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Two Chicago-area children's health projects win EPA Environmental Excellence awards

Release Date: 05/04/2006
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, (312) 353-8547,


CHICAGO (May. 4, 2006) - Two Chicago-area children's health initiatives recently won top awards at EPA's 2006 Children's Environmental Health Excellence ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Ashkin Group, a Bloomington, Ind., consulting group that represents the cleaning industry, partnered with the Chicago Public Schools and the "Healthy Schools Campaign" to develop a green cleaning program to help children, teachers, custodians and school staff reduce the environmental impacts of cleaning products. The program centered on reducing exposure to toxins through the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products, appropriate training, public awareness of health and educational benefits, and policy recommendations. What started out as 10 pilot projects was soon adopted by the entire Chicago Public School District.

Loyola University Chicago Civitas ChildLaw Center staged a summit in 2002 that produced a strategic plan to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in Chicago by 2010. "Lead Safe Chicago" was cosponsored by the Chicago Department of Public Health and brought together 150 community, housing and children's health advocates; local, state and federal officials; parents and business interests. The result was an ambitious plan to raise money through grants and loans to make homes lead-safe, use incentives to encourage property owners to join the effort, and raise awareness among families, legislators, decision-makers and the media about lead poisoning and how to prevent it.

The two Chicago groups are among 14 organizations and individuals recognized nationwide by EPA for ongoing and sustainable dedication to, and notable leadership in, protecting children from environmental health risks.

Twenty-nine additional organizations nationally received Recognition Awards. Illinois organizations winning Recognition Awards include: the American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village; Rhodes School District-Rhodes Recycling Team, River Grove; Wheaton Warrenville Community Unit School District 200, Indoor Environmental Quality Management Plan, Warrenville; and Illinois Energy Management Agency and University of Illinois Extension, Take Action on Radon Program, Springfield.

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