Resources and Tools
EPA’s Healthy School Environment Resources: Searchable database of online resources to help facility managers, school administrators, architects, design engineers, school nurses, parents, teachers and staff address environmental health issues in schools. Visitors can browse resources by topic or geographic area, or search all resources by entering specific keywords in the search box at the top of each page.
- Tips to Protect Children from Environmental Risks
- HealthySEAT (School Environments Assessment Tool) Version 2
- What is a sick building? To learn more, visit EPA’s Sick Building Syndrome Fact Sheet (PDF) (4 pp, 38K, About PDF)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Safety Checklist Program for Schools - Checklists primarily based on regulations and standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as EPA and other federal government agencies
- Mid-America Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit - The pediatric environmental health specialty unit (PEHSU) for the Region 7 states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska
- A Case Study of Environmental, Health & Safety Issues Involving the Burlington, Mass., Public School System
- EPA Region 7 Teacher’s Lounge
- Health & Environment Program - National Environmental Education Foundation
- Flu Planning and Preparedness for Schools
Grants and Funding
- Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools Program - EPA’s comprehensive resource to help school districts identify, correct and prevent IAQ problems, and maintain healthy indoor environments in school buildings
- IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit - Implemented in hundreds of schools across the country
- IAQ Champions National Map
- IAQ Champions in Region 7
- School Indoor Air Quality Best Management Practices Manual - Washington State Department of Health (PDF) (135 pp, 1.61MB, About PDF)
- Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act (PDF) (27 pp, 1.1MB, About PDF)
- High occupant densities of schools often present a challenge to building designers to incorporate ventilation systems that provide adequate outdoor air, in compliance with the industry’s standard (ASHRAE 62-2001), while also providing good indoor air quality and minimized costs.
Chemical Lab Safety
- Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) - Tools developed through this EPA partnership provide valuable resources to help schools manage chemicals and contaminants
- Chemical Safety Resources, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
School Cleaning Products
- Choosing less hazardous cleaning products
- Greening Your Purchase of Cleaning Products: A Guide For Federal Purchasers: http://www.epa.gov/epp/pubs/cleaning.htm
- The Easiest Green Cleaning Recipes You Can Make at Home - Make your own nontoxic natural cleaners with these simple recipes
What to consider when changing to a green cleaner:
- During the transition to green cleaning products and practices, workers might initially use more green product than they should.
- During the transitional period, residues from cleaning products might create problems. It could take a while before the new, environmentally preferable cleaners work well. This delayed effect is particularly seen in glass cleaners.
- It is important to train cleaning crews to use green cleaning products in an appropriate manner. An effective training program will minimize the need for monitoring, improve environmental performance, and ensure worker health and safety.
- Green Seal is an independent, nonprofit organization that evaluates and certifies green products. Other green product certification programs, such as the Canadian EcoLogo and the EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) Formulator Program, have also developed criteria for cleaning products.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices can effectively control pests in schools, while reducing pesticide use by as much as 70-90 percent. EPA's IPM Principles, as well as other state IPM programs (e.g., California and Florida ), are good resources to use as guidance in developing standards for IPM in schools.
- EPA Mold Remediation Guidance: http://www.epa.gov/mold/mold_remediation.html
- Mercury in Schools Case Studies: www.epa.gov/earlink1/mercury/casestudies.htm
- An Educator's Toolkit: http://www.epa.gov/region7/mercury/educator_toolkit.htm
- Are you interested in reducing your school’s utility bills, improving energy performance, receiving recognition, and educating your students? Check out EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program for K-12 School Districts.
- U.S. Department of Energy’s “Green Your School” Program: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/education/school_buildings.html
- “Go Green” Newsletter: http://www.epa.gov/newsroom/gogreen/index.htm
- Green Communities - Provides tools and information on the best strategies, programs and policies to reduce a community’s environmental footprint: http://www.epa.gov/greenkit/index.htm
- Earth Day website: www.epa.gov/earthday, En Español: www.epa.gov/earthday/espanol
- Green Guide for New Businesses - includes good tips for schools: http://www.sba.gov/content/green-guide-new-businesses
- EPA’s WaterSense program helps school districts and individual schools make more water-efficient choices.
- SunWise information: http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/
- Smart Growth website: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/
- EPA Resources for Governments and Tribal Nations: http://www.epa.gov/region7/government_tribal/index.htm
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention School Health Profiles: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/profiles/
- Housing and Urban Development’s "Healthy Homes Program Guidance Manual": http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?mode=disppage&id=HHGUIDANCEMANUAL
- U.S. Green Building Council Center for Green Schools: http://www.usgbc.org/?gclid=COqm1M6oyK0CFYbe4AodYDxYgA
- U.S. Green Building Council - Center for Green Schools and National Green School Coalition provide tools to help schools address the unique infrastructure of the school environment while improving student health and comfort, operational costs, and the environment.
- Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Program
- Green Ribbon Schools Gets a Facelift for 2012-2013
- CDC’s NIOSH Publications and Products - Safety Checklist Program for Schools: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2004-101/chap1.html
- American Industrial Hygiene Association: http://www.aiha.org
- American Board of Industrial Hygiene: http://www.ABIH.org
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration: http://www.osha.gov
- The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities provides timely, comprehensive information on designing, building, and maintaining safe, healthy, high-performing schools: http://www.ncef.org/
- USDA’s Food Desert Locator: www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert/fooddesert.html
- Peaks To Prairies Pollution Prevention Information Center: http://www.youtube.com/user/PeaksToPrairies
- “Bed Bugs and Book Bags” free training curriculum - Jacksonville, Fla., Bed Bug Task Force and the University of Florida: http://duval.ifas.ufl.edu/Bed_Bugs.shtml
- Town Maker’s Guide – Livable Schools from Walkable and Livable Committees Institute: www.walklive.org, Livable Schools poster (PDF) (1 pg, #K, About PDF)
- National Center for Safe Routes to Schools: www.saferoutesinfo.org
- Council of Educational Facility Planners International: www.cefpi.org
- National Trust for Historic Preservation: www.preservationnation.org