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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Environmental conditions and policies in New York State public elementary schools: A survey of school custodians

Shao Lin, PhD and Christine Kielb, MSPH. Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, New York State Dept. of Health, Flanigan Square, Room 200, Troy, NY 12180, (518) 402-7990, clk03@health.state.ny.us

Background:  Asthma is the most common chronic disease among elementary age school children in the United States, and a leading cause of school absences.  Children spend a substantial amount of time in school, where they may be exposed to environmental conditions that exacerbate or cause asthma.  Therefore it is important to obtain information about school environmental conditions.  This information can be used to raise awareness in the schools and to serve as a basis for future intervention programs.

Methods:  This survey of custodians in New York State public elementary schools (excluding New York City) was conducted with support from the New York State Education Department and the New York State Asthma Coalitions.  Custodians were asked questions about the school building, including age; type and condition of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system; cleaning practices; the presence of allergens and the conditions that promote them; and the presence of irritants and fumes, including diesel exhaust.  Questions about indoor air quality (IAQ) programs and policies were also asked.

Results:  A total of 1,433 out of 2,378 mailed surveys were received from participants for a response rate of 60.3%.  The most commonly reported environmental problems included: mold/moisture problems (84.4%), exposure to diesel exhaust (42.2%), rodents and/or rodent droppings (29.1%), and construction dust (22.2%).  Statistical analysis of these data are ongoing, including linkage with asthma morbidity data from other sources.  These additional results will be presented at the conference.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Indoor Environment, Asthma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Asthma and School Indoor Air Quality

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA