Schools have always been considered a second home for many reasons. Therefore, it should be safe, encouraging and healthy for students. But of all the measures and practices implemented to secure their welfare, there is something that most educational institutions often miss : indoor air quality.
Poor indoor air quality in schools has long been a threat to students’ health, but the recent coronavirus pandemic has intensified the urgency to improve it. Given that children spend a significant proportion of their time in schools, indoor air quality in these establishments matters, and as they gradually reopen after a lengthy hiatus, creating healthier classrooms for students must be part of their agenda.
Before taking steps to improve the air quality in educational establishments, it is extremely essential to fully understand the problem, its potential sources and the adverse effects that it can have.
Common indoor air contaminants in school buildings
|Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)||Emitted by building and furniture materials, cleaning products, pesticides and tobacco smoke.|
|Viruses and molds||Due to poorly maintained HVAC systems|
|Carbon Monoxide||Generated by indoor and outdoor combustion|
|Formaldehyde||Paint and adhesives|
|Carbon dioxide||School and animal waste, human activities, excessive energy consumption|
|Particulate Matter||Emissions from vehicles, printing and photocopying equipment, infrequent vacuuming and dusting|
The air pollutants listed above are often overlooked and neglected, but they must not be. Depending on the type of pollutant, its effects can be visible immediately or even years later.
Problems associated with poor indoor air quality
Poor indoor air quality affects us all, but it may pose greater risk in children more than adults since their bodies are still young and developing. At school, students who are exposed to stale indoor air can suffer from a range of short-term to long-term physical and mental health issues.
In addition to the health and mental effects of poor indoor air quality in school facilities, contaminants can damage building materials thereby increasing the operational, replacements and maintenance costs.
Managing indoor air quality in schools
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted school administrators around the world to establish stringent measures to keep schools safe and healthy. Aside from implementing mask and vaccination regulations, the adoption of air quality monitors as one of the indoor air quality tools in schools is seen to be an innovative strategy to mitigate the unwanted effects of poor indoor air to students.
uHoo Aura is the most advanced indoor air quality sensor that monitors 13 factors affecting air quality, including carbon dioxide. Monitoring CO2 levels is a good indicator of ventilation — this way, school administrators can ensure that the facility is replenishing fresh air, thus mitigating health risks including asthma attacks and virus infections.
uHoo Aura can also measure fine particulate matter, VOCs, NO2, temperature, humidity and more. Data insights can be viewed using a centralized dashboard which can be used by staff and school leaders when creating actions to ensure the safety, productivity and outstanding academic performance of students. To learn more about uHoo Aura’s capabilities and technology that are suitable for every school’s IAQ monitoring requirements, read more.