Tools for Schools

Indoor air pollution can have significant and harmful health effects. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor levels of pollutants may be significantly higher than outdoor levels. Moreover, levels of indoor air pollutants are of particular concern because most people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors.

Failure to prevent or respond promptly to IAQ problems can increase long- and short-term health problems for students and staff such as:

  • Cough

  • Eye irritation

  • Headache

  • Allergic reactions, and

  • Aggravate asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

In rarer cases, life-threatening conditions such as Legionnaire’s disease, or carbon monoxide poisoning may occur.

Indoor air quality may also:

  • Impact student attendance, comfort and performance.

  • Reduce teacher and staff performance.

  • Accelerate the deterioration and reduce the efficiency of the school’s physical plant and equipment.

  • Increase potential for school closings or relocation of occupants.

  • Strain relationships among school administration, parents and staff.

  • Create negative publicity.

  • Impact community trust.

  • Create liability problems.

Indoor air quality is influenced by a variety of factors including:

  • Respiration

  • Cleanliness

  • Animals in the classroom

  • Drain traps in the classroom

  • Temperature and humidity

  • Ventilation

  • Exhaust fans

  • Motor vehicle exhaust

  • Science, art, and custodial supplies

  • Proximity of locker rooms and bathroom facilities

In order to address issues related to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), the Smithfield Public Schools shall utilize TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS, a program that helps schools carry out a practical plan to improve indoor air problems.

Building principals are responsible for the indoor air quality of their buildings and shall serve as the IAQ Coordinator for their school. The Director of Facilities shall collaborate with the IAQ Coordinator to establish an Indoor Air Quality Management Plan to be used as the process for developing any work orders and/or action to be taken to remedy IAQ issues. Any actions requiring capital improvements must be followed in accordance with the appropriate School Department procedures. Ordinary maintenance repairs will follow the protocol of the IAQ Management Plan as coordinated by the school principal in collaboration with the Director of Facilities.

All school Indoor Air Quality Management Plans must be kept on file in the respective school and the office of the Superintendent. It is the Superintendent’s responsibility to ensure that plans have been developed and are routinely effectuated. Smithfield has designated the Director of Facilities as its Tools for Schools point of contact.

REFERENCE: https://www.epa.gov/iaq-schools/why-indoor-air-quality-important-schools

APPROVED: January 8, 2018