Trends In Green
There's an App for That
- By Jennifer Lemon
- September 1st, 2015
Breathing clean indoor air is an important part of the learning equation for every student and for school officials, too. Creating a healthy school environment just got a lot easier with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new mobile app. EPA’s proven and cost effective Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools guidance and checklists are now available on your mobile device. This School IAQ Assessment mobile app is a “one-stop shop” to help protect the health of students and staff with comprehensive IAQ facility assessments.
The app is gives you immediate and portable access to guidance from EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit. This new tool complements your ongoing IAQ management plans and can become the central tracking mechanism to organize building assessments and prioritize IAQ improvements long term. Best of all, this app gives you the power to take action to identify IAQ issues quickly, find the best solutions and implement cost effective preventative measures to maintain a healthy school environment.
On the mobile app, you’ll find proven strategies for addressing critical building-related environmental health issues and solutions for issues such as ventilation, cleaning and maintenance, environmental asthma triggers, radon, and integrated pest management.
“This mobile app transforms good IAQ guidance into a great, user-friendly tool for the 21st century. It helps deliver a higher quality learning environment while protecting everyone’s health — both students and staff,” says Dave Hill, Blue Valley School District, Overland Park, Kan.
How It Works
Go to www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/iaq_schools_mobile_app and initiate the app on your Apple or Android smart device. Access the How to Get Started section to review the setup options, intent and capabilities of the app.
Conduct a walkthrough of your school buildings using a set of easy-to-follow checklists — all you need is an Internet connection. Then, submit your completed checklists via email to your school or district-designated IAQ coordinator for review and follow-up action. You can also attach photos and detailed notes in your completed checklist submission.
The completed checklists will identify IAQ concerns and validate good IAQ practices already in place. Checklists are provided to your designated IAQ Coordinator with recommended action steps generated by the app to address identified IAQ problems. Recommendations are based on the Framework for Effective IAQ Management.
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The mobile app includes other valuable resources from the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit, such as information on radon and asthma management in schools, as well as, EPA’s newest guidance — Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades, which integrates IAQ protections into school energy retrofits and other building projects.
Comments provided in this article do not imply any official EPA endorsement. Furthermore, EPA does not accept any responsibility for the opinions and ideas shared in this article.
This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of School Planning & Management.
Jennifer Lemon is a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she specializes in indoor air quality issues in schools.