Cleaning to Achieve Indoor Air Quality, Health and Performance in Schools2016 Green Clean Schools ForumOctober 25, 2016
The Three-Legged Stool: Making the Case for Proactive Indoor Air Quality Management and Healthy School Environments
Physical Environment • The most recent data indicate that the average school in the United States is 55 years old. • One-quarter of schools need extensive repair, and one-half of schools report complaints related to indoor air quality. • The physical environment includes not just the age and repair of the building but also the methods used to maintain it regularly, such as cleaning and pest control chemicals.
Student and Staff Performance • Health is directly related to students’ and staff members’ ability to think, learn and work. • Studies have consistently shown that healthy indoor air helps students achieve higher test scores. • Academic performance is a measurable way to demonstrate that improved IAQ has an effect.
Occupant Health • Coughing, sneezing and sinus congestion • Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and skin • Headache, dizziness and nausea • Allergies, shortness of breath and fatigue • Asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism, accounting for 13,800,000 missed school days. Poor indoor air quality can cause or exacerbate many health problems:
Proactive IAQ Management = Occupant Health • Children breathe proportionately more air and may be more susceptible to pollutants than adults. • Schools are often more crowded than other indoor spaces—on average, schools have four times the population density of a typical office.
Asthma and IAQ in Schools • More than 10 million school days are missed each year due to asthma. • IAQ affects the health, productivity, performance and comfort of students, teachers and staff. • Poor IAQ in a school building can cause students and staff to suffer adverse health effects, including respiratory infections, asthma and allergies. • Indoor and outdoor environmental factors—including dust mites, molds, cockroaches, pet dander, secondhand smoke, and poor air quality—can trigger asthma attacks.
Return on Investment Attendance Funding Benefits possible when asthma/allergy control environmental measures applied: Reducing average number of schools days missed of those with asthma by 50%..... $ 1,070,208/year Improving all asthmatics’ attendance by only ONE day…. $267,552/year North East Independent School District, TX
Proactive IAQ Management = • Health • Performance • Physical Environment Saves $$$
IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit What is it? A practical plan for improving your IAQ knowledge using straightforward solutions and individuals already on staff The Action Kit includes— • Reference guides • Checklists • Fact sheets • Sample policies • Comprehensive IAQ management plans • The Framework for Effective School IAQ Management • The Seven Technical Solutions
GreenCleanSchools.org • 5 Steps to Green Cleaning in Schools • Plan your program. • Select green products. • Introduce green equipment. • Adopt green cleaning procedures. • Share the responsibility.
Effective Cleaning and Maintenance • Cleaning & Maintenance Conduct routine inspections of school environment Develop a preventative maintenance plan Train cleaning/maintenance staff on protocols Ensure material safety data sheets (MSDS) are available to staff Clean and remove dust with damp cloth Vacuum using high-efficiency filters • Photo Credit: EPA Walkthrough of Langston Hughes Elementary School, New Orleans, LA
The term green cleaning is synonymous with environmentally-sensitive cleaning. In this document, the term ―green cleaning products‖ will replace the statutory language, ―environmentally-sensitive cleaning and maintenance products‖. These terms are often used interchangeably to describe cleaning and maintenance products that protect human health and the environment without sacrificing product effectiveness “ New York State Office of General Services On or before July 1, 2011, each local and regional board of education shall implement a green cleaning program for the cleaning and maintenance of school buildings and facilities in its district…Such cleaning product shall, to the maximum extent possible, minimize the potential harmful impact on human health and the environment. AN ACT CONCERNING GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS IN SCHOOLS –State of Connecticut
Indoor Air Quality • 69.7% of districts have requirements for approval of cleaning and maintenance products before use in schools by teachers, administrative or custodial staff, or contractors
What does the Safer Choice label mean? • Strictly a voluntary program • Verification by a trusted government agency that products contain only safer chemical ingredients and that they are: • Safer for families, pets, communities, and the environment • Safer for workers and work places • Work well • An appealing label that purchasers can trust • Facilitates rapid decision-making Safer Choice Program
Safer Choice in Schools • Cleaning schools with products containing ingredients that are safer for people and the environment: • Protects students who are often more susceptible to pollutants than adults • Can lower student and faculty absences • Protects the health of custodial staff who have frequent interaction with cleaning chemicals Safer Choice Program
Safer Choice Back-to-School Campaign • Addresses need for students to be present in a safe, healthy learning environment • PSAs • Safer Choice-labeled Products in Action: Cleaning a School Desk • Safer Choice-labeled Products in Action: Mopping a School • Blog for Green Schools National Network • Postcard • Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram Safer Choice Program
Indoor Air Quality 70.9% of districts that required schools conduct periodic inspections for clutter that prevents effective cleaning and maintenance
Indoor Air Quality 44.1 % of districts provide funding for or offer professional development for school faculty and staff on green cleaning products/practices 63% for custodial and maintenance staff
Indoor Air Quality 55.0% of districts required a newly hired person who oversees custodial, maintenance, and environmental issues to have formal training in issues related to the physical environment of buildings and health hazards likely to be encountered in schools
EPA Has the Resources to Help You Get Started! IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit IAQ Tools for Schools Mobile App Framework for Effective IAQ Management IAQ Master Class Professional Training Webinar Series Energy Savings Plus Health Guide epa.gov/iaq-schools
IAQ Master Class Professional Training Webinar Series Free CEU’s What is it? A comprehensive series of ten 1-hour webinars to give you the capacity to start, improve or sustain an IAQ management program • Healthy Indoor Environments in Schools • Making the Case for Health, Performance and Facilities • Optimizing HVAC Management • Controlling Mold and Moisture • Integrating Energy Efficiency and Indoor Air Quality • Cleaning and Maintenance • Integrated Pest Management • Managing Asthma Triggers • Materials Selection • Controlling Pollutant Sources
IAQ Tools for Schools Mobile App What is it? An immediate, in-hand inspection and documentation tool for putting your IAQ management plan into action The Mobile App— • Contains the same checklists and fact sheets as the Action Kit • Makes it easy to document problems and send information to your team • Offers recommendations and technical assistance specific to the issues you encounter
Download the School IAQ Assessment Mobile App Today • Android: Google Play • Apple: iTunes • developer.epa.gov/school-iaq-assessment-tool