We live in a time when advances in chemistry, engineering and technology are transforming our lives. We quickly embrace new technologies and inventions, even when the science and understanding of their potential impacts on human health and the environmental are not always fully understood.

The ChildSafe School embraces the Precautionary Principle, which holds that when an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.

Using this principle, we bring you information on several emerging health issues that impact children, teachers and staff.

Synthetic Turf - The increasing importance attached to scholastic sports programs has fueled demand for uniform, all-season sports fields, and many schools are considering the installation of synthetic turf as a possible solution. Today's synthetic turf fields are typically filled with up to ten tons of ground-up truck and automobile tires. This recycled rubber contains high levels of toxic substances which prohibit their disposal in landfills and oceans. Learn more about the problems associated with synthetic turf, and how the recycled tires used to cushion these fields pose a significant health for young athletes.
Fact Sheet on Synthetic Turf
Video Presentation on Synthetic Turf
Ten Things You Should Know About Synthetic Turf

Fragrances - Fragrances are added to many consumer products, including air fresheners, cleaning products and personal care products such as shampoos, deodorants, perfumes and body washes. Strong fragrances can trigger or exacerbate asthma symptoms and other respiratory conditions in sensitive populations. Some schools are eliminating air fresheners, using non-fragranced cleaning products, and adopting voluntary guidelines for students regarding the use of fragranced personal care products.
Fact Sheet on Fragrances
Sample School Policy on Fragrances

Wireless Radiation - Wireless technologies are proliferating rapidly in every aspect of our lives, and while they may be convenient, emerging research suggests that they are also impacting our health, even at levels far below FCC standards. A growing number of peer-reviewed independent studies are suggesting links between exposure to wireless (radio frequency) radiation during pregnancy and non-thermal biological effects on humans. Recent lab studies at Yale demonstrated that exposure to wireless radiation during pregnancy resulted in neurological impairment in offspring.
Guidelines for Safer Use of Wireless Technology in Classrooms
Wireless Radiation Exposure in Schools
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Diesel Exhaust

Cleaning Products

Turf Pesticides

Emerging Issues


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The ChildSafe School is a program of Grassroots Environmental Education, a science-based non-profit organization.
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