Making a List and Checking It Twice: A Precautionary Approach to Schools

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

In autumn 2004, parents, teachers, and children were doing what they typically do at that time of year - namely, preparing to return to school. Others, however, were preparing for the school year in a different way.

The Coalition for Healthier Schools, a broad coalition of educational, environmental, health, and civic organizations, was preparing a “Back to School Environmental Checklist,” and doing their best to ensure that the Checklist received significant media attention and broad circulation among school districts across America.

The Checklist is intended to help parents, teachers, and students identify and address “unhealthy conditions” in their schools, including polluted indoor air, lead exposure, asbestos, chemical fumes, pesticides, and related conditions believed to be hazardous.

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