Tips for Teachers

By Sandy Shadley, August 3, 2017

There are some things that teachers can do to help improve the indoor air quality of their classrooms and school. Here are some suggestions that we’d like to offer:

Locate your ventilation unit. Find out if it is working and bringing fresh air into your classroom. Don’t obstruct your vent with books, supplies or furniture. Ask your custodian when the filters were last changed.

Avoid bringing pets, plants, rugs, and furry objects into the classroom. Pets have dander. Plants have spores and their soil breeds mold. Rugs retain dust mites, molds, and odors.

Avoid using chemicals. Please don’t bring in your own cleaning products or sprays. Ask your facilities manager to look into buying less toxic cleaning products. Use odorless markers and art supplies. Staff and students should also refrain from wearing fragrances and spraying air fresheners. These can be respiratory irritants.

Report hazards and water leaks as soon as they appear to the custodian in charge or to your principal. Wet areas and cardboard containers encourage mold.

Clean up food and dust. Avoid bringing food into the classroom. Crumbs and liquids attract pests. Try not to store foods. If you must, keep leftovers in closed containers. Encourage the practice of children cleaning out desks and getting rid of any garbage. Do not spray pesticides, which can be hazardous to your health. There are natural ways to control pests.

Ms. Shadley is President of Alliance Environmental Group, a Woman-Owned Business. Ms. Shadley has project management expertise in asbestos, lead and indoor air quality. She is also well versed in groundwater sampling and data collection. Ms. Shadley is licensed asbestos inspector, management planner, project designer and asbestos abatement supervisor. Additionally, she is a licensed lead inspector and risk assessor. Ms. Shadley has completed over 50 projects related to asbestos and lead paint, as well as multiple projects related to indoor air quality.

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