At school, children spend much of their time indoors. Indoor air pollution is one of the most widespread environmental hazards in schools. According to WHOs Information Series on School Health, more than 50 percent schools surveyed in US reported at least one environmental issue affecting air quality in the classrooms.
Poor indoor air quality at schools can increase the risk of asthma, allergies, and infectious and respiratory diseases among the students. It can impact their overall academic performance and long-term health. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of the key risks associated with indoor air pollution in schools to protect children.
Kids more vulnerable to harmful effects of air pollutants
Particulate matter like dust mites and pollen are the common elements of indoor air pollution in schools. Furthermore, older buildings emit particles from lead-based paints and disintegrating masonry which damage the air quality. Indoor spaces of schools may also contain microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. raising the extent of air pollution. All these pollutants result in serious health issues in children.
Children are more vulnerable to adverse health effects of air pollutants because of their lesser immunity and immaturity of organs. Relative to their body weight, they breathe more air than adults. Childrens exposure to any contaminant in air will therefore be higher than that of adults.
Diseases pass around quickly in classrooms
Colds, flu and other illnesses pass from one kid to another easily in the classrooms. Classrooms in many schools today are compact and overcrowded. Kids are usually forced to sit close to each other in schools. Adding to it, poor ventilation and concentration of classroom materials worsen indoor air quality. This increases the chances of spreading airborne infectious diseases from one kid to the other.
Can impact academic performance and long-term health
Poor indoor air quality in schools can make children sick. It results in absenteeism and also affects their academic performance. Continuous exposure to the indoor air pollution can also have a long-term negative effect on their health. Various studies have revealed that kids exposed to indoor pollutants may suffer from serious health issues like cancer and respiratory disorders.
Children, during critical developmental stages, spend much of their time in school. Indoor air pollution in classrooms can affect the development of immune, endocrine and nervous systems of children.
School authorities should take care of children
The environment in the classrooms has strong influence on the students health. Classroom air pollution can worsen acute respiratory infections and trigger asthma attacks. It is the responsibility of school authorities to ensure that the students are comfortable and healthy. They should improve the health of students by reducing their exposure to environmental hazards such as indoor air pollution.
School authorities should understand childrens vulnerability to polluted indoor air that might lead to future disability and protect children. In order to lessen this aggravating problem, they should implement specific immediate measures.
Improve air quality using purifiers
School authorities can reduce the indoor air pollution by using air purifiers. Quality air purifiers can precisely filter the air in a classroom, removing bacteria, germs, pet dander, pollens, dust and all other airborne particulates that can compromise the health of students.
Hence, it can be said that air purifiers are very important in schools. They ensure safe and healthy environment, which students deserve at school.