Environmental health in schools is important to educational success and overall well-being. Poor conditions at school can interfere with academic growth as they are distracting, can increase absenteeism and can lead to costly repair and remediation projects if not addressed. To learn more about environmental health in schools, please review the topics below. If you have questions, please email our program staff.
Creating a classroom that is inviting and comfortable is important to academic success and overall well-being. The following resources can help teachers and school staff create a healthy environment and educational opportunities for the students they serve.
The chemicals, products and equipment used in science programs have certain potential risks. With careful planning and practical steps implemented, most risks can be avoided. The following resources can help your school improve the health and safety practices in your science labs.
Poor indoor air quality in schools is associated with increased student absenteeism and reduced student academic performance. Indoor air problems may include poor ventilation and filtration, mold and excessive moisture or chemicals being used in the school setting.
Radon is an invisible and odorless radioactive gas that is created by the decay of certain minerals. It is the single largest source of radiation in WA, leading to lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers. Clark County has high levels of radon due to the topography of the county. The good news is, once identified there are many mitigation strategies that can be implemented to reduce radon in your school.
To learn more about radon in schools, please visit the webpages below. For questions about radon in your school, please reach out to the district as they have procedures in place to monitor radon levels.
Wildfires are increasing in the Pacific Northwest, leading to more days with unhealthy air quality from smoke. Children are at higher risk for health issues due to wildfire smoke since their airways are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Children also spend more time outdoors, leading to increased exposure. Schools can take steps to prepare for days with smoky air and protect their students’ health using the tools below.
Integrated Pest Management is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. Schools can implement strategies focusing on reducing sources of food, water, and shelter for pests.
Ensuring the safety of our community’s drinking water is a core public health value. While the risk of lead in school drinking water is low in Clark County, our department works with school districts and the Washington State Department of Health as technical advisors on water sampling, identifying potential lead sources, assessing risk and informing parents if exposure has occurred. For more information, please visit the following websites:
Clark County Public Health partners with Washington State Department of Health, local school districts and community partners to ensure schools are safe and healthy for students and school staff.