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Clean Indoor Air in Schools as Basic as Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

Release Date: 12/06/2007
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 / ryan.dave@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Dec. 6, 2007) School administrators are proving that providing clean indoor air in the nation's schools is not rocket science.

School districts across the nation were honored today at EPA's 8
th Annual Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) National Symposium in Washington for implementing successful indoor air quality programs. With more than 53 million children spending a significant portion of their day in the classroom, poor indoor air quality can pose health risks in schools for both students and staff and lead to asthma attacks, decreased performance or diminished concentration.

"Good indoor air quality in our schools is vital to the health and education of our nation's children," said Robert J. Meyers, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "A clean and healthy learning environment is as fundamental as reading, writing and arithmetic."

The Dec. 6-8 symposium will focus on the latest research and information on environmental health topics such as: radon, mold, asthma management, maintaining ventilation systems for good IAQ, green cleaning products, and best practices of high-performing schools.

The symposium will also highlight model school districts that have successfully implemented effective IAQ management programs. The EPA's IAQ TfS Awards Program recognizes schools and school districts that have demonstrated a strong commitment to improving children's health by promoting good IAQ. A recently released study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about half of the nation's schools have IAQ management programs in place, and that 86 percent of schools with IAQ management programs relied on EPA's IAQ TfS program to guide their actions.

EPA introduced the IAQ TfS program in 1995 as a comprehensive resource to help schools maintain a healthy environment in school buildings by identifying, correcting, and preventing IAQ problems. The program has provided hundreds of schools with a variety of easy-to-use products, materials, and tools at no cost to help them implement an indoor air quality management program.

Following are the TfS award winners: Ridgefield Public Schools, Ridgefield, Conn.; Baltimore Public Schools; Mayfield City School District, Mayfield Heights, Ohio; Wichita Public Schools-USD 259, Wichita, Kan.; The School District of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Katy Independent School District, Katy, Texas; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, N.C.; The School Board of Broward County, Fort Lauderdale Fla.; Philip Apruzzese, Connecticut Education Association, Hartford, Conn.; Pediatric/Adult Asthma Coalition of New Jersey, Union, N.J. and Healthy Schools Network Inc., Albany, N.Y.

More information about the symposium is available on EPA's Schools page at: epa.gov/iaq/schools/symposium.html