Troy dry erase whiteboards
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Troy School & Office Products is a brand of Chargeurs Protective Films

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Troy dry erase whiteboards
Don't Take Our Word For It -- See What Others Have To Say Below

Chalk Dust - Harms People and Equipment!

resurface worn white boards for pennies on the dollarThe three main arguments for the change to whiteboards are:

  • reduced allergy problems in the classroom,
  • the negative effects chalk dust may have on electronics and
  • increased personal convenience.

Chalk dust particles stay suspended in the atmosphere. Once in the atmosphere, they can be carried by air great distances - into equipment and your lungs! Shown to the right is a magnified view of a chalk dust particle. Click for larger view

Reseach Findings:
Chalk Dust & Dirt Accumulation.

According to the Academy of Allergy and Immunology,


"The allergy, asthma and immunology academy recognizes chalk dust as being more of a problem for elementary and middle school students with allergies and asthma than for college students." 1

1 From "Chalk it up to experience" , Iowa State Daily 10-21-04

Coal, Chalk Dust, Talcum Powder, Saw Dust. (Irritant)
These triggers are in the form of "respirable particulates." They are tiny particles that are easily breathed in. For some people, these dusty triggers are a part of everyday work life.
How to Avoid Problems
It's especially hard to avoid your triggers if they are found at your job. Before you change jobs, try these suggestions:
Use a respirator (or face mask) made for the job you are doing. If your employer does not give you one, you can buy one yourself. Look for a well-fitted dust mask approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). .... * If you are a teacher, consider using a white board with erasable markers instead of a chalkboard 3


"IS IT A SCHOOL PROBLEM? Asthma in America: A Landmark Survey, a 1998 study funded by Glaxo Wellcome, Inc., found that nearly 5 million children in the United States suffer from asthma. The chronic airway disorder restricts breathing and can, if uncontrolled, result in death. Children with asthma, the study revealed, miss more than 10 million schooldays each year. The result is an inestimable loss of educational benefits and an estimated $1 billion a year loss in productivity by the working parents who stay home to care for asthmatic children. According to the Global Initiative for Asthma, however, most of the physical, monetary, and global costs of asthma "can be alleviated through appropriate asthma prevention and management strategies."

According to Sandy Hart, a spokesperson for the American Lung Association, both schools and teachers can take immediate action to reduce the consequences of childhood asthma for their students. Hart told Education World that schools and school districts should .... reduce or eliminate such asthma triggers as dust, chalk dust, mold, and chemical odors from schools' physical environments."4


"Common asthma triggers in the school environment:

Dust mites
Chalk dust
Strong odors (perfumes, paints, chemicals)"2

2 From "Asthma and the School Child"

"Air Quality Problems - Not Just Chalk Dust

Examples of health problems related to poor air quality are asthma, "sick building syndrome," multiple chemical sensitivity, and hypersensitivity pneumonia. Persons with chronic conditions, e.g., connective tissue disorders, immunosuppression, are at greater risk of respiratory symptoms." 3

3 From "Air Quality Problems - Not Just Chalk Dust"

Listed among the advice to parents of child with nasal allergies is the following warning about chalk dust:

"Ask your child's teacher to seat him or her away from the board to avoid irritation from chalk dust. Chalk dust can irritate your child's sensitive nasal passages."4

4 From Caring for Your Child's Nasal Allergies

"Many people may not be aware that teachers who use chalks and dusters as part of their daily teaching routines end up suffering from excessive use of such materials. There are instances in the district which suggest that teachers often end up as sufferers, with their throats and chests being afflicted." 5

5 "Teachers face health risks from chalk dust", Nepal News

"Dust irritation. Reducing dust in the home will be helpful to most allergic family members. At school, children with allergic problems should sit away from the blackboards to avoid irritation from chalk dust."9


This picture shows chalk dust and dirt accumulation in a lab environment. This PC is located in the middle of the room. (Not even up front near the chalk board!)

"Dirt buildup inside PC's is a major cause of overheating. This damages the motherboard, causes erratic behaviors, and can cause electrical shorts or even fire inside the case. The computer's own cooling fans pull dust into the case in even the cleanest environment. Chalk dust is especially a problem because its particulates stay suspended in the air so long."

BJ Moore, Lida Ray Technologies

"Excessive amounts of dust can damage computers, said Mohanish Kalra, senior in electrical engineering and AIT computer service student technician. "I've seen it before. It can be a problem," he said. "The dust makes things dirty and can get into the keyboards."

Kalra said the chalk dust can be a bigger problem in laptops because once it gets into those keyboards, it can affect the motherboard, especially when professors move back and forth from the board to the computer."1

1 F rom "Chalk it up to experience" , Iowa State Daily 10-21-04

"Blackboards vesus WhiteBoards ... In rooms with electronic gear and computers, use of chalk boards produces chalk dust over time that settles over the circuits, causes overheating, and ruins vulnerable equipment." 6

6 From "Some Aspects of an Ideal Classroom: Color, Carpet, Light and Furniture - Blackboards vesus WhiteBoards" by ISU's Council for Teaching and Learning

From The University of Massachusetts in Boston, Computer/Projector Combo Guidelines

"Absolutely no chalk, erasers, drinks or food should be placed on or near the equipment. Chalk is absorbed into the systems by the projector cooling fans and the dust will cause the projection image to become blurred. Constant exposure to chalk dust will also cause equipment failure." 7


"Blackboards Vs. Whiteboards and my electronic whiteboard

...Mr Steve Fitzgerald, director of classroom management at the university's Twin Cities campus. Electronic equipment in classes with blackboards have to be cleaned twice as often, and rooms with chalk dust cost more to clean. 'Dust gets sucked into electronics, causing them to overheat and then fail,' he said. 'After 10 or 12 hours of use with chalk and blackboards, a room can get coated - literally - with white powder.'"

Written by Dave Kees - 11 Oct 2004


Learn more about Asthma from The Lung Association

University of Maryland Medicine

A Teacher's Guide To Asthma

EPA Poster

Your Classrooms and Labs can be CHALK FREE TOO!

Troy School & Office Products Self-Stick Dry-Erase Film products can transform any smooth dry surface into a dry erase, "white board."  Resurfacing old chalk boards to brand new environment friendly presentation surface.

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Troy dry erase whiteboards

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