School Biomass Boilers

At a Glance:

Location: Oregon

Date: 2011

Vital Condition: Thriving Natural World

Determinants of Health: clean air, clean water, clean air

Affected Population: Children and Youth, People with Chronic and Multiple Chronic Health Conditions

Research Methods: Primary research, Qualitative research

Community Types: Various

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The Oregon Health Authority, Office of Environmental Public Health conducted an HIA to examine the potential health impacts of using biomass (wood) burning boilers in schools. A new policy allows school districts around the state to convert their heating systems to boilers that burn wood chips or pellets. Possible health impacts include asthma, cancer, and general cardiovascular irritation from pollutants.


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality amended their program according to the HIA’s recommendations.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Assessment Reports

School Boilers Health Impact Assessment

School Boilers Health Impact Assessment

This is a summary of a health impact assessment that focused on the implementation of a new policy in Oregon, which permits school districts to switch their hea...

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