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Maryann Suero, PhD US Environmental Protection Agency suero.maryann@epa 312-886-9077 PowerPoint Presentation
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Maryann Suero, PhD US Environmental Protection Agency suero.maryann@epa 312-886-9077

Maryann Suero, PhD US Environmental Protection Agency suero.maryann@epa 312-886-9077

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Maryann Suero, PhD US Environmental Protection Agency suero.maryann@epa 312-886-9077

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  1. Maryann Suero, PhD US Environmental Protection Agency suero.maryann@epa.gov 312-886-9077 Part 2: Improving School Environmental Health

  2. Objectives: To Understand rationale for integrated approach to improving school environments Understand benefits of periodic school assessment Gain skills to make informed decisions for reducing toxic exposures using evidence-based, no-cost / low cost integrated strategies that will ensure schools are healthier and safer

  3. Indoor Environmental Concerns that Could Cause Bigger Problems Moisture Intrusion Chemical Mishandling Building Materials of Concern Building Maintenance Issues Occupants’ Influences Outside Influences

  4. Challenges for Improving Environmental Health in Schools • Schools may be unaware of issues • Lack funds for remediation • Vulnerable populations; high population density • No clear authority or guidelines • Hazardous chemicals, “unsophisticated” users • Emerging issues • Many competing priorities • Can’t do everything at once

  5. Consequences of Unresolved Environmental Concerns

  6. Moisture / Water Intrusion Mold Asthma and Allergy Exacerbation

  7. Moisture / Water Intrusion Structural Damage

  8. Structural Damage Pests Lead Poisoning Fire Injuries

  9. Pesticide Pests Asthma and Allergy Exacerbation

  10. Pesticide

  11. Mold Mold Mold Structural Damage Structural Damage Moisture Asthma and Allergy Exacerbation Asthma and Allergy Exacerbation Asthma and Allergy Exacerbation Asthma and Allergy Exacerbation Asthma and Allergy Exacerbation Asthma and Allergy Exacerbation Courtesy of CDC

  12. “Ounce of Prevention” ApproachEnvironmental Management System (EMS) • A way to assess and continually improve the environment • Work in a stepwise fashion to address learning environment in an integrated and comprehensive way • Use existing tools • Build on existing efforts

  13. Model School EMS For Continuous Improvement

  14. Holistic Approaches to Healthy Learning Environments Primary prevention Environmental management system approach Healthier Learning Environments Healthier, More Productive Students & Staff

  15. Focus on Primary Prevention • Most hazards can be avoided through good maintenance based on common sense principles • Ensure good ventilation • Control moisture, reduce water damage • Properly vent combustion appliances • Consciously work to avoid or reduce exposure to toxics • Include injury prevention / other hazards • Slip / trip / falls • Electrical

  16. Model School EH Program http://epa.gov/schools/ehguidelines/

  17. Some Benefits of a School EMS • Reduce Hazards to students, faculty, staff, visitors in schools • Reduce Liability(reduce insurance costs???) • Increase Environmental Stewardship • Improve Communications • Improve Relationships • Students / Parents / Administration • Faculty / Staff / Administration

  18. What Might a School EMS Look Like? • Develop an environmental policy • Self-audit / assessment • Use a pollution prevention approach • Training / awareness / competence • On-going evaluation / improvement • Improve communications • One step at a time!!!!! What gets measured, gets managed What gets assessed, gets addressed

  19. Benefits of Periodic Facility Assessment Active • Identify and correct hazards before they result in: • productivity and performance losses • school closures • costly building clean-ups • regulatory enforcement actions • community concern and media attention • Collect school- and hazard- specific data necessary to make a case for needed renovation, repair and maintenance dollars • Demonstrate your commitment to health and safety

  20. Why assess? What gets assessed gets addressed Identify areas / issues that have improved Identify areas / issues where improvement is needed

  21. Some School EH Assessment Tools

  22. Virtual Assessment

  23. Building Air Intake

  24. Wrap Up “Ounce of Prevention” ApproachEnvironmental Management System • Carry out Periodic Assessments • Work in a stepwise fashion to address school environment in an integrated and comprehensive way • Use / adapt existing tools • Build on existing efforts • Reach out to USEPA; we can provide on-site training, non-regulatory technical assistance • One step at a time!

  25. Apply to ISBE, more at http://www.isbe.net/green_ribbon/ • Pillar One: Net zero environmental impact • Pillar Two: The school improves the health and performance of students and staff • An integrated school environmental health program • High standards of nutrition, fitness, and quantity of quality outdoor time • Pillar Three: 100% of school’s graduates are environmentally and sustainability literate

  26. Maryann Suero, PhD US Environmental Protection Agency suero.maryann@epa.gov 312-886-9077