In 1992, I began an extensive review of environmental, and health and safety (EHS) issues involving the Burlington, Massachusetts public school system. During this evaluation, I have investigated and researched a broad variety of concerns and potential problems outlined in the table of contents. Many of the conditions I encountered represented significant safety hazards or potential environmental problems. While attempting to research and resolve these problems, I also noted a lack of readily available guidance for identifying EHS issues in schools as well as a hesitancy by regulatory agencies to get involved with school issues.
Based on this premise, I intend to report the results of my ongoing evaluation so that it may be used as a guide by parents, staff, and public officials when reviewing EHS issues in their school system. I believe the snapshot provided by this report is consistent to the types and severity of problems that could be found in schools nation wide. I urge all of you to consider the results reported here and to review these issues at your schools. Even though some of the anecdotes I will report may suggest otherwise, our story is a success story in that we have made the effort to identify the concerns and to take action to correct the problems. I hope this study will enable you to do the same.
I plan to provide a general description of the issues I have reviewed. My intent is to provide the layman with an understanding of the issue, potential problems associated with the issue, tips and suggestions for assisting the evaluation, and lessons I have learned. I will also provide information describing some of the resources I have utilized during this effort.
In the event that you need information regarding a topic which has not yet been posted, you may contact me at the Burlington Board of Health.
prepared by Todd H. Dresser, Environmental Engineer
Burlington Board of Health, 29 Center Street, Burlington, MA 01803