Indoor air quality improves at middle school in Easthampton

Hampshire County

EASTHAMPTON, Mass (WWLP) – After parent concerns, White Brook Middle School in Easthampton took steps to significantly improve the indoor air quality, with the help of the City Board of Health.

The White Brook Middle School in Easthampton has improved its indoor air quality. In a news release sent to 22News, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Indoor Air Quality Program assessed the indoor air quality at the middle school in March of 2016 and June of 2018 and was reassessed in February.

They removed the old carpet and peeling paint, and now continuously operate their HVAC system. They also removed chalkboards to reduce dust.

“I think that there are so many of our students that have allergies, that have asthma, and those impact their breathing,” said Allison LeClair, Ed.D., superintendent of Easthampton Public Schools. “And so they’re in a classroom for several hours a day. So that’s something we really want to be attentive to.”

The following is a list of recommendations that were noted in the reports:

  • Removing worn carpeting
  • Removing peeling paint in the gymnasium
  • Continuously operating supply and exhaust ventilation
  • Removing tennis balls from chair legs
  • Using a HEPA vacuum in conjunction with wet wiping
  • Removing wet carpeting from areas around exterior doors
  • Avoid overwatering of plants
  • Installing door sweeps
  • Cleaning trays of chalk debris regularly.

According to the Easthampton Health Department, in October of 2018, the Health Department inspected the school to review the progress made from the plan that was developed in July. One phase of carpet removal and peeling paint removal was complete in October and the second phases were completed over the holiday and summer breaks.

The smaller projects were finished immediately, but it took until the end of summer to finish the carpet and paint project, that was just inspected by the local board of health this week.

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