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Why Healthy School Environments are Important

Impact on Children's Health and Academic Performance

  • A child’s developing organ systems are highly sensitive to environmental risk, and children are frequently more heavily exposed to toxic substances in the environment than are adults.
  • Children spend 90% of their time indoors and much of that time is spent in school.
  • Unhealthy school environments can affect children’s health, attendance, concentration and performance, as well as lead to expensive, time-consuming cleanup and remediation activities.
  • Schools in better physical condition report improved academic performance while schools with fewer janitorial personnel and higher maintenance backlogs report poorer academic performance.
  • A study of the costs and benefits of green schools for Washington State estimated a 15% reduction in absenteeism and a 5% increase in test scores.