Most American cities and states have laws to protect the health of children at school. Many of these policies are designed to reduce exposure to pollutants that can be found in and around a school: vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke, cleaning chemicals and pesticides. Recycling laws helps to protect our environment and, in some states, medication access laws ensure that children can carry and take any necessary medications.
In order to get behind the laws, school staff and parents need learn about them at schoolwide, staff and/or PA/PTA meetings. Here are some NYC policies.
NYC Administrative Code 24-163 (1971)
• Engine idling by any vehicle for > 3 minutes anywhere in NYC, or > 1 minute near NYC schools is prohibited, except when the temperature is < 40 degrees F, or when an official vehicle is actively responding to an emergency.
NYS Education Law 3637 (2007)
• School buses must not idle on school grounds or next to a school.
NYC Smoke-free Air Act C-810 (2002)
• Any use of any tobacco product is prohibited in school buildings, office buildings, structures, grounds, and facilities, or in any vehicle owned, operated, or leased by the NYC DOE and used to transport students or DOE personnel.
Green Cleaning Legislation
NYS Green Cleaning Law, Chapter 584 (2005)
Amendments to Education Law 409-I and State Finance Law 163-b (2006)
• Elementary and secondary schools in NYS are required to procure and use environmentally-sensitive cleaning and maintenance products. Use of products with high chemical contents (e,g, bleach) is limited to clean up of body fluids, such as blood and urine.
NYS Education Law, Sec.409-H; NYC Local Law 37 (2005) Pesticide Notification
Schools are required to notify staff and parents:
• At the beginning of the school year of planned pesticide use during the year
• Before spring/winter recess and end-of-year of pesticide use in prior period.
• Registry must be kept of staff and parents who want to be notified 48 hours prior to pesticide use. Schools must establish a pesticide notification procedure.
NYS Education Commissioner’s Regulation 155.4 (d)(2) - IPM
The NYC school maintenance plan requires:
• A least toxic approach to IPM and establishing maintenance procedures and guidelines that will contribute to acceptable indoor air quality.
• A comprehensive maintenance plan available for public inspection.
NYC Law Local Law 19, NYS Law (1989)
• NYC Schools are required to comply with the City’s recycling law. Campus schools with multiple schools must institute campus-wide recycling collection.
• NYS schools are required to recycle materials as in local recycling program.
NYS Education Law 16, Article 19, Section 916 (1998)
• NYS schools are required to allow students with asthma to use prescribed inhalers during the school day and to store them in the medical office. With permission from a parent, students can carry and self-administer medication.
The Medication Administration Form, or MAF (formerly “504”)
The record of permission required yearly for any NYC child who needs to use any medication at school, whether it is carried by the student or kept with the nurse in the medical room.
NYS Education Law Chapter 672 (2007)
Schools that provide health services, in which there is a full or part-time nurse, must provide and maintain a nebulizer for use by any student with a record of parental permission or an up-to-date MAF.