Healthy Schools PA, a program of Women for a Healthy Environment, was created to address environmental risk factors in the school environment and to provide solutions that result in a healthy setting, one in which children can thrive and learn, free from toxins. Some of these risk factors include cleaning supplies, mold, building renovations, bus idling, maintenance equipment, pesticides or radon.
To learn more about this program, visit the Healthy Schools PA website
Municipalities across the country are being impacted by the presence of lead in pipes. Children exposed to lead are at risk of severely impeded cognitive development and lifelong learning challenges.
PA School Code: Required Testing for Lead in Drinking Water
HERE TO HELP
Radon could be a serious threat to your school. The Radon in Schools Workgroup recommends the following policy solutions to radon exposure:
There is no federal regulation concerning mold remediation in schools and no state policy in PA. Sinus inflammation, nosebleeds, respiratory diseases and irritation of existing asthma symptoms and allergies can result from mold. Moisture and mold can enter schools and buildings through any structural weakness (like leaky pipes or windows). Even dead mold can cause reactions in some people, so mold must be removed, as well as killed.
Many chemical pesticides have been associated with health and environmental issues, including negative dermatological, gastrointestinal, neurological, carcinogenic, respiratory, reproductive and endocrine effects. Residues of pesticides can be found in a great variety of everyday foods and beverages, including cooked meals, water, wine, fruit juices, refreshments and animal feeds.
The health effects of pesticides depend on the type of pesticide. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some, such as the organophosphates and carbamates, affect the nervous system. Others may irritate the skin or eyes. Some pesticides may be carcinogens. Others may affect the hormone or endocrine system in the body. The pesticide toxicity categories are determined by the effects caused if the pesticide is consumed, inhaled, or placed in contact with the skin.
Our vision is that every child can learn and develop in an environment that is safe, healthy and toxic-free. We empower communities, schools, and childcare centers to properly practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM), promote the use of safe, pesticide-free alternatives for managing pests and weeds and educate community members on the health and environmental impacts of pesticide exposure. Learn more about our vision and why you should take the Good Riddance RoundUp Pledge.
Asthma is a leading chronic illness among children and adolescents (1 in 10) in the United States and is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. Air quality greatly impacts children’s education.
An estimated 50% of the nation’s schools have problems linked to poor indoor air quality. Indoor air quality can negatively affect children’s ability to consistently attend school and learn.
A recent United States Government Accountability Office report found the average age of our public school buildings is 40 years old. Whether a school district is renovating a school, building a new facility or maintaining existing buildings, many environmental factors contribute to poor air quality and negative health impacts.
Whether a school district is renovating a school, building a new facility or maintaining existing buildings, parking lots, playgrounds and fields, many environmental factors contribute to poor air quality and negative health impacts.