Every year, throughout the country, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on school incidents involving chemicals such as spills and fires. These incidents involve potentially dangerous chemicals, which, in some cases, had been unused for more than 30 years. In addition to financial costs, these spills may also cause school closures that result in a loss of valuable education time. SC3 seeks to address this issue by not only cleaning out excess, legacy, unused and improperly stored chemicals but also by going a step further and implementing preventive mechanisms in schools.
The Goals of the SC3:
Remove excess, unused, deteriorated or out-of-date chemicals from schools.
Identify the potentially dangerous chemicals that should not be present or used.
Ensure all chemicals are managed properly in school laboratories and storage areas.
Encourage removal of all mercury compounds and mercury-containing equipment for proper disposal or recycling.
Guide instructors on proper purchasing, handling, storage and disposal of laboratory chemicals in a cost-efficient manner.
Comply with all local, state and federal requirements.
Conducting a laboratory chemical inventory at your school will give you an idea of the types and condition of chemicals in storage. A good inventory will help schools plan for the cost of removing unwanted chemicals. Procedures and for conducting an inventory are provided at the links below. Using this inventory sheet will assist you in conducting a safe and thorough inventory.
Teachers wishing to maximize the safety and environmental health of their laboratories have instituted "green labs." Operating under the Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry, green labs focus on minimizing chemicals accidents by reducing the levels of toxicity and amount of chemicals used in experiments.
EPA has developed resources and tools to help school districts evaluate and manage their school facilities for key environmental, safety and health issues. Download the resources at the EPA school resources page.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.