The Importance of Indoor Air Quality in Schools

What Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Mean?

Although many people will be aware of the dangers posed by poor outdoor air quality from factors such as vehicle and environmental pollutants, poor indoor air quality can also have a major impact when it comes to health. Poor indoor air quality can negatively affect children's health in particular, exposing them to elevated levels of carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds, such as mould, dust and airborne fungi. What many people may not know is that indoor levels of pollutants can often be much higher than outdoor pollutants too. This is due to the closed nature of interior space, with EPA studies revealing up to two or three times more pollutants can be present indoors versus outdoors.

What is the Health Impact of Poor Indoor Air Quality?

The effects of long term exposure to poor indoor air quality can be very serious, especially when it comes to children, whose lungs and bodies are still developing and are more vulnerable to these side effects. The result of long term exposure to poor indoor air quality in children can result in their developing a condition known as SBS, or sick building syndrome, with symptoms including -

  • Headaches
  • Sore throats and coughs
  • Dry and itchy skin and eyes
  • General lethargy
  • Negative impact on concentration

HNot only does indoor poor air quality make children feel unwell, it can also result in children being unable to focus on school work too, causing a fall in grades and overall productivity. However, it is not just children who are vulnerable to the effects of poor indoor air quality, with teachers and staff also susceptible to developing long term health issues as a result of breathing in poor indoor air quality on a regular basis. As well as experiencing all the same SBS symptoms, other devastating health impacts can include developing Legionnaire’s disease, and in rare cases carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal.

Why is Ensuring Good Indoor Air Quality So Important for Schools?

It is important to ensure that all schools maintain good indoor air quality in order to protect both children, teachers and school staff from being negatively impacted by the side effects of long term poor indoor air quality exposure. Many children already suffer from respiratory conditions, with 1 in 13 children affected by asthma, along with other allergic reactions too as a result of breathing in poor indoor air quality. This can also lead to children needing to days more days off school, missing essential work that could impact their career goals and aspirations, as well as leading to health issues and sometimes even chronic illnesses in later adult life. As well as the health implications of poor indoor air quality, there can be other detrimental effects on a school too, including -

  • More absentee students and teachers.
  • Liability complications from parents, staff and the wider community.
  • Negative impact on the school's reputation.

The best way to combat all negative side effects of poor indoor air quality is to take immediate action to reverse the problem as quickly as possible.

How to Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality in Schools

When it comes to maintaining good indoor air quality in schools, it is integral to consult the advice of professionals. Air Quality Plan have a team of dedicated experts who can quality test the current indoor air of any school in order to facilitate the most prompt and suitable solution. Early air testing is important to ensure there are no unnecessary school closures or negative liability impacts, with schools taking responsibility for their indoor air quality being seen much more favourably by parents, teachers and protentional students too. As we all acclimatise to a post-Covid-19 world, the importance of good indoor air quality has never been more important, so it is vital that schools strive to always ensure the best indoor air quality in order to prioritise the health and wellbeing of all those who attend school and are inside their property for long periods on a regular basis. Air Quality Plan can help to preserve not just good indoor air quality, but the best reputation possible for your school too. Get in touch today for more information.

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