Wednesday, January 22, 2020

EPA releases guide for parents and schools to minimize student air pollution exposure

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released “Best Practices for Reducing Near-Road Pollution Exposure at Schools,” a document that parents and schools can use to limit air pollution exposure for students, who are particularly susceptible to its health impacts.

“Our children are especially vulnerable to air pollution, which can damage their growing lungs,” EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Jared Blumenfeld said. “This new report gives school officials and parents multiple ways to limit their students’ exposures to the pollutants from traffic.”

Children, whose respiratory systems are still developing, breathe more rapidly and are more active outdoors and more likely to have asthma than adults. Children from low-income and minority families are at an even higher risk for asthma, and are also more likely to go to a school located near a major roadway, which increases the levels of air pollution they are exposed to on a daily basis.

The EPA’s document provides schools and parents with tactics to minimize the effects of air pollution, such as ventilation and filtration strategies and how to set up a school’s layout to improve air quality. The document also suggests measures like anti-idling policies, bus fleets with lower emissions, sound walls and vegetative barriers, among others.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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