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Boston Schools Working to Reduce Asthma Triggers

Organization(s) Toxics Use Reduction Institute
Project Description Each year the Institute supports community projects through Toxics Use Reduction Networking (TURN) grants to raise awareness and develop strategies to reduce the use of toxics in municipalities, schools, households, and small businesses.

Seeking to reduce asthma triggers in the school environment, such as industrial strength cleaners, disinfectants, pests and pesticides, the Boston Urban Asthma Coalition (BUAC) and their Healthy Schools Taskforce is promoting less toxic janitorial cleaners in Boston Public Schools. Working with the Institute's Surface Solutions Laboratory (SSL) and their partners, BUAC has documented and evaluated the existing cleaning products and made recommendations for greener cleaners. Graffiti removal products, drain openers, and disinfectants were of most concern based on their health hazard ratings. Existing contracts and plumbing issues have prevented direct purchasing from the State's new Environmentally Preferable Products list of greener cleaners.

In addition, a training curriculum is for custodial staff and pilot testing protocol is being developed with the Institute's SSL. Three schools will be chosen for pilot tests. The project will serve as a model for introducing less toxic cleaners in schools.

Other TURN Projects include the development of a toxics use reduction track in the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards certification training; promoting greener household cleaners in Lowell's Hispanic and Cambodian communities; developing green building specifications for affordable housing in Springfield; and promoting greener house renovations in Somerville.

More Info www.turi.org/community
Project Contact
Name Eileen Gunn
Phone 978-934-4343
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Curriculum Development, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
Activity Keywords Funding and grants, Training/workshops
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 14 No. 1, Spring 2004


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