Healthy School Facility Environments

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Hazardous Substance Use and Management

Hazardous Substance Use and ManagementProducts containing hazardous substances may be found in a variety of school settings -- in science laboratories, art classrooms, darkrooms and school shops, and in products used for pest control.

In addition, materials used in past construction -- such as asbestos and lead paint -- can be hazardous if not properly maintained or if improperly removed.

The Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Hazard Communication Standard requires training and other protective measures for school staff potentially exposed to hazardous substances. Schools must comply with this and all other state and federal regulations related to safe handling and removal of hazardous substances.

The Department of Environmental Protection regulates pesticide use and also requires schools to adopt an Integrated Pest Management plan to reduce the potential for pesticide exposure.

By understanding the potential hazards and taking steps to control exposures, schools can help prevent adverse health effects among staff and students.

KEY RESOURCES FOR:

Parents and Students

DOH PEOSH, Common Hazards Found in Public Schools, 1997, Topics covered include: roof renovation, painting and construction work, indoor air quality, carpeting, carcinogens, woodworking shops, science laboratories, darkroom - photo-developing, art rooms - kilns, art rooms - sculpturing and art rooms - silk-screen printing.

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School Staff

Local Associations Ensure Safe Asbestos Removal

Gym Floor Toxicity Data Spurs MRTA Victory; Lesson Learned: – Hazard Communication Matters

Clean Out Chemicals this Summer

How to Make Your Job Healthier; Recognizing and Controlling Workplace Health Hazards in NJ, 2003, Guidance on what workers can do together and what outside help is available for addressing workplace health hazards.

DOH PEOSH, Common Hazards Found in Public Schools, 1997, Topics covered include: roof renovation, painting and construction work, indoor air quality, carpeting, carcinogens, woodworking shops, science laboratories, darkroom – photo-developing, art rooms - kilns, art rooms - sculpturing and art rooms - silk-screen printing.

DOH Controlling Chemical Exposure, Industrial Hygiene Fact Sheets, 2001, Concise guidance on 16 aspects of industrial hygiene control including ventilation, spill clean-up, personal protective equipment, sampling, etc.

DOH PEOSH, Public Employer’s Guide and Model Written Program for The Hazard Communication Standard, 2005. Helps employers and employees understand the requirements of the PEOSH Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), N.J.A.C. 12:100-7. A sample written hazard communication program is provided to illustrate how to develop a written program.

DOH PEOSH Hazard Communication Compliance Checklist, 2007. A quick tool for public employers and employees to help assess their facility’s compliance with the PEOSH Hazard Communication Standard.

Districts Must Provide and Pay for Personal Protective Equipment, 2008, NJEA

Keeping the Classroom Chemical-free

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School Administrators

DEP Environmentally Preferable Purchasing webpage.

DEP NJ School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, Tools and Templates, including Model IPM Program, contract, notification form, etc..

DOH Guidelines for Occupational Safety and Health Programs. The purpose of these guidelines is to assist public sector employers in setting up an Occupational Safety and Health Program to reduce the incidence of work-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses in their workplaces.

EPA Home Page on Chemical Use and Management

DOH PEOSH, Common Hazards Found in Public Schools, 1997, Topics covered include: roof renovation, painting and construction work, indoor air quality, carpeting, carcinogens, woodworking shops, science laboratories, darkroom - photo-developing, art rooms - kilns, art rooms - sculpturing and art rooms - silk-screen printing.

DOH Controlling Chemical Exposure, Industrial Hygiene Fact Sheets, 2001. Concise guidance on 16 aspects of industrial hygiene control including ventilation, spill clean-up, personal protective equipment, sampling, etc.

DOH PEOSH, Public Employer’s Guide and Model Written Program for The Hazard Communication Standard, 2005. Helps employers and employees understand the requirements of the PEOSH Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), N.J.A.C. 12:100-7. A sample written hazard communication program is provided to illustrate how to develop a written program.

DOH PEOSH Hazard Communication Compliance Checklist, 2007. A quick tool for public employers and employees to help assess their facility’s compliance with the PEOSH Hazard Communication Standard.

