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Schools Honored for Improving Indoor Air Quality for Students; Asthma Accounts for 14 Million Missed School Days

Release Date: 10/24/2003
Contact Information:

Media Alert

Contact: John Millett, 202-564-7842 /

(10/24/03) Seeking to help improve the learning environment for American school children, the 4th “Annual Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools” national symposium will be hosted Oct 26-28 in Washington, D.C. by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA has invited hundreds of local school officials from across the country to discuss the basics of how to identify and resolve indoor environmental problems in schools. Mold, mildew, dust, animal dander, radon, secondhand smoke, asbestos and formaldehyde can affect indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality lowers the productivity of staff and students, sometimes triggering allergies and asthma. Asthma alone accounts for 14 million missed school days each year. The rate of asthma in young children has risen by 160 percent in the last 15 years, and today one out of every 13 school-age children has asthma.

A special awards ceremony will recognize individuals and schools from 15 states for their extraordinary commitment to improving air quality. This year’s winners come from: Waterford, Conn.; Westborough, Mass.; Trenton, N.J.; Bel Air, Md.; Erie and Wayne, Penn.; Maryville, Tenn.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Sandusky and West Carrollton, Ohio; Rochester, Minn.; Overland Park, Kan.; Thornton, Colo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Clovis, Visalia and Walnut Creek, Calif.; Cle Elum and Bellingham, Washington; and Houston, Texas. A complete list of awardees will be available at:

What: 4th Annual Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Symposium

When: Sunday, Oct. 26 to Tuesday, Oct. 28 (Special events are Monday, Oct. 27)

Highlights: Opening Remarks: Monday, Oct. 27 9:00 a.m. by Jeff Holmstead, Assistant
Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. EPA;
              Awards Ceremony, Monday Oct. 27, 5:30 p.m. by Steve Johnson, Acting
Deputy Administrator, U.S. EPA

Where: Grand Hyatt Hotel
1000 H St., N.W. (Metro Center location), Washington, D.C