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Your School Environment An Ounce of Prevention Maryann Suero Ph.D. US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5 Regional Team Manager, Children’s Health April 6, 2002 What is your school environment? A Healthy School Environment is NECESSARY POSSIBLE

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your school environment an ounce of prevention

Your School Environment An Ounce of Prevention

Maryann Suero Ph.D.

US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5

Regional Team Manager, Children’s Health

April 6, 2002

school ems the ounce of prevention approach
School EMS: The “Ounce of Prevention” Approach
  • What is a School EMS?
  • What are the benefits of a school EMS?
  • What would an EMS for my school look like?
  • How can my school adopt an EMS?
what is a school environmental management system
What is a School Environmental Management System?
  • A way to assess and continually improve the environment
  • Not a SCARY Process
  • Work in a stepwise fashion to address a school environment in an integrated and comprehensive way
some benefits of a school ems
Some Benefits of a School EMS
  • Reduce HAZARDS to students, teachers, staff, visitors in schools
  • Reduce Liability (reduce insurance costs???)
  • Increase Environmental Stewardship
  • Improve Communications
  • Improve Relationships
    • Parents / Administration
    • Teachers / Administration
what might a school ems look like not all at once
What Might a School EMS Look Like?NOT ALL AT ONCE
  • Develop an environmental policy
  • Self-audit
  • Use a pollution prevention approach
  • Training / awareness / competence
  • On-going evaluation / improvement
  • Improve communications
  • One step at a time!!!!!
some elements to consider in the self audit
Some Elements to Consider in the Self-Audit
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Use of Pesticides (inside & outside)
  • Presence of Hazardous Chemicals
    • In classrooms
    • In janitor’s closets, boiler rooms, garages
  • Fire prevention
  • Food safety
  • Radon
  • Spills / Emergency Response plans
  • Diesel bus idling policy
  • Pollution Prevention / Waste Management
helpful hints for building a school ems
Helpful Hints for Building a School EMS
  • Use Team Approach
  • Pace Yourself
  • Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel
  • Make use of existing resources
    • IAQ Tools for Schools Program
    • School IPM Program
    • Food Safety Program
    • Waste Wise Program
  • Go with your strengths
how can my school adopt an ems
How Can My School Adopt an EMS?
  • Identify people who sense the need
  • Educate yourselves (great resources available)
  • Figure out who else needs to be involved
  • Convince, cajole, coerce them to join
  • Just Do It !
resources for schools
Resources for Schools
  • Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schoolswww.epa.gov/iaq/schools
  • Integrated Pest Managementwww.epa.gov/pesticides/ipm
  • Mercury www.mercury-k12.org/
  • Resources for Schools (handout)
epa resources on ceh
EPA Resources on CEH
  • www.epa.gov/children
  • Tips to Protect Children from Environmental Threats (www.epa.gov/children/whatwe/tips.htm)
  • Engage Youth in Children's Environmental Health Protection (www.epa.gov/children/whatwe/engage.pdf)
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Please feel free to contact me for more information, or to suggest ways we may be able to partner in activities that will have a positive impact on children’s health

Maryann Suero

Regional Team Manager, Children’s Health

US Environmental Protection Agency

Region 5

77 W. Jackson Blvd, T-13J

Chicago, IL 60604

(312) 886-9077

suero.maryann@epa.gov