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EPA Awards Grant in Connecticut to Support Healthy Schools

Release Date: 10/24/2012
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass.Oct. 24, 2012) - Connecticut will receive nearly $144,000 in a capacity building grant to help implement comprehensive K-12 school environmental health programs using EPA’s new “Voluntary Guidelines for States: Development and Implementation of a School Environmental Health Program.”

The grant program, announced in conjunction with Children's Health Month, means that Connecticut is one of only five states – the others are Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin – sharing nearly $750,000. The grants will be targeted to help states implement programs that will help their schools create healthy, productive learning spaces for students by reducing chemical and environmental hazards in local schools.

EPA has awarded $143,938 of this grant money to the Connecticut Department of Health to sustain and expand a comprehensive statewide multi-agency group addressing school indoor environmental quality problems. The project will also include developing and making resources available to other states to support statewide interagency steering committees. Connecticut will complete implementation of EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (TfS) program in its large urban districts; complete implementation of TfS in the remaining small and medium school districts; and complete implementation of specialized “Tools for Techs” programs in the remaining technical high schools in the Connecticut Department of Education’s Technical High School System. Approximately 170 schools will be included in the program.

School environments play an important role in the health and academic success of children. Children spend 90 percent of their time indoors, and much of that time is spent in school. Unhealthy school environments containing hazards like asthma and allergen triggers and harmful pesticides can affect student attendance, concentration, and performance, as well as lead to expensive, time-consuming cleanup and remediation activities for schools.

Protecting children’s health is one of EPA’s primary goals. Children are frequently more heavily exposed to toxic substances in the environment than adults. In addition, children in minority, low income, and other underserved communities, as well as children with disabilities, may experience higher exposures to multiple environmental contaminants and may be placed at a disproportionate risk for associated health effects.

While many states have existing programs to address children’s environmental health in schools, these grants will provide an opportunity to help states develop a comprehensive programs that can help states better provide safe, healthy, and productive school environments for children and school staff.

More information: Developing & Implementing a School Environmental Health Program ( http://www.epa.gov/schools )

- EPA work to protect children's health: (http://www.epa.gov/children )

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