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According to the EPA’s website, more than 53 million children and nearly 6 million adults spend a significant part of their day in America's schools. So it's no surprise that the agency would try to help school officials, parents and students understand environmental safety in school buildings.
The Healthy Schools Toolkit contains over 50 documents covering topics like asbestos, chemical cleanouts, green cleaning, and recycling. Chris Whitley is in the office of public affairs for EPA Region 7.
“Overall, schools sometimes present some very unique issues, in terms of how they need to be kept environmentally safe and healthy. When you stop to think about it, in some small towns, a high school science lab may be the only place where certain types of hazardous chemicals may exist in the whole community,” Whitley said.
The toolkit includes PowerPoint presentations, flyers and brochures, as well as a list of resources and contact information schools may need if an incident arises. Jason Dial, superintendent of the Bolivar school district, intends to sift through the information.
“We are not experts in all of those areas, so any guidance from the EPA helps us understand better how to deal with those sensitive issues,” Dial said.
EPA Region 7 covers schools in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. All of the documents are downloadable on the agency's website: www.epa.gov.
For KSMU News, I’m Anna Thomas.