Believe it or not just about everyone is back in school. Where did summer go? Hopefully it went wonderfully spent with family and friends making awesome memories. But, back to school. We have discussed at length the indoor air quality in our homes and all the things we can do to make it as clean and healthy as possible. Should we be concerned with the indoor air quality in our children’s schools as well? In a word, yes! It is especially important if you have kids who suffer with allergies and asthma. I believe that this is so important and there is so much information about it I will address it in several blogs.
Maintaining healthy indoor air quality in schools is so important the EPA has even said that doing so can enhance student and staff productivity, improve test scores and maybe even reduce absenteeism. There is a lot more that the EPA has to say about it. I’m going to start this with the reasons why it is import.
Asthma and allergies are among the leading causes of absenteeism in schools. Making sure schools’ indoor air is clean and healthy can rid help reduce the allergens and other things that trigger symptoms in sufferers. The EPA lists problems that can occur if indoor air quality is not maintained at a high level. They say the problems can:
- Impact student attendance, comfort and performance.
- Reduce teacher and staff performance.
- Accelerate the deterioration and reduce the efficiency of the school’s physical plant and equipment.
- Increase potential for school closings or relocation of occupants.
- Strain relationships among school administration, parents and staff.
- Create negative publicity.
- Impact community trust.
- Create liability problems.
There are also symptoms that come with inadequate indoor air quality. Although not all of these symptoms can be directly related to the indoor air quality they are still problematic and could be helped by improving the indoor air. The symptoms are as follows:
- Shortness of breath
- Sinus congestion
- and irritation of the eye, nose, throat and skin
“Children breathe more air, eat more food and drink more liquid in proportion to their body weight than adults. Therefore, air quality in schools is of particular concern. Proper maintenance of indoor air is more than a “quality” issue; it encompasses safety and stewardship of your investment in students, staff and facilities.”
We’ll further discuss this issue in the next blog. We will take on the issue of what actions we can actually take to help.