Indoor Air Quality And Student Performance

Indoor Air Quality And Student Performance

Many people are unaware of the importance the indoor air quality environment plays in a child’s ability to succeed academically. One of the most important factors that can substantially limit a child’s ability to thrive physically and academically is that of poor indoor air quality. 

Parents, school leaders, and policymakers need to be aware of the impact of poor indoor air quality on student performance and health. Understanding the relationship between school conditions and student health and academic performance will enable school officials and parents to improve the state of schools.

New research highlighting the negative impact of poor classroom air quality on students' performance.  have found that poor air quality in the classroom has a negative impact on students "performance.     Poor indoor air has a negative impact on student health on student performance and health.  Ventilation rates and carbon dioxide concentrations in schools directly correlate with student performance, health symptoms or signs, and absence rates.  Peak daily, and even time-average, concentrations of carbon dioxide in occupied classrooms are often double the recommended 1000 ppm levels. 

Classrooms need to maintain acceptable temperatures and humidity, control air pollutants, and install outdoor air filters in the building. Having the knowledge of what good indoor air quality is will guide your work and help you in your efforts to maintain and control it.        

In addition, studies have shown that improving indoor air quality, such as reducing indoor pollutants, can help to increase the cognitive performance of individuals by up to 101 percent. The EPA cites scientific studies that suggest indoor air problems can lead to higher rates of asthma, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems. Poor indoor air quality has an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Many schools have leaks, water damage, and excessive humidity, leading to dust, mold, and other allergens in the air that contribute to poor indoor air quality.     

Ways To Fix Poor Air Quality In Schools

1)  Improve Ventilation – By keeping airflow moving throughout the building, schools can prevent harmful air from stagnating and being breathed into children’s lungs. Keep windows and doors open while making sure HVAC systems are operated and updated regularly and if they’re not, teachers can open windows for further fresh air. This is critical in managing the levels of carbon dioxide and any potential risks from carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ground-level ozone, and many other indoor air pollutants. For older schools without an HVAC system, it is important for fresh air to be able to come in from the outside. On a nice day, this is simple but presents other challenges in winter.

2) Find Leaks – Find any leaks or areas of erosion where pollution is entering the building and fix them properly, providing a long-term solution. This will prevent further seepage of harmful air pollutants and contaminants. In some cases, UV-C lights are used in the HVAC air ducts to prevent mold growth from standing water.

3)  Clean the Air with an Air Purifier – Adding a commercial air cleaner or set of HEPA air purifiers throughout a school can filter the air substantially, using high-efficiency filtration to remove up to 99.99% of harmful airborne particulates. Browse our full selection of Commercial Air Purifiers and our HEPA Air Purifier Bundles.   

Causes Of Poor Air Quality In Schools

1) Poor Ventilation & HVAC Systems - Inadequate ventilation results in high levels of harmful airborne particulates and carbon dioxide levels. It also leads to mold and bacteria growth. Lastly, if HVAC systems aren’t cleaned regularly, they can blow particulate matter like dirt and other harmful build-ups into classrooms.

2) Indoor Air Pollutants – With so many kids carrying their germs around schools, bacteria are regularly being spread around classrooms. Consider the additional chemicals and off-gassing from cleaning products and the air is almost certainly unhealthy.

3) Aging Buildings – Many schools have been running for decades, with very few updates. As a result, many schools have problems with leaks, water damage, and excessive moisture – which lead to dust, mold, and other airborne allergens that contribute to poor indoor air quality.

4) Schools Located Near Sources of Pollution – Schools that are located in busy cities or near highways face a barrage of fumes from exhaust and gases like carbon monoxide. Those that are near industrial plants face similar outdoor air quality challenges. To help with this the EPA enacted the Clean Air Act. As part of this, they require major sources of pollutants to obtain an operating permit called a Title V Permit.

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