March 03, 2011

Poison Prevention Week March 20-26, 2011

Be alert for poisons in school closets, storerooms, classrooms, art studios, sports area and labs.

Hazards in High Schools and Middle Schools
Dave Waddell is the Environmental Investigator and Project Coordinator for the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, Seattle WA,  He works with schools to reduce their use of hazardous chemicals, dispose of unneeded and degraded chemicals and improve the management of those they need to keep and use.    Here's a link to the smaller version of the slide show he uses to train art teachers: Hidden Hazards in the Arts:  Dyeing and other art hazards
Kids and Toxins: Exposures at School
Children can be exposed to a myriad of environmental toxins in and around schools every day. From cleaning products to plastics, toxins in the air they breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat can have a significant impact on their health.  Three of the most worrisome exposures commonly found at schools across the country are detailed in our award-winning ChildSafe School Program -- cleaning products, turf pesticides and diesel exhaust.
The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide (3rd edition, Allworth Press) by Monona Rossol.   Although written for artists and teachers in the arts, the book is useful reading for anyone interested in healthier schools.  There are safety checklists, ingredients tables, and ventilation guidelines.  Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety Data Sheets from 1 to 10 pages on over 60 different technical subjects related to health and safety in art and theater.
Clean and Safe in the 21st Century (PDF format)
(A guide that includes information on household cleaning product labels, safety and storage; hard surface cleaning; poison prevention and more. Appropriate for childcare and healthcare professional, educators, and parents.)  Request a free copy by mentioning Send order to American Cleaning Institute, 1331 L St NW, Suite 650, Washington, DC 20005. 
This is a guide for local health and safety officers, elected officials, emergency responders, local  emergency planning committees, businesses,  workers and concerned citizens to reassess community safety and security regarding the storage, use, production and transport of extremely hazardous chemicals. Throughout the US economy, thousands of facilities use and ship high volumes of these chemicals, threatening populous communities near to facilities and transit routes where chemical releases can happen. Most chemical incidents to date have involved accidental releases of chemicals to the environment.  The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 made apparent that chemical sites around the US could also be targets of terrorists wishing to intentionally harm people and property. While hiring more security guards at these sites may safeguard against some threats, the truth is that these facilities are often so vulnerable that only sharply reducing or eliminating the presence of extremely hazardous substances can truly protect against intentional assaults.