The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released guidance for K-12 schools on product purchasing to support students with asthma. An estimated six million U.S. students younger than 18 are affected by asthma, the USGBC says.
“Healthy schools are critical to rebuilding our economy, and we need to prioritize decisions that allow students, teachers, janitorial staff and communities at large to feel supported and safe,” said Anisa Heming, director of the Center for Green Schools, in a news release. “Through this new guide, we’re providing actionable guidance that education leaders can put into practice now to protect millions of students.”
The Center identified four primary categories where environmentally healthy purchasing can help reduce irritants and allergens that contribute to asthma. The guidance addresses cleaning products, filters, furniture, rugs, and markers and paints.
A healthy green purchasing policy helps address common asthma triggers, such as exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), indoor allergens, and poor ventilation. The asthma prevention guidance provides a list of third-party product certifications to consider, best practices for choosing low-VOC materials, and methods for engaging school decision-makers to implement a new purchasing policy.