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EPA, Schools To Tackle Indoor Air Quality

Release Date: 01/14/2011
Contact Information: Stacy Kika, kika.stacy@epa.gov, 202-564-0906, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding its 11th Annual Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools National Symposium in Washington, D.C. on January 13-15, 2011. The meeting is bringing together school board officials, administrators, health association members, school nurses, teachers, parents, and others to take charge in protecting the indoor air environments of children in schools. Nearly 55 million children and approximately 6 million adults spend a significant portion of their days in more than 132,000 public and private school buildings in the United States. Many of these buildings are old, in poor condition, and may have environmental conditions that inhibit learning and pose risks to the health of children and staff.

“Protecting children’s health is a top priority for EPA,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “School kids, parents and teachers face challenges every day, so EPA designed the Tools for Schools Program to make sure that poor indoor air quality isn’t one of them.”

Poor indoor air quality in schools can impact the comfort and health of students and staff, which, in turn, can affect concentration, attendance, and student performance. Eight school districts across the country are being recognized at the IAQ Tools for Schools National Symposium for leading the way to improving conditions at their schools and taking action to prevent future IAQ health risks. The symposium focuses on a wide range of environmental risks, including radon, mold, pest management, and asthma management
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Here are a few tips schools can take to start improving their indoor air quality:

- Get an IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit online
- Review the IAQ Coordinator’s Guide provided in the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit
- Develop an IAQ team and review current IAQ practices in your school
- Develop an IAQ program and encourage good IAQ practices across the school and community
- Test your school for radon

The IAQ Tools for Schools Program, launched in 1995, assists school districts in identifying the actions they can take to successfully plan and implement an effective IAQ management program.


More information on IAQ Tools for Schools: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/index.html

More information on the symposium: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/awards.html

For a list of award winners: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/tfsawards2010.html