EPA Webcasts Focus On ABCs of School Environmental Health

In celebration of Children's Health Month (October), EPA is offering Webcasts to raise awareness about protecting children from environmental risks, such as indoor air pollution, while they are in school.

Beginning Oct. 5, the Webcasts will be available throughout the month for parents, educators, facility managers, school administrators, architects, design engineers, school nurses, teachers, staff and healthcare practitioners.

"What better place to teach children the importance of a healthy environment than the place they do most of their learning -- at school," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Working with our school partners, EPA is providing our future leaders a healthy, cleaner environment in which to learn and play."

EPA also is releasing its annual Children's Environmental Health Report that highlights the agency's recent efforts to protect the health of children by addressing threats in the environments where they develop, grow and thrive. Improving school environments, addressing indoor and outdoor air quality, and reducing exposures to chemicals and pesticides are a few of the activities described in the report, "Children's Environmental Health: 2006 Report; Environment, Health and a Focus on Children."

The report also highlights the Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool (HealthySEAT), a software program that was developed by EPA, to ensure a safe and healthy environment in schools. HealthySEAT provides a healthy environment by monitoring all of the school's environmental health and safety issues.

Children are more susceptible to risks, because they are still developing; consume more air, water and food in proportion to their body weight than adults; and increase their exposures during normal playing and learning activities.

Sign up for one or more of the Webcasts and view the 2006 Children's Environmental Health Report at http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/chm.htm.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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