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Indoor Air Pollution, Our Children, and Their Schools

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Indoor Air Pollution, Our Children, and Their Schools Rodney S. Jones, Jr., Ph.D(c) Environmental Health PUBH-8165-1 Walden University * Immediate effects Immediate ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Indoor Air Pollution, Our Children, and Their Schools


1
Indoor Air Pollution, Our Children, and Their
Schools
  • Rodney S. Jones, Jr., Ph.D(c)
  • Environmental Health
  • PUBH-8165-1
  • Walden University

2
Purpose
  • This presentation is intended to educate teachers
    and parents on the dangers and potential adverse
    consequences that poor school Environmental
    Health policies and standards have on our
    childrens health and academic performance,
    especially as it relates to Indoor Air Quality
    (IAQ).

3
Objectives
  • Educate parents and teachers on IAQ Issues
  • Empower parents and teachers to bring issues to
    the attention of policy makers
  • Give teachers simple fixes to improve IAQ in
    their classrooms

4
Audience and Stakeholders
  • These groups and individuals have a vested
    interest in identifying and mitigating
    Environmental Health hazards and their effects,
    and also in sustaining policies and standards
    which protect children in schools.
  • Target Audience
  • Parents and Teachers
  • Collateral Stakeholders
  • Students
  • State Legislatures
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Institute of Health
  • State, City, and County School Agencies

5
Types of Contaminants and Pollutants
  • Indoor Air Pollutants (IAP)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Biological Pollutants e.g. dust mites, mold,
    fungus
  • Asbestos
  • Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)
  • Combust product from heating systems e.g. carbon
    monoxide, nitrogen dioxide
  • Cleaning and disinfecting agents

6
IAQ Statistics
  • An EPA economic analysis of repairs performed at
    an elementary school showed that if 370 per year
    over 22 years (a total of 8,140) had been spent
    on preventive maintenance, 1.5 million in
    repairs could have been avoided. EPA Indoor
    Environments Division, Indoor Air Quality Tools
    for Schools Actions to Improve IAQ (September
    1999)
  • Twenty percent of the U.S. population, nearly 55
    million people, spend their days in elementary
    and secondary schools. EPA Indoor Environments
    Division, Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools
    Actions to Improve IAQ (September 1999)
  • One-half of our nations 115,000 schools have
    problems linked to indoor air quality. EPA
    Indoor Environments Division, IAQ Tools for
    Schools Actions to Improve IAQ (September 1999)
  • Indoor levels of air pollutants can be 2-5 times
    higher, and occasionally 100 times higher, than
    outdoor levels. EPA Indoor Environments
    Division, Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools
    Actions to Improve IAQ (September 1999)
  • Indoor air pollution consistently ranks among the
    top five environmental risks to public
    health. EPA Indoor Environments Division, Indoor
    Air Quality Tools for Schools Actions to Improve
    IAQ (September 1999)

7
IAQ Statistics, cont.
  • Poor indoor air quality can cause
    illness-requiring absence from school, and can
    cause acute health symptoms that decrease
    performance while at school. EPA Indoor
    Environments Division, Indoor Air Quality and
    Student Performance (August 2000)
  • Indoor air quality can reduce a person's ability
    to perform specific mental tasks requiring
    concentration, calculation, or memory.
  • EPA Indoor Environments Division, Indoor Air
    Quality and Student Performance (August 2000)
  • More than 10 million days of school missed due to
    allergy and asthma symptoms associated with IAP.
  • EPA Indoor Air Quality and School Performance,
    2000

8
IAQ Standards
None
9
Causes and Sources of IAP
  • Causes
  • Failure to control temperature and humidity in
    classrooms and school facilities
  • Failure to properly ventilate classroom areas
  • Failure to adequately perform housekeeping and
    building maintenance
  • Failure to use alternative to pesticides for pest
    management
  • Nearby use of pesticides and chemicals
  • Sources
  • Pressed Wood Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Art supplies (paints, glues, varnishes)
  • Malfunctioning or Old HVAC and furnaces

