School conditions threaten children's health: report

January 7, 2010

The health of millions of American schoolchildren is at risk due to environmental conditions at their schools, finds a report from the National Coalition for Healthier Schools. According to the report (.pdf file), 55 million children attend K-12 schools with poor air quality, mismanaged hazardous chemicals and other unhealthy conditions.

The report compiles the studies and opinions of policy experts from 20 states and the District of Columbia. Experts suggest that poor conditions in schools lead to health risks, increased absenteeism and lower test scores. Their research indicates that unhealthy school conditions disproportionately impact low-income children in poorly performing schools.

The report calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen policies focused on children's health.