Schools: Classroom and Laboratory Resources

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Why it's important

  • The chemicals and products used in science, art or vocational programs have certain potential dangers.
  • However, with careful planning, most dangers can be avoided in such activity-oriented programs to ensure students' safety while benefiting from their use.

What You Can Do

  • Properly store and dispose of chemicals used in the classroom.
  • Look for the Safer Choice label on products. The Safer Choice label helps you quickly identify and choose products that help protect the environment and are safer for families.
  • Develop policies, if not already in place, about how to keep children safe when chemicals are present.

EPA and Federal Partners

The following links exit the site Exit

National Organizations

Regional, State and Local Resources

  • School Chemicals Management and Small Scale Chemistry Workshop by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality offer presentations and handouts to help schools address chemical management in school science labs.
  • Green Your Lesson Plan by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency discusses lesson plans that can be incorporated into curricula on environmental topics. Topics addressed include chemistry, green energy, waste reduction and air quality.
  • Green Chemistry Experiments for High Schools is a scholarship project developed by Union University (Tennessee) that lists green chemistry manuals and lab experiments that use less hazardous chemicals.
  • Idaho's Chemical Roundup Program and Toolkit for Schools by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality provides fact sheets on best practices for pollution prevention in school labs, chemical inventory, storage and disposal.
  • Montana's School Labs Waste Management on the Department of Environmental Quality website helps schools evaluate their chemical management practices including safety procedures for conducting inventories, a suggested chemical inventory list, information about historical trainings held in the state, and photos illustrating poor chemical management. Results of a 2004 statewide inventory are also posted on this site.
  • Rehab the Lab : Creating Safer School Labs is a program in King County, Washington, to help schools manage their hazardous chemicals. You can download fully scripted lesson plans for least-toxic chemistry labs, information on ways to reduce chemical stockpiles in biology labs, and a list of chemicals whose risks outweigh their educational utility.
  • The Mercury Education & Reduction Campaign - School Science Lab Chemical and Mercury Cleanout Project from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation helps school science labs with the inventory and cleanout of unwanted, unlabeled and unknown hazardous lab chemicals, including mercury and mercury compounds.