Thursday, September 29, 2011

Upcoming Schools-Related Webinars in October

Addressing Mold and Moisture in Tribal Schools
Thursday, October 6, 2011, 2 – 3:30 p.m. MDT

Do you face mold and moisture issues at your tribal school? Attend this webinar to:

  • Understand the difference between chronic and flood related moisture problems.
  • Identify the most common sources of moisture and mold.
  • Learn how, where and when to test for problems.
  • Find out practical and cost-effective solutions to prevent and control issues in your school.
  • Learn what technical assistance and resources are available to help.

The webinar is hosted by Montana State University. Register for this webinar at

School Buildings as Green Teaching Tools

Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 7 – 8:30 p.m. EST
  • Jenny Wiedower, K-12 Manager from the Center for Green Schools, U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC) ( will share strategies for first steps in greening existing facilities and highlight the educational advantages of working toward LEED certification.
  • Sean Miller, Director of Education, Earth Day Network ( will cover how teachers are engaging students and community partners to assess and green their schools and their successful approaches for maximizing academic learning. Presenters will also highlight related teaching resources, materials and funding sources.

The first 100 registered participants that log in and complete the webinar will be eligible for a webinar drawing to receive a complimentary registration to the National Green Schools Conference (, February 27-29, 2012, and a free copy of the groundbreaking book on green school design: “The Third Teacher,” a collaborative project by OWP/P Architects + VS Furniture +Bruce Mau Design.

The webinar is hosted by the National Environmental Education Foundation. Register for this webinar at

October 29th is National Take Back Day for expired and unwanted drugs

Do you have expired, unwanted drugs lying around you don’t know what to do with? Now is the time to dispose of them properly and safely. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is hosting its third National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 29, 2011, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00p.m. at many local law enforcement offices and other locations across the country.

Proper and safe disposal of medicine can help prevent:
• Poisoning of children and pets
• Misuse by teenagers and adults
• Health problems from accidentally taking the wrong medicine, too
much of the same medicine or a medicine too old to work well
• Medicines from entering rivers, lakes and streams

Some medicines poured down the drain or flushed down the toilet pass through waste water treatment plants and enter rivers, lakes and streams which are often used as sources for community drinking water supplies.

To find a location near you, visit the website below and click on, “Find a collection site near you”. On the next page, fill in your zip code or County/City/State, select a distance, and click “Submit.” A list of collection locations and addresses will pop up.

The national number for citizens to call to find their nearest National Take Back Initiative (NTBI) location, which may not be up and running until a few days before the event, will be:

Friday, September 23, 2011

CDC Study - Acute Illnesses Associated With Insecticides Used to Control Bed Bugs in Seven States, 2003--2010

Bed bug infestations often are treated with insecticides, but insecticide resistance is a problem, and excessive use of insecticides or use of insecticides contrary to label directions can raise the potential for human toxicity. To assess the frequency of illness from insecticides used to control bed bugs, relevant cases from 2003--2010 were sought from the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR)-Pesticides program and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH). Cases were identified in seven states: California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Texas, and Washington.

A total of 111 illnesses associated with bed bug--related insecticide use were identified; although 90 (81%) were low severity, one fatality occurred. Pyrethroids, pyrethrins, or both were implicated in 99 (89%) of the cases, including the fatality. The most common factors contributing to illness were excessive insecticide application, failure to wash or change pesticide-treated bedding, and inadequate notification of pesticide application. Although few cases of illnesses associated with insecticides used to control bed bugs have been reported, recommendations to prevent this problem from escalating include educating the public about effective bed bug management.

Full Article.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pollution Prevention Week

Please join us in marking Pollution Prevention Week as we celebrate the progress we have made in creating a cleaner environment and gear up for the work ahead.

Pollution prevention, or P2, is a critical part of protecting our children and families from health threats in the air we breathe, the water we drink and swim in, the products we use and the communities we call home. It is also an essential part of strengthening our nation’s green economy and building more sustainable communities. Pollution prevention efforts also help to fuel innovations and new jobs while giving consumers options for greener, healthier products.

As part of those efforts, the US EPA has unveiled a new tool, the Greener Products website to help consumers learn about products that are better for their health and our environment. The Greener Products site will enable people to search for everyday items such as home appliances, electronics and cleaning products recognized by programs like WaterSense, EnergyStar and Design for the Environment. It is another resource for consumers to find choices that will protect their health and the environment – while also saving money.

Take a moment to explore the new website at

You can also learn more about the P2 work happening across the EPA at

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September School IPM 2015 eNewsletter

The September School IPM 2015 eNewsletter features articles on Contracting for IPM Services in Schools, Facility Managers Learn IPM Tactics for Schools and 2011-2012 Pest Management Calendar Released.

If you have not done so already, please consider signing up for the monthly School IPM 2015 newsletter mailing list to:

  • Learn how you can reduce pesticide use and pest complaints by more than 70%!
  • Create a successful IPM program with no long-term increase in pest management costs.
  • Learn strategies for managing pests all year:
    • Fall – stinging insects
    • Spring – ants
    • New pests – bed bugs
  • Improve your ability to educate and gain cooperation from key staff including maintenance, custodial and food service.
Signing up is easy. Email your name and contact information to:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Radon in Schools Webinar Presentation Now Available

Radon in Schools Webinar

Presentation Slides Now Available!

