Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (TFS) IAQ Program
We are pleased to inform staff, students and the public that our school district formally adopted EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) program in March 2004 where all of our schools participated in a two phase training conducted by the State of Connecticut Department of Health.
On July 2003 the Connecticut General Assembly passed a Bill, known as Public Act No. 03-220 - AN ACT CONCERNING INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN SCHOOLS. The law, states specifically “school district’s shall adopt and implement an indoor air quality program that provides for ongoing maintenance and facility reviews necessary for the maintenance and improvement of the indoor air”. The law also allows school district’s to adopt an indoor air quality committee. Specifically the bill states, “Each local and regional board of education may establish an indoor air quality committee for each school district or facility to increase staff and student awareness of all facets of the environment”.
EPA developed the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools (TfS) Program to reduce exposures to indoor environmental contaminants in schools through the voluntary adoption of sound indoor air quality management practices.
The IAQ Tools for Schools Program is a comprehensive resource to help schools maintain a healthy environment in school buildings by identifying, correcting, and preventing IAQ problems. Poor indoor air quality can impact the comfort and health of students and staff, which, in turn, can affect concentration, attendance, and student performance. In addition, if schools fail to respond promptly to poor IAQ, students and staff are at an increased risk of short-term health problems, such as fatigue and nausea, as well as long-term problems like asthma.
Our district IAQ Teams and the Department of Facilities maintains a proactive Indoor Air Quality Program by:
ü Utilizing best practices, industry guidelines and performing physical assessment of buildings and the timely repair of building systems that may contribute to water infiltration, which can lead to mildew and mold if ignored over time;
ü Responds timely to an IAQ concern or complaint and communicates effectively;
ü Refresher training of IAQ Team members annually or as needed;
ü Incorporates a preventative maintenance program for all HVAC equipment, which provides for adequate maintenance and cleaning schedules and filter changes quarterly;
ü Incorporates an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that avoids using chemicals to control insects and rodents and the elimination of ground fertilizers and to comply to mandates;
ü Completed radon inspection of all schools. All schools were found well below the picocuries per liter set by EPA and no further testing is required by law;
ü Incorporates a preventative maintenance roof program is in place to address roof leaks that can contribute to mildew, mold spores etc. Roofs in the District, by in large, are new and in good condition however those roofs needing repairs are addressed each time it rains along with the replacement of wet ceiling tiles;
ü Completed Drinking Water Tests of the potable water system district wide. The test results were well under EPA guidelines and no further testing was required.
ü Incorporates a comprehensive “Green Clean” Janitorial Cleaning Program to control dust, dirt, bacteria on a daily basis with the use of eco-friendly materials;
ü Complies with State and EPA regulations for Asbestos Management through annual written inspections and response actions as required;
ü Maintains no PCB's in the district. All equipment, lighting, batteries etc., have been replaced with newer energy efficient and environmentally friendly fixtures;
ü Established guidelines for renovation projects to control indoor emissions during construction as well as standards for materials used which may impact IAQ.
ü Incorporated the use of “only latex” interior paint and no oil base paints, which can contribute to volatile organic compounds (VOC).
ü A policy of “No Idling of School Buses” on school grounds to eliminate diesel emissions on school property;
ü A "no smoking" on school grounds policy to eliminate any indoor air contaminates otherwise caused by smoking.
IAQ Links Available Checklists for School IAQ Teams:
- Background Info for Teacher’s Classroom Inspection Checklist: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pdfs/kit/checklists/teacherchklstbkgd.pdf
- Teacher’s Classroom Checklist: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pdfs/kit/checklists/teacherchklst.pdf
- Background Info for Walkthrough Inspection Checklist: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pdfs/kit/checklists/walkthruchklstbkgd.pdf
- Walkthrough Inspection Checklist (for Head Custodian): http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pdfs/kit/checklists/walkthruchklst.pdf
- IAQ Coordinator’s Guide: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pdfs/kit/coordinators_guide.pdf
- IAQ Reference Guide: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pdfs/kit/reference_guide.pdf
- EPA IAQ Website: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/actionkit.html
- Fact Sheet on IAQ Testing