Chemical Free Schools
By Clifford Woods
You’d like to think that any environment in which kids spent most of their waking lives would be near enough 100% chemical free and therefore as safe as possible. Sadly however this has proven not to be the case as according to the results of recent studies, an alarming number of schools across the Western World are still packed to the rafters with harmful products and toxic chemicals that stand to cause untold damage in those most sensitive to harm.
Wall-to-Wall Dangers: If a person was to actually have free run of a school for a couple of hours, chances are they would be in for quite the surprise as to how many chemicals and toxins are present outside the confines of the science labs. Committees are still pushing to ensure that there are no chemicals in schools with the potential to do great harm in the years to come, but in the meantime awareness is still crucial.
So what exactly are children at risk from in such environments?
- Solvents – Various paints, marker pens and craft supplies that may not have been vetted for safety.
- Cleaning Products – Any number of cleaning products used by cleaners and the kids themselves from time to time that haven’t been thoroughly checked for harmful chemicals.
- Vinyl – Certain types of vinyl products and supplies have been found to contain dangerous levels of toxins and still perpetuate in schools.
- Airborne – Heaters and air-conditioners cleaned, maintained or built with toxic products/components.
Take into account the above examples along with dozens of others and it can begin to appear that pushing for chemical free schools is an impossible task, but the truth is in fact quite to the contrary.
Simple Steps: In order to protect the health of future generations, it is simply a case of taking small though decisive steps to introduce only natural products in schools and begin ruling out their harmful counterparts. There is really no reason to sit back and accept that there are children at risk.
How to get started?
Consider the following.
- Rule out the purchase of any further vinyl products, as they may be inherently toxic. · Promote the use of recycled and 100% organic paper products.
- Increase trash awareness and promote the use of reusable containers.
- Organize discussion groups to air concerns and plan initiatives.
- Check all cleaning supplies and immediately replace harmful chemicals with natural products.
- Ensure all craft supplies used are 100% safe and natural.
- Eliminate the use of pesticides and chemicals both inside and outside the building.
The list goes on to encompass every part of the school where harmful substances may be in use. It isn’t a case of trying to revolutionize the whole establishment overnight, but rather to build awareness and take the first steps toward insisting that there are no chemicals in schools that can cause harm to kids and teachers alike.
A Clear Choice: Fully natural, safe and organic products for use in schools are not only beneficial to the health of kids and the planet alike, but are also just as effective and affordable as their chemical counterparts.
There really is no excuse for accepting anything less.
Summary: This article discusses the idea of the use of chemicals in schools, in the context of how harmful they can be to kids and teachers alike. It brings into account the use of organic and natural products as a safe, viable and necessary alternative for the future.
Clifford Woods is the CEO of Effective Environmental Services and Organic Environmental Technology.
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