Protecting children’s health where they live, learn, and play is a top priority for the EPA. April 5 was National Healthy Schools Day, a day dedicated to promoting healthy school environments for children. Today and throughout the year, EPA supports the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a safer, healthier and usually less costly option for effective pest management in schools.
Children in the United States face risks from unnecessary exposure to pests and pesticides in schools. EPA encourages the use of IPM, a smart, sensible and sustainable approach to pest control that focuses on addressing the underlying issues that make schools attractive to pests. Schools that practice IPM see fewer pests, use less pesticides, and may see a noticeable improvement in attendance and academic performance.
IPM reduces the risks from pests and pesticides for students and staff by reducing sources of food, water and shelter for pests in school buildings and grounds. An IPM program takes advantage of all pest management tactics, including the judicious use of pesticides.
Two new EPA documents highlight the health benefits afforded to students, teachers, and staff by IPM. Preventing Pests for Healthier Schools: The Health Case for Integrated Pest Management provides a synopsis of the research supporting IPM as a proven method for creating healthier school environments. Making Pests a Thing of the Past: Integrated Pest Management for Healthier Schools and Students concisely conveys the basics of IPM, its science-based approach, and how pest control via IPM makes for a healthier school environment.
EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM serves as a resource for school districts seeking to develop and implement an IPM program. The Center provides information and tools that school administrators, facility managers, and pest management service providers can use to create a safer learning environment for children. For more information, contact the Center of Expertise for School IPM (firstname.lastname@example.org), 844-372-7476 (toll-free).
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Healthy Schools Day is coordinated by Healthy Schools Network, Inc. in cooperation with numerous agencies and organizations, including the EPA, to promote EPA’s state school environmental health guidelines and programs for schools and children’s health.