Parents and guardians are the strongest advocates and loudest voices for their children. Every student spends approximately 12,7000 hours in school buildings from kindergarten to grade 12. With the average school nearly 40 years of age, a host air and water quality issues may be present that aggravate asthma, contribute to absenteeism, and lead to longer term health concerns.

We have the tools and expertise to help you bring healthier and safer in-school environments. We also have dedicated funding available to assist with certain issues.

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.

Get learning tools

Fact sheets and online resources are available.

Talk to the right people

Let us help inform your decision-making.

Build your team

Joining forces with like-minded staff, teachers, and administrators can act as a force multiplier and help effectuate change.

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 second 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.

Get learning tools

Fact sheets and online resources are available.

Talk to the right people

Let us help inform your decision-making.

Build your team

Joining forces with like-minded staff, teachers, and administrators can act as a force multiplier and help effectuate change.

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.

Get learning tools

Fact sheets and online resources are available.

Download the curriculum

Our easy-to-implement lesson plans can quickly be used in the classroom.

Talk to the right people

Let us help inform your decision-making.

Build your team

Joining forces with like-minded staff, teachers, and administrators can act as a force multiplier and help effectuate change.

Find funding

The Highmark Foundation provides funding for school environmental health initiatives.

What’s at stake?

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

Get learning tools

Fact sheets and online resources are available.

Talk to the right people

Let us help inform your decision-making.

Build your team

Joining forces with like-minded staff, teachers, and administrators can act as a force multiplier and help effectuate change.

Find funding

The Highmark Foundation provides funding for school environmental health initiatives.

What’s at stake?

School gardens teach students valuable lessons about healthy eating and the sustainability benefits of composting. Healthier food choices in the cafeteria in vending machines aids cognition, attention-span, and builds healthier bodies and minds.

Get learning tools

Find out more with this webinar and from our friends at Grow Pittsburgh and Edible Schoolyard Pittsburgh.

Talk to the right people

Let us help inform your decision-making.

Build your team

Joining forces with like-minded staff, teachers, and administrators can act as a force multiplier and help effectuate change.

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

Eliminate Fragrances in the Classroom
Fragrance is an asthma trigger! On average, in a classroom of 30 children, about three (or one in 10) are likely to have asthma, so any use of fragrance can be detrimental to their health.