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April 26 is National Healthy Schools Day

Release Date: 04/26/2010
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113/ heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (April 26, 2010) – April 26 is National Healthy Schools Day. EPA, the Healthy Schools Network and the Council of Educational Facility Planners are collaborating on this annual event to focus awareness on using certified green cleaning products in schools to help reduce pollutants from indoor air.

According to Healthy Schools Network, Inc., 25 percent of the chemicals found in the cleaning products used in schools are toxic and contribute to poor indoor air quality.

“Creating an environmentally friendly learning environment is essential to helping students get the most out of their education,” said Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “We encourage school administrators to ensure non-toxic products are being used in their buildings.”

To familiarize yourself with safe and healthy school environments, EPA recommends the Safe and Healthy Schools Environmental Education videos developed by the Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at www.sph.emory.edu/pehsu/PEHSU_VideoPg/PEHSU_videopage.html

To learn more about implementing green cleaning practices in your school or childcare facility, see the following resources:

Overview of green cleaning and additional tips: http://www.healthyschoolscampaign.org/programs/gcs/.

The Cleaning for Healthy Schools Toolkit to help adopt best practices for green cleaning in schools and child care centers: http://www.cleaningforhealthyschools.org/

Guide to Green Cleaning: http://www.healthyschools.org/

Integrated Pest Management( IPM) is a safer and 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 your school buildings and grounds. IPM programs take advantage of all pest management strategies, including judicious careful use of pesticides when necessary. To get more information on IPM visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/ipm/

For upcoming webinars on green cleaning, go to MACCHE@cnmc.org for a schedule. Webinars are presented by EPA in collaboration with the Southeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center; the Philadelphia School and Community Integrated Pest Management Partnership; the Women’s Health and Environmental Network; and the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment.