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EPA Calls for Partnering on School Chemical Safety

Release Date: 10/23/2007
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Oct. 23, 2007) What should a school do with outdated chemicals that may have been sitting in the lab cabinet or storage closet for 20 years or more? EPA's Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign can help schools find partners to give advice in safe chemical removal and management. EPA is challenging companies and other organizations with chemical expertise to be good neighbors and help schools in their community.

"During Children's Health Month, I want to encourage businesses and organizations that have appropriate expertise to reach out to schools in their communities," said Susan Bodine, EPA assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "Working together, we can help make our schools safer places to learn."

EPA's program helps schools safely manage chemicals and avoid costly, and possibly dangerous, accidental chemical spills. The campaign provides schools with a free Web-based toolkit and connects school officials with local experts and industry leaders in chemical management who can assist in safely removing the chemicals from school property. Program partners can offer a broad range of services to schools, from conducting chemical inventories to training school personnel in responsible chemical management.

Community partners and industry leaders that have recently joined SC3 to help schools safely manage their chemicals include the American Chemical Society, BASF Corporation White Stone site, Employers Mutual Casualty Companies, MKC Enterprises Inc., North American Hazardous Materials Management Association, and Pollution Control Industries.

Across the country, EPA estimates that nearly 33,000 middle and high schools have outdated or improperly stored chemicals onsite in maintenance closets or classrooms that could endanger students, school staff, and surrounding communities.

More information about EPA's Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign: epa.gov/sc3/