Durham District School Board Indoor Environment Procedures

The Durham District School Board of Ontario has taken several steps to prevent and address some of the problems it encounters related to the indoor environment. In particular, it has been, and continues to be, proactive in finding solutions to address mould.

The following are some of the Durham District School Board's past and current efforts in this area:

1. Have conducted routine airborne fungal sampling of classrooms and portables since 1991.

2. Have recently formalized an indoor environmental quality procedure, including a process by which complaints are handled promptly, responsibilities are clearly assigned and lines of communication are maintained.

3. Produced a ventilation guide for portables.

4. Reviewed products in art supplies and banned those considered toxic (e.g. ceramic glazes that contain lead), and provided educational workshops to art teachers.

5. Developed a passive air supply system to improve ventilation in older schools.

6. Currently developing a guide to recognize and manage indoor microbiological agents, including the following preventative measures:

- limit carpeting in new schools and additions
- remove carpets and replace with vinyl tile in old schools
- inspect portables annually
- caulk portables biannually
- replace old style exhaust fans in portables with better ventilation systems.

7. Providing training courses for chief custodians on mould identification.

8. Purchasing new portables (as needed) with design features that include wide roof overhangs and individual ventilation systems.

9. Communicating all activities and expectations to school occupants.

Two factors that have been key in advancing the Durham Board''s efforts to improve indoor environmental quality are awareness and internal partnerships. Much of what the board does is precipitated by recognition that porr indoor air quality can affect the health, productivity and comfort of the students and staff.

The Health and Safety Department works closely with Facilities Services to find solutions to the problems. Facilities Services and Health and Safety have support from the top in order to put their ideas into practice. Support from the teachers' federation and the Joint Health and Safety Committee also help to move the initiatives forward.

  Record #28, revised 2/5/2001


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