The perfect freedom of: A Non-toxic School

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Hidden ENVIRONMENTAL DANGERS AT SCHOOL _______________________________________

Partial transcript of Dr. Doris Rapp's appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996

A recent government report claims that one in five schools are "sick" schools, putting more than 8 million children at risk.

As a little girl, Christina was told she had a learning disability and has lived with that for ten years but just recently Christina found out it was her school making her so sick she couldn't even read. ...Allergic to cleaners, shellac, perfume.

I'm hearing more and more about cancer in individuals, but when you think about it autism is up, tourette's syndrome is up learning disabilities is up, asthma is up 58 percent we're having more illness now, hyperactivity off the scale fatigue syndrome off the scale ...you've got to say what's wrong, why is all this happening in the past 15, 20 years. ...And these are the tip of the iceberg. I wish these children were rare exceptions but they aren't im seeing sicker and sicker infants toddlers children and adults and they don't know where to go...

We didn't have polluted air food water clothing homes schools and workplaces we have that now and there are very few places in this country where these people can even go to get treatment.

I was just saying to Dr. Rapp, "Why schools more than other places and she said not schools...

Hospitals, homes and workplaces, they have the same problems with the same substances and they have to be treated in essence exactly the same way. We've polluted everything in sight - air food water homes schools, there is nothing that is not polluted now. It is very hard to get pure anything.

The school is trying to keep things clean with their chemicals but it is making these children sick. Is there a certain chemical schools can be using so this doesn't happen

There is Shakeley's Basic G, there is hydrogen peroxide, there are safe things that can be used; and I might add they are in the Canadian School system up in Ontario they have cleaner classrooms than we have here in this country. ... But they have found that it increases academic performance, it increases attendance and decreases the cost of maintaining the schools when they use cleaner safer products. Are we listening? Shouldn't we be listening?

For years environmentalists have been trying to get us to pay attention to what we are doing to the earth... "Where man walks the earth hurts" And now the earth is screaming, the children are screaming and we've got to start paying attention.

There is a new illness now the illness is environmental illness. Many people aren't aware of it and it's making people sick.

List of things to do: (Note, why wealthy are going to be healthy despite "affordable health care")

start to make your own little private bubble
buy natural things
don't buy things in plastic
don't buy polyester because it contains formaldehyde
try to grow a garden so you have organic foods
glass bottled water if you can afford it
get your children on nutrients to help build up the immune system
try to avoid synthetic carpets unless you have them checked to make sure it is safe first
Use tile, it's cheaper

[In response to question from audience about what is meant by having a carpet checked to make sure it is safe:]
It means you have sent it to a lab such as Andersen's Lab in Vermont and they've blown air over it into a cage where there are mice and the mice stay nice and healthy. If the mice get paralyzed and the mice develop congestion and chest problems and die maybe that carpet shouldn't be put into your house or your school.

Really this [footage of mice becoming ill and dying from carpet] is on the video tape that you have.

I can tell you of mothers that have put in the carpets when they were pregnant and the children are born with allergies and the whole family is sick. TEN YEARS LATER, they are still sick. They can't go places, they can't do things they have had to move out of the house, taking out the carpet wasn't enough because the chemicals got into the walls. We have a major problem and it is not being faced. And somebody has to stand up and say "come on" it's no longer a silent spring, it's going to be a silent summer, fall, and winter unless we start to pay attention to what's going on. These children are the tip of the ice berg. We have to start to protect them.

[What Schools Can Do]
They can start using integrated pesticide control which means they use non-toxic pesticides, they can use safer cleaning materials, disinfectants and deodorants they can use hard tile, which is less expensive and better than carpet in the schools, they can check the ventilation system in the school.... Don't remodel schools when children are there... don't put the tar on the roof, ...use non-toxic glue, buy furniture that doesn't have a big aroma, buy disinfectants that are safe. Your school can do these things, ask them

We're blaming the children for violence; we're blaming the academic system because they can't learn. Some of this is because the children's brains and bodies and emotions have been affected by what they are breathing and eating and touching in school - that's a part of a piece of the pie. It's not the whole answer but it is a piece no one is looking at and giving serious consideration.