School siting: EPA says location matters

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Author: Bob Weinhold
Date: Jan. 2011
From: Environmental Health Perspectives(Vol. 119, Issue 1)
Publisher: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Document Type: Article
Length: 742 words
Lexile Measure: 1580L

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Fifty-three million U.S. children and 6 million employees spend much of the day in a public or private school. (1) Pollution problems in these settings are so widespread that the Congress mandated in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develop model guidelines for choosing healthier sites for new schools. On 17 November 2010, the agency released a draft of its new voluntary guidelines. (1), (2)

About 1,900 new schools were built in the 2008-2009 school year, according to the EPA, continuing a relatively similar construction trend since 2002 (3) and bringing the total number of public and private schools to about 135,000. (1) The number of existing schools in settings that could be harmful to children is unknown, says Peter Grevatt, director of the EPA Office of Children's Health Protection.

The guidelines are designed mainly for use in siring new primary and secondary (K-12) schools, but the principles behind the guidelines could be adapted for many other existing and new settings where children spend long periods. They cover a wide range of topics, including toxicity on...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A248265176