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Family/Community Involvement Health Education Health Promotion for Staff Healthy School Environment Health Services Physical Education Counseling, Psychological.

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Presentation on theme: "Family/Community Involvement Health Education Health Promotion for Staff Healthy School Environment Health Services Physical Education Counseling, Psychological."— Presentation transcript:

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3 Family/Community Involvement Health Education Health Promotion for Staff Healthy School Environment Health Services Physical Education Counseling, Psychological & Social Services Nutrition Services 2

4 3 Today we will speak about the importance of managing and maintaining your schools’ chemicals 3

5 4 Is this your school’s chemical storage closet? 4

6 Or does it resemble this? 5 5

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8 Do you have the chemical storage area secured or is there easy access for anyone? Would you want your school lab closet to look like this? 7 7

9 Why is the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) so important? Because a school should be a safe place for everyone and not a place where one’s safety is at stake. It needs to be a place where risk and harm can be avoided. Because these types of risks and concerns are preventable with good management and diligence. 8 8

10 Why is the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) so important? The reality is: Tens to thousands of pounds of chemicals need to be removed from most schools and school districts; Most schools do not have a designated Chemical Coordinator; Most schools don’t have a Chemical Management Plan; Most schools do not have appropriate safety equipment needed to respond to chemical spills; Many schools possess large quantities of expired chemicals; Many chemicals are not stored properly; which increases the potential for future problems and risk. 9 9

11 Examples of chemical storage problems: Red phosphorus degrades to poisonous white phosphorus which spontaneously ignites when it contacts the air. 10

12 Here’s nitric acid, an oxidizer and a corrosive. The fumes ate through the plastic cap, then oxidized the cardboard box. This is an extreme fire risk! There was six pounds of cyanide located right above it! A sudden jolt or an earthquake could mean an instant gas chamber for 500 students/faculty! 11

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15 Used in Art & Chemistry classes to etch glass It is an anesthetic: This acid doesn’t burn on contact, however, it will harm deep tissue and disintegrate bone. It causes extreme pain and can cause gangrene & amputation. It is highly corrosive and dissolves glass. Is this chemical in your school? Is it being well-managed? Hydrofluoric Acid 14

16 Shown here are highly explosive peroxide crystals. Crystals on acid bottle, no big deal. Crystals found on a solvent lid, assume it to be explosive. 15

17 Dessert anyone? 16 Do you have mercury on site? Is it in a container like this? Do you have other forms of mercury on site?

18 Dessert anyone? 17 Do you have mercury on site? Is it in a container like this? Do you have other forms of mercury on site? (Slide cont’d - more speaker’s notes)

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22 Bottles here are being used as structural support for the shelf above them. They need to be disposed of, but they can’t currently be moved. 21

23 Does your school have “methol something” in its chemical storage closet? 22

24 23 What is this? 23

25 Prevent Legacy Chemicals from Stockpiling What is a Legacy Chemical? Legacy chemicals are unwanted chemicals that are sometimes left behind after a move. If you move into a laboratory that has legacy chemicals in it, you should tell your department administrator immediately. If your department cannot, for whatever reason, solve the problem, then these legacy chemicals are “yours” to manage. Unless you think that you will use them, arrange to request their collection as hazardous waste as soon as possible and feasible and follow all waste accumulation rules, including hazard identification, labeling and segregation. 24

26 Prevent Legacy Chemicals from Stockpiling Legacy Chemicals Sometimes people leave laboratories without disposing of chemicals properly. Under the Laboratory Safety Manual, however, principal investigators are required to completely clean out laboratories before they leave, including all hazardous chemicals and waste (see Section 10, Moving In/Moving Out.) 25

27 Chemicals in Schools In the News  Missouri - As Missouri high school students headed home for the weekend - a student notified the school office “that another student had what she identified as mercury in her possession,” They discovered mercury in three locations in the school. (2/2010)  Iowa - “Experts hauled out and blew up several containers of unidentified chemicals found in school storage area.” (2/2004)  Maine - Schools have uncovered stockpiles of potentially dangerous chemicals, including agents used in chemical warfare that could cost millions to clean up. (10/2004)  Kansas - A school laboratory burned when a container of a legacy chemical was shaken during a move, causing an exothermic reaction. 26

28 27  Tennessee - Was confronted with school lab explosions, and fortunately no one was injured in these events. The resulting cleanups cost nearly $300,000. (Missouri Department of Natural Resources website)  Hawaii - “Hazmat crews and police converge on a High School, after students got into a container of sodium cyanide.” (12/2004)  Tokyo - “School officials failed to dispose of more than 1,000 bottles of radioactive waste.” (8/2004) (continued) Chemicals in Schools In the News 27

29 Goals of Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3)  Remove outdated, unknown, excessive, or unnecessarily hazardous chemicals from secondary schools;  Prevent future stockpiles and reduce accidents by establishing prevention activities such as good purchasing and management practices;  Raise national awareness of the problem. 28

30 You may need to work with various partners: State and local departments of environment School districts and administrations Chemical and waste management firms Local industry Post-secondary education institutions 29

31 What Happens at the School? Partnerships are formed. Budgets are determined. Plans are made. Trained technical experts are engaged and make site visits to schools to assess problems. Trained experts are essential for the identification and handling of chemicals, and for the education of school personnel. 30

32 All partners will work closely with school personnel on solutions. Chemicals identified for removal are widely found -- from labs to janitorial supply areas; from bus barns to art studios. Trained personnel safely remove and dispose of the identified chemicals. Prevention plans and practices are created and implemented (training, purchasing policies, green chemistry, etc.) Work the plan, follow up and act! 31 What Happens at the School? 31

33  Determine how your school/district will use this information to establish and sustain a chemical cleanout campaign.  What needs to be done short-term and long-term at your school/district?  What resources are needed (budget, staff, technical help, training, additional information, etc.) to get this done?  What opportunities exist for partners to provide funding and/or other assistance? 32 Steps to take to make it happen! 32

34 Chemical Management Resource Guide for School Administrators Guidance Manual for K-12 Schools: Environmental Compliance and Best Management Practices/October, Environmental Health & Safety in the Arts: A Guide for K-12 Schools, Colleges and Artisans - Proper Management of Waste and Residuals from Art Studios and Shop Practices 33 Additional Resourc es 33

35 34 Additional Resources 34 If you have further questions about SC3, contact EPA Region 7: or visit

36 35 Questions? 35


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