Schools: Managing Chemicals

Take action to improve children's health! EPA's comprehensive schools website offers all the resources you need to establish, maintain, or enhance a school environmental health program.

Chemicals are used throughout schools from building maintenance to the classroom. High schools (including vocational schools) usually have larger inventories and more hazardous chemicals than middle and elementary schools, but it is important to recognize the presence of chemicals in these schools as well. Hazardous chemicals can be found in:

  • science classes and labs (e.g., mercury),
  • shop classes, and
  • store rooms.

Thoughtful chemical purchasing and management contributes to a healthy school environment, so consider the possible health, safety and environmental implications before buying a particular chemical. Proper chemical use and management (e.g., storage, labeling and disposal) is critical for reducing chemical exposures and costly accidents which ultimately affect student learning and attendance.