Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Bad Behavior in the Classroom Results from a Poor Environment
by Lourdes Salvador
Children spend a large part of their lives in the classroom. Oftentimes, classrooms have many environmental concerns that have been negatively linked to health and learning ability.
Dr. Doris Rapp, a board-certified environmental medical specialist and pediatric allergist, says that allergies are often a hidden health hazard and poor behavior in children is often linked to allergies.
The use of various products and materials in and around schools is often a factor in childhood allergies which may result in poor behavior and aggression in children. Common environmental problems in the classroom include poor air quality, mold, harsh cleaning products, carpeting, building materials and renovations, lighting, noise, pesticides, and fragrances.
"Many school buildings are old, and they-and even newer buildings-can contain multiple environmental health hazards," say researchers Paulson & Barnett. "Teachers and other staff, but not children who are more vulnerable to hazards than adults, are afforded some protections from hazards by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, by their employment contracts, or through adult occupational health services."
The lack of independent oversight over children´s environmental health at school means that parents, teachers, and administrators need to be on the lookout for changes in children
A sign that a school building may be affecting a child is different behavior at school than the child displays at home. Often this may be assumed to be a dislike of school; however, allergies are commonly at fault.
Other signs may be differing behavior in different rooms or worsening behavior as the day progresses. Foods may also cause allergies, so lunch time may introduce allergens as well.
There are many organizations working on green cleaning and mold in schools. Some well-known organizations include:
Children´s Health Environmental Coalition
The Center for School Mold Help
The Green Flag Program for Schools
Paulson J, Barnett C. Who's in Charge of Children's Environmental Health at School? New Solut. 2010;20(1):3-23.
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2010 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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