Connector E-Newsletter#52: Achieve Higher Test Scores with Improved IAQ
April 5, 2013

SEPA

Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
IN THIS ISSUE:
~	News and Events
~	"The Connection Between IAQ and Student Performance"
~	"Take Action! Steps You Can Take to Improve Academic Achievement"
~	"Get Answers to Your Questions"
NEWS AND EVENTS
	Participate in National Healthy Schools Day. Join us in
celebrating the 11th annual National Healthy Schools Day
on April 30, 2013! Show your commitment to healthy school
environments for all children: become a Healthy Schools
Day partner, host an activity or event in your area, and join
in spreading the word. To learn more, check out http://www.
nationalheaithyschoolsday.org/
	Live Streaming of the Green Ribbon Schools (GRS)
Winners Watch the announcement by U.S. Department of
Education on April 22, at 10 a.m. ET on http://www.ustream.tv/
channel/education-department
RESOURCES
	Visit American Association of School Administrators'
(AASA) New Site! The site titled "IAQ in Practice" features
testimonials from superintendents and district leaders on how
they have used IAQ to improve their schools and districts.
http://iaqinpractice.org/home/
	In Case You Missed It! Check out resources from the 3rd
Annual Green Schools National Conference, that was held in
West Palm Beach, Fla., February 22-24, 2013, here: http://
www.greenschoolsnationalconference.org/
Did You Know ...
You can expect increased academic
performance and health in your school
when you make improvements to your
maintenance and repair programs? Check
out the IAQ Tools for Schools Frequently
Asked Questions page to find out more.
How You Can Stay Connected to the
IAQ Tools for Schools Network:
	Share successful IAQ management
strategies on the Email Discussion List.
Join today by sending a blank email
message to schools_iaq_connector-
subscribe@lists.epa.gov. Then check
your email inbox for confirmation and
membership details.
	Access EPA's online IAQ Resources
for Schools. Find factsheets, guidance
and other interactive tools to help
create healthy learning environments
in schools.
	Check out the Calendar of Events
regularly to discover what other school
leaders across the country are doing to
improve iAQ.
Download National Academy of Science's Report:
Attributes for Healthy Learning. Learn more about the
accumulating evidence that shows that the quality of indoor
environments can affect the health and productivity of adults and children, http://books.nap.edu/catalog.
php?record_id=11756

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	Read USGBC's Report: State of our Schools. Read
this report to learn about the need to modernize U.S.
elementary and secondary schools to meet health, safety and
educational standards, http://www.centerforgreenschools.org/
stateofschools
	The Healthy Schools Report, released by the Healthy
Schools Network, this report features state-by-state data
on health risks present in our nation's schools. http://www.
healthyschools.org/HealthySchools2015.pdf
To learn more about upcoming events for school stakeholders,
visit our Calendar of Events site to determine if there is an event near you.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN IAQ AND STUDENT PERFORMANCE
Scientific research continually provides evidence that indoor environments can have a major impact on
academic performance. Dampness and mold; problems with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
systems; insufficient cleaning or excessive use of cleaning chemicals; chemical emissions from products
and materials; the presence of pesticides and allergens; and other maintenance issues can trigger a host
of health problems, including asthma, allergies, other respiratory diseases, infectious outbreaks, lethargy
and discomfort. These health problems can increase absenteeism and reduce academic performance.
Improvements in school environmental quality can enhance student performance, as well as teacher and staff
productivity and retention.
IAQ problems can cause increased absences due to respiratory infections, allergic diseases from biological
contaminants, or adverse reactions to chemicals used in schools. Building factors or pollutants most frequently
associated with respiratory health effects include:
	Moisture, water damage and microbiological pollutants.
	Animal and other biological allergens.
	Combustion byproducts such as nitrogen dioxide.
	Moisture or dirt in HVAC systems.
	Low ventilation rates.
	Formaldehyde.
	Chemicals in cleaning products.
	Outdoor pollutants or vehicle exhaust.
The Evidence
Scientific evidence has long demonstrated an association between poor IAQ and respiratory health effects,
including asthma. Maintenance issues in schools, such as insufficient cleaning or excessive use of cleaning
chemicals, have been shown to trigger asthma and allergies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), asthma is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. Multiple studies have found
that children's overall performance decreases with illnesses or absences from school.
Access Previous Connector
E-Newsletters Online
Can't find a previous IAQ Tools for
Schools Connector e-newsletter in your
inbox? No problem! Visit the e-newsletter
archive on the IAQ Tools for Schools
website to access printable versions
(PDFs) of all past editions.

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Did you know that...?
	Health, attendance and academic performance can improve with increased maintenance.
	Schools with better physical conditions show improved academic performance, while schools with fewer
janitorial staff and higher maintenance backlogs show poorer academic performance.
	Breathing dirty air may lower kid's IQ (intelligence quotient).
	Increasing ventilation rates can improve student performance and allow fresh air to be circulated throughout the
classroom.
	Teachers are the most important determinant of students' academic success and high teacher absentee rates
can affect student performance.
TAKE ACTION! STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO IMPROVE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
School districts can integrate no-cost and low-cost activities that safeguard the school environment and
achieve significant health and performance improvements. School districts with proactive facility maintenance
programs have demonstrated a strong business case for coordinating activities to improve the physical
environment, as well as student health, in an integrated program focused on improved academic achievement.
1.	Establish an IAQ Management Program. Poor IAQ often results from neglect. Take a proactive stance
to managing potential IAQ hazards by demanding regular and proper maintenance of indoor environments
and HVAC systems. Programs can focus on the maintenance of existing school facilities and to new school
construction. These resources can help you get started:
	IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit.
	Key Drivers and Technical Solutions.
	EPA's slideshow on IAQ and student performace.
2.	Control Air Ventilation. Most schools' ventilation rates are below recommended levels. However, ensuring
adequate air ventilation rates in all classrooms can:
	Reduce absences and the transmission of infectious diseases.
	Improve the overall health and productivity of teachers.
	Improve test scores and student performance in completing mental tasks.
	In addition, ensuring that heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) drain pans and other components
are clean reduces the chance of occupant illnesses.
3.	Control Mold and Moisture to Reduce Asthma Symptoms. Dampness and mold in homes, offices and
schools cause a significant increase in several respiratory and asthma - related health outcomes. Asthma is
a leading cause of absenteeism in schools, which hinders classroom achievement.
4.	Coordinate or Integrate Health, Environmental and Maintenance Programs into a Unified Effort.
Highly coordinated and integrated programs can save resources and improve results from all programs, and
can be a key driver of improved academic performance.

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GET ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
Is there a topic you want to see covered in an IAQ Tools for Schools Connector e-newsletter? Do you have
suggestions for a webinar or e-newsletter feature, or do you have questions about a specific IAQ topic? If
so, send us an email at IAQTfSConnector@cadmusgroup.com.
Share YOUR news and events! Send us information to share with the school IAQ community. It could
be featured in the next Connector e-newsletter. Email your news and events to IAQTfSConnector@
cadmusgroup.com.
The IAQ Tools for Schools guidance is a comprehensive resource designed to help schools maintain a
healthy environment in school buildings by identifying, correcting and preventing IAQ problems. Learn
more about the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

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