PCBs in Schools – Web Links

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Architects and Engineers

EPA Database on Environmental Information for Products and Services

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Other Resources

  1. Art Materials
    1. Art hazards- toxic materials abound, 2009, NJEA
  2. Artificial Turf
    1. Grass Playing Fields vs. Artificial Turf, 2008, NJEA
    2. DOH Artificial Turf website, 2008
    3. Synthetic Turf: Health Debate Takes Root, 2008, Environmental Health Perspectives
    4. Artificial Turf: Exposures to Ground-Up Rubber Tires, 2007 Environment and Human Health, Inc.
  3. Asbestos
    1. DCA list of licensed asbestos monitors
    2. DEP Guidance document for the management of asbestos-containing materials
    3. DOH Indoor Environments Program Home Page. Information on training and certification, asbestos in schools, compliance and enforcement.
    4. EPA Home Page on Asbestos in Schools
    5. OSHA Topic Page on Asbestos
    6. The ABCs of Asbestos in Schools, 2003, (E-31) and other EPA asbestos in schools publications
  4. Cleaning products
    1. EPA Home Page on Cleaning Products
    2. “Green cleaning” is good for school occupants, 2006, NJEA
    3. Toxic chemicals not needed for cleaning
  5. Diesel exhaust
    1. Control indoor exhaust fumes, 2009, NJEA
    2. DEP Home Page on Stop the Soot Program
    3. EPA Home Page on Clean School Bus USA
    4. “Stop the Soot” from school buses, 2006, NJEA
  6. Drinking water
    1. EPA Home Page on Drinking Water
    2. EPA Home Page on Drinking Water Security
    3. EPA Home Page on Testing Schools and Day Care Centers for Lead in Drinking Water
    4. Is there Lead in Your School’s Drinking Water? 2009, NJEA
    5. NJDEP Drinking Water Home Page
    6. What are you drinking with your water NJEA, 2011
  7. Formaldehyde
    1. California Air Resources Board, Remedies for Reducing Formaldehyde in Schools, 2002.
    2. OSHA Topic Page on Formaldehyde
  8. Hazard Communication
    1. DOH PEOSH Hazard Communication Compliance Forms and Checklist. Quick tools for public employers and employees to help assess and comply with the PEOSH Hazard Communication Standard.
    2. DOH Right to Know Home Page
    3. OSHA Topic Page on Hazard Communication
    4. The PEOSH Hazard Communication Standard overlaps with the New Jersey Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act. Public employers must comply with both.
  9. Lead
    1. DCA list of licensed lead abatement contractors
      DCA list of licensed lead evaluation contractors
    2. DOH Indoor Environments Program Home Page. Information on training and certification.
    3. EPA Home Page on Lead
    4. OSHA Topic Page on Lead
  10. Mercury
    1. DOH Booklet, Mercury Exposure in the Workplace - A Guide for Employers, 2004. Provides a step-by-step approach to controlling mercury exposure, as well as guidelines for spill clean-up, medical surveillance, and industrial hygiene monitoring.
    2. DOH Information Bulletin, Your Mercury Exposure, 1997. Gives information and advice to assist individuals in finding out how they may have been exposed to mercury and how to protect themselves from further exposure.
    3. DEP brochure, Is Your Life Mercury Free?
    4. EPA Topic Page on Mercury
    5. OSHA Topic Page on Mercury
    6. Help Get Liquid Mercury Out of Schools, 2009, NJEA
  11. Ozone
    1. DEP Home Page on Ozone
  12. PCBs - Polychlorinated Biphenyls
    1. PCBs in Schools – Web Links
  13. Pesticides
    1. DEP NJ School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program
    2. DEP Pesticide Control Program Home Page
    3. EPA Home Page on Pesticides in Schools
    4. Low input lawn care
    5. Rutgers Cooperative Extension Home Page on IPM
    6. Safe pest control for schools is the law, 2007, NJEA
    7. HTEA stops pesticide fogging for flu prevention, 2009, NJEA
  14. Photocopiers and Other Office Equipment
    1. Office Equipment Hazards, 2008, NJEA
  15. Radon
    1. DEP Home Page on Radon
    2. EPA Home Page on Radon in Schools
    3. Rutgers Eastern Regional Radon Training Center Home Page
  16. Science chemicals, laboratories
    1. Chemical safety in the school laboratory, 2007, NJEA
    2. Chemicals: What’s in? What’s out?
    3. DEP School Chemical Management Project
    4. DOH PEOSH Model Chemical Hygiene Plan, 1994, Provides an outline written format for a chemical hygiene plan that complies with the Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1450.
    5. EPA Home Page on Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign
    6. Green Chemical Alternatives Purchasing Wizard
    7. Greening Schools Lesson Plans in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Industrial Arts
    8. Keeping the Classroom Chemical-free
    9. OSHA Topic Page on Laboratories
    10. Rehab the Lab
    11. School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide, NIOSH, 2006
  17. Volatile Organic Compounds EPA Tools for Schools Page on VOCs

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