Choosing a School: 🏫 Questions Regarding Toxicity

Updated August 2023

I know there’s often already a lot of thought and energy that goes into choosing a school for your kids, and toxicity is yet another concern. Considering the theme concern of this group, I created a list of a few Questions regarding TOXICITY (there are other general ones of course) to consider when choosing a school. There are more that could be asked on this topic but I consider these to be good starter/ high priority:

1. What year the building was constructed, to rule out lead paint (1979) and pipes (1980s). I recommend ideally after 2011 so that the toys will have less risk too (that’s when lead regulations for kids toys took effect). I also avoid brand new buildings, but I’d definitely choose brand new vs. an old one that may have lead paint. Check if the desks are old too; vintage ones have tested very high, especially the metal parts.

2. Playground materials. Rubber mulch /recycled tires, pour in place, and artificial turf grass materials are extremely toxic and have lead. The least toxic is plain wood chips (not dyed) or untreated real grass.

3. What soaps /sanitizers/disinfecting things they use. I think occasionally some schools will use “better” ones (or can be convinced) but there are regulated parameters they have to follow. One thing you can do is at least make sure they don’t make the kids themselves touch the sanitizing wipes and such.

Also ask if your child can bring their own because I can pretty much guarantee anything the school has, I would not consider truly non-toxic (even if marketed as “green” or eco friendly). I have suggestions for truly non toxic products (I don’t sell anything), such as the following: Affiliate links for the hand soap I use: and hand sanitizer I use

4. Policies regarding healthy foods/ junk foods brought for the class.

5. Proximity to cell towers or areas where toxic chemicals might be used heavily, such as golf courses, factories, gas stations, etc. (look this one up yourself).

Decide if which of these are most important /deal breakers and start with those. Personally, I only asked the first two questions at first. Once I found a school that satisfied me on those, then I asked about the next two questions and looked into the last one.

In my case it was pre-kindergarten I was looking for, so that’s why I was especially concerned with lead, playground materials, and toys, because at young ages kids put their fingers or objects in their mouth sometimes, and can’t be trusted to wash their hands every time they touch something hazardous.

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