Tools for Techs
Tools for Techs
A pilot program, "Tools for Techs," was initiated as a result of a collaborative effort involving The University of Connecticut Health Center, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Connecticut Technical High School System, and the State Vocational Federation of Teachers/ American Federation of Teachers. Designed to supplement the EPA's Tools for Schools (TfS) program, "Tools for Techs" addresses the unique indoor air quality issues found in Technical High Schools and the traditional high schools that teach technologies.
Technical high schools and the technology education corridors in traditional high schools are essentially mini industrial complexes because many of the classrooms (shops) are devoted to teaching trades. Students and staff are potentially exposed to emissions associated with these trades including welding and soldering fumes from the Welding or HVAC shops, combustion products from Culinary Arts kitchens or Auto Technologies shops, wood dust, stains and lacquer from the Carpentry shops, and acrylates and solvents from Hairdressing classrooms. These emissions are hazardous if exposures are not controlled.
Under the Environmental Protection Agency's Tools for Schools (TfS) model, multidisciplinary building teams utilize checklists completed by teachers and observations made during walkthrough surveys to develop and prioritize recommendations that will improve the indoor air quality in schools. The "Tools for Techs" checklists address the specific indoor air quality challenges associated with many of the trades.