A version of this article appears in The Pest Defense, IPM in School, August 2021.

As school districts reopen, the focus is on ventilation and cleaning, especially upgrading systems to improve indoor air quality to reduce the risk of airborne virus transmission.

From a pest control professional’s perspective, schools also need to correct unhealthy and unsafe conditions that developed while schools were closed.

According to Dr. Tom Green, a national pest expert, “Pest prevention measures are an opportunity to improve safety in all school areas and achieve high environmental quality standards. …

For many years it was wonderful to celebrate Rachel Carson’s life and legacy with an annual Rachel Carson Day. This year we can still use Carson’s words as an urgent call for action to protect our community from climate change, pollution, and waste. EG/2020

Lessons of the 1937 Texas School Explosion

The Healthy Kids Hero Award

Every year, to mark the anniversary of the March 18, 1937 Texas School Explosion, I salute someone who demonstrates an extraordinary sense of responsibility and commitment to the safety of children and their communities.

The Healthy Kids Hero Award is an annual opportunity to remember the 1937 TX tragedy and to inspire others to take leadership for public safety, especially where gas pipelines, compressor stations, and other hazardous fossil fuel projects contaminate air and drinking water and put schools, families, and whole communities at risk for deadly explosions and fires. (Heroes 2004–2019)

Carl Weimer, Executive Director of the Pipeline Safety Trust (PST), is the 2020 Hero.

Over his long career Weimer has earned multiple…

Ellie Goldberg, M.Ed. www.healthy-kids.info | ellie.goldberg@gmail.com

My name is Ellie Goldberg and I am here today to talk about my experience as a mom of a daughter with asthma. As I was preparing this statement I listened with dread to the news about the refinery fire in Philadelphia and worried for the families downwind of the billowing fumes. As anyone living with asthma knows, breathing contaminated air can be deadly.

As a mother, educator and an environmental health advocate, I support putting a price on carbon pollution because I am alarmed at the increasing frequency and intensity of weather disasters and ecological breakdown and what it means for my children.

H2810 will create a system of true accountability to reduce the carbon pollution that is driving the climate crisis.

Words, terms and phrases used by officials or corporate spokespersons to allay public concerns about risks or hazards. Often these terms are empty claims and false assurances by speakers with very limited knowledge or are deliberately intended to dismiss public concerns and avoid responsibility.

What is your definition of safety?

1. Free from harm, injury or risk

2. Secure from threat of danger, harm or loss

3. Affording protection from danger

4. Not threatening danger

5. Clean bill of health

6. Insignificant risk

7. No inherent danger

8. Acceptable Daily Intake

9. No threat to public health and safety

10. Reference dose

11. No one was harmed

12. De minimis risk

13. Protective of public health

14. Acceptable risk

15. Less dangerous than aspirin

16. Less dangerous than table salt

17. Ample margin of safety

18. Maximum sustainable yield

19. Minimum viable population

20. No life threatening injuries

21. Not…

March 18 is the anniversary of the 1937 Texas School Explosion, a gas explosion that killed more than 300 people, mostly students, in their new state-of-the-art public school where no expense had been spared except when it came to safety. Every year, to mark the anniversary of this preventable tragedy, I salute someone with an extraordinary sense of responsibility and commitment to the safety of children and their communities.

A Cautionary Tale

It is also an annual opportunity to talk about the 1937 disaster’s unfinished legacy and its lessons.

It is a story of how school, town and company officials had ignored warnings…

TIP: The best pest control approach is a plan, not a product.

An Organic Lawn and Garden

PEST CONTROL — THE OLD WAY

1. Relies on poisons (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides).

2. Ignores the source of pest problems. (Allows conditions to get worse.)

3. Kills off beneficial plants and insects.

4. Pollutes water, soil, food and air and contaminates buildings and landscapes.

5. Harms people, pets and wildlife.

CARING FOR YOUR PROPERTY: THE BETTER WAY

1. Relies on a plan. (Don’t spray ’em, outsmart ‘em!)

2. Prevents and corrects the source of pest problems. (Improves conditions.)

3. Protects soil fertility and bio-diversity.

4. Protects the quality of water, soil, food and air. (Enhances the quality of buildings and landscapes.)

5. Protects the health and the safety of our families and community.

Wondering about installing a solar system? I’ve interviewed local homeowners to learn how and why they decided to go solar, how much it really cost and how much they are saving. How does it feel to be free of electric bills and rate hikes and join others to build a greener future? More at http://medium.com/@ellie.goldberg

Showing the way to a low carbon future.

After living in their 1929 home for fifty years, Larry and Pat Burdick decided that their 3000 square-foot house needed modernizing. They wanted air conditioning. They wanted to upgrade the old heating system because it was increasingly difficult to find people with the knowledge and…

Wondering about installing a solar system? I’ve interviewed local homeowners to learn how and why they decided to go solar, how much it really cost and how much they are saving. How does it feel to be free of electric bills and rate hikes and join others to build a greener future? See Solar Stories at http://medium.com/@ellie.goldberg

Sharing Energy Credits

Most solar systems are designed for individual private homes or commercial properties. The concept of shared solar power offers the benefits of renewable energy to people who don’t own their own property or whose property isn’t suitable for solar.

Photo: Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Sharing A Solar Surplus

The solar system on…

Ellie Goldberg

Advocate for healthy children, safe schools and sustainable communities. www.healthy-kids.info

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