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    02/14/2011: Middle, High School Teachers Flock to Atlanta for Lessons on Indoor Air Quality


    Rachel R. Belew, PR & Communications Manager
    678.444.4047 or 678.548.7889


    Middle, High School Teachers Flock to Atlanta for Lessons on Indoor Air Quality

    GREENGUARD Environmental Institute and Expeditionary Learning Team Up to Promote Healthier Indoor Air in Schools

    (Atlanta, GA)—In collaboration with the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute and Expeditionary Learning, a national nonprofit dedicated to educational reform, nearly two dozen middle and high school teachers from across the U.S. will arrive in Atlanta Thursday to learn about the science of indoor air quality and the health impacts of indoor air pollution.

    The three-day educational workshop will allow teachers to explore the causes and effects of airborne chemical toxicity in indoor environments—particularly its impact on student and teacher achievement. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), poor indoor air quality in schools can lead to lower test scores, decreased concentration, increased absenteeism and overall poor academic performance. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which off-gas from products and materials used in indoor environments and pollute the indoor air, can lead to asthma and other serious health problems when they are inhaled.

    “Indoor air quality can be such a nebulous concept, and it’s a rather niche science, so we applaud the teachers of Expeditionary Learning for participating in this unique educational field trip,” says Dr. Marilyn Black, one of the world’s leading indoor air quality scientists and founder of the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. “It is so important for the public—not just teachers, but parents, students and administrators, too—to understand the impact that indoor air quality can have on academic performance and health.”

    As part of the learning experience, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute will lead an interactive seminar on the topic, and GREENGUARD’s scientific partner, Air Quality Sciences, Inc. (AQS), will perform a live demonstration of indoor air sampling. Teachers will then visit the headquarters of the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute and AQS for a tour of the facility’s state-of-the-art air chamber technology and testing laboratories.

    “We encourage teachers to bring science to life by studying real world issues and concerns, and indoor air quality is a topic that is relevant in every school,” says Jennifer Seydel, Ph.D., school designer at Expeditionary Learning Midwest Region. “Teachers participating in this workshop will be equipped to assist students with collecting samples and testing the air in their own schools. We are thrilled to have the scientists at GREENGUARD and AQS as our external experts in this exciting workshop."  

    The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute’s website is a comprehensive resource for indoor air quality-related issues, including those that affect schools. It also features an interactive virtual tour to help pinpoint common sources of air pollution in schools while offering simple solutions for teachers, administrators, and facility managers.

    For more information about Expeditionary Learning and about other educational workshops, visit www.elschools.org.

    About GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI)

    The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute aims to protect human health and improve quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. As an ISO-IEC Guide 65:1996 accredited, third-party organization, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and provides a resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments.  All certified products must meet stringent chemical emissions standards based on established criteria from key public health agencies. GREENGUARD Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by sustainable building programs and building codes worldwide. For more information and a complete listing of certified products, visit www.greenguard.org.


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