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Workshop Abstracts

Name of Session:

Session B 13

Promoting Healthy Schools: Addressing Toxic Hazards in the School Environment

Description of Session:

This panel session will present four examples of important school environmental health problems and solutions. Solving these problems helps to meet the objectives of CDC’s Healthy Places, Healthy Schools goals. Approximately 20% of the U.S. population occupy school buildings daily—over 53 million students and 7 million staff. Schools face many environmental health and safety issues: poor indoor air quality (IAQ), chemicals (mercury, laboratory chemicals, cleaners, etc), and occasionally, pollutants from previous uses of a school site. In fact, GAO reports that 50% of U.S. schools report at least one environmental problem. These exposures have important public health implications. For example, there are 14 million lost school days each year as a result of asthma-related absences, many attributable to asthma triggers found in schools.

The panelists will conduct presentations on the following topics: 1) an innovative process of utilizing hazardous waste disposal grants to remove chemical hazards in schools; 2) the emerging issue of mercury in school gym flooring; 3) evidence-based outcomes utilizing EPA’s Tools for Schools program to address school IAQ problems; and 4) addressing potential exposure and risk communication issues when siting schools on Brownfields sites.

Presenter(s) E-mail
Moderator: Kenny Foscue Degrees: MPH

Presenter 1:

 Bob Vanderslice Degrees: PhD
Title of Presentation: Improving the Management of Hazardous Chemicals in Rhode Island High School Science Laboratories

Presenter 2:

Kenny Foscue Degrees: MPH
Title of Presentation: EPA’s Tools for Schools Program: Evaluating Its Effectiveness at Improving Indoor Air Quality in Connecticut Schools

Presenter 3:

Tannie Eshenaur Degrees: MPH
Title of Presentation: Communicating about Exposure to Mercury Vapors from School Gym Floors 

Presenter 4:

Brendan Boyle Degrees: MPA
Title of Presentation: Siting Schools Safely on Brownfield Sites