Outdoor pollutants can be pulled into the school building from a variety of sources around the school. These sources include:
- The school site itself: radon, leakage from underground storage tanks, contaminants from previous use of the site
- Building-related pollutants: Odors from dumpsters too close outdoor air intakes and exhaust from the building itself (plumbing, furnaces) or from neighboring buildings that is drawn back into the building through outdoor air intake
- Exhaust from vehicles (cars, trucks and diesel buses) on roads, in parking lots, garages or loading docks nearby
- Nearby industrial and commercial pollutants from: landfills, factories, hazardous waste sites, incinerators, farms, power plants, construction sites and airports
- Pollutants tracked into the school on shoes and clothing: animal dander, bird and animal droppings, leaves and debris, dirt, dust, pollen and fungal spores:
- Pesticides applied to nearby crops or to school grounds and playing fields
- Emissions from residential heating units, such as wood smoke.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Question: What steps can we take to stop outdoor pollutants from getting into our school?
Answer: Have an anti-idling policy for all vehicles on school grounds.
Move pollutant sources away from outdoor air intakes.
Put an entry mat system at all school entrances to stop most pollutants that otherwise would be tracked in on shoes.
CT DPH website section on Air Pollution:
EPA IAQ Design Tools for Schools section on Preventing the Entry of Pollutants from Outside the Building:
EPA Indoor and Outdoor Air Contaminant Exposures and Asthma Aggravation Among Children (Asthma Exposure):
CT DPH website section on Hazardous Waste Sites and Soil Contamination:
Addressing Woodsmoke issues:
EPA Healthy School Environment Resources- Outdoor Air Pollution: