Indoor Air Quality
Twenty percent of the U.S. population, nearly 55 million people, spend their days in our 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. The health and comfort of students and teachers are among the many factors that contribute to learning and productivity in the classroom, which in turn affect performance and achievement.
For more information on Indoor Air Quality, visit:
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools
According to a 1995 GAO report over 50 percent of our nation's schools have poor
ventilation and significant sources of pollution in buildings where nearly 55 million students, teachers, and school
staff spend the majority of their time.
Featured Indoor Air Quality Resources:
Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil
This page provides information on hazards associated with lead, training, brochures, and links to regional sources.
Source: EPA - National Lead Information Center
Indoor Air Quality Design Tools for Schools
Indoor air quality is a critically important aspect of creating and maintaining healthy school facilities. IAQ Design Tools for Schools will help school districts find the information resources they need to design, construct and renovate school facilities that will support the schools core mission of educating children.
Source: EPA - Office of Air and Radiation - Indoor Environments Division
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
Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign
Every year, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on school incidents involving chemicals such as spills and fires. These incidents involve potentially dangerous chemicals which, in some cases, had been unused for more than thirty years. In addition to financial costs, these spills may also cause school closures that result in a loss of valuable education time. The Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) seeks to address this issue by not only cleaning out excess, legacy, unused, and improperly stored chemicals but also by going a step further and implementing preventive mechanisms in schools.
Source: EPA-Office of Solid Waste
Collaborative for High Performance Schools
The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) aims to increase the energy efficiency of public schools in California by marketing information, service, and incentive programs directly to school districts and designers. The Collaborative's goal is to facilitate the design of high performance schools: environments that are not only energy efficient, but also healthy, comfortable, well lit, and contain the amenities needed for a quality education.
Source: Collaborative for High Performance Schools
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
Green Buildings Portal
Green or sustainable building is the practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation,
operation, maintenance, and demolition. EPA's Green Building web portal provides links to energy, waste, water, materials, and indoor environment resources.
Source: EPA-Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response - Office of Solid Waste
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
National Best Practices Manual for Building High Performance Schools
Written specifically for architects and engineers, this manual is designed to help design or retrofit schools. This is a large document (8.2MB) and may take a few moments to download.
Source: Department of Energy - Office of Building Technology, State and Community Programs
NCEF- Healthy School Environments Resource List
National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities resource list of links, books, and journal articles on environmentally safe and healthy school buildings.
Source: National Institute of Building Sciences - National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
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
IPM Resource Center for Schools and Childcare Facilities
The purpose of the Center is to promote Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and provide technical support and IPM resources to schools and child care facilities throughout the US, but especially Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico
Source: Texas A&M University - Texas Cooperative Extension
Portables Tool Kit: A toolkit for parents and school administrators for successful use of portable classrooms.
The Modular Building Institute (MBI) has created its own toolkit of materials that are available to any school district purchaser or facility administrator to help them secure and maintain facilities that provide an optimum learning environment.
Source: Modular Building Institute
Cleaning for Healthy Schools Toolkit
Free online toolkit developed, peer-reviewed, field-tested in ten states, and sponsored by the Collaborative on Green Cleaning in Schools.
Source: Green Cleaning for Healthy Schools
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
Indiana - IDEM E-Newsletter for Indiana Educators
This newletter provides information on a range of environmental topics which schools must address.
Source: Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Inventory of Federal School Environmental Health Activities
This inventory was prepared by the Schools Workgroup of the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children and includes descriptions of major school related programs and activities of EPA and other Federal departments and Agencies.
Source: EPA -- President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children
Illinois -- Greening Schools
Greening Schools offers FREE technical assistance, workshops for teachers, administrators and facility managers, and on-line resources related to pollution prevention for all Illinois schools.
Source: Illinois Waste Management and Research Center