IAQ Tools for Schools
Develop Your Program
Solutions to Common IAQ Issues
What's your IAQ issue?
Taking specific administrative, maintenance and operational actions can create healthy indoor school environments. Good indoor air quality (IAQ) requires adequate ventilation and source control. The Framework for Effective School IAQ Management: Technical Solutions (PDF, 3 pp., 587 K, about PDF) help school facilities and maintenance staff address these and other common issues to effectively manage IAQ risks. This guidance can be used to identify, correct and prevent IAQ problems using simple, low- to no-cost solutions.IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit and the management practices of leading school IAQ programs. They help everyone involved in a school or district's IAQ program understand how day-to-day actions and effective maintenance can help a school achieve the goals of its IAQ management plans.
Provide Quality HVAC
- Inspect HVAC systems regularly and establish a maintenance plan.
- Change filters regularly and ensure condensate pans are draining.
- Provide outdoor air ventilation according to ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010 or local codes.
- Clean air supply diffusers, return registers and outside air intakes.
- Keep unit ventilators clear of books, papers and other items.
- Use the Ventilation Checklist (PDF) (8 pp., 405 K, about PDF) from the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit.
Read more at www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/ventilationenergy.html
- Conduct routine moisture inspections.
- Establish a mold prevention and remediation plan.
- Maintain indoor humidity levels between 30 and 60 percent.
- Address moisture problems promptly. Dry wet areas within 24 to 48 hours.
- Review EPA's "Mold Remediation in Schools and Large Buildings" to learn about mold growth in schools and how it can be managed.
Read more www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/tfs/guideh.html
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- Inspect and monitor school environments for pests.
- Establish an IPM plan.
- Use spot treatments and baits rather than broad pesticide applications.
- Communicate with occupants prior to pesticide use.
- Mark indoor and outdoor areas treated with pesticides.
- Use the IPM Checklist (PDF) (3 pp., 120 K) from the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit.
Read more at www.epa.gov/pesticides/ipm/index.htm
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Conduct routine inspections of school environments.
- Develop a preventive maintenance plan.
- Train cleaning and maintenance staff on IAQ protocols.
- Ensure material safety data sheets, or MSDS, are available to all staff.
- Clean and remove dust with a damp cloth.
- Vacuum using high-efficiency filters.
Read more at www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/clean_maintenance.html
Smart Materials Selection
- Maintain products inventory.
- Develop low-emitting products purchasing and use policies.
- Use only formaldehyde-free materials.
- Use only low-toxicity and low-emitting paint.
- Select products based on product rating systems.
- Use the least toxic cleaners possible — only those approved by the school district.
Read more at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/envo_products.html
Aggressive Source Control
- Conduct regular building walkthrough inspections and use the Walkthrough Inspection Backgrounder (PDF) (1 page, 422 K) and Checklist (PDF) (2 pp., 70 K).
- Test for radon. Mitigate if necessary.
- Implement a hazardous materials plan that addresses use, labeling, storage and disposal.
- Establish a school chemical management and inventory plan.
- Implement comprehensive tobacco-free schools policies.
- Establish an anti-idling school bus policy.
- Use walk-off mats at building entrances.
- Conduct pollutant-releasing activities when school is unoccupied.
Read more at www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/chem_management.html
IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit: IAQ Reference Guide
Common-sense measures for preventing, diagnosing and resolving most IAQ problems with minimal cost and effort.
Environmental Contaminants in Schools: Information on asbestos, chemicals, lead, mercury, pests, radon and other indoor contaminants.
High Performance Schools: Green building practices for schools to improve occupant health and performance.
HealthySEAT: Customizable database to track facility conditions, as well as federal safety, security and occupational health requirements.
Virtual Walkthrough Webinar (PDF) (4 pp., 48 K): Hear from IAQ experts on how conducting school walkthroughs is a vital step in having a comprehensive IAQ management program that identifies and diagnoses IAQ issues. Read a Questions and Answers document from the Webinar that covers information on testing air pollutants in schools.
Preventing Occupational Respiratory Disease from Exposures Caused by Dampness in Office Buildings, Schools, and Other Nonindustrial Buildings.
This guidance includes a building inspection checklist and may be of interest to people working in office buildings, schools and other nonindustrial buildings. www.cdc.gov/niosh. Download the PDF file (28 pp, 635 K)