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Students Suffer from Poor Air Quality in SchoolsStudents Suffer from Poor Air Quality in Schools
by Lourdes Salvador
"Children are considered as one of the most sensitive groups to atmospheric pollution because their bodies are actively growing and they breathe higher volumes of air relative to their body weights than adults do," say researchers Cartieaux and colleagues.
Because children spend most of the time in school and other group structures, indoor air quality in schools has been targeted for improvement.
Outdoor air pollution is not the only source of pollution. Strong contributors to pollution in schools also include the use of paints, markers, glues, and manufactured ink eraser pens, pesticides, fragrances, and even sanitizing products like wipes.
"The cause of indoor air pollution is a combinatory effect of physical, chemical, and biological factors, and the adequacy of ventilation in the environment," says Cartieaux. "Several pollutants have been reported to exist in classrooms such as bacteria, molds, volatile organic compounds, persistent organic pollutants and microparticles."
Air ventilation in schools has become poor over the years, largely due to environmental moves to reduce air leakage which has resulted in hermetically sealed and poorly ventilated buildings. The higher the air exchange, the better the air quality.
Respiratory symptoms and diseases such as asthma and allergies increase when air quality is poor.
Tramuto and colleagues have also found that exposure to ambient levels of air pollution leads to an increase in emergency room (ER) visits for acute respiratory symptoms.
The best way to improve air quality is to increase ventilation and open windows. Free standing air filters or those which attached to the heating and air conditioning also help to reduce allergens and pollution.
Cartieaux E, Rzepka MA, Cuny D. [Indoor air quality in schools.] Arch Pediatr. 2011 May 27. PMID: 21621987
Tramuto F, Cusimano R, Cerame G, Vultaggio M, Calamusa G, Maida CM, Vitale F. Urban air pollution and emergency room admissions for respiratory symptoms: a case-crossover study in Palermo, Italy. Environ Health. 2011 Apr 13;10(1):31. PMID: 21489245
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Copyrighted 2011 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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