Top Indoor Air Quality Issues in Schools and How to Address Them 

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Rear view of large group of students raising their arms to answer the question on a at elementary school

Indoor air quality is one of the most important aspects of every domestic and commercial facility. The emergence of the pandemic has put a spotlight on the indoor air quality in schools. Since then, it has become a top priority for educational facilities in order to protect the health of students and teachers. However, the benefits of good IAQ extend far from COVID-19 protection.

A good and clean indoor environment improves educational outcomes, elevates student performance and increases concentration. Let’s first discuss why indoor air quality in schools is notorious for severe health consequences. 

Indoor Air Quality in Schools – Is it a Concern?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air has two to five times more pollutants and contaminants than outdoor air. It is of particular concern because humans spend 90% of their time indoors, whether it be office, home or school. A study by EPA also reported that 1 in 13 school-age children have asthma, and the indoor environment in schools contains dust, dust mites and mould that trigger its symptoms, making the condition worse.

Meanwhile, a 2020 study by the United States government stated that approximately 36,000 public institutions need ventilation upgrades, which shows that the health of the majority of people are still at risk. Similarly, many Australian schools also required ventilation upgrades that urged the Australian government to roll out new ventilation systems to 10,000 schools in 2022.  

Here we have discussed three key issues in indoor air quality in schools and ways to address them.

Allergic Reactions

There are various allergens in the indoor environment of schools, such as pollen, dander, dust mites, dirt and dust. They are common; however, they can lead to allergic reactions. Students with asthma are highly susceptible to these allergens.

Those who have been exposed to allergens like pollen experience a decline in cognitive performance and educational outcomes. During seasonal pollen, when the count is higher, students usually score lower on their tests. Allergic reactions can lead to various health symptoms such as a runny rose, itchy eyes and congestion. 

Mould Growth

High moisture and dampness act as breeding grounds for mould growth and bacteria. Mould grows in classrooms, cafeterias and libraries, and it can become airborne and pose several health risks to the staff and students.

Schools with mould and dampness have a higher rate of respiratory health issues such as asthma, coughing and allergic rhinitis. Prolonged mould exposure can also result in weakened immune systems, making everyone highly vulnerable to infections. 

Higher CO2 Levels

Higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in classrooms are an indicator of poor indoor air quality. It means the air is not fresh, and it is difficult for toxic concentrations of pollutants to dilute. Higher CO2 levels can severely decrease students’ cognitive function and increase absenteeism rates in schools.

ASHRAE recommends CO2 levels in indoor environments to be lower than 1000 PPM. However, according to research studies, classrooms often have higher than recommended levels. 

How to Address Indoor Air Quality Issues in Schools?

Maximize Airflow in Classrooms

One of the key strategies is to upgrade ventilation systems in educational environments. You ensure effective dilution of higher concentrations of pollutants and toxic gases by maximizing airflow in classrooms.

Prioritizing the health of the school staff and students with Euromate Pure Air commercialair purifiers is an effective way of ensuring good airflow with multiple air exchanges within an hour. Euromate’s air purification technology purifies 99% of the indoor air and requires no ductwork.  

Indoor Air Quality Monitoring

Markets have indoor air quality monitors that can detect particulate matter for us to take immediate action. Euromate Pure Air also has a CO2 monitor that ensures optimum safety by providing real-time air quality data.

It detects CO2, HCHO, PM1.0, PM 2.5 and PM 10. Monitoring data will assist schools to keep track of the indoor environment and know when to take necessary action.

Install Comprehensive Air Cleaning Technology

As discussed, poor indoor air quality has significant health impacts on every occupant in school buildings. Improving indoor air quality facilitates educational institutions in maintaining a conducive learning environment.

However, to do that, it is essential to install the right and comprehensive air filtration system with HEPA filters to eliminate all contaminants.

For more information about our product, feel free to reach out to us.

Clean Your Indoor Air Today!