Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Healthy Schools Day - An Important Reminder About Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality can affect children and staff.
Do you remember your school days and how stuffy those classrooms often got?

Bad air is more than a nuisance - it can actually be harmful to human health, aggravate respiratory conditions and stunt a child's productivity and learning capability.

As many schools in the United States celebrate Healthy Schools Day today, it is important to remind ourselves about what a difference a healthy environment can make in a child’s life.

Children are among the most vulnerable groups when it comes to indoor air pollution and environmental toxins, and with them spending so much time in school, administrators, parents and communities need to do their part to protect the young learners.

The average child spends about 1,300 hours in a school building each year; teachers and other employees spend even longer periods.

Common indoor air pollutants

Unfortunately, many schools are old or in poor condition, and children may be exposed in varying degrees to common indoor air pollutants such as
  • Mold
  • Chemicals (VOCs)
  • Particles and allergens
  • Biological contaminants
  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Outdoor air pollutants from industrial emissions, vehicle emissions etc.
Exposure to indoor air pollution has been linked to respiratory problems, aggravated conditions, increased absenteeism, lower productivity and learning ability and other health effects.

With their Healthy Schools program, the EPA is trying to help schools provide a healthier learning environment and reduce indoor air pollution as much as possible.

It starts with people getting on the same page and making a Healthy School a priority, getting informed, making a plan and implementing changes.

How to improve air quality in schools

Some of the easy and effective changes could include:
  • Opening the windows regularly, or the transom over the door to encourage natural air flow
  • Keeping classrooms tidy and free of clutter
  • Banning pets and foods in class to avoid pests (and blocking pest entry points)
  • Using low-odor and non-toxic supplies such as water-based, unscented markers
  • Banning plug-in air fresheners and room deodorizers
  • Reducing the use of scented personal care products (perfume, cologne, scented hair sanitizers, etc.)
  • Minimizing the use of disinfectants and using certified green cleaning products – or simply hot water and soap
  • Reporting water leaks (however tiny) right away to avoid mold growth
Source: Electrocorp, NHSD Classroom Tips

Worried about airborne chemicals, asthma and allergy triggers and more?

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and AirMedic Series for homes
and classrooms.
Whether it's at home or at school, we need to be mindful of the quality of air we are breathing.

A general-purpose room air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including irritating chemicals and VOCs, odors, allergens, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

HEPA filters alone only take care of particles and dust, a complete air filtration system needs a deep-bed activated carbon filter to adsorb chemicals, odors and gases.

AllerAir's portable and powerful room air purifiers can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants with their carbon + HEPA filtration system and other features.

For more information and recommendations, contact AllerAir.