About S.2660


Why is clean indoor air in schools important?

Student and staff attendance rates have been showing disturbing trends across the Commonwealth.  Additionally, K-12 test scores have declined.  A leading culprit of this expensive attendance and performance issue is the presence of airborne pathogens and indoor air pollution.  

FACT: We drink 2-3 L of filtered, cleaned water per day, yet we breathe 11,000 L of air that is neither filtered nor cleaned.* 

Breathing in dirty air while at school for up to 8 hours a day is having deleterious effects on health and school performance. The small aerosols of pollution and pathogens can build up quickly in the air inside a room that is not properly ventilated and filtered. LUCKILY, THERE IS A SOLUTION: CLEANING THE AIR!

How do we clean the air inside our schools?

It’s easier than you’d think!  By using pre-existing infrastructure and making needed adjustments, not only will our students and staff enjoy better health, but our already-strong schools will grow even more competitive.

How can passing bill S.2660 help Massachusetts children and school staff?

Passing bill S.2660  will establish a task force that will carefully examine the different ways indoor air quality can impact the health and education of children and teachers; the taskforce will learn how such measures as HEPA filtration, better ventilation, CO2 monitoring, Far-UV, and education about clean air has proven positive effects on reducing and reversing troubling increases in chronic absenteeism and poor health.  The sooner these benefits are recognized, the sooner lawmakers will take action.

How can Massachusetts public schools become even more competitive?

By adopting the simple measures such as using HEPA filtration, CO2 Monitoring, increasing levels of fresh air in classrooms and the use of Far-UV, the following benefits can be seen:

Improved health outcomes: 

Cost Savings:

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Bill S.2660

SECTION 1. (a) There shall be an interagency task force to review and investigate indoor air quality in public school buildings that provide education for children in kindergarten through grade 12. 

(b) The task force shall consist of the following 17 members or their designees: the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, who shall serve as co-chair; the commissioner of public health, who shall serve as co-chair; the executive director of the Massachusetts school building authority; the director of the department of labor standards; the commissioner of the department of environmental protection; the state fire marshal; 1 member appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; 1 member appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives; 1 member appointed by the senate president; 1 member appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 1 member appointed by the governor who is an expert in the field of environmental health and indoor air quality; and 1 member to be appointed by each of the following organizations: the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc., the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Inc., the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Massachusetts School Nurses Organization.

(c) The task force shall investigate indicators of indoor air quality in public school buildings and ways to ensure adequate indoor air quality in such school buildings, including but not limited to: (i) an assessment of carbon monoxide detection systems within each public school building and each school’s compliance with subsection (a½) of section 26F½ of chapter 148 of the General Laws; (ii) best practices for the placement and installation of carbon monoxide detection systems in public school buildings; (iii) the status of carbon dioxide levels in public school buildings according to data collected from existing carbon dioxide monitoring systems in public school buildings; (iv) the necessity and feasibility of installing carbon dioxide monitoring systems in all public school buildings and collecting data from such systems; (v) the temporary or ongoing use of equipment necessary to ensure adequate air filtration and ventilation within public school buildings; (vi) the regulation of minimum and maximum allowable air temperatures and relative humidity, as well as any relevant statistics on the number of air-conditioned public schools; (vii) an evaluation of the grants distributed pursuant to 1599-2055 of section 2A of chapter 102 of the acts of 2021; and (viii) the cost, including labor costs, of implementing any recommendations.

(d) Not later than October 1, 2025, the task force shall file a report on its findings, including any analysis, recommendations, or proposed legislation, with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives and the chairs of the joint committee on education

*Dr. Kimberly Prather, SCRIPPS Institute