The Healthy Building Committee (a joint Equinox and Roden committee) recently met to discuss our current situation with the flooring at the school. The meeting started with a brief history of Indoor Air Quality at the school since 2009. There have been two air quality tests (neither of which adequately tested areas of concern, particularly the carpets themselves) and a survey (2011) that went out to students/families (Equinox & daycare) and building staff. There were approximately 150 respondents and plenty of anecdotal evidence regarding exacerbation of eczema, asthma, general illnesses, headaches while at school/during the school year.
At present, there is essentially no Board budget for any expenditures. Therefore the ‘Emergency Facilities Budget’ is covering the hallway flooring. The TDSB current standard is vinyl composite tiling (“Excelon”). These are touted as environmentally responsible, being composed of 85% limestone. However, the remaining 15% is PVC and phthalates. Our position is that there is no acceptable level of PVC and phthalates in this school (or anywhere). Vinyl flooring has a shorter lifespan than linoleum/Marmoleum, requires more maintenance (waxing, etc), and is not recyclable/does not break down at the end of its ‘life’.
The Healthy Building Committee is in the process of talking to companies that manufacture Marmoleum to see if we can get either a donation or if they can match the cost of the vinyl flooring (as the installation costs are the same for either one).
Help support the Healthy Building Committee by having your child (or you) write a thank you card to the folks who helped to get our old carpet pulled out. We are hoping that by expressing our thanks and at the same time our concern over replacing the carpet with vinyl, they will see our high level of concern over this matter. Please see attached samples of thank you card 1 and thank you card 2.
For more information on the carpet replacement issues please read the IAQ flooring PDF.
To become involved or find out more please contact, Pascaline Phillips, Chair of the Healthy Building Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.