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State of Environmental Health in Southwestern PA: A Report

In order to gain a better understanding of environmental health hazards facing the more than 330,000 students enrolled in public school districts across southwestern Pennsylvania, Healthy Schools PA—a program of Women for a Healthy Environment—embarked on an extensive information gathering mission. This initiative entailed sending Right-to-Know requests to every public school district located in southwestern Pennsylvania’s 10-county region, and then scouring the information for detailed environmental data. The result is The State of Environmental Health in Southwestern Pennsylvania Schools, a first-of-its-kind report examining 13 specific environmental-related issues:

  • Radon
  • Drinking Water Quality, including Lead
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Artificial Playing Surfaces
  • Cleaning Products
  • Construction and Renovation Projects
  • Asthma Rates
  • Pest Management
  • Mold and more

While there are many known health hazards presented, this report also includes preventative strategies that school districts can immediately undertake to protect students, teachers and staff from environmental harm. Healthy Schools PA offers free technical assistance and guidance to schools and should be considered a valuable partner and resource for finding incremental steps to improve a school district’s environmental health.


Lessons Learned from Seeds of Change Conference
  • 12. 03. 2019
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Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the 3rd Annual Seeds of Change: Igniting Student Action for Sustainable

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The Rebuild America’s School Act – An Ambitious Bill to Fund Infrastructure Needs in Schools
  • 18. 02. 2019
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On January 30, 2019, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), and Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) introduced a landmark

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January is National Radon Action Month!
  • 02. 01. 2019
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January is National Radon Action Month! Read on below to learn more about radon and what you can do to

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External Threats

External Threats Map

Are your kids at risk? Numerous potential environmental hazards lurk from industrial and power plant emissions, gas wells, compressor stations, mining operations, and active rail lines. More than 336,000 children are impacted by these environmental hazards across 128 school districts in 674 public school buildings in the 10-county Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

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

Limit Bus Idling to Only Five Minutes
Air pollution caused by bus idling enters the school building through open doors and windows. Children are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of diesel exhaust because their respiratory systems are not fully developed.