10
Health Effects of IAP
  • Short-term Effects
  • Immediate irritation of the eyes, nose, and
    throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Allergic reactions to Biological Pollutants and
    Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
  • Long-term Effects
  • Respiratory Disease e.g. asthma
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer

11
IAPs Effects on Performance
  • Decreased ability to
  • concentrate on,
  • memorize, and
  • process information
  • Increased Absenteeism
  • Loss of Motivation

12
Benefits of Good IAQ
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Improved student and staff concentration
  • Improved student productivity and performance
    (i.e. test scores)
  • Decreased IAQ-related health risks from exposure
    to indoor pollutants
  • Reduced environmental triggers of asthma
  • Reduced respiratory illness

13
What Can Parents Do?
  • Visit the school and observe the facilities
  • Ask for a copy of the schools IAQ Plan
  • Ask how the school superintendant rate the school
    IAQ in the annual report
  • Join the PTA
  • Address the issue with the school board
  • Engage teachers and school administrators
  • Address the Issue with State and County law
    makers
  • Ask yourself these question
  • Is your child coughing and sneezing more?
  • Is your child experiencing increased allergies
  • Does your child feel better during the weekend
  • away from school?
  • Is your child experiencing increased upper
  • respiratory problems?
  • Consult your family physician if you suspect Sick
    Building Syndrome

14
What Can Teachers Do?
  • Use IAQ teachers tool from the U.S. EPA
  • Learn as much as you can about indoor air
    quality.
  • Record colleagues' complaints about illnesses
    look for patterns, such as significantly higher
    absenteeism in winter when buildings are closed
    up.
  • Be sure classrooms are tested for radon.
  • Be sure the school's ventilation filters are
    replaced at least four times each year.
  • Ask that the school district warn of possible
    side effects to pesticide and chemical use before
    spraying.
  • Be aware that pets in the classroom can trigger
    allergic reactions.
  • Be aware that new carpeting and wall fabric can
  • contain formaldehyde.

15
Resources
  • EPA Teachers Classroom Checklist
  • http//www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pdfs/kit/checklists
    /teacherchklst.pdf
  • Parents Advocacy Checklist
  • http//www.ctpta.org/legislative/PAChecklist.pdf
  • EPA Site for School IAQ
  • http//yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/h
    omepage.htm
  • USA Today Website on School IAQ
  • http//content.usatoday.com/news/nation/environmen
    t/smokestack/index
  • EPA IAQ Site for Parents
  • http//www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/parents.html
  • EPA IAQ Site for Teachers
  • http//www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/teachers.html

16
Bibliography
  • Shaughnessy, R.J., et al., "A preliminary study
    on the association between ventilation rates in
    classrooms and student performance". Indoor Air,
    2006. 16(5) p. 465-468.
  • Federspiel, C.C., et al., "Worker performance and
    ventilation in a call center analyses of work
    performance data for registered nurses". Indoor
    Air, 2004. 14 Suppl 8 p. 41-50.
  • Wargocki, P. and D.P. Wyon, "The effects of
    outdoor air supply rate and supply air filter
    condition in classrooms on the performance of
    schoolwork by children". HVACR Research, 2007.
    13(2) p. 165-191.
  • Murakami, S., et al. "Study on the productivity
    in the classroom (part 1) field survey of the
    effects of air quality /thermal environment on
    learning performance", in Healthy Buildings 2006.
    2006 Lisbon, Portugal. p. 271-276.
  • CTPTA. 2009. Parent Advocacy Checklist.
    http//www.ctpta.org/legislative/PAChecklist.pdf
  • Sharon Cromwell. 2006. Fighting for Better Indoor
    Air Quality in Schools. Education World.
    http//www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin0
    69.shtml
  • Environmental Protection Agency. 2009. Benefits
    of Good IAQ. IAQ Tools for Schools Program.
    http//www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/benefits.htmlIncre
    ased20Student20Performance
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