EPA to Monitor Outside Air of Local Schools

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The Environmental Protection Agency will be monitoring the outside air of 62 schools in the country, and three of them are right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

They include Warren Elementary, Neale Elementary and the Ohio Valley Educational Service Center.

Officials at these schools say they're really not sure why these particular sites were chosen to have their outside air monitored, but they want parents to rest assured that the air their children are breathing inside the school is completely safe.

"We watch closely the filtering system that collects air from the outside, that 20 percent coming in, that it is filtered and as clean as we can possibly make it," Lawrence Hasbargen, assistant superintendent of Wood County schools, said.

The project is a way to determine if school children could be breathing toxic chemicals, and Mike Fling, principal of Neale Elementary, doesn't seem to mind his school being the guinea pig for this health-related study.

"Our most important commodity in the United States or any area or any school is our children, and we need to look out for them foremost. However, I have a lot of adults and staff that work here, and we wanna watch out for those as well," Fling said.

And because of a filtering system that's cleaned monthly, all while keeping data on just how clean it is, Fling and Hasbargen say school may just be the safest place for a fresh breath of air.

"This school and other schools in the county are as safe as your home; probably more so," Hasbargen said.

For anyone wanting more information about this EPA project, you can go to the web site www.Epa.Gov/schoolair.

Principal Fling says as he learns more about the air monitoring at Neale Elementary, he will have that posted on the school's web site for any parents interested in that information.

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