Without the proper precaution, schools can be a breeding ground for illness among the millions of children that attend each year. It is perhaps with this in mind that Greenguard Environmental Institute recently launched an interactive school indoor air quality tour on its website. The tour takes place inside a graphic representation of a school with cartoon-esque teacher and student figures. There are three discussion topics: “IAQ Impacts Health”; “Maximize Fresh Air”; and “Create a Healthier School”. Clicking on each topic takes you to a screen with plus-sign markers located on different areas of the school room shown. Each marker provides a unique fact about school indoor air quality, as it relates to that particular topic. According to the information provided in the tour, indoor air pollution affects the health of students in various ways: it leads to higher rates of asthma and health problems which increases absenteeism and productivity and lowers teacher retention.
Higher indoor air quality standards must be in place to ensure the success of students and teachers. The tour suggests several ways to minimize indoor air pollutants in schools, including opening windows to increase ventilation and natural light (both of which increase productivity), using air filters with the highest MERV rating available for the school’s HVAC system, and maintaining proper humidity levels. In addition to several discussion topics, the tour also features a quiz on minimizing pollutants.