School building characteristics

Environment and health data were collected during two phases of the SEARCH initiative: in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Italy, Serbia and Slovakia under SEARCH I (October 2007 to March 2008); and in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine under SEARCH II (October 2011 to April 2012). Data were collected from 10 schools per country, thus a total of 100 schools were involved in the study. Most of the participating schools were built originally for use as schools and were constructed mainly from brick and concrete. Some of the schools were built partly from adobe and wood in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and from wood in Ukraine. Sources of pollution (especially industrial facilities) were found in the vicinity of 17 percent of the schools. The distribution of the schools in each country in relation to traffic density is presented in Table 1. Of the total schools, 40 percent were located in areas with high or very high traffic density. The figure was even higher in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina (70 percent in each country) and Hungary (60 percent). It should be borne in mind that air pollution caused by traffic has been shown to have a negative impact on children’s health.

TABLE 1 Distribution of schools in relation to traffic density (%)

Country

Low

Moderate

High

Very high

Albania

0

30

70

0

Belarus

60

20

0

20

Bosnia and

Herzegovina

0

 

30

 

20

 

50

 

Hungary

10

30

50

10

Italy

10

80

10

0

Kazakhstan

33

11

56

0

Serbia

11

45

22

22

Slovakia

30

50

10

10

Tajikistan

30

30

30

10

Ukraine

40

40

10

10

Average

22.4

36.7

27.6

13.3

 
Ministero Dell'ambiente Italian Trust Fund