News Release

Chemical Insights' 3D printing toolkit now available to schools through Green Strides

Guide highlights research to keep those using 3D printers in school or at home safe from chemical exposure risks

Business Announcement

Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

3D Printer Graphic

image: 3D printer vector graphic featuring icons for purchasing, location, and operation. view more 

Credit: Chemical Insights / Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Betsy Gast / Cantilever Instruction & Design

ATLANTA (July 30, 2020) - Chemical Insights, an Institute of Underwriters Laboratories, has made its 3D printing toolkit available to schools nationwide by including it in the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Green Strides online resource portal. The Green Strides portal is a one-stop resource providing K-12 schools with tools to pursue knowledge and practices to help make them more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible.

Chemical Insights dedicates its research to advancing safe and healthy working, learning and living environments. Research and findings from its toolkit, 3D Printer School Safety: A Guide for Supporting Indoor Air Quality & Human Health, was jointly conducted by Chemical Insights and researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology.

The guide explains how 3D printers emit ultrafine particles (UFPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during operation and walks readers through research processes, key findings and unintended consequences on human health. Further, it explains purchasing and operations strategies teachers and parents can implement to mitigate chemical exposure as well as maintain safe and healthy indoor environments while using the technology.

"3D printer at-home and classroom usage has skyrocketed because the technology inspires hands-on creativity and problem-solving by bringing a wide range of student ideas to life," said Dr. Marilyn Black, vice president and senior technical advisor for Chemical Insights. "However, those using 3D printers should know their unintended safety consequences and how to best mitigate those risks. Our informational guide will help administrators, teachers and parents better understand how to safely use 3D printers."

The Green Strides portal contains hundreds of resources and links to environmental organizations, including webinars, case studies and promising practices so all K-12 schools can make progress around these three pillars:

    1. Reducing environmental impact and costs, including waste, water, energy use, and transportation;

    2. Improving the health and wellness of students and staff, including environmental health, nutrition, and fitness; and

    3. Providing effective sustainability education, including robust environmental education that engages STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) uses these pillars to evaluate schools nominated by their states for the federal recognition award. In 2019, 35 schools, 14 districts and four postsecondary institutes received the award.

To access the Chemical Insights 3D printing toolkit on Green Strides, visit


About Chemical Insights

As an Institute of Underwriters Laboratories, we deliver the scientific insight policymakers, healthcare providers, business leaders and consumers depend on to make informed environmental health decisions. Combining the best minds, rigorous scientific research and a commitment for thorough and accurate results, Chemical Insights is improving the health of people and the planet.

Our work lets people around the world know what chemicals are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the products we interact with every day. Our research and initiatives gives them the knowledge of exactly what those chemicals are, how they may affect human health, and how to manage their impact. Our leadership role is to provide science or knowledge to implement improved practices, alternative product design, and changes that enable safer products and healthier environments.

To learn more, please visit

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About Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the UL public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being. To learn more, visit

About U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and Green Strides

Created in 2011, the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions that are demonstrating leadership in three pillars: 1) reducing environmental impact and costs, including waste, water, energy use, and alternative transportation; 2) improving the health and wellness of students and staff, including environmental health, nutrition, and fitness; and 3) providing effective sustainability education, including robust environmental education that engages STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.

The award is a communications tool to encourage state education, health and environment authorities, stakeholders and school communities to consider matters of facilities, health and environment comprehensively, strengthening the critical collaborations that ensure all our nation's schools are healthier, safer and more sustainable. To be selected for the federal recognition, schools, districts and postsecondary institutions must demonstrate progress in all three pillars.

In 2013, ED added Green Strides to connects all school communities with the free, publicly available resources from a variety of sources that these recognition award honorees effectively use. The portal is intended as a one-stop shop for resources, webinars, case studies, promising practices and collaboration so that all schools can make progress toward whole-school sustainability.

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