IAQ Tools for Schools
Health and Achievement
Health Care Professionals and Healthy Indoor School Environments
The most effective school IAQ management teams often include a health care professional who is passionate about protecting children from environmental health threats.
School health officials, including school nurses, health aides and those who work in school-based health centers, have an important role to play in creating healthy indoor school environments as they often respond to indoor air quality (IAQ) related health issues. Family physicians may also see patients who exhibit signs of IAQ-related illness that may be derived from a school building. All types of health care professionals can be powerful advocates for improved school air quality.
Top Actions Health Care Professionals Can Take to Address IAQ
- If you work in a school district, communicate and coordinate with facilities staff, school officials, administrators, parents and students about school policies on environmental health issues.
- Adopt school policies to support Asthma Action Plans, student access to inhalers and other asthma medications, and emergency procedures for school staff to use when a student has an asthma attack.
- Encourage parents to make school personnel aware of their child's asthma or allergy condition so that school officials can help the child avoid triggers.
- Provide trainings and educational information to school staff, teachers and students on the importance of addressing environmental health issues.
EPA Resources for Health Care Professionals
- The IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit.
- Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals (PDF, 33 pp., 224 K).
- IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit: Problem Solving Wheel This interactive, user-friendly tool is designed to help identify the symptoms of health problems caused by poor IAQ, common IAQ issues in schools and how to address them.
- AsthmaCommunityNetwork.org This online Network is designed for community-based asthma programs and organizations that sponsor them — including representatives of health plans and providers, government health and environmental agencies, nonprofits, coalitions, schools and more. These programs help each other achieve remarkable health and quality of life improvements for people with asthma.
Other Resources for Health Care Professionals
- National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Access NASN's environmental health tools and resources, which include a wide range of information on managing asthma in school environments and the link between green cleaning and school nurses. www.nasn.org/
- National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) NEHA offers national credential programs related to environmental health and safety, sponsors technical workshops, and functions as a one-stop-shop for publications that provide NEHA members with education in virtually every area of the environmental field. www.neha.org/index.shtml
- Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) PEHSU are a source of medical information and advice on environmental conditions that influence children's health. These units are academically-based and are located across North America. Visit the PEHSU Overview of Children's Environmental Health Web page to access information on tips to protect children from environmental risks and resources for community outreach and education. www.aoec.org/pehsu/about.html