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School Indoor Air Quality Assessments Go Mobile
Radon testing: A simple but important winter endeavor for schools and homeowners
K-12 Schools - Submit an Energy Benchmarking Building Data Form
EPA Schools IAQ Connector
Historic article - NJ schools
Call For School Facility Knowledge
FYI/ NIOSH School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide CD-ROM
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|School Indoor Air Quality Assessments Go Mobile|
EPA Launches School IAQ Assessment Mobile App
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today launched a new mobile app to assist schools and school districts with performing comprehensive indoor air quality (IAQ) facility assessments to protect the health of children and school staff. The School IAQ Assessment mobile app is a “one-stop shop” for accessing guidance from EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit.
“Kids learn best in a healthy school environment. Now there’s an app for that! This app puts a powerful tool in the hands of people at the state, district and school level to protect children's health” said Janet McCabe, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “This mobile app is our latest effort to provide updated, user-friendly guidance to help schools identify, resolve and prevent indoor air quality problems, using low- and no-cost measures.”
The mobile app provides schools and school districts with an efficient, innovative technology integrated with proven strategies for addressing critical building-related environmental health issues such as ventilation, cleaning and maintenance, environmental asthma triggers, radon, and integrated pest management. Schools that want to develop, sustain or reinvigorate their IAQ management programs can use this tool to identify and prioritize IAQ improvements. The School IAQ Assessment mobile app complements existing IAQ management programs and can become the central tracking mechanism schools and districts use to organize building assessments and prioritize IAQ improvements.
Today, half of the schools in the United States have adopted IAQ management programs, the majority of which are based on EPA’s IAQ Tools for Schools guidance. EPA developed the mobile app to help these schools more efficiently carry out their IAQ management programs and to help the remaining nearly 60,000 schools to conduct regular and thorough assessments to ensure their schools are safe and productive places to learn.
How It Works
• DOWNLOAD: Go to www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/iaq_schools_mobile_app and initiate the app on your Apple or Android smart device. Access the How to Get Started section to review the set-up options, intent and capabilities of the app.
• ASSESS: Conduct a walkthrough of your school buildings using a set of easy-to-follow checklists — all you need is an Internet connection. Then, submit your completed checklists via email to a designated IAQ coordinator for review and follow-up action. You can also attach photos and detailed notes about the assessed area in your completed checklist submission.
• DISCOVER: The completed checklists will identify IAQ concerns and validate good IAQ practices already in place. Checklists are provided to your designated IAQ Coordinator with recommended action steps generated by the app to address identified IAQ problems. Recommendations are based on the Framework for Effective IAQ Management for comprehensively addressing IAQ.
• LEARN MORE: The mobile app includes other valuable resources from the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit, such as information on radon and asthma management in schools, as well as, EPA’s newest guidance – Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades, which integrates IAQ protections into school energy retrofits and other building projects.
Visit http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/iaq_schools_mobile_app/ to download the new mobile app and www.epa.gov/schools for other valuable school environmental health resources
|Radon testing: A simple but important winter endeavor for schools and homeowners|
The northwestern part of the state, particularly Sussex, Warren, Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon counties, has the largest number of homes with elevated radon concentrations and sections of Mercer and Monmouth counties also have high radon levels. However, everyone should test for radon because pockets of high radon concentrations can be found in other parts of the state too.
The DEP and the EPA recommend that action be taken to mitigate if test results indicate radon levels of 4 picocuries per liter (4 pCi/L) of radon or higher. Mitigation usually entails installation of a venting system that draws the gas out of the home.
Colorless, odorless and tasteless, radon is a radioactive gas that results from the breakdown of naturally occurring uranium in soil and rock. Low levels of uranium occur widely in the Earth's crust, and can be found in all 50 states.
Radon enters buildings through openings that are in contact with the ground, such as cracks in the foundation, sump pits, and small openings around pipes. Radon decays into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe, which could damage lung tissue. Long term exposure can lead to lung cancer.
Radon self-test kits can be purchased from $15 to $50. Contractors generally charge between $50 and $200.
Schools must obtain testing devices from a certified business or work with a certified contractor.
Lists of New Jersey certified testing and mitigation businesses and general radon information are available at www.njradon.org or call the Radon Section Information Line at (800) 648-0394 or (609) 984-5425.
|K-12 Schools - Submit an Energy Benchmarking Building Data Form|
|Historic article - NJ schools|
A history of school bldg and design in NJ.
|Call For School Facility Knowledge|
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|FYI/ NIOSH School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide CD-ROM|
A School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide CD-ROM is now available from NIOSH.
It contains the School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide, which can be found on-line at www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-107/
It also contains a myriad of other chemical management resources for schools.
It is available by order only (currently only in single copies) at wwwn.cdc.gov/pubs/niosh.aspx#2007%20Publications