both pests and pesticides have been associated with asthma symptoms in children. Schools may reduce children’s absences from school by reducing pests and pesticides. Join us to create a safe, clean and healthy learning environment for our students.Learn how some schools are using integrated pest management to prevent pests in schools and reduce children’s exposure to pesticides.
Radon is a odorless, colorless, tasteless naturally occurring gas that is found in the soil. It is also mildly radioactive making it a hazard for humans.Radon finds it way into homes and other structures through openings in the foundation or flooring. If the gas cannot exit the structure, it builds up and then the occupants of the structure are exposed. Long term exposure to radon can cause lung cancer.
Almost one in five schools surveyed had at least one ground-contact room with a radon level at or above the EPA’s action level of 4pCI/L using short term measuring devices. This would indicate that nationwide over 73,000 classrooms have a potential radon problem. The EPA has recommended testing for radon in all schools in the US however most states do not require it. With radon being the second leading cause of lung cancer, testing and subsequently mitigating radon becomes an important task for schools to undertake. Follow the links below to learn about testing for radon and recommended mitigation methods. The source of radon beneath a school does not go away. So whatever fix is chosen for a school it must last the life of the building.