Although you may have missed the Radon in Schools webinar, which focused on effective methods and best practices for testing and mitigating radon in school buildings, you can now access the presentation slides from the webinar online. Held on Aug. 24, 2011, this was the latest webinar in a series designed to highlight key technical aspects of the Framework for Effective School IAQ Management.

To access additional resources from past technical webinars, visit the IAQ Tools for Schools webinar archive, which is a great resource to help you better manage IAQ in your schools.

Check out these other resources to manage radon in schools...
The Managing Radon in Schools document details key strategies that successful school districts have implemented to help test for and mitigate radon in schools. Other helpful EPA radon resources include Radon Measurement in Schools, as well as Radon Prevention in the Design and Construction of Schools and Other Large Buildings.

Monday, September 12, 2011

US Department of Education Encourages Public Comment on Plans for Green Ribbon Schools Award

Department of Education (ED) Encourages Public Comment on Plans for Green Ribbon Schools Award

ED is asking for public comment on proposed plans for the new U.S.

Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition program. The Department, along with the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced their intention to create the Green Ribbon award on April 26, 2011. ED will accept comments until September 14 and will publish the final program details by the end of the month.

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools will recognize schools that save energy, reduce costs, and feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, as well as protect health, foster wellness and impart effective environmental education. The award program will bring together three institutional roles of schools related to environment and health as it acknowledges high levels of achievement in three categories: 1) environmental impact and energy efficiency; 2) healthy environment; and 3) environmental literacy.

More, including spreadsheet with specific requirements, at

Friday, September 9, 2011

Two Upcoming Eco-Healthy Futures Workshops for Childcare Centers

Eco Healthy Futures for Childcare Centers Workshops

This train-the-trainer workshop was designed to encourage and assist healthy and environmentally sound childcare centers.

When and Where:
- September 20, 2011, 9:00a.m-3:30pm., Delaware County Community Center
- October 26, 2011, 9:00a.m.-3:30p.m., Bucks County Community College

Who should attend? Childcare center directors or representatives. Once trained, participants will then train their staff and work toward certification. The first EIGHT centers to achieve a Sustainable Center certification will receive a Financial Stipend!
PQAS credit hours available to participants for Keystone STARS or DPW purposes

Cost is $20, which covers all materials and a sustainable food lunch

Topics: Non-toxic cleaning, less toxic & preventive pest management, healthy & sustainable foods

Registration at, search “Eco Healthy Futures”
Space is limited, so register today!
Please see our website's event calendar for more details, or contact Dianne Moore at

Workshops presented by: The South East Area Health Education Center (SE PA AHEC), Women's Health Environmental Network (WHEN), The Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management (PA IPM) Program, and The Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC) under a grant from the US EPA office of Environmental Education.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Effective Policies to Eliminate Chemical Releases & Exposures in Schools - SAVE THE DATE

The DEODC Emergency Preparedness Planning (EPP) Team and the Interstate Chemical Threats Workgroup (ICTW) invites you to attend our Fall Webinar Series. If you are not an ICTW member, but would like to attend please let me know ( More information will be forthcoming as we approach the dates.

Webinar Series
Effective Policies to Eliminate Chemical Releases and Exposures in Schools

To promote a national framework for the prevention of chemical incidents in schools, the ATSDR National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP) <> has teamed up with ICTW to bring you this exciting fall webinar series. During the sessions we'll explore policies and prevention efforts for three chemicals/chemical categories that lead the NTSIP incident list: elemental mercury, cleaning products, and pesticides. At the conclusion of the webinar series, the summary notes will guide the development of a white paper entitled, Best Practices and Policies for Eliminating Chemical Releases and Exposures in Schools. This paper will be distributed nationally and will serve as a basis of ATSDR's outreach to those who can effect change.

Save the dates:
Effective Policies to Eliminate Chemical Releases and Exposures in Schools

Mercury exposures and effective policies

October 13, 9:30pm PST*

Green cleaning policies to eliminate exposures

November 10, 9:30pm PST*

Pesticide exposures and effective policies

December 15, 9:30pm PST*

Discussion on white paper development: "Best Practices and Policies for Eliminating Chemical Releases and Exposures in Schools".

January 12, 9:30pm PST*

*All sessions will begin at 12:30pm EST/9:30am PST and run for 75 minutes

Description Session 1:
Effective Policies to Eliminate Mercury Exposures in Schools
October 13, 12:30- 1:45 Eastern
Elemental mercury is most toxic in its vapor form. It evaporates slowly at room temperature and more quickly when heated. Children are drawn to mercury by its silvery color and novel properties. Children playing with elemental mercury can be poisoned by breathing the vapor from mercury beads held in their hands or from mercury spilled on carpeting, furniture or other surfaces. The HSEES and NTSIP data have shown mercury to be the most frequently released substance in schools and very costly to clean up. This session will focus on the extent of the problem of mercury releases in schools and experiences with legislation and outreach to remove mercury from schools.

Roundtable Discussants:
Robin Lee, PhD, MPH, ATSDR Division of Health Studies
Martha Stanbury, MSPH, Michigan Department of Community Health
Wanda Lizak Welles, PhD, New York State Department of Health
Sue Casteel, BS, MS, ATSDR Regional Representative