With the back-to-school season beginning soon, educational facilities across the country should be considering ways to keep children healthy when they return to the classroom. While COVID-19 is still a top concern for school officials, other health issues should be included in back-to-school preparations. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental risks to public health, which means maintaining good air quality in schools should be a top priority.
A common effect of higher pollutants inside school buildings is shown by the increased number of days missed due to asthma symptoms. With nearly one in 13 school-aged children in the United States diagnosed with asthma, reducing potential irritants in the classroom is critical to improving student learning overall. Beyond children with chronic illnesses such as asthma, indoor air quality (IAQ) has been linked to every student's ability to learn, and in a recent study, IAQ was a proven factor in test performance. Here are a few highlights from that study:
The EPA's list of potential problems resulting from poor indoor air quality include:
The long list of potential woes can be mitigated by following the EPA's reference guide to IAQ in schools. The document focuses on the types and sources of indoor air pollution, diagnosing the symptoms and causes of IAQ issues, and resolving those issues. A key factor in both potential causes and resolutions is your school's ventilation system.
When a building's HVAC system is properly maintained, it provides consistent movement of clean air throughout the indoor space. When it is not well cared for, it can contribute to the spread of pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dust, mold, bacteria, and viruses. Since airflow is a key concern, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following steps for improving school ventilation systems:
Understanding that school budgets can be tight and are often one of the first fiscal items cut in tough economic times means finding affordable ways to keep school ventilation systems maintained and running efficiently is important. Factory Direct Filters is a reliable source for quality air filters for school ventilation systems at discounted prices. With standard and custom filter sizes available at bulk quantity pricing, facility managers trust Factory Direct Filters to improve the IAQ in their buildings up to EPA standards.