When we first think of schools we tend to think about the students, teachers, and all of the learning that takes place within these walls. However, barely any of us think of the air quality that’s in this building. Children spend approximately an average of 1,300 hours in school buildings. That’s 1,300 hours of breathing in the air that is circulating throughout the school. After that number, you’re probably wondering how the indoor air quality is in your child’s school now.
Indoor air quality, or IAQ, is extremely important and something that most people tend to forget about, but it plays a major role in the success of students. Keep reading to learn more!
Clean Air For Student Success
Humans at every age are extremely susceptible to harmful air contaminants. However, developing children are particularly vulnerable to these irritating pollutants. Floating around in the air are massive amounts of microbiological pollutants, allergens, chemicals, and ultra fine particles, which can directly affect the lungs of children. Exposure to polluted air during these developing years has also been associated with decreased respiratory function later in life. Increased reports of asthma among school aged children has been directly linked to elevated amounts of air pollution.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, respiratory illnesses are the most common cause of absent students, especially with asthma-related illnesses. These account for more than 14 million missed school days every single year.
Where Does Pollution Come From?
Pollution can come from a variety of places. There are several sources of air pollution in schools. According to the EPA, new schools with tightly sealed buildings tend to have a lack of neutral ventilation. The use of synthetic building materials and furniture can also leak hazardous chemicals into the air. Older school buildings may have lead, asbestos, and radon contamination. They may also have issues with mold due to excess moisture. If your building is especially old you may also find excess dust from crumbling walls.
Due to funding, buildings, both new and old, may resort to turning off their HVAC systems or fail to properly maintain them. Due to this, outdoor and indoor pollutants (like vehicle exhaust, pesticides, factory emissions, etc.) may be able to make their way into an already polluted environment.
What Can I Do?
Parents, teachers, and others can take action by making sure that their schools have clean air in every classroom. Make sure your schools are routinely inspecting and maintaining their HVAC systems regularly. Ask about the cleaning techniques that your school’s janitorial staff is taking, as well as any routine maintenance that the school gets done. Another way to keep the integrity of your child’s school air is to invest in indoor air quality products from Comfort First. We’ve designed a wide array of products that anyone can easily install and maintain. We understand the importance of indoor air quality, which is why we made our products easy to use, while being extremely accessible. Connect with us to learn more today!