June 01, 2017

The Invisible Issue in America’s Classrooms: Addressing Indoor Air Quality through the Law

Roger Hanshaw

Last year approximately 50 million students attended over 98,000 public elementary and secondary schools in the United States. As the safety of students in public schools becomes an increasingly important concern for parents, teachers, and school administrators everywhere, the overall health of the school environment is coming under increasingly greater scrutiny. But concerns over school safety are not limited to physical access to the school building; exposure to potentially harmful or dangerous substances in the school environment now play a larger role in school design, construction, and operation. Indeed, indoor air quality has become a key consideration for school administrators, regulators, and contractors at every stage of school construction, operation, and maintenance of new schools in the United States. The growing concern over indoor air quality in schools has played a significant role in recent litigation, as well as in the development of new regulations on exposure to certain chemical compounds.

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