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February 2, 2010 at 9:59 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Children in School with Allergies: Dust from Chalk Board

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Once again, as a new school year is fast approaching so are the problems associated with children in school with allergies.While there can be many allergy-causing problems in a classroom, chalk and the chalk dust from blackboards, can quick cause allergy symptoms to appear in your children.

Teachers use the chalkboard as the major tool in helping children figure out what is important and what needs to be written down for future references.Chalk dust usually fills the room with tiny chalk particles; this is especially noticeable when the board is erased. Just take a good look around the room if the room is bright, you can see the small particles of dust everywhere.

The traditional chalkboard also known as the blackboard has been replaced in many school classrooms with white boards.

The three main purposes for the change from traditional chalkboards to white boards are:

  • To decrease allergy symptoms and attacks in the classrooms
  • To eliminate the negative effects chalk dust leaves on all surfaces and airborne
  • Increased student retention.

Many teachers prefer the use of the blackboard to the use of the newer white boards that use the dry erase markers.They feel that the old blackboard is easier for the student to see.Most students do not suffer from allergies and the chalk does not bother them, but what happens to the few that do suffer from allergies.Is it fair to make these children suffer?

Let us take a few minutes and discuss what happens to the children who do suffer chalk allergies.The tiny airborne irritants from chalk could cause a child to begin coughing and wheezing; they would probably be constantly rubbing their eyes.A child's allergies begin when their body releases histamine into their system causing the allergy to surface.

In some cases, children end up in the hospital with breathing problems and skin reactions.Day after day exposure to the chalk dust will begin to break down their immune system, is this really what we are want for our children?School is meant to be a safe place for children to learn; therefore, schools have taken on the responsibility to see that the conditions in the classroom are safe for every child.

Without protecting the children that do suffer from these allergies we are asking for more sick days, so they can recover only for them to return to the same environment, producing a vicious cycle of health issues.

Photo Credit: cheehuey

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  • I have the wonderful draw of being allergic both chalk dust and dry erase markers, so it doesn't matter which one a teacher prefers to use, someone will be allergic.

    I also have the odd addition of being allergic to old paper, so thank goodness for the digital age. Projectors, transparencies, and monitors work great to avoid this issue in general, but they tend to be more expensive, and I can see school districts having difficulty doling out for this kind of teaching aid. A bigger health problem for more students is mold, which I can say was present in all of my previous schools.

    On another note, my comment comes almost exactly 2 years after this post was written.

  • Dry erase markers put superfine carbon and organic dyes into air as dust when they are erased. give me chalk dust (calcium carbonate) anytime

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