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The Blount County School System in Maryville, Tennessee receives U.S. EPA Indoor Air Quality Excellence Award

Release Date: 10/31/2003
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, EPA Media Relations, 404-562-8421
The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the Blount County School System has been selected to receive the Indoor Air Quality-Tools for Schools 2003 Excellence Award. Steve Johnson, Acting Deputy Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency presented the award during the 4th Annual Indoor Air Quality-Tools for Schools National Symposium in Washington, DC, on October 27, 2003. This prestigious award recognizes exemplary indoor air quality programs and commitment to provide a healthy learning environment for students and staff.

Like many schools, Blount County School System suffered from mold related problems and inadequate HVAC systems. But they did something about it! They established an indoor air quality prevention and remediation structure, using the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) Program in the indoor air in their schools. This proactive approach has helped to improve the indoor air in the school system. The central IAQ committee includes school administrators, county government, an HVAC contractor, and a school architect.

In 1995, the EPA developed the voluntary IAQ TfS Kit and Program in response to government studies highlighting the deteriorating conditions of the nation's schools and the alarming rise in asthma cases, particularly among school and preschool age children. Asthma alone accounts for 14 million missed school days each year. Today, one out of every 13 school-age children has asthma. The IAQ TfS Kit is a flexible, comprehensive resource designed to help school staff identify, resolve, and prevent indoor air quality problems and is available to schools at no cost. Currently, an estimated 10,000 schools and school districts across the country are utilizing the Program.