U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Healthy School Environments


This information comes from United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Healthy Schools Website. US EPA provides a host of resources and information to help support healthy and productive school environments for our nation’s children. Whether you are a state, school district, school, school official, teacher, parent, student, or supporter of healthy schools, this website can put you on the path to providing clean, green, and healthy school environments for students and staff.

School environments play an important role in the health and academic success of children. Children spend 90% of their time indoors and much of that time is spent in school. Unhealthy school environments can affect children’s health, attendance, concentration, and performance, as well as lead to expensive, time-consuming cleanup and remediation activities (PDF) (3pp, 420K, About PDF) . To foster children’s health and academic achievement, healthy school environments should be addressed and integrated within the education system.

EPA Schools Programs

School Siting Guidelines

State School Environmental Health Guidelines

Healthy School Environment Web Resources

Safe Chemical Management in Schools



Toolkit for Safe Chemical Management


The EPA’s web-based tool kit helps schools and school districts start or improve their chemical management programs. Schools and school districts can use these tools to design programs that reduce chemical hazards by:

  • Removing inappropriate, outdated, unknown and unnecessary chemicals from schools;
  • Preventing future chemical mismanagement issues in schools through training, curriculum and policy change, and long-term management solutions; and
  • Raising awareness of chemical issues in schools and promoting sustainable solutions.

For more information about this resource, please visit the Toolkit for Safe Chemical Management.



State School Environmental Health Guidelines

EPA’s Voluntary Guidelines for States: Development and Implementation of a School Environmental Health Program will help states establish and sustain environmental health programs for K-12 schools. The guidelines present recommendations, case studies, and resources that will help states build or enhance an existing program. This website includes an overview of the guidelines, as well as links to additional information and resources.


Voluntary Guidelines for Selecting Safe School Locations

On October 3, 2011, EPA released the final School Siting Guidelines. These guidelines can be used to help communities protect the health of students and staff from environmental threats when selecting new locations for schools. The new voluntary guidelines will help local communities consider environmental health issues in establishing school site selection criteria and in conducting effective environmental reviews of prospective school sites. The guidelines recommend involving the public throughout the site selection process to help ensure community support for these decisions.

EPA developed the guidelines in consultation with other Federal agencies, states, school districts, community organizations, health care professionals, teachers, as well as environmental justice, children’s health and environmental groups, among others.

EPA Schools Programs


There are many steps that parents, schools and communities can take to help promote healthy school environments. EPA has resources in a number of programs that are designed to help schools and communities take action to protect children’s health in one of the most important places—where children learn.

To learn more about EPA Schools Programs, see the List of EPA Schools Programs.



Healthy School Environments Web Resources (Schools Web Portal)

Searchable database of on-line resources to help facility managers, school administrators, architects, design engineers, school nurses, parents, teachers and staff address environmental health issues in schools. Visitors can browse resources by topic or by geographic area, or search all resources by entering specific keywords into the search box at the top of each page. Find web resources.

School Bulletin Board
Read the recent USA TODAY article: “Green schools: Long on promise, short on delivery”
CDC Recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfecting to Slow Spread of Flu (CDC)
New rebate funding opportunity for school bus replacements by the Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA)
New Voluntary Guidelines for States available now!
Check out the Model School Environmental Health Program!
EPA is awarding nearly $750,000 in “capacity building” grants to help better our nations schools.
Sensible Steps to Healthier School Environments Brochure (2 pp, 76K, About PDF)
Dec. 12, 2012, 4-5 p.m.: Solar Energy: Power for Earth, the ISS, and Exploring Other Worlds! (NASA)
Dec. 19, 2012, 4-6 p.m.: Chipmunk Cheeks and Chicken Legs: Body Systems and Life in Space (NASA)
Jan. 16, 2013, 4-5 p.m.: Food for Thought: Space Food and Nutrition (NASA)
Jan. 9, 2013, 3-4 p.m.: Using Remote Sensing to Quantify Changes over Time (NASA)
Please visit the webinars page for more!


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