Breathing contaminated air puts your child at risk of developing health complications. Nevertheless, the matter of indoor air quality in schools is sometimes overlooked. Even with the much-emphasized precautions to keep children safe and healthy, you will find that the issue of air quality runs deep.
Air contamination in classrooms may be due to various factors, these may include:
1. Allergens that are drawn from the outdoors through the open windows. It is always important to keep windows open in a room full of students. But this allows the microscopic allergens to be drawn into the classroom. This could harmful to your child or cause an allergic reaction.
2. Asbestos found in insulation. Most class buildings were built years ago. You will find that most insulation materials that were used then contained asbestos. This chemical can make the indoor air quality to be contaminated. Breathing air containing asbestos for a long time is known to have detrimental effects on human health.
3. Molds due to excess moisture. Breathing damp air filled with moisture will have a negative health effect. Either in the long run or after a short duration of time. Molds will usually be found in these moisture places and are hard to detect.
4. VOCs produced by furniture paint. Volatile organic compounds produced from furniture paint are known to be harmful. Continuous exposure of VOCs can leave both students and staff with health complications that sometimes might be irreversible.
5. Dust mites. In dusty places, the possibility of finding dust mites are high. These mites tend to live and thrive where there is dust. Since in school spaces there is bound to be dust because of the population, the chances of finding them are high.
6. Off-gassing of cleaning products. Cleaning products tend to produce an irritating toxic scent after use. This process is what is known as off-gassing. Since classroom must be cleaned, these toxins tend to linger in the air the children breath which can be really harmful to them.
7. In-floor tiles and classroom carpets. Classroom carpets are bound to contain contaminants such as dust and other particles that are harmful to your child's health. Also, with in-floor tiles that have been there for a long time, you might find parasites living there and this may have negative effects on the indoor air quality.
8. Combustion gases and improperly cleaned HVAC systems. The ventilation systems tend to produce gases when they are not properly cleaned. These harmful gases may be impossible to detect but in such systems, you will definitely find them.
Having poor indoor air quality in schools will have negative health effects on your child. These effects might be short term or long term. Some of the short-term effects are; headaches, fatigue, poor concentration, dizziness and nausea, hyperactivity just to mention a few. The long-term effects which are the most harmful include; asthma, nose, and throat irritation, coughing and sneezing, shortness of breath, Nosal congestion, rashes, skin irritation, and itchy or watery eyes.
Substandard indoor air quality is a real problem in many schools. Its effects can be detrimental to the health for both students and staff. Luckily, through vigorous quality testing on air quality can help detect the above causes of air pollution. Plus with clean quality air indoors, your child remains protected from health complications.
infographic by: bustmold.com