Parents, teachers, and staff are constantly looking to administrators to maintain safe and healthy environments. Concurrently, school districts across the country are actively pursing environmental-risk mitigation strategies in the wake of many successful multi-million dollar lawsuits pertaining to lead and radon contamination. We are here to assist administrators with information, budgeting, and communicating during this challenging period.

How to Get Started for Key Issues

What’s at stake?

Municipalities across the country are being impacted by the presence of lead in pipes. Children exposed to lead are at risk of severely impeded cognitive development and lifelong learning challenges.

Support parents, teachers, and staff

Develop a wellness or green team and collaborate with others on environmental health issues.

Share success

Apply for our Healthy Schools Recognition Program and share your successes through your newsletter, website, local media, and social media channels.

Engage your school board

Our online resources provide a wealth of insight and analysis.

Get Technical and Financial Support

We are providing free water testing kits and can provide partial funding for any remediation.

What’s at stake?

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The EPA estimates that nearly 70,000 classrooms in the United States have dangerous short-term levels of radon gas. It can only be detected through testing.

Support parents, teachers, and staff

Develop a wellness or green team and collaborate with others on environmental health issues.

Share success

Apply for our Healthy Schools Recognition Program and share your successes through your newsletter, website, local media, and social media channels.

Engage your school board

Our online resources provide a wealth of insight and analysis.

Get Technical and Financial Support

We are providing free Radon testing kits and can provide partial funding for any remediation.

What’s at stake?

Asthma
Asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism in U.S. schools. Students with chronic absenteeism due to asthma are twice as likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability.

Mold
Sinus inflammation, nosebleeds, respiratory diseases, and irritation of existing asthma symptoms and allergies can result from mold.

Fragrance-free
Chemicals found in perfumes and personal care products can cause breathing difficulties, neurologic responses (such as dizziness and headaches), skin irritations, and allergic reactions.

Integrated Pest Management
Toxic pesticide exposure can lead to a variety of short and long-term health concerns, including asthma and allergy attacks, neurological impairment, and immune system damage.

Green Cleaning
25 percent of cleaning and maintenance products used in schools are toxic and can lead to poor indoor air quality, cancer, asthma, reproductive disorders and other illnesses and diseases.

School Bus Idling
According to the EPA, diesel fuel exhaust is among the most dangerous forms of emissions. Those routinely exposed to diesel exhaust face higher risks of stroke, cancer, asthma, heart attacks, and other chronic illnesses.

Support parents, teachers, and staff

Develop a wellness or green team and collaborate with others on environmental health issues.

Share success

Apply for our Healthy Schools Recognition Program and share your successes through your newsletter, website, local media, and social media channels.

Engage your school board

Our online resources provide a wealth of insight and analysis.

Find funding

The Highmark Foundation provides funding for school environmental health initiatives.

What’s at stake?

Artificial Turf
Manufactured from recycled tires, crumb rubber artificial turf contains known carcinogens like arsenic, cadmium, and zinc. More than 11,000 artificial turf athletic fields are in use across the United States.

Integrated Pest Management
Toxic pesticide exposure can lead to a variety of short and long-term health concerns, including asthma and allergy attacks, neurological impairment, and immune system damage.

Support parents, teachers, and staff

Develop a wellness or green team and collaborate with others on environmental health issues.

Share success

Apply for our Healthy Schools Recognition Program and share your successes through your newsletter, website, local media, and social media channels.

Engage your school board

Our online resources provide a wealth of insight and analysis.

Find funding

The Highmark Foundation provides funding for school environmental health initiatives.

What’s at stake?

Although there are federal school nutrition standards in place, getting students to eat healthy food options can be a challenge. School food service directors can be champions when it comes to healthy cafeterias and providing the best quality food that your school’s budget allows. Administration should communicate with their district’s food service to director to make sure healthy eating is being promoted in all school buildings.

Support parents, teachers, and staff

Develop a wellness or green team and collaborate with others on environmental health issues.

Share success

Apply for our Healthy Schools Recognition Program and share your successes through your newsletter, website, local media, and social media channels.

Engage your school board

Our online resources provide a wealth of insight and analysis.

Find funding

The Highmark Foundation provides funding for school environmental health initiatives.

Want to Start With a Different Issue?

There is no shortage of opportunities and challenges facing our schools and school districts. Visit our Resources Page to learn more.

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Success Stories

Scores of schools and school districts across our region are taking positive steps to help their students thrive in healthier environments. From testing for radon to cleaning green, discover how teachers, staff, and parents are working together to bring about positive change.

One Simple Step

That You Can Take TODAY To Make Schools Healthy

Keep Classroom Vents Clear
Make sure that air intake, filters, and vents are clean and unobstructed. Keep buses and trucks away from air intake as well.