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Lexington’s “Stand for Children” Holding Teach-in On Indoor Air Quality

Release Date: 03/29/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865,

For Immediate Release: March 29,2005; Release # sr050314

The Lexington Chapter of “Stand for Children” a child-advocacy group, is focusing on indoor air quality in Lexington schools at a teach-in, Thursday night, March, 31st, @ 7:00 at Follen Church. Stand for Children organizers have gathered experts on indoor air quality to learn more about implementing a program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called “Tools for Schools.”

The event will feature experts on “Tools for Schools” and indoor air quality issues from the EPA, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, and administrators from the Newton Public Schools. Newton has successfully implemented Tools for Schools and will share their experiences.

“The Tools for Schools program helps schools evaluate, identify, and address indoor air quality problems," stated EPA Engineer, Eugene Benoit. "It is a program that helps school officials to rectify problems that they encounter and to create a healthier environment for learning – I am happy to assist Lexington and other communities that are interested in adopting this effective program."

While most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can cause damage to their health, many do not know that indoor air pollutants can also do the same. Studies of human exposure to air pollutants by EPA indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be 2-5 times, and occasionally more than 100 times, higher than outdoor pollutant levels. Indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health.

Children are particularly vulnerable to indoor air pollution because they breathe a greater volume of air relative to their body weight. To make matters worse, schools tend to be at a higher risk of poor indoor air quality because they can have 4 times the occupants as a regular office building for the same amount of floor space and generally less maintenance making air quality in schools an area of a particular concern.

“Good indoor air quality contributes to a favorable learning environment for students, productivity for teachers and staff, and a sense of comfort, health, and welfare for school building occupants,” stated Jeff Drake, Co-Chair, Lexington Chapter of Stand for Children. “Stand is grateful to Eugene Benoit, of EPA and to the other speakers that are helping us understand these important issues and set realistic goals so that we can have a better chance for success.”

Speakers at the event include: Eugene Benoit, EPA; Tolle Graham, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health; Mike Feeney, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and Carol Bock and Pam Appleton from Newton Public Schools. The event will be held from 7 - 9 p.m. at Follen Community Center, 755 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington.

To learn more about Tools for Schools visit EPA’s website at: or Stand for Children visit:

Related Information:
Indoor Air
EPA NE Tools for Schools