Indoor Air Quality is a significant part of our daily living; it is the air inside of buildings that reflects the safety and well being of individuals who are constantly inhaling the air. Educational institutes should particularly be aware of the air quality of their classrooms because there are so many students, as well as faculty, that spend their time in indoor environments that may have unhealthy pollutants.
Exposure to poor air quality can have a diverse effect on different types of people. For example, if certain individuals have specific immunities such as asthma, bronchitis, or pneumonia it can be detrimental to their health and can have a lasting effect on their lives. Children who have asthma are most affected because it has a direct effect on their developing lungs. Understanding that varying age groups, of students and staff, enter classrooms throughout the year so it is vital to recognize that each person reacts differently to poor indoor air quality.
A school may receive a negative reputation if its students are repeatedly sent home from illness. Air contamination can get in the way of health, capability to learn, and lifestyle at home. Indoor air quality (IAQ) should be dealt with in a rapid and efficient way to avert or do away with the health hazards associated with poor air quality exposure. Schools should develop a Management Plan that includes an inspection and testing of the areas that are a concern, such as older classrooms, portable classrooms, gymnasiums, and other campus structures that may have poor ventilation. Executing the Management Plan will help schools make proactive decisions because they will have accurate information to go off of to efficiently take action against the issue of poor air quality.
In classrooms, the most general problems of poor air quality are excess moisture, high humidity, and water intrusion. This results in a lack of fresh air, a feeling of mustiness, a lack of ventilation, and deterioration of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC) inside the schools buildings. If there is any dampness and moisture that occur because of leaks, flooding, or even high humidity inside the building it should be dealt with as soon as possible so as to not cause mold. Humidity levels should be maintained below 60-70%.
Measures that teachers, staff, and school officials should take to protect their students, institute’s reputation, and indoor air quality is to make a management plan that include key steps in addressing the issue. Indoor air quality and general environmental health issues should be taught to the staff. Faculty knowledge on the issue can help keep their students safe and can be able to detect air quality based on the indoor environment, students’ health, etc. It is in a school’s best interest to receive feedback from an indoor environmental professional to encourage both faculty and parents about healthy indoor surroundings. Staff members will feel confident in their work place knowing that their students’ health and education are not affected by potential hazards. Mold professionals should be called immediately if anything disastrous occurs or if major health problems have occurred to the children or the teachers inside of the building.
Indoor-Restore Environmental Services provides different methods of testing that could help with the quality of the school’s air according to your budget, as well as efficiently. We have an experience of twenty years and have technicians that are certified and re-certified to keep up to date with changes.
Get an inspection to prevent symptoms such as headache, fatigue, sinus congestion, asthma, behavior disorders, learning problems, infectious diseases, sneezing, dizziness and nausea appear. One factor that could help the school’s air quality a great deal is by integrating a High-efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) HVAC system. HEPA is an air filter that cleans your indoor air from pollution in your lungs, heart or skin.
When used correctly it has an effective rate of 99.7%. Indoor air quality should be taken care of right away so that staff members and students alike don’t have to experience the symptoms or be in an environment where exposure to poor air quality can cause life threatening diseases such as lung cancer.
The Management Plan should consider:
The humidity levels and temperature of the building
The volatile organic compounds check which is high vapor pressure that is consequently started from low boiling points
The carbon monoxide check which deals with inspecting the exposure limit of the gas
The ventilation check which deals with measuring the intake of fresh air
The mold formation check
Schools across the nation have been shutdown or have spent hundreds of thousands on removal/remediation due to mold growth; not conducive to students or staff members’ health. During inspection and testing for mold, the first step in taking a sample of the air in walls for mold contamination is to collect anything from any specific problem areas in the building. Second, is to take a swab and judge the contents inside of it. There is also air sampling which involves assessing the particulates that we find. Mold testing and allergen contaminants testing are when samples are taken and assessed in our third party laboratory. Along with air sampling we usually do surface sampling as well which can include swabbing, taping, bulk and dust. A plan of action can then be taken place after receiving the results.
Make a healthy difference for you, your community, and its children.