In Schools

  • Encourage your school district to use natural, nontoxic solvents for cleaning school buildings and grounds. Using safer cleaners helps reduce children’s exposure to compounds that mimic estrogen or otherwise disrupt hormones at a critical time in the children’s development.
     
  • Work with your local schools to adopt health-friendly food preparation, serving, and storage techniques. Educate them about using glass or lead-free ceramic containers rather than plastic ones in the microwave, storing acidic food and drink in glass or ceramic containers rather than plastic ones, avoiding products made from polystyrene products, and using pots and pans that are steel clad, enameled, cast iron, or anodized aluminum rather than those with nonstick or stain-resistant coatings.
     
  • Investigate the use of pesticide spraying in school playgrounds and playing fields. Educate administrators and town leaders and hold them accountable. For more information, read the report Safer Schools: Achieving a Healthy Learning Environment Through Integrated Pest Management from Beyond Pesticides, and see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Managing Pests in Schools page.
     
  • Ensure that your school district enforces a policy of not allowing diesel-run school buses to stand idling. Diesel exhaust emits polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which have been linked to cancers of the breast, lung, bladder, and skin. Diesel exhaust can also trigger asthma. For more information, read “Cleaning Up Dirty School Buses,” from Environmental Defense Fund.
     
  • Join your parent-teacher organization to advocate for health-conscious decision-making in local schools. Find additional ways to express your concern and support and encourage others to do the same.
  • Check out our Detox Me app for more tips on taking action in schools.