The Toxic Schoolhouse: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Toxic Schoolhouse

1st Edition

By Madeleine Kangsen Scammell, Charles Levenstein


258 pages

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pub: 2014-03-30
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The Toxic Schoolhouse is a collection of articles on chemical hazards endangering students, teachers, and staff in the education system of the United States and Canada. Some of the articles were originally published in a special issue of New Solutions: A Journal of Occupational and Environmental Policy, but all have been updated and several new articles have been added. The book is organized in three sections. The first describes problems ranging from the failures of coordination, monitoring, and siting of school buildings to the hazards of exposure to toxic substances, including lead and PCBs. The second section captures the voices of activists seeking change and describes community and union organizing efforts to improve school conditions. The third section covers policy "solutions." The authors include academics, union staff and rank-and-file activists, parent organization leaders, and public health professionals.

Table of Contents




PART I ~ The Problem

Chapter 1. Who’s in Charge of Children’s Environmental Health at School?

Jerome Paulson and Claire Barnett

Chapter 2. Who’s Sick at School: Linking Poor School Conditions and Health Disparities for Boston’s Children

Tolle Graham, Jean Zotter, and Marlene Camacho

June 2012 Update on Who’s Sick at School Report

Tolle Graham, Jean Zotter, and Marlene Camacho

Chapter 3. Failing Our Children: Lead in U.S. School Drinking Water

Yanna Lambrinidou, Simoni Triantafyllidou, and Marc Edwards

Chapter 4. PCBs in School—Persistent Chemicals, Persistent Problems

Robert F. Herrick

Update on PCBs in School

Robert F. Herrick

Chapter 5. Healthy School Siting and Planning Policies: Linking Public Health, Education, and the Environment

Alison K. Cohen

PART II ~ Organizing for Change

Chapter 6. “Serving Two Masters”—An Interview with School Teacher and Union Organizer

Debra Askwith

Madeleine Kangsen Scammell and Ema Rodrigues

Chapter 7. “We Can’t Give Up, It’s Too Important”—Health and Safety Stories from Canadian and U.S. Schools

Dorothy Wigmore

Chapter 8. New Jersey’s Union-Centered Healthy Schools Work

Eileen Senn

Chapter 9. Negotiating Indoor Air—Case Report on Negotiation of Teachers’ Union, School Board on Air Contaminants

Sarah Gibson and Charles Levenstein

Chapter 10. School Custodians and Green Cleaners:Labor-Environment Coalitions and Toxics Reduction

Laura Senier, Brian Mayer, Phil Brown, and Rachel Morello-Frosch

PART III ~ Advances in Policy

Chapter 11. Integrated Pest Management Policies in America’s Schools: Is Federal Legislation Needed?

Andrea Kidd Taylor, Kyle Esdaille, and Jennifer Ames

Chapter 12. Reducing Asthma Triggers in Schools: Recommendations for Effective Policies, Regulations, and Legislation

Joan N. Parker

Chapter 13. Building the New Schoolhouse: The Massachusetts School Building Authority

Jennifer Ames and Charles Levenstein



About the Series

Work, Health and Environment Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health