EPA Unveils Safety Software for School Districts
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the development of a software tool that will help school districts evaluate and manage their facilities for key environmental, safety and health issues. The Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool (HealthySEAT) will allow schools to track and manage health and safety issues within the school and is available at no cost when downloaded from the EPA Web site.
According to the EPA, there are approximately 120,000 public, private, charter, and tribal schools in the United States, and many of them contain hazards that may pose risks to children and staff. The guidance included in HealthySEAT can improve the health of students and staff by ensuring that all potential environmental and safety hazards in schools are being properly managed. Examples of school environmental hazards include chemical releases, pesticide exposures, flaking lead paint, mold and other indoor air quality problems, and damaged asbestos-containing building materials.
HealthySEAT will help school districts identify and correct hazards before they result in:
- Health problems in students and staff such as asthma attacks, lead poisoning, and other chemical exposures;
- Productivity and performance losses in students and staff;
- School closures due to spills, accidents, or other preventable environmental, health and safety issues;
- Costly building clean-ups;
- Regulatory enforcement actions by state or federal agencies;
- Community concern and resource-draining media attention.
In addition, HealthySEAT will help school districts:
- Collect the kind of school- and hazard- specific data necessary to make a compelling case for needed renovation, repair and maintenance dollars.
- Demonstrate to the community that your district is committed to the health and safety of children and staff.
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