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What Parents Can Do to Protect from Health Hazards at School

What to Look For


: .5in 1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in 4.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in">According to Healthy Schools Inc., there are signs when a building has indoor environmental problems. This guideline was written with schools in mind, but should help to identify any sick building. You may want to look further if:


: .5in 1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in 4.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> The roof leaks.


: .5in 1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in 4.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> The building is new or newly renovated and still smells like paint, varnish or glue.


: .5in 1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in 4.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> The building is fully carpeted.


: .5in 1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in 4.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Your child goes to school healthy but comes home ill, cranky or exhausted.


: .5in 1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in 4.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Your child comes home with odd odors clinging to his or her clothing.


: .5in 1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in 4.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Your child has health or learning problems only in that building.


: .5in 1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in 4.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Building maintenance and repair costs are often cut at budget time.




.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> The building smells damp or musty, or has been flooded.


.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in">


.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in">What to Ask Your School:


.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Is there a preventive maintenance plan?


.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Do you prevent pests without the routine use of toxic chemicals?


.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Do you promote good indoor air quality by preventing mold and dust, and by using nontoxic products?


.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Are the plumbing and wiring adequate?


.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Do you tell parents and employees in advance of hazards, such as pesticide use or renovations?


.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Do you inspect and control lead, asbestos and radon?


.0in 4.5in 5.0in 5.5in 6.0in 6.5in 7.0in 7.5in 8.0in"> Do you respond quickly to complaints?




Are there wholesome foods for snacks and meals?


Are the heating, lighting, ventilation, windows, doors and buses energy efficient?


Do you protect occupants during renovation and construction?



For more information on identifying and remedying a sick building, go to www.healthyschools.org.


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