According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), IAQ is important for health, economic, and legal reasons. Indoor air pollutants can cause discomfort, and reduce school attendance and productivity. Moreover, it can "cause or contribute to short- and long-term health problems, including asthma, respiratory tract infection and disease, allergic reactions, headaches, nasal congestion, eye and skin irritations, coughing, sneezing, fatigue, dizziness and nausea"1. Poor indoor air quality can hasten building deterioration. One study of an elementary school showed that if $8,140 had been spent over 22 years on preventive maintenance, $1.5 million in repairs could have been avoided1. In addition, poor indoor air quality can contribute to the closing of schools, create liability problems, and strain relationships among parents, teachers, and the school administration.
The Minnesota 1997 Omnibus Education Act requires public school districts to adopt a plan to monitor and improve indoor air quality. The Department of Children, Families and Learning (DCFL) has adopted USEPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools program as the basis for establishing the criteria for an effective IAQ Management Plan.
Minnesota Department of Health
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul, MN, 55164-0975