Good Air Quality contributes to a favourable environment for students, performance of teachers and staff, and a sense of comfort, health and well-being. These elements combine to assist a school in its core mission — educating children.
In recent years, comparative risk studies performed by EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. Good IAQ is an important component of a healthy indoor environment, and can help schools reach their primary goal of educating children.
Failure to prevent or respond promptly to IAQ problems can increase long- and short-term health effects for students and staff, such as:
Aggravate asthma and/or other respiratory illnesses; and
In rare cases, contribute to life-threatening conditions such as Legionnaire’s disease or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Indoor air problems can be subtle and do not always produce easily recognized impacts on health, well-being, or the physical plant. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, dizziness, nausea, and irritation of the eye, nose, throat, and skin.
Symptoms may not necessarily be due to air quality deficiencies, but can also be caused by other factors, such as poor lighting, stress, noise and more. Due to varying sensitivities among school occupants, IAQ problems may affect a group of people or just one individual and may affect each person in different ways.
Individuals that may be particularly susceptible to effects of indoor air contaminants include, but are not limited to, people with:
Asthma, allergies, or chemical sensitivities;
Suppressed immune systems (due to radiation, chemotherapy, or disease); and
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