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School Environment

School officials, parents, teachers and students have a growing concern about protecting school occupants from potential exposure to environmental toxins and irritants. Health officials require a school environment to be clean and free of vermin and pests. This is especially important if food is prepared or served in the school environment. These organisms can transmit disease and make the school environment quite unpleasant. Besides sanitation and mechanical control, chemicals are often used to control pests. These pesticides, along with other chemicals present in the school buildings, including disinfectants (pesticides), cleaners, photocopy supplies, oils, lubricants, paints, finishes, florescent lamp and ballasts, chemistry supplies, mercury thermostats, fuels, and emissions can pose a hazard to school occupants. In addition, application of pesticides on school grounds, use of chemicals around and adjacent to school property, and pollution from nearby industrial and agricultural sites can add to the list of potential hazards.


Resources for Educational Institutions

There have been a number of resources developed to assist schools in dealing with chemicals and school safety. These resources come from states and the federal government. One of the largest efforts is the IPM (Integrated Pest Management) in the Schools programs developed by Cooperative Extension, state pesticide regulatory agencies, and the EPA. Some schools have developed their own resources. Here are links to some of these resources.

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