School Districts Get Top Grades for Indoor Air

Eight school districts that are leading the way to prevent and solve indoor air quality problems in schools were honored at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Symposium in Washington, D.C., from Dec. 4-6. Indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in schools can lead to a range of health problems, including allergy symptoms and asthma attacks. Students and staff exposed to poor IAQ can also suffer diminished performance and concentration.

"Indoor air quality leaders are doing great things in their communities and serving as role models for communities across the nation," said Elizabeth Craig, deputy assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "Together, we will continue improving the indoor air quality in all our nation's schools."

The three-day symposium focused on the latest research and information on environmental health topics such as radon, mold, asthma management, maintaining ventilation systems for good IAQ, integrated pest management, green cleaning products and practices, and best practices of high-performing schools.

EPA introduced the IAQ TfS program in 1995 as a comprehensive resource to help schools maintain a healthy environment in school buildings by identifying, correcting, and preventing IAQ problems. The program has provided hundreds of schools with a variety of easy-to-use products, materials, and tools at no cost to help them implement an indoor air quality management program. A recent U.S. Center for Disease Control study found that half the nation's schools, representing 30 million children and staff, now have IAQ management programs in place, 85 percent of which relied on EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools.

This year's TfS award winners are Connecticut Technical High School System, Middletown, Conn.; Newark Public Schools, Newark, N.J.; North East Independent School District, San Antonio, Texas; Amity Regional School District No. 5, Woodbridge, Conn; Baldwin Union Free School District, Baldwin, N.Y.; Bellingham School District, Bellingham, Wash.; Diane Rhodes of San Antonio, Texas; and Peggy Caruso of Katy, Texas.

For information on Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools, go to