Critical Importance of School Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a primary concern for both schools and universities, due in part to the age and overall condition of a number of educational buildings. In 2014, the National Center for Education Statistics surveyed a sample of school districts and estimated that the average age of the nation’s main school buildings was 55 years old. Additionally, nearly one-fourth of the nation’s schools have one or more buildings in need of extensive repair or replacement, and nearly half have been reported to have problems related to IAQ. Students spend more than 1,300 hours in a school building each year and need to be protected.
The Air Inside Schools and Universities Can Contain:
- Molds, spores, pollens
- Carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Bacteria, viruses and byproducts
- Vehicle engine exhaust, exhaust from industrial plants
- Asbestos, clays, elemental particles and man-made fibers
The health and comfort of students and teachers are among the many factors that contribute to learning and productivity in the classroom, which in turn affect performance and achievement. In addition, failure to respond promptly and effectively to poor IAQ in schools can lead to an increase in long-term health problems, costly repairs, and potential liability problems.