Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Call for Nominations: Who Is Your 2015 Healthy Schools Hero?

Attention:  Science educators, STEM advocates, professionals in public health, school health, environmental health, facilities management, IAQ, IPM, health and safety, lab safety, school security, emergency and risk management, asthma educators, first responders, school administrators, nurses, advocates, parents and students. 

Do you know someone whose sense of responsibility, inspirational leadership, and exemplary persistence and courage protects children from
hazards and unhealthy school conditions?

The annual Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Hero Award was created as an annual opportunity to tell the story of the
1937 Texas School Explosion and to inspire Leadership​ ​to protect children​ by prioritizing the values and technical skills we need to live safely with 21st century chemicals and technology.​ Let's make March 18 Healthy Schools Heroes Day.

Send your hero's story, name, and email/phone # 

Deadline: January 15, 2015

~ 0 ~
Promoting health security and educational equity
for students with chronic health conditions.
  ​c 617-930-4327

Monday, October 27, 2014

EPA Releases New Guidance to Improve Schools' Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency

EPA’s Indoor Environment’s Division have released new guidance resources, Energy Savings Plus Health:  Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades.  The guidance was developed in collaboration with EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program and incorporates indoor air quality (IAQ) and health protections into energy efficiency retrofits and other building upgrade projects. 

School districts who utilize the guidelines, which address 23 critical topics for building upgrades, will find it easier to coordinate energy efficiency upgrades without compromising occupant health. 

Topics covered in the Guidelines include moisture control and mold, building products and materials and ambient air quality and also include:
·         Assessment protocols and minimum and expanded actions for protecting IAQ during building upgrades.
·         Table linking typical energy efficiency and building upgrade projects to corresponding assessment protocols and recommended actions.
·         Supporting appendices and a master verification checklist.
·         “Checklist Generator” tool for users to streamline guidance for their specific project. 

School districts across the country will reap the benefits of improved student and staff health and reduced operational costs.  While IAQ plays a critical role in the health, attendance and academic performance of students, improving energy efficiency in school buildings can have a significant environmental and economic benefit.  The Energy Savings Plus Health Guidelines provide a strategy to help prioritize energy efficiency and IAQ protection goals to achieve high performing schools. 

Download the Energy Savings Plus Health:  Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades at http://epa.gov/iaq/schools/energy_savings_plus_health.html

IPM Achievement Awards

The organizers of the 8th International IPM Symposium – http://ipmcenters.org/ipmsymposium15 - are seeking nominations for the "IPM Achievement Awards,” including individuals, organizations, or companies worthy of recognition for implementation of integrated pest management (IPM)—innovative approaches to reduced-risk pest management—in agricultural, urban and natural areas. Candidates for the IPM Achievement Award can be individuals, businesses, or organizations deserving special recognition for their work in implementing integrated pest management practices that reduce risk from pests and the use of pest management practices. The goal of this award is to recognize efforts that have carried through to the implementation of IPM practices aimed at reducing risks and costs while minimizing negative impacts on people and the environment.

Anyone may nominate another individual, organization or business, and self-nominations are accepted. Individuals or teams will be considered and nominations of commodity groups, private organizations, non-profit organizations, consultants, growers, and municipalities are encouraged.
The nominations should fit into one of the following categories:
·         Local IPM Program (e.g. business, school, district parks dept.)
·         Regional or National IPM Program (e.g. multi-county, multi-state)
·         International IPM Program
·         Lifetime Achievement – to recognize an individual’s lifetime contribution to IPM

Go to the IPM Achievements Awards page on the website – http://ipmcenters.org/ipmsymposium15/awards.html  for more instructions and a link to the online application form. Deadline is December 1, 2014.

The Awards will be presented at a special ceremony during the International IPM Symposium to be held March 23-26, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah USA.

A call for poster presentation abstracts will be sent shortly.

Exhibitors and Sponsors
Does your company or organization have products or services that you would like to promote to IPM practitioners and educators?  The symposium is just the place to have an exhibit booth or be a sponsor to contact leaders in the field of IPM; over 600 attended the 2012 Symposium.  Exhibitors and sponsors will be listed prominently on the Symposium’s website, in the program, and on signage during the event.  Exhibit spaces will be adjacent to the concurrent session rooms to provide maximum exposure and traffic.  Breaks and poster sessions will be held in the exhibit area. Cost of an exhibit booth is $750 and includes one symposium registration. For more information, contact Elaine Wolff at wolff1@illinois.edu.

Regional Meetings, IPM-Related Programs, and Informal Conferences
To save travel costs, take advantage of the opportunity to schedule meetings for your group or organization before the symposium on Sunday, March 22 or Monday, March 23 or after the symposium on March 27.  Facilities have been reserved to accommodate such meetings.  Several groups have already asked for space.

Meeting rooms are also available in the evenings during the event for informal conferences. 

