Todd is widely admired for making it easier for people to do the right thing. He is a master at communicating the benefits of safety and sustainable principles and changing the mindset from resistance, avoidance and “waiting to get caught” to eagerness for technical assistance.
As an environment management professional, Todd has always acted as the eyes and ears as well as the voice of the community whether the issue is water quality, waste site cleanup, emergency response, or school environmental health and safety. He is dedicated to promoting accident prevention and risk minimization, to correcting deficiencies in operations, and to helping people learn from mistakes.
A second firm benefited by obtaining a product input at a lower cost from an in-state source. This saved money for both firms and prevented pollution be extending the useful life of the solvent and decreasing the need for transportation. This was a win for both businesses and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
So Todd wrote a comprehensive analysis of the hazards, their contributing causes, and his recommendations for corrective action, "A Case Study of Environmental, Health and Safety Issues Involving the Burlington, Massachusetts Public School System Indoor Air Quality." It is a guide for parents, school staff, and public officials everywhere.
He wrote, "A significant problem noted was that no one employed by the school system had been assigned the task or made accountable to investigate or resolve environmental, health and safety concerns or complaints. As a result, such complaints were either ignored, disputed or referred to a consultant for resolution without consideration for the original cause. This resulted in the long term persistence of many hazards."
Concerned, Todd shifted into professional mode. Although the school was only three or four years old, he noted the cabinet shelves in the chemical storage room were heavily corroded signaling a serious lack of ventilation and knowledge about hazards material management. Todd went to principal to share his Burlington School Case Study. And, even though Todd was a consultant for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the school stalled at providing a chemical inventory. Eventually, the fire marshal found five fire codes violations.
Todd chose to screen four solvents that are commonly used in industrial and pharmaceutical applications for toxicological and teratogenic impacts (birth defects). He learned it didn’t take much to screw things up.
A Case Study of Environmental, Health and Safety Issues Involving the Burlington, Massachusetts Public School System Indoor Air Quality, Todd Dresser, 1998.
- A synopsis of my investigation of various indoor air quality issues plaguing the Burlington school district. The document also offers a number of tips, suggestions and lessons learned that can help guide other schools seeking to evaluate IAQ issues within their district.
- The complete school EHS case study. It reviews the 20 major issues Todd evaluated at the Burlington School district. Each section describes methods and observations. It also offer tips, suggestions and lessons learned for each topic.
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