Voluntary Guidelines for States
Development and  Implementation of a
School Environmental Health Program
                      School environments play an important role in
                      the health and academic success of children. Children spend 90%
                      of their time indoors and much of that time is spent in school.
                      Unhealthy school environments can affect children's health,
                      attendance, concentration, and performance, as well as lead to
                      expensive, time-consuming cleanup and remediation activities.
                      To foster children's health and academic achievement, healthy
                      school environments must be addressed and integrated within the
                      education system.
In response to a federal mandate, EPA has developed Voluntary Guidelines for States:
Development and Implementation of a School Environmental Health Program to help states
establish and implement environmental health programs in K-12 schools. These voluntary
guidelines are designed to help states address environmental health challenges in schools by:
  Summarizing the health benefits associated with school environmental health programs;
  Providing guidance for effective policy development and
  implementation;
  Outlining six steps states can take to establish successful
  and affordable school environmental health programs,
  including methods for identifying resources, developing a
  plan, and suggestions for how to implement and sustain
  the program;
  Assisting states in providing schools and school districts
  with technical tools and resources to help schools
  implement practical, cost-effective environmental
  health solutions; and
  Sharing best practices and highlighting case studies of
  successful, cost-effective state environmental health
  programs for schools that can be implemented by
  other states.
  United States
  Environmental Protection
  Agency
For more information, visit
         www.epa.gov/schools

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In addition, the guidelines include a model program that can be adapted by states to be used by
schools and school districts to help them develop effective environmental health programs. The
model program identifies five broad components that address common school environmental
health issues, and each component offers three tiers of actions that schools and school districts
can take to build an effective environmental
health program that matches their
capabilities and resources. Many of
the actions, particularly in Tier 1, can
be implemented with little or no cost
and still yield significant benefits and
cost savings. The model program also
includes information on improving
energy and water efficiency, enhancing
classroom comfort (e.g., lighting,
The model program included in Voluntary
Guidelines for States: Development and
Implementation of a School Environmental
Health Program identifies five broad
components that address school
environmental health issues:
temperature, and acoustics), conducting
new construction and renovation
projects, curriculum development, and
training for faculty and staff.
healthy environments
         healthy  kids
1. Practice Effective Cleaning and
  Maintenance
2. Prevent Mold and Moisture
3. Reduce Chemical and Environmental
  Contaminant Hazards
4. Ensure Good Ventilation
5. Prevent Pests and Reduce Pesticide
  Exposure
     f Children's I
EPA-100-F-12-002
www.epa.gov/schools
October 2012

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