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DSEA, 136 E. Water St. 
Dover, DE 19901
1-866-734-5834 (toll-free)
FAX 302-674-8499

DSEA, 4135 Ogletown-Stanton Rd.
Suite 101 Newark, DE 19713
302-366-8440 (not a toll-free number)
FAX 302-366-0287 

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Building Safety and Quality

School buildings have unique features which make them especially prone to indoor air quality (IAQ) problems and “sick building syndrome”:

  • Age of buildings:  In the U.S., nearly 90% of schools were built before 1980, and 50% before 1960.  Although indoor air quality problems can occur in any old or new building, the increased risks in older buildings may be due to outdated ventilation systems and roofs that may leak.
  • Lack of money for renovation and maintenance:  Many school districts cannot afford to complete regular maintenance procedures and renovations on older equipment.  Failure to do so may provide a catalyst for increased problems with ventilation systems, roofs, and other building areas.
  • Overcrowding:  Almost one-fifth of Americans spend their days in schools.  A typical school has four times as many occupants per square foot than an office building.  With increasing populations, many schools are overcrowded, with ventilation systems that were never designed to accommodate the high number of people occupying the building.

ESPs are the principal people responsible for maintaining buildings to avoid these problems and for dealing with them when they do arrive.

NEA’s Health Information Network has assembled an extensive set of resources for understanding and addressing IAQ problems with their Indoor Air Quality pages.