November 2015

The California School Environmental Health and Asthma Collaborative
brings together education and health professionals to promote indoor and outdoor environments that maximize health and learning in schools.
SEHAC Featured Resource
 Reducing or Eliminating Asthma Triggers at Home
In order to create healthy home environments for children with asthma, parents need to know how to identify and reduce or eliminate environmental asthma triggers at home. To meet this need, SEHAC has created a new 8-minute Asthma QuickTake (AQT), entitled Asthma at Home - Reducing or Eliminating Asthma Triggers. This AQT identifies the most common asthma triggers found at home (dust mites, molds, odors, pests, furry and feathered pets, energetic exercise, respiratory infections, and smoke). Then, it leads parents through the process of identifying which triggers affect their children, implementing strategies to avoid exposure to those triggers, and reducing or eliminating the triggers at home.  
The AQT provides a wealth of information in a concise, yet comprehensive, format, and includes downloadable and printable PDF documents, including:

  • Extensive information on each asthma trigger
  • An asthma triggers checklist
  • Recipes for creating inexpensive asthma-safer cleaning supplies
  • Recommendations for tenants about how to address asthma triggers at home when you rent an apartment 


The Home Triggers AQT is the latest in a series of 4- to 8-minutes videos on how to reduce the impact of asthma at school and at home. Other AQT topics include:  

  • Emergency Response and the Asthma Medication Self-Carry Law
  • Reducing Exposure to Indoor Asthma Triggers at School
  • Improving School Health Through Asthma-Safer Cleaning
  • Reducing Exposure to Outdoor Asthma Triggers


To view any of SEHAC's AQTs, visit the SEHAC website at If you'd like additional information about the AQTs, or other SEHAC resources, projects or events, please contact Scott Kessler, at [email protected], or click the About tab on the SEHAC website.


SEHAC Featured Member Organization

Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP), California Department of Public Health

WRAPP Protects Staff and Students in Schools 
A 54-year-old teacher's classroom carpet was cleaned over spring break. During the morning on her first day back, she developed labored breathing. She had to leave halfway through the day, and was out for a week. Because she was still having asthma symptoms two years later, the staff at school began to clean the carpet in her room only with water.
The Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program in the California Department of Public Health identifies industries, occupations and exposures that put workers at risk for work-related asthma. By characterizing and understanding risk factors, such as the teacher's experience above, we can find new ways to help employers and workers prevent work-related asthma.
To achieve these goals, the California Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program:
  • Collects data on work-related asthma throughout the state, including cases from teachers, custodians, and other staff working in schools
  • Visits worksites to identify hazards and make recommendations for prevention.
  • Provides educational materials and technical guidance to stakeholders
  • Houses the Cleaning for Asthma-Safe Schools (CLASS) project, which helps schools to adopt safer cleaning methods and products
Key resources include:
Fact sheets for workers and employers in multiple languages on work-related asthma and cleaning products, fragrances, pool chemicals, wood dust, and graffiti.
Healthy Cleaning & Asthma-Safer Schools: A How-To Guide . This handbook helps school districts transition to asthma-safer cleaning products and practices. A companion video features California custodian and administrator successes using the handbook's strategies.
For more information visit the Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program

Contact Information
Debbie Shrem, MPH
Health Educator

Schools, Children and Climate Change

By Deborah Moore
With one in five Californians spending their day at a K-12 school, schools can be a powerful sector in transforming community sustainability practices, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting children's health, and teaching climate and environmental literacy. The California State PTA and the American Academy of Pediatrics both issued calls to action this year recognizing children's special vulnerabilities to climate change, including heat-related illness, air pollution, and asthma.
California has set ambitious goals for sustainable communities, reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and making communities more resilient to a warming climate. California cannot achieve these goals without the participation of the state's 10,300 public K-12 schools. Investments in green, sustainable schools should be a key strategy. For example, California Department of Education Green Ribbon School awardees are exemplary models of integrated sustainability programs that are diverting upwards of 50% of their waste, reducing their carbon footprints 10-30%, promoting transit and Safe Routes to Schools, creating green schoolyards and infrastructure, conserving water and energy, and engaging students, teachers, and staff in hands-on sustainability education and behaviors that ripple throughout the community.
Yet, the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) proposed Three Year Investment Plan governing the allocations of the $1 billion cap-and-trade program's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund does little to support the development of sustainable schools - in fact, they are excluded from nearly all of the grant programs. Without a more explicit role for schools included in the investment plan, the state will lose opportunities to invest in projects at schools.
Twenty-eight education, health, environment, and green school organizations and individuals representing more than 1.6 million parents, students, school board members, and nearly all 1,000 school districts in California - signed a joint letter urging CARB to prioritize school investments that could save millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions emitted by schools and improve health and academic achievement.
If you are interested in joining efforts to support funding for green, healthy, and sustainable schools, contact Deborah Moore of Green Schools Initiative at [email protected]
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 - SEHAC Leadership Council

In This Issue
 SEHAC Website 


This resource contains a great deal of information :
Asthma QuickTakes (AQT) - SEHAC's series of four-to-eight minute narrated films on important asthma-related topics. 
Asthma Statistics -  Information for the California Department of Public Health's Asthma in California.
Documents and Online Resources - Extensive online information and tools.
Information About SEHAC - A variety of documents detailing SEHAC's history, current members, a membership application, and contact information.

Resources for Schools 
This indoor air quality resource from the US EPA provides information on adopting IAQ best practices, understanding its benefits, managing it effectively, and more.
This resource from Kids Health at Nemours provides extensive information about asthma and its treatment. Great resource for parents, children, teens and educators.  

This information sheet from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lists the questions that a parent should ask the school to learn whether the school is prepared to meet the needs of students with asthma.

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Happy Holidays! 












































































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