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Air Quality at School Affects Outcomes

Posted on September 04, 2014
by Wendy Stackhouse

School districts all over the US have started classes in the last couple of weeks and parents are hoping this year will be one where their students are given as much support to succeed as possible. A fundamental part of that support is their environment and air quality is its most essential ingredient.

What affects the air quality at school?

Poor ventilation keeps many contaminants in the air at school, including:

  • Mold from moisture and water damage that goes unrepaired for too long (mold growth can begin in as little as 24 hours)
  • Animal dander from classroom pets
  • Dirt or water in HVAC systems, which can spread bacteria which cause disease
  • Formaldehyde and other VOC’s in building materials, cleaning products, and school supplies
  • Allergenic chemicals, like those found in air fresheners and hand sanitizers
  • Pesticides
  • Pollutants from outdoors that cannot escape including vehicle exhaust from cars and buses

What are the results of poor indoor air quality at school?

Poor air quality reduces teacher effectiveness and student test scores.

Contaminated air increases rates of illness, asthma attacks, and allergic reactions

Absenteeism in both students and teachers leads to lower performance

Making an investment in the air quality at school is something we can do every day to improve the performance of teachers and students alike. Keeping ventilation systems, including ducts and coils, clean and well maintained is essential to healthy air quality in schools. Read more about how teachers and parents can improve the air quality at school on the AirTek blog!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek and our parent company, Alliance Environmental Group, which offers residential and commercial cleaning, pest control, demolition, structural pasteurization and many other environmental challenges. She has a Middle Schooler and a High School Sophomore. 

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