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Indoor Air Quality and the School Environment

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Title: Indoor Air Quality and the School Environment


1
Indoor Air Quality and the School Environment
  • Ensuring our childrens health and academic
    success

Provided by the American Association of School
Administrators
2
Perspective
  • In the construction of buildings, whether for
    public purposes or as dwellings, care should be
    taken to provide good ventilation and plenty of
    sunlight.schoolrooms are often faulty in this
    respect. Neglect of proper ventilation is
    responsible for much of the drowsiness and
    dullness that.make the teachers work toilsome
    and ineffective.
  • -Health Reformer, 1871

3
What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
  • The temperature, humidity, ventilation, and
    chemical or biological contaminants of the air
    inside a building.
  • - Websters Dictionary

4
Did you know
  • Americans spend 90 of their day indoors in
    classrooms, offices, and at home11
  • 90 of schools in U.S. were built before 1980,
    and 50 before 19608
  • 50 of schools nationwide report unsatisfactory
    environmental conditions8
  • Students whose school facilities are in poor
    condition have test scores about 5.5 percentage
    points below students whose school facilities are
    in fair condition, and about 11 percentage points
    below students in excellent facilities.5

5
Why should we care about IAQ in our schools?
  • Nearly 55 million people (20 of US population)
    spend their days inside elementary and secondary
    schools8
  • In 1999, one in five public schools had
    unsatisfactory IAQ levels1
  • 58 of schools indicated that their district does
    not have an IAQ management plan6,

6
Asthma in Schools
  • Between 1980 and 1996, the prevalence of asthma
    increased 45 percent among children ages 5-146
  • In 2002, 6.1 million children under the age of 18
    were reported to currently have asthma6
  • Asthma is the third leading cause of
    hospitalization in children under 15 years of
    age2
  • Asthma is the leading cause of school
    absenteeism, accounting for 15 million missed
    days per year3.

7
The Link Between IAQ and Asthma
  • Asthma prevalence in schools has been associated
    with higher relative air humidity, higher
    concentrations of volatile organic compounds, and
    mold or bacteria7.
  • Many asthma triggers are found in and due to the
    school environment, including
  • Dust mites found in carpeting, stuffed animals,
    and other cloth/fabric
  • Animal dander from classroom pets
  • Cockroaches
  • Mold

8
Challenges and Awareness
  • Asthma Triggers
  • Coats
  • Stuffed animals
  • Carpet
  • Space is densely populated
  • MORE??

9
Indoor Air Quality and Student Achievement
  • Poor IAQ can reduce a students ability to
    perform specific mental tasks requiring
    concentration, calculation, or memory6.
  • Students may appear sluggish or sleepy, or have
    headaches
  • Indoor air quality is related to asthma and other
    aspects of health in schools6.
  • More missed school days
  • Tired from a lack of sleep

10
Many School Leaders Dont
  • Believe asthma is an epidemic.
  • CDC and EPA officials have called childhood
    asthma an epidemic.9
  • Believe asthma and IAQ affect academic
    performance.
  • Asthma and poor IAQ do affect academic
    performance.5
  • Consider the school environment a priority.
  • Students thrive academically in environments that
    support their health and well being.

11
School Facilities
  • 2004 report by the Maryland Task Force to Study
    Public School Facilities identified deficiencies
    in every jurisdiction of the State10
  • The price tag to improve the nation's school
    facilities is estimated to cost somewhere between
    the 127 billion (according to the National
    Center for Education Statistics) and 268 billion
    (according to the National Education
    Association)4.

12
What is wrong?
  • Can you determine how the following photos
    compromise good indoor air quality?

13
Challenges and Awareness
  • Building cleanliness
  • Wall dust can be an asthma trigger

14
Challenges and Awareness
  • Vent is partially covered

15
Challenges and Awareness
  • Poor chemical management
  • Improper ventilation

16
Awareness
  • Idling near windows, doors, and students

17
What Are Our Options?
  • Reactive Response
  • Proactive Response

18
How to get started
  • Obtain EPAs Tools for Schools Program Kit
  • Define IAQ team and appoint a leader
  • Conduct walkthrough of buildings
  • Create laundry list of items for repair
  • Create communications plan for internal and
    external stakeholders
  • Establish action plan for handling future
    IAQ-related events
  • Establish policies to minimize exposure to asthma
    triggers (i.e., no pets, no smoking)

19
AASA Resource to Help Us Begin
  • Copies of EPAs Tools for Schools Kit free to
    schools
  • Schoolhouse in the Red (2004 edition)
  • School Governance Leadership (Spring 2003)
  • Frequently Asked Questions on AASA website
  • Scholarships to attend EPA IAQ Tools for Schools
    Annual Symposium
  • Powerful Practices A Checklist for School
    Districts Addressing the Needs of Students with
    Asthma
  • Urban Resource Coalition
  • Rural Resource Coalition
  • Website www.aasa.org

20
EPA Resources to Help Us Begin
  • Tools for Schools
  • Design Tools for School
  • Indoor Air Quality Symposium (held each winter in
    Washington, DC)
  • H-SEAT
  • Mold Remediation online tutorials and
    publications
  • Website www.epa.gov/schools

21
Other IAQ Resources
  • National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
    www.edfacilities.org
  • Council for Educational Facilities Planners
    www.cefpi.org
  • Environmental Law Institute www.eli.org
  • Allergy Asthma Network, Mothers of Asthmatics
    http//www.aanma.org/

22
References
  • 1About IAQ Design Tools for Schools, Introduction
    (June 20, 2006).U.S. Environmental Protection
    Agency. http//www.epa.gov/iaq/schooldesign/introd
    uction.html.
  • 2Asthma Facts and Figures (June 2006). Asthma and
    Allergy Foundation of America. http//www.aafa.org
    /display.cfm?id8sub42.
  • 3Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Use and
    Mortality, 2002. (2004). Centers for Disease
    Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health
    and Human Services.
  • 4Colgan, C. (June 2003). What Schools Cost The
    Dollars and Sense of Construction, Maintenance,
    and Energy, American School Board Journal, 190,
    6. http//www.asbj.com/specialreports/0603Special
    20Reports/S1.html.
  • 5Indoor Air Quality and Student Performance
    (March 2001, Revised 2003). U.S. Environmental
    Protection Agency.
  • 6Moglia, D. A Smith DL MacIntosh and JL Somers
    (January 2006). Prevalence and Implementation of
    IAQ Programs in U.S. Schools Environmental
    Health Perspectives 114, 1, 141-146.
    http//www.ehponline.org/members/2005/7881/7881.pd
    f.
  • 7Schneider, M. (November 2002).Do School
    Facilities Affect Academic Outcomes? National
    Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.
  • 8School Facilities The Condition of Americas
    Schools, Report to Congressional Requesters
    (February 1995). U.S. General Accounting Office.
    http//www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pdf_files/he95061.p
    df.
  • 9Steps to a Healthier US Prevention Report
    (Winter 2004).U.S. Department of Health and Human
    Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health
    Promotion, 18, 2. http//odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pub
    s/prevrpt/04Volume18/Iss2Vol18.pdf.
  • 10Task Force to Study Public School Facilities
    Final Report (February 2004). State of Maryland,
    Library and Information Services, Office of
    Policy Analysis, Department of Legislative
    Services. http//mlis.state.md.us/other/education
    /public_school_facilities_2003/Final_Report.pdf.
  • 11The Inside Story A Guide to Indoor Air Quality
    (April 1995). U.S. Environmental Protection
    Agency and the United States Consumer Product
    Safety Commission, Office of Radiation and Indoor
    Air. http//www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/insidest.htmlInt
    ro.
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