Indoor Air Quality In Schools
Although we are all focusing on coronavirus right now, the fact that pupils are together in confined, crowded and poorly ventilated indoors brings along many risks. This shows us how important indoor air quality in schools is.
Air quality affects the most vulnerable
In addition to the risk of transmission of the coronavirus in pupils, upper respiratory tract diseases are increasing due to seasonal changes. One reason for this is the excess energy used to adapt to sudden changes in temperature during the change of seasons, and another reason is that children are exposed to poor indoor air quality in crowded classrooms.
The reports show that the number of hospital admissions of children with asthma increases in September, which is the back to school period in many countries. Children are one of the vulnerable groups most affected by poor air quality. The indoor air quality of the classrooms where they spend a significant amount of their time is particularly important.
Crowded classrooms, lack of mechanical ventilation, short breaks for ventilation in schools with natural ventilation systems, insufficient ventilation, especially in winter, insufficient ceiling heights, impermeable windows, etc. For these reasons, indoor air pollution problems are commonly observed. This situation not only affects the physical development of children but also affects their education by causing learning difficulties due to lack of concentration.
According to the studies, every 2.1 CFM increase in ventilation rate corresponds to a 2.9% increase in the math test and 2.7% in the reading test. Therefore, one of the main responsibilities of school administrators is to improve the indoor air quality of schools.
Air Purifiers to Improve Classroom Air Quality
Air purifiers provide a significant benefit, along with proper ventilation, to improve air quality and eliminate polluting factors. Today, air-cleaning devices developed with state-of-the-art filtration systems filter viruses, bacteria and microorganisms with HEPA filters and then purify the indoor air with air purification technologies such as UV and Ioniser. Even in devices with the best filtration system, HEPA filters need to be changed every 1-3 months.
These devices filter or neutralize pollutants such as viruses, bacteria, pollen, particles, etc. in the air. They do not affect increasing the amount of oxygen in the air. If possible, the CO2 values in the classrooms should be measured continuously and fresh air intake should be provided to the classrooms.