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EPA Recognizes National Healthy Schools Day; Encourages Smart, Sensible, Sustainable Approach to School Pest Control; Promotes Webinar on Indoor Air Quality

For Release: April 8, 2014

Protecting children’s health where they live, learn, and play is a top priority for the EPA. April 8, 2014, is National Healthy Schools Day, a day dedicated to promoting healthy school environments for children. Healthy Schools Day is coordinated by Healthy Schools Network, Inc. in cooperation with the EPA to promote EPA’s environmental health guidelines and programs for schools and children’s health.

Children in the United States continue to face risks from exposure to pests and pesticides in schools stuck on a pest control treadmill. EPA encourages the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a smart, sensible, and sustainable approach to pest control that focuses on addressing the underlying issues that make schools attractive to pests. IPM reduces the risk from pests and pesticides for students and staff. National Healthy Schools Day provides a perfect opportunity to emphasize the importance of IPM in schools.

Today and throughout the year, EPA supports the use of IPM as a means to a healthier school environment. A school IPM program uses common sense strategies to reduce sources of food, water and shelter for pests in school buildings and grounds. An IPM program takes advantage of all pest management tactics, including the judicious and careful use of pesticides when necessary. Put simply, IPM is a safer, and usually less costly option for effective pest management in a school community.

By recently awarding more than $500,000 in grants to facilitate IPM use by schools, and establishing the EPA Center of Expertise for School IPM, EPA is helping school districts adopt this smart, sensible and sustainable approach to pest control.

EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM serves as a resource for school districts seeking to develop and implement an IPM program. The Center provides information and tools that school administrators, facility managers, and pest management service providers can use to create a safer learning environment for children. For more information, contact the Center of Expertise for School IPM at school.ipm@epa.gov.

Throughout the next year, EPA will continue to work towards the goal that all the nation’s children be covered by a verifiable and ongoing school IPM program. For more information on Healthy Schools Day, visit www.nationalhealthyschoolsday.org.

Upcoming Webinar hosted by EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation – Indoor Air Quality: April 8, 2014, 1-2:30 p.m EDT: Be a School IAQ Detective: Using the Walkthrough to Identify and Solve Common IAQ Problems. Register at www.epa.gov/schools/webinars.html.

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