Pesticides are products used to control or destroy insects, rodents, fungi, bacteria, and weeds. They can be sold in the form of baits, liquids, powders, sprays, or foggers. Pesticides are used on school grounds to protect students and employees and the school's appearance from pests. However, pesticides can cause possible health hazards for school occupants and contribute to environmental pollution.
There is a safer way to control pest. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a safer, usually less costly option for effective pest management in the school community. A school IPM program employs commonsense strategies to reduce sources of food, water, and shelter for pests in school buildings and grounds.
For more information on Pest Management, visit:
Office of Pesticide Programs
OPP's mission is to protect public health and the environment from the risks posed by pesticides and to promote safer means of pest control.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Schools
One of EPA's highest priorities is protecting children's health from unnecessary exposure to pesticides that are used in their schools to control pests. EPA is encouraging school officials to adopt Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices to reduce children's exposure to pesticides.
Featured Pest Management Resources:
Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool (HealthySEAT)
HealthySEAT is a new software tool from EPA designed to help school districts conduct voluntary, customized self-assessments of their school facilities for environmental, health, and safety hazards.
Source: EPA - Office of Air and Radiation - Indoor Environments Division
Environmental Compliance and Best Management Practices Guidance Manual
This comprehensive environmental manual is available on-line in both English and Spanish.
Source: EPA - Region 2
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Improving Environmental Conditions in MA Schools
This website provides links to a variety of web resources that address how to improve the school environment. Topics such as facilities management (including a wide range of environmental, health and safety issues), hazardous waste site impacts on schools, transportation, and waste reduction and recycling are addressed.
Source: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Reducing Pesticide Exposure at Schools
This September 2007 publication from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and health explains how exposures and potential health risks to children and school staff can be reduced by avoiding routine pesticide applications through an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.
Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
California Portable Classrooms Study
The Air Resources Board (ARB) and Department of Health Services (DHS) completed a comprehensive study of the environmental health conditions in portable (relocatable) classrooms. This study investigated classrooms in kindergarten through 12th grade public schools and included a large representative sample.
Source: California Air Resources Board
New Hampshire Healthy School Environments
This website provides links to resources to help schools assess and address health, safety and environmental issues in school buildings. Both a fact sheet on NH Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) efforts to customize EPA's HealthySEAT , as well as New Hampshire customization of the software may be downloaded from this site.
Source: New Hampshire Department of Envrionmental Services Air Resources Division - Air Resources Division
LEED for Schools
The LEED for Schools Rating System recognizes the unique nature of the design and construction of K-12 schools. Based on the LEED for New Construction rating system, it addresses issues such as classroom acoustics, master planning, mold prevention and environmental site assessment.
Source: U.S. Green Building Council
Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Walkthrough Video Assessment
This is a streaming-video module directed towards schools in city environments. The purpose is to help people identify potential indoor air quality problems and how to correct them. Based on EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program.
Source: Rutgers University
Green Clean Schools
Healthy Schools Campaign has published the first-ever multimedia how-to guide to help schools adopt cleaning programs that encourage the use of green products, equipment and practices in schools.
Source: Healthy Schools Campaign
California - Los Angeles Unified School District Product Review Database
Searchable database of over 5,000 products evaluated by the LAUSD Office of Environmental Health and Safety to determine their suitability for use in and around Los Angeles schools.
Source: Los Angeles Unified School District - Office of Environmental Health & Safety
New York State Guidelines for Green Cleaning Products
Guidelines and specifications for the procurement and use of environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products for all public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools in New York State.
Source: New York State Office of General Services - Environmental Services Unit