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Sick Schools = Sick Children

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For 12 years or more, children go to school day after day, sitting, learning, and … wheezing? Indoor air pollution affects many Canadian schools

For 12 years or more, children go to school day after day, sitting, learning, and … wheezing? Indoor air pollution affects many Canadian schools. Unsuspected buildings possess poor ventilation systems, contributing to stale air and the buildup of airborne pollutants, including allergens, dust mites, and molds. All have been shown to trigger asthma symptoms, which affects one in 13 school-aged children. Asthma is the leading cause of missed schooldays due to chronic disease.

Air pollution also worsens some heart conditions and respiratory illnesses, while airborne heavy metals, chemicals, and particulate matter come with their own dangers. Lead, for example, found in old paints, is highly toxic, carcinogenic, and leads to reproductive problems.

Sick schools now have a fighting chance. "Indoor Air Quality: Tools for Schools Action Kit for Canadian Schools," a new federal resource available to help school boards, staff, and parents understand, identify, and combat air quality problems, is available at HC-SC.GC.CA.

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