December 2012

Volume 21, Number 12

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EPA Releases Guidelines for Healthier Schools

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New EPA guidelines for healthy schools include a recommendation to revise school bus schedules to minimize idling.

Photo: Andrei Niemimäki

By Erin Weaver

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a set of guidelines to help states establish and maintain environmental health programs for schools. Part of EPA’s Healthy Schools program, “Voluntary Guidelines for States: Development and Implementation of a School Environmental Health Program” is aimed at states, school districts, K–12 schools, and individuals, and can be adapted for other school-related institutions, such as childcare centers.

The guidelines focus on maintenance; moisture and mold issues; pests and pesticides; ventilation; and contaminants that include PCBs, radon, and diesel exhaust. Along with recommendations on assessing existing resources among state agencies, the guidelines offer case studies and technical advice, including regular HVAC inspection, selection of low-emitting paints and cleaners, and revision of school bus schedules to minimize idling. For more information, see


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November 29, 2012