To reserve space for your group, please send an e-mail to wolff1@illinois.edu by November 1, 2014.  Please include the name of the group, date and time desired, anticipated number of attendees, and preferred meeting room setup.  For informal conferences, please include a brief proposal along with your request that will be reviewed by the program planning committee.  The room rental fees will be covered by the IPM Symposium.  Any food or audio-visual costs will be the responsibility of the meeting group.

There is a limited amount of space, so space will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Indoor Environmental Exposures and Exacerbation of Asthma

The Institute of Medicine published an update to its "Indoor Environmental Exposures and Exacerbation of Asthma", a literature review synopsis of indoor environmental exposures that exacerbate asthma.  It is well documented that pests such as rodents, cockroaches, and dust mites increase the prevalence of asthma in children.  To find out more visit: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1307922/.

School IPM 2015 Newsletter: October 2014

School IPM 2015: Reducing Pest Problems and Pesticide Hazards in Our Nation's Schools
School IPM 2015 Newsletter: October 2014
In This Issue
What's New?
Upcoming Events
Do I Smell a Stink Bug?
U.S.Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Deadlines Approaching
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What's New This Month

Looking for a School IPM resource? Common Pests Found in Schools and Day Care Centers: Midwest Region describes common pests and how to control them. The PDF booklet covers: ants, cockroaches, bees and wasps, flies, stored product pests, spiders, occasional invaders and mammalian pests.

October is Children's Health Month!   
In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics established October as Child Health Month in order to focus national attention on children's health issues.
Children are particularly vulnerable to toxins because they process them differently then adults, have a more rapid metabolic rate and have more hand to mouth behavior.   

The National Academy of Sciences 1993 Landmark Report estimates that 50% of lifetime pesticide exposure occurs in the first five years of life.  

To learn more about children's environmental health and view educational materials, click here.  

To learn more about how School IPM can improve  children's health, click here. 

Upcoming Events
October 26, 2014
Education Facilities Management Forum
Chicago, IL
 More Information

November 13-14, 2014
Corpus Christi, TX

November 16-19, 2014
Entomological Society of America (ESA) National Meeting  
Portland, OR 
March 24-26, 2015
8th International IPM Symposium  
Salt Lake City, UT   
More Information

 April 2, 2015
Turfgrass IPM Workshop  
Santa Maria, CA    
 More Information 
April 6-8, 2015
2015 Imported Fire Ant and Invasive Pest Ant Conference   
New Orleans, LA    
 More Information

Quick Links
*View this newsletter as a PDF
Greetings from School IPM 2015!  
Every day, 49 million children attend school in the United States, served by nearly seven million teachers and staff.   But they're not alone.  Schools are also frequented by a number of pests including cockroaches, mice, dust mites and more.  Asthma is epidemic among children, impacting nearly 6% of school children nationally with rates as high as 25% in urban centers.  House mice and cockroaches are potent asthma triggers.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a prevention-based, highly effective approach proven to reduce pest complaints and pesticide use by up to 90% in schools and other public buildings.  IPM practices such as sanitation and exclusion also improve food safety, fire safety and energy conservation.  Our newsletter highlights real-life examples of IPM in practice and can help you start an IPM program in your school district.  For more information, visit www.schoolipm2015.com
Do I Smell a Stink Bug?  
As autumn temperatures cool, brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) seek out winter homes. Much like lady beetles, boxelder bugs and cluster flies, BMSB prefer warm, dry habitat for overwintering. BMSB can be found overwintering in dead standing trees and in houses and other structures including school buildings.

Adult BMSB
David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ, bugwood.org
Stink bugs are named for the odor they emit when disturbed or crushed.   One of many species of stink bugs, the BMSB is about 5/8 inch long and marbled brown in color. Identifying characteristics for this Asian species include white bands on the antennae and legs, a blunt forward edge of the head, a smooth thorax and dark banded tips on the forewings.

Eggs and nymph BMSB
David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ, bugwood.org
Eggs are oval, white to pale green and deposited in clusters on leaves. Nymphs progress through five immature stages before reaching adulthood, shedding their outer skin as they do so. Newly hatched nymphs
have an orange abdomen with dark brown plates.

BMSB is an invasive pest in the US, originating in eastern Asia and arriving in the Mid-Atlantic region more than a dozen years ago. The insect has now been detected in 41 states. Fortunately, a number of native predators and parasites are taking advantage of BMSB as a resource, and may be slowing population growth. Asian native natural enemies are also under consideration for potential release in the US.

Crop damage and nuisance status
Severe crop damage has been reported in PA, NJ, WV, MD, DE and VA. Additional states reporting crop damage include WA, OR, NY, OH, KY, TN and NC. BMSB feeds on many types of fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants. Adults and nymphs cause pockmarks by injecting tissue-destroying enzymes and sucking juices from fruit and seeds. The injured flesh under the skin hardens, making produce unsellable in the fresh market.

The primary concern for schools is movement of the BMSB into buildings. BMSB rarely feed and do not reproduce during the winter. They do not sting, bite, spread disease or bore into wood, but rather become a nuisance including collecting in large numbers inside buildings.

The best way to avoid BMSB problems in schools is to exclude them. Screen openings on vents, utility pipes and window air conditioners. Seal gaps along fascia and ensure door sweeps ad seals are tight on exterior doors. Turn off unnecessary exterior lighting to reduce BMSB attraction to buildings at night.

To capture BMSB once inside, use a vacuum. Be aware the vacuum may acquire the odor of stink bugs if large numbers are present. A designated BMSB vacuum may be advisable in that case. BMSB can also be captured by placing a foil roasting pan filled with soap and water in affected rooms, darkening the room and shining a flashlight on the pan. BMSB will be attracted to the light and fall into the water.

Last month, participants learned how to prevent tick problems in the school environment. Presenters included Thomas Mather, University of the Rhode Island Center for Vector Borne Diseases; Marcia Anderson, EPA's School IPM Center of Expertise; Kathy Murray, Maine Department of Agriculture; and Christine Dunathan, Director of Institutional Advancement at Friends Community School. Creating Tick Safe Schools Using IPM, the second in a series, was presented on September 30, 2014 as part of the EPA School IPM Webinar Series. 

An adult female blacklegged tick, engorged after a blood meal
Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, bugwood.org
Dr. Mather discussed tick borne diseases and prevalence, identification and the Tick Encounter web resource. This is a great resource center to learn how to be tick smart! For tips on avoiding questing ticks and steps to take when you find a tick, check out the School IPM April eNewsletter. Teaching children to conduct tick checks and emphasizing the importance of education will help considerably with tick management on school grounds.

TickSpotters is a service offered through the website where you can send in a picture for identification. Individuals have the opportunity to guess the tick species, currently with a 50% success rate. Dr. Mather also spoke about the importance of conducting a risk assessment. The number of ticks spotted per hour determines the risk level and what action needs to be taken.

Dr. Anderson reviewed prevention through landscape design. Remove leaves and vegetation weeds that might harbor ticks. Create a nine-inch buffer zone around buildings and plant deer resistant plants to minimize tick presence.

Dr. Murray discussed the importance of monitoring, how to incorporate tick prevention into your school IPM plan and personalized strategies for schools. "A tick IPM plan should include components for communication, monitoring and identifying ticks, landscaping to reduce tick encounters, setting action thresholds, record-keeping, and regular review and evaluation," said Dr. Murray. Recommended prevention methods include personal protective measures such as repellents, protective clothing, and body checks and landscape modifications to reduce tick habitat and discourage deer and mice. To learn more about the best method for your schools' situation, check out information resources such as eXtension.org and Tickapp.tamu.edu.

Ms. Dunathan discussed real-world school tick issues and first-hand tick management challenges. She implemented three key lessons:
  1. Asses your site; measure your risk before you take action.
  2. Educate staff, parents and teachers about prevention and consequences of tick bites for overall cooperation.
  3. Get started and adjust as you go; understand that different challenges will arise, modify and select strategies that work best for your school.
Power point slides from the presentation will be available to view in the upcoming weeks by clicking here. Below is a list of upcoming webinars:
  • Bed Bugs in Schools: December 16, 2014, 1:00 PM Central
  • Keeping Rodents Out of Your School: January 27, 2014, 11:00 AM Central
  • Dealing with Nuisance Birds Around Schools: February 24, 2015, 1:00 PM Central
U.S.Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Deadlines Approaching    
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program recognizes schools, school districts and institutions of higher education that go above and beyond to accomplish three objectives:
  1. Reduce environmental impact and costs, including water, energy use and transportation.
  2. Improve the health and wellness of students and staff, including environmental health nutrition and fitness.
  3. Provide environmental education that incorporates science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and green career pathways.
The goal of the award program is to motivate education professionals to evaluate facilities and pursue opportunities to improve health and the environment, comprehensively and collaboratively with state health, environment and energy agency counterparts. Nominees must exhibit achievement in all three pillars.

Schools, districts, colleges and universities do not apply directly; state education authorities must nominate them. State participation is voluntary; candidates should let their state departments of education or state higher education authority know of their interest in being nominated. Deadlines to inform state education authorities of interest vary by state; click here for a list of state contacts to find out more information.

States submit final nominees to the US Department of Education by February 1st of each year. Each state may nominate up to five pre-kindergarten through grade 12 schools or school districts, and a single post-secondary institution.

Honorees are announced annually on Earth Day, April 22nd and are invited to attend a national ceremony in July to receive a sustainable plaque and flag. To view a list of past winners, click here.