Thursday, July 7, 2011

Students need better air quality in schools

Poor indoor air quality affects most
school children.
Learning institutions are supposed to help children get the knowledge and tools they need to succeed as an adult – but what if the indoor air quality in schools provides a serious obstacle?

The indoor air quality in schools should be a primary concern for parents and authorities, according to a recent article by Lourdes Salvador, the founder of MCS America.

Salvador quoted researchers Cartieaux and colleagues who studied the IAQ in schools and identified children as “one of the most sensitive groups to atmospheric pollution because their bodies are actively growing and they breathe higher volumes of air relative to their body weights than adults do.”

Many factors contribute to poor IAQ in schools

As with most people who spend the majority of their time indoors, IAQ is of prime importance for children going to school every day.

Common sources of poor indoor air quality in schools:
  • Outdoor air pollution 
  • Building materials
  • Paints
  • Dust
  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Markers, pens, etc.
  • Fragrances
  • Pesticides
  • Sanitizing products
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Molds
  • Many other sources
Often, the problem is exacerbated by improperly maintained ventilation system or simply insufficient ventilation systems for the classroom sizes and student population.

Effects of poor IAQ in schools

Respiratory symptoms and diseases such as asthma and allergies increase when air quality is poor. Some studies have shown that students’ academic performance also suffers.

Researchers have found that exposure to ambient levels of air pollution leads to an increase in emergency room (ER) visits for acute respiratory symptoms, the article says.

The best way to improve air quality is to increase ventilation and open windows. Free standing air filters or those which attached to the heating and air conditioning also help to reduce allergens and pollution.

Portable air cleaners provide a simple, cost-effective solution

Electrocorp offers a wide range of air filtration systems for schools and universities.

These air cleaners remove harmful chemicals and odors with the help of a deep bed of activated carbon as well as particles with a HEPA filter.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

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