Is my classroom environment safe?

The Healthy School Environments Web pages are intended to serve as a gateway to on-line resources to help facility managers, school administrators, architects, design engineers, school nurses, parents, teachers and staff address environmental health issues in schools. 

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How can I improve the indoor air quality at my school?

EPA's Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools Kit shows schools how to carry out a practical plan of action to improve indoor air problems at little or no cost using straightforward activities and in-house staff.

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What about pollution from school buses?

The goal of Clean School Bus USA is to reduce both children's exposure to diesel exhaust, and the amount of air pollution created by diesel school buses.

  • There are roughly 450,000 public school buses in the United States; 390,000 are powered by diesel fuel.

  • New standards set by EPA will go into effect over the next 2 to 5 years resulting in cleaner bus engines. However, it will take time for these new cleaner buses to replace the existing fleet of public school buses.

  • Children are vulnerable to the effects of diesel emissions which can cause respiratory disease and exacerbate long-term conditions such as asthma. Implementing EPA's Clean School Bus Program will result in substantial health benefits including: fewer cases of lower respiratory symptoms in healthy children; fewer cases of upper respiratory and asthma symptoms in asthmatic children; and fewer cases of acute bronchitis.

  • School buses that leave their engines idling while standing, often very near schools, create indoor as well as outdoor air pollution problems.

  • About 67% (260,000) of the diesel school buses were manufactured between 1990 and 2002. These buses can be made much cleaner by upgrading or retrofitting their existing emission control systems.

  • About 33% (129,000) of all diesel school buses are pre-1990 buses. These buses are the heaviest polluters and are good candidates for early replacement.

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What can I do at school to reduce climate change?

Students, educators and school administrators can all play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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What about pesticides in schools?

Ask your school administrator to use integrated pest management as a safer and often less costly alternative to regularly scheduled spraying.

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How can I protect my kids from the harmful effects of the sun?

Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to serious health effects, such as skin cancer, cataracts, and immune suppression. EPA's SunWise Program can help you protect yourself and your students from overexposure to the sun through the use of classroom-based, school-based, and community-based advisories.

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How can I learn more about our environment?

Whether you are a teacher or a student in kindergarten, or doing postdoctoral research, EPA has many educational resources to offer you when you visit our educational resources web pages.

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How can I learn about national environmental conditions and trends?

EPA's "Environmental Indicators Initiative" seeks to improve the Agency's ability to report on the status of and trends in environmental conditions and their impacts on human health and the nation's natural resources.

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How can I learn more about toxic releases in the environment?

EPA's Toxics Release Inventory database provides information to the public about releases of toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities into the environment through the air, water, and land. Our "Search by Zip Code" page allows you to find zip code-based information from numerous EPA databases about facilities, watersheds, enforcement actions, and other searches.

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Where can I learn more about environmental regulations?

Laws often do not include all the details needed to explain how an individual, business, state or local government, or non-profit might follow the law. In order to make the laws work on a day-to-day level, Congress authorizes certain government agencies - including EPA - to create regulations. Regulations set specific requirements about what is legal and what isn't. For example, a regulation issued by EPA to implement a law called the "Clean Air Act" might explain what levels of a pollutant - such as sulfur dioxide - are safe. EPA's site provides basic information about how we write our regulations. Moreover, enables you to search, view, and comment on regulations, topic-by-topic, that are being proposed from all federal agencies.

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Get free wallpaper images for your computer desktop

Enjoy the environment with images of the earth, rivers, wetlands, and other natural scenes as "wallpaper" or "desktop" images for your computer.

Earth Day: At school
Celebrating Earth Day at school