Poor IAQ is no longer a strange phenomenon in schools. It poses various negative results on the students’ well-being. Additionally, the effectiveness of educational activities will be affected.
Schools always aim for a clean and healthy environment for the kids. So, if you are confused about solving the polluted air in the classrooms, this article may be helpful.
Let’s find the answer to how to improve air quality in classroom.
What Are The IAQ Issues At School?
How many possible pollutants can you find in your home and classroom? Here are the most common types of pollution in schools:
Infiltration Of Ambient Air Pollution
When the outdoor air fills the enclosed space, the flows also carry pollutants. It is even true to the ventilation process.
It is estimated that the outside allergens, toxins, and other contaminants concentration are five times higher than indoors.
Allergens And Asthma Triggers
People at school can easily catch allergic reactions, which are the results of exposure to pollen, pests, and dust mites. These substances frequently exist in schools’ atmospheres at high levels.
Dampness And Mold
The droplets of excess moisture contain dust, bacteria, and other harmful components. They stay on the ground and walls of the school buildings.
High Levels Of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
When the levels of CO2 get higher, the IAQ becomes poorer. Thus, it is harder for the indoor contaminants to disperse. The CO2 concentration in the classroom normally exceeds the maximum standard for safety. Experts recommend that the CO2 should be under 1000 parts per million.
Radon is a type of radioactive gas with no color and smell. According to the EPA, more than 70,000 active classrooms have high short-term radon levels. The impact of this gas on children is more serious than adults.
Impacts Of Poor IAQ On Children’s Health Standard
When the children are exposed to the mentioned pollutants, their immune system becomes more vulnerable.
The most common issues among students with poor IAQ are asthmatic symptoms. Headaches, dizziness, respiratory problems, coughing, and breathing shortness are other problems.
Based on some studies, students having contact with radon may be in danger of getting lung cancer. A high concentration of carbon dioxide in the classrooms leads to distraction. It results in poor cognitive performance of the kids.
The more polluted the school’s ambiance is, the lower the attendance rate of children becomes.
In other words, the poor IAQ at school affects not only the students’ health standard but also their educational performance.
Causes Of Poor Air Quality In Classroom
Before knowing how to reduce air pollution in school, we should point out the typical causes.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Both nature and humans create this pollutant. Particularly, decomposition and respiration can naturally release a certain amount of CO2.
Meanwhile, the daily activities of people are the other sources of carbon dioxide. They are burning fossil fuels, including oil, coal, or natural gas.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are a wide range of evaporated substances. There is formaldehyde, which includes body odors.
This contaminant comes from various sources. Most are cleaning or teaching products, manufacturing materials, and some types of paints. The World Health Organization declares that exposure to VOCs has no safe level.
This phenomenon is rooted in excess moisture. Normally, there is a leaking pipe or rising dampness on the ground in the school’s building. It will help the proportion of moisture in the air increase.
Additionally, the rain can also seep in through the cracks on the roof or window frames.
If the classrooms are not cleaned regularly, the furniture and equipment will be covered by a layer of dust.
The dirt from outside can also enter the school buildings, which is formed from the activities of surrounding factories or vehicles. The smoke, together with the natural erosion of soil and sand, also produce harmful dust.
There are some main types of fungus available in the enclosed ambiance. Alternaria, Cladosporium, and Aspergillus are a few to name.
The fungal toxins inside the classes would easily become airborne. It will cause some negative reactions when students inhale this airborne.
How To Improve Air Quality In Classroom
Install Ventilation Systems
How to improve ventilation in a classroom? Firstly, the schools can regularly open the doors and windows of the buildings to promote air circulation.
However, check the outside atmosphere’s standard before opening. If there is a high concentration of pollutants outside, do not follow this tip.
People can also equip three types of ventilation systems to enhance the IAQ.
The first one is the positive air pressure system. It forces filtered warm and dry flows into the classrooms. The negative air pressure system is the second one, which pulls the contaminated air out of the room. The last one is balanced pressure ventilation systems with both functions.
Use Air Purifiers
Most of the purifiers boast HEPA filters, orienting the ambient flow through a fine mesh that traps the pollutants.
The large purifiers like mini-tower type with more than 98 CADR are relevant to spacious classrooms.
It means sealing the gaps within the buildings. They always appear on the doors’ bottom and windows. This process prevents the air from leaking and ensures the right ventilation proportion.
This product also prevents moisture from entering the rooms. It assists schools in reducing the appearance of mold and dampness.
Replace Chalkboards With Whiteboards
It is unhealthy for teachers and students to inhale the chalk dust due to using the chalkboard. Using this kind of board poses a threat to those suffering from allergies or asthma.
Grow Plants That Remove Toxins
Placing in-house plants in schools is a good idea to decrease the great amount of carbon dioxide.
A study conducted by NASA in the 1980s indicates a list of house trees, including peace lilies, weeping ficus, and dracaena, that most effectively remove air toxins.
Remove Harmful Building Materials
Schools should avoid manufacturing materials containing lead, formaldehyde, and asbestos.
There are IAQ monitors and kit tests to measure and control the levels of the harmful components in building materials.
Above is a comprehensive review of indoor air pollution at the schools. We have provided the causes and effects with full details. Thanks to following these solutions, that the indoor air quality at school is better now has become approachable in some areas.In other words, acknowledging the importance of how to improve air quality in classroom will help the schools protect their students’ health standards and academic performance.