Schools often face special challenges in providing healthy indoor air for the children, staff and faculty. Why?1
- Schools typically have four times as many people indoors as an office building with the same floor space.
- School maintenance budgets often are the first cut in tight financial times
- As many as one in five people in the U.S. spend their days inside school buildings.2
- Many potential sources of indoor air problems may exist in the same building. Examples include locker rooms, darkrooms, labs, art rooms, diesel school bus exhaust, and multiple heating and ventilation systems.
- Schools sometimes must use rooms or facilities for different purposes than were originally intended.
Fortunately, these tools can help schools protect the health of everyone in the building:
Creating Healthy Indoor Air in Schools
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the American Lung Association, has designed the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools program that can help your school provide healthy air. The program gives schools the information and skills they need to manage air quality in a low-cost, practical manner. It helps schools prevent potential problems and efficiently manage them should they occur.
Tools for Schools includes a downloadable app; easy-to-use checklists with a flexible, step-by-step guide; facts on indoor air pollution sources, symptoms, and solutions; training videos; and sample documents.
If your school is renovating or building a new school, the IAQ Design Tools for Schools can help you improve the air indoors.
Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative Toolkit
The Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative provides a framework and tools that communities and schools can use to work together on a comprehensive approach to asthma management, including planning tools, policy recommendations, and education programs.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Indoor Air Tools for Schools Reference Guide, January 2009. EPA 402/K-07/008. Accessed August 21. 2015.
U.S. EPA. Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools: IAQ Coordinator's Guide. Accessed August 21, 2015.
Page last updated: March 14, 2020