Health Risks In Our Schools
In a recent NYT article by Apoorva Mandavilli entitled “COVID-19 Closed the Nation’s Schools. Cleaner Air Can Keep Them Open,” we are urged to take action for our children. The article states “Scientists and educators are searching for ways to improve air quality in the nation’s often dilapidated school buildings.”
Many of the nation’s school buildings are older, have windows that do not open, and poor ventilation. These conditions set the stage for viral outbreaks. Recently, schools have been closed during heat waves, preventing our children from receiving both the academic and social education that is so vital to their health and growth. Additionally, wildfire smoke has become a frequent indoor air quality concern. Children and school staff who have preexisting respiratory issues are particularly vulnerable. However, breathing polluted air affects everyone over time. According to the journal, Science Direct, research indicates that academic performance improves as air quality improves.
COVID-19 has made us more aware of the profound impact that indoor air quality has on our health. While Indoor air quality has always been an issue, it has become one that we can no longer ignore as we experience viral outbreaks and climate change.
Government Funding To Improve Indoor Air Quality
As a result of COVID-19, the government has allotted funds for schools to implement air purifiers in our classrooms, and yet the money has not been fully utilized. School officials are often unaware of how to access these funds and purchase air purifiers. They may also not know that indoor air may be contaminated not just by viral pathogens, but also with other pollutants including carbon monoxide, radon, and lead particles. “Concentrations can be five times higher or more indoors than they are outdoors,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Many children and educators are breathing bad air in dilapidated buildings whose infrastructure does not support respiratory health.
Opening and closing windows is not enough. Parents, PTA’s, and teachers can influence school administrators to remediate air quality issues. Our company, The Air Cleaner Store distributes medical and commercial-grade air cleaners that are made for classroom, office, and industrial use. Our machines can deliver many air changes per hour and help to manage these air quality challenges. Please contact us if you would like some guidance on how to influence your school or office administrators. We have air purifiers in stock and ready to be used.