The Center for Green Schools at USGBC is excited to release guidance on product purchasing for asthma prevention.
Asthma affects 1 in 12 children in the United States each year and is a leading contributor to student absenteeism. Chronic illnesses like asthma may even increase students’ risk of impacts from COVID-19. Purchasing environmentally healthier cleaning products, filters, furniture and rugs, and markers and paints can help to reduce a significant number of irritants and allergens that contribute to asthma symptoms in school settings.
The Healthy Green Purchasing for Asthma Prevention guidebook focuses on the intersection between purchasing for environmental sustainability and meeting the health needs of students, families and school staff. During the current pandemic, when all eyes are on reducing virus transmission, it is important that our schools not lose sight of other significant health concerns, especially when solutions to one may affect the other.
The guide is meant to serve as a resource for all who care about healthy purchasing for asthma prevention at the school level: teachers who wish to incorporate asthma-friendly supplies into their classrooms, staff and sustainability professionals looking to submit product specifications that reduce environmental exposures, and community advocates and family members looking to advocate for healthy green purchasing policies with their school board.
There are countless benefits to investing in good air quality and nontoxic materials. We hope the case studies and guidance offered here focused on asthma prevention will help education leaders prioritize healthy purchasing, healthy schools and healthy kids.