Monday, October 7, 2013

Schools drowning in exhaust and diesel fumes

Exhaust, diesel fumes foul public schoolyards in U.S.

Many schools are located within 300 ft
of polluting highways, studies show.
Cheaper land, easy access for buses and convenient location often cause schools to be built near major roads and highways.

This has become a concern to parents, school staff and administrators, since children spend about a third of their day at school, often during the hours of heaviest traffic.

And the closer they are, the more they can be exposed to harmful pollutants. Within 500 feet of major roads, traffic pollution — a plume of suspended soot and gases — often carries pollutants at levels considered harmful by air-pollution researchers.

A 2008 study found that more than 10 percent of surveyed U.S. schools were located within about 300 feet of highways, the distance within which road pollution is most potent.

If a school is situated along a heavy truck route, the figures can get downright alarming. The diesel fuel that powers these trucks can produce 100 to 200 times more soot than gasoline engines, and the exhaust is so toxic that the World Health Organization classifies it as a carcinogen.

Some states in the U.S., e.g. California, passed a law requiring that new schools be built at least 500 feet from major roads. At existing schools, there are ways to reduce the danger, too: better air filters can help, for example, as can restricting kids’ time outside when traffic is heavy.

Dangerous vehicle emissions

The dangers of vehicle emissions have been known for years:  researchers in Europe first made the connection between children’s poor lung function and school-day exposure to traffic in 1993.

Ten years later a California Environmental Protection Agency study made a similar leap, finding that kids in San Francisco’s East Bay attending near-road schools were 5 to 8 percent more likely to suffer from bronchitis and asthma.

Proximity doesn’t necessarily equal risk, however. Schools uphill from a road often experience less pollution than those downhill. Wind plays a role, as does topography like sound walls and trees and hedges.

Source: Investigate West

Air purifiers for better IAQ in schools

Schools and educational centers can easily provide cleaner and healthier air in classrooms - by using portable and long-lasting air cleaners.
Electrocorp's RAP series

Electrocorp's air cleaners for schools and universities feature a substantial activated carbon filter (with at least 18 pounds of carbon) to remove chemicals, gases and odors, a HEPA filter to trap particles and dust and optional UV germicidal filtration to control mold, bacteria and viruses.

Among the air cleaners recommended for schools are the 5000 Series, the 6000 Series, the RAP series and the I-6500 series, which all come in various configurations and with many options